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JJA Member Updates: February 2015

Feb 13th, 2015 | By

Looking for proof that jazz is alive and well? You’ll find the most recent publications and other work reported by the extremely active members of the Jazz Journalists Association after the jump. We never sleep! If you are a JJA member and would like your recent activities included in the next installment of Member Updates, send a brief paragraph beginning with your name to membernews@jazzjournalists.org by March 3, 2015.

David R. Adler has added a new freshman course at Queens College called Writing About Music: The History of Jazz, which he’s teaching in addition to his graduate jazz history survey course. David also wrote liner notes for trumpeter Alex Sipiagin’s new release Balance 38-58 and will soon write notes for Sid Whelan’s forthcoming modern blues album The Story of Ike Dupree. His “Before & After” listening session with pianist Ethan Iverson appeared in the January/February 2015 issue of JazzTimes.

Mirian Arbalejo has started a monographic series about jazz standards with 3 titles (Lush Life, I Wants To Stay Here, Just One Of Those Things). She shared her favorite albums of 2014 (here and here). She also published a Strayhorn centenary in which she remembers The Original Copasetics: the club Billy Strayhorn presided and loved. She recently wrote some thoughts about Whiplash.

Nancy Barell‘s 237th Edition of “Jazz Spotlight On Sinatra” is now airing. She has been broadcasting for 10 years now and having a great time doing it. In addition to playing as much as the Radio Industry allows, she features new releases by David Hazeltine, Dena DeRose, Calvin Keys, Joe Alterman, Ranee Lee and more.

Jane Ira Bloom returns to the Cornelia Street Café as part of the 2015 Composers Now Festival in February. She performs “Singing the Triangle” with longtime bandmates bassist Mark Helias and drummer Bobby Previte. They’ll be performing songs from their many recording projects as well as new material that Bloom has composed for the group. The band also looks forward to a quartet concert date on Feb 21st at Yale University in New Haven joined by pianist Dawn Clement.

Andrea Brachfeld just returned from playing the International Havana Jazz Festival in December of 2014. She has also received word that she will be spending three weeks at the prestigious Millay Colony for the Arts where she will be focusing on composing the music for her next CD. She will also be presenting her Cuban Flute workshop at the Mid- Atlantic Flute Fair in February and the Focal Dystonia workshop at the NY Flute Fair in March.

Dee Daniels is looking forward to four concerts at Southern Theater with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra in a program entitled: 100 Years of Frank Sinatra. Dates are February 5 – 8, 2015.

John Fenton has been enjoying a busy New Zealand mid-summer of ‘Jazz in the Parks’.  He has revised the appearance of his blog JazzLocal32.com and his photography has been used in the cover art of 3 albums this month.  He was also engaged to produce liner notes for an album which he completed.  The musicians requested that he write poems instead of conventional prose and he collaborated with a friend to write a series of poems titled ‘The Neutrino Codex.’

Ken Franckling reviewed vibes player Christian Tamburr’s January 12 appearance in Port Charlotte FL for JazzTimes. Ken’s new book, Jazz in the Key of Light, got an extensive review from Mitchell Seidel in the February issue of Jersey Jazz, the monthly journal of the New Jersey Jazz Society. The book is available on Amazon.

Steve Griggs wrote a profile of organist Joe Doria for Earshot Jazz. He is working with the widow of saxophonist Joe Brazil to organize and preserve his collection of audio tapes made in 1950’s Detroit and 1960’s-70’s Seattle.

James Hale is writing a research report on the economic impacts of a strong local music community for a city councillor in his hometown of Ottawa. He also recently took on the position of copy editor for the SoundStage! Network.

Patrick Hinely had a pair of his photographs of Kenny Wheeler from the 1996 Angel Song recording sessions reprised as the opening and closing images for a Wheeler label-catalogue booklet that is included in his final recording, Songs for Quintet, just out on ECM. Hinely is also working on his own piece about Wheeler for Cadence magazine..

Thomas Jacobsen now lives in St. Louis, Missouri.  His latest book, The New Orleans Jazz Scene 1970-2000…, (LSU Press, October, 2014), has already begun to receive favorable reviews.  He has begun working on its sequel.

Ellen Johnson‘s book Jazz Child: A Portrait of Sheila Jordan was chosen #2 in the Jazztimes Readers Poll 2014 and Top 50 books (#8) on “Conversations” Book Club. The book was featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” “Fresh Air” (Kevin Whitehead), “The Jordan Rich Show, “Leonard Lopate Weekend,” “Viewpoints” and “Prime TIme Live” AARP. Ellen will present a clinic on “The Voice As An Instrument” for the Women’s A Cappella Association, She Sings Festival in March.

Steve  Monroe’s January “Jazz Avenues” for the East of the River print and capitalcommunitynews.com online editions included reviews of performances by sax man Fred Foss at a Ron Sutton Jr. benefit the ,St. John’s College High School jazz bands and the new CD by Branford Marsalis. Monroe also blogged on Marsalis’ CD, Willard Jenkins being named artistic director of the DC Jazz Festival, and reviews of CDs by The DePue Brothers and Nir Naaman.

Patricia Myers was named editor/writer of a new all-Arizona music website, www.MusicSceneAZ.com, providing jazz news and reviews, concerts and venues listings, and her longtime award-winning monthly column, AZ Jazz Update. Myers also received the Scottsdale Public Library’s Spirit of Literacy Award for excellence in promoting reading, literacy and library use, in recognition of donating the digital rights to her book, Scottsdale: Jewel in the Desert, the first illustrated 100-year history of the city.

Dan Ouellette’s Monterey Jazz Festival’s live blindfold test with Lionel Loueke was published in DownBeat and his interview with singer/songwriter Pieta Brown was published by eMusic’s Wondering Sound (shuttered in December). Since October Dan has been a senior editor for startup online magazine ZEALnyc.com, weekly previewing select jazz shows as well as writing a column, with profiles of Chris Potter, Jacky Terrasson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Vijay Iyer and previews/reviews of Winter Jazzfest and Charlie Haden Memorial.

Daniel Smith releases his recording of Steve Gray’s Jazz Suite for Bassoon (Summit Records) in April. His ‘BIG BAND BASSOON’ – 14 selections with guest artists – will be recorded September, 2015 in NYC. He is also planning a jazz concert Costa Rica, venue/date TBA, and performances in France in 2015-2016. NYC Jazz club dates being arranged. Daniel Smith is currently represented by NuJazzEntertainment and Jerald Miller.

Jeff Tamarkin interviewed Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock for the program notes for their upcoming Carnegie Hall show, and also Edmar Castaneda for his. He also spoke with Diana Krall about her new album for M: Music & Musicians magazine.

Lars Westin, of Stockholm, Sweden, has recently produced and hosted shows for the Swedish public Radio and prepared a number of CD releases  with historical (although partially previously unpublished) recordings on his own Dragon records label. He is also continuously a contributor to the Swedish jazz magazine Orkester Journalen.

Deanna Witkowski is in the midst of the New Dramatists’ Composer-Librettist Studio, where she is collaborating with five playwrights to create five new music-theater pieces over the course of two weeks. On Feb 13, New Dramatists will host an open rehearsal showcasing the 25 new pieces created during the studio.​ At the end of January, Deanna toured western North Carolina with a sold-out trio performance at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Hendersonville followed by workshops with Sheila Jordan at UNC-Asheville.

Member Updates are edited by Michael J. West. Use our JJA Member Directories to find JJA members qualified to contribute to your publication or production or to assist you with your jazz-related project. The directories can be searched by name, area of expertise and geographic location.

If you aren’t a JJA Member yet, consider joining us. Membership is open to both Professional Journalists (writers, bloggers, photographers, videographers, web producers and others who cover jazz) and Industry Associates (musicians, educators, presenters, promoters and others who work in the industry and support our work.)

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