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JJA Member Updates: March 2015

Mar 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 April 3, 2015.

Mirian Arbalejo continues with her project about jazz standards; the most recent is ‘Caravan.’ Here she remembers a historical unrecorded jam session with Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke. She also wrote ‘The Tattoed Bride’ and the Conquest of Time, remembering this piece by Duke Ellington, and an old incident, between Juan Tizol and Charles Mingus. [All these texts in Spanish with translate]

Edward Blanco in early February appeared as a guest speaker/ lecturer in the graduate Jazz History class of Dr. Jamie Ousley, Professor of Jazz Bass at Florida International University’s School of Music at the Wertheim Performing Arts Center, speaking on several aspects of today’s jazz music environment and on innovators of the music, all as part of the schools alumni week’s activities.

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 was recently awarded a residency at the Millay Colony of the Arts for three weeks in April. During that time she will focus on composing music for her next CD. She is also putting together an event at the Miller Library in Jersey City to show the movie The Girls in the Band. Filmmaker Judy Chaiken will be available to discuss the film and a performance will follow of an all women’s band.

Yvonne Ervin is still recovering from producing the 13-day inaugural Tucson Jazz Festival in January but she has a feature on Tootie Heath in the March issue of Hot House and a piece on Sheila Jordan is on its way into the April issue.

Ken Franckling reviewed a Florida concert by guitarist Pat Martino with the Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra for JazzTimes, and concerts by the Anderson Brothers, and singers Giacomo Gates and Tess Collins on his Jazz Notes blog.

Steve Griggs wrote part 2 of his profile of organist Joe Doria for Earshot Jazz. The Steve Griggs Ensemble received a Golden Ear nomination from Earshot Jazz for 2014 NW Acoustic Ensemble.

James Hale wrote a profile of the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival for the May issue of DownBeat. The festival celebrates 30 years this summer.

Peter Hladky has added several reports from concerts with photos to Slovak jazz portal www.jazzpark.sk and one review of new CD The Mystery at Clown Castle by The Daniel Bennett Group.

Reuben Jackson, host of Friday Night Jazz on Vermont Public Radio, broadcast an all-Billy Strayhorn program  (the first of several Strayhorn Centennial nods he plans on doing this year) on February 6th. On the 20th of February, he hosted a one-hour special on VPR Classical entitled “Listening To The Movies.” The program included works by noted film composers Dimitri Tiomkin, David Raksin, Duke Ellington, David Amram, and others. “Both were well received, and big fun. :)”

Kiyoshi Koyama recently taped an interview with pianist Aaron Goldberg for his weekly two-hour NHK-FM show Jazz Tonight. Aaron recorded his rare solo piano performances for the show. Kiyoshi’s next guest for the show will be well-known record producer Michael Cuscuna, who will visit Japan in mid-April.

Robin Lloyd attended and wrote about the annual Jazz Education Network Conference, interviewed saxophonist Melissa Aldana, and remembered the immense talent and big heart of Clark Terry.  Robin also joined the Board of Directors of the Jazz Journalists Association.

Howard Mandel‘s long-read feature on Steve Coleman was published in The Wire, and he revived his blog, ArtsJournal.com/JazzBeyondJazz after a short hiatus with reports on Yerba Buena Arts Center’s New Frequencies Festival (curated by Myra Melford) and college radio stations such as WHPK (Chicago). He moderated the JJA’s Talking Jazz webinar on relations between jazz journalists and jazz educators.
Steve  Monroe’s February Jazz Avenues for the East of the River print and capitalcommunitynews.com  editions included, for Black History Month, excerpts from the Historical Society of Washington’s 2014 “Jazz in Washington” publication and a review of Team Players’ CD “Draft.” Monroe also blogged on the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, the Washington Women In Jazz Festival and reviews of Charles McPherson’s CD The Journey, Pete Muldoon’s The Score and Adam Birnbaum’s Three of A Mind.
Fran Morris Rosman, executive director of the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, will be speaking at the official JAM Kick-Off ceremony at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History on March 31. The Foundation just donated two Leroy Neiman prints of the great Ella Fitzgerald – the first one is Ella in Flight (painted while Ella was perfomring 30,000 feet in the air on a Continental Jumbo Jet) and the second, a lovely portrait in shades of red.

Allen Morrison‘s feature article “Navigating the Digital Jungle – How Jazz Artists Survive in the New Media Era” is in the April DownBeat; it includes interviews with Dave Stryker, Jana Herzen, Willie Jones III, Ben Allison among other artists, label executives and industry analysts. His profile of guitarist Rez Abbasi appeared in the March DownBeat, and his review of the “Jazz Legends for Disability Pride” concert at NYC’s Winter JazzFest appeared on the magazine’s website.

Dan Ouellette continues to write weekly columns for the media startup ZEALnyc.com, with features on Joe Lovano, Allan Harris, Jazz & Colors at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the trio 1032K based on an interview with Frank Lacy. He has written the DownBeat feature on Duchess (May issue) as well as shorter pieces on Becca Stevens, Ashley Daneman and Colleen Clark. He’s written the Impulse Records liner notes for pianist Sullivan Fortner’s debut, Aria.

Carol Sudhalter was profiled during January in three rather extensive articles in Artspy, Huffington Post and Allegro.

Bert Vuijsje co-produced the CD Boy’s Big Band: Return, released by the Dutch Jazz Archive. It is the first in the new series “Treasures of Dutch Jazz,” which will present never before released recordings by important musicians and bands from the Netherlands, as well as CD reissues of historical Dutch jazz LPs that should not be forgotten. The CD Return has live recordings from 1965-1966 by the best big band in Dutch jazz history.

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.

Jim Wilke recorded a concert by Anat Cohen and the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, and a Tribute to Kenny Wheeler featuring Ingrid Jensen and Steve Treseler, with Geoffrey Keezer, Martin Wind and Jon Wikan.  The Tribute to Kenny Wheeler will be heard on NPR’s Jazz Night in America.  Highlights from both concerts will also be heard on KPLU’s Jazz Northwest.

Deanna Witkowski has a stunning new bio on her website, thanks to JJA member Andrew Gilbert. Her new album, Raindrop: Improvisations with Chopin, was featured on classical radio station WQLN March 13. On March 19, she performs music of Mary Lou Williams at John Jay College; on March 24, she leads a duo with bassist Daniel Foose at the Signature Theatre Café and Bar. Witkowski is also a new adjunct assistant professor in the music department at LaGuardia Community College.


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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