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JJA Member Updates: April 2015

Apr 17th, 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 May 3, 2015.

Mirian Arbalejo dedicated this piece to Juan Claudio Cifuentes’ (AKA “Cifu”) memory, the master of all jazz journalists in the Spanish language, who passed away on March 17. She continues with her monographic series about jazz standards, this time with “Spartacus Love Theme”. She also reviewed To Duke, by Matthew Shipp Trio.

David Basse hosts “Jazz Alive Overnight” and “The Jazz Scene” for Kansas Public Radio, Terri Lyne Carrington was his guest March 7th and Basse was the onstage emcee for her Mosaic Project concert at the American Jazz Museum, March 14th. On March 28th, Basse featured previously unreleased music from Louis Armstrong and an historic interview recorded March 23rd, 1957, following a bitter loss for KU and Wilt Chamberlin at the championship basketball game between KU and North Carolina.

Andrea Canter‘s photos were published in the February, April and May issues of Downbeat; exhibited music and other photography in Twin Cities galleries in November and January; and is hard at work on artist biographies for the 2015 Twin Cities Jazz Festival program. She also spent a week in Chapel Hill, NC photographing a series of music and memorial events totally unrelated to jazz.

Yvonne Ervin is being inducted into the Tucson Musicians Museum at its grand opening in the Tucson Convention Center on April 12. Her feature story on Sheila Jordan is in this month’s Hot House.

Ken Franckling reviewed singer Karla Harris‘ March 6 performance at the 35th Sarasota Jazz Festival for JazzTimes. It was the debut performance of her Dave and Iola Brubeck songbook tribute. Ken also reviewed Florida concerts by trumpeters Jon Faddis and Bria Skonberg, guitarist Diego Figueiredo, trombonist Bill Allred’s Classic Jazz Band and The Naples Jazz Orchestra on his Jazz Notes blog.

Peter Gerler, who focuses on 20s and 30s jazz, has a new piece in Upbeat, WBGO’s program guide. Entitled “New Orleans Jazz, Swinging Out,” it covers the current uptick in Millennials bringing back the original form. He recently gave a talk for the Classic Jazz at Lincoln (MA) Library series on Benny Goodman’s musical roots.

Patrick Hinely caught up with Matt Wilson and his quartet while they were on the road with guest pianist John Medeski, and is writing about their concerts in Roanoke, Virginia for Cadence.

Reuben Jackson, host of Friday Night Jazz on Vermont Public Radio, host of Friday Night Jazz on Vermont Public Radio, will broadcast the following specials in April. ( in addition to regular weekly programming ): On April 18, he’ll host another one-hour special on VPR Classical. It will highlight excerpts from extended works by James P. Johnson, Tony Williams, George Duke, Duke Ellington, Joe Zawinul, and others. On April 24, a ( Early) Duke Ellington birthday special. “Keep on keepin’ on, my friends.”

Thomas Jacobsen published a review of the latest CD of the Nick Sanders Trio, You Are A Creature.  The young pianist is a native of the New Orleans metro area and was educated at the well-known New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts before going on to the New England Conservatory.


Sanford Josephson‘s new book, Jeru’s Journey: The Life and Music of Gerry Mulligan, will be published in October by Hal Leonard Books.

Wolfram Knauer starts a new lecture series called Mainzer Jazzgespräche (Mainz Jazz Talks) at Mainz University, Germany. For the premiere he invited Larry Appelbaum of the Library of Congress to talk about discovering the Thelonious Monk/John Coltrane Carnegie Hall tapes. Knauer himself will take a closer look at documents from the Library of Congress dealing with Eric Dolphy’s “Out to Lunch” session. Both will then discuss the task of and the need for archives both for researchers and musicians.

Gregory Laxer, JAZZ OFFICER SPAAK, becomes cowboy for a day as he takes listeners “Way, Way Out (West)” April 3, 10 AM to Noon Eastern Time. On April 10 flutist Ali Ryerson pops in for a live in-studio interview, 11 AM. Beyond that, there’s no telling what Spaak’s demented mind will cook up for special features! WWUH 91.3 FM W. Hartford, CT http://wwuh.org

Robin Lloyd interviewed Dr. David Deacon-Joyner about his involvement in the Seattle Jazz Experience youth jazz festival. She was interviewed by the BBC’s Business Matters program for a segment about the Nielsen ratings showing jazz album sales at an all-time low.

Howard Mandel reviewed Cassandra Wilson’s Billie Holiday tribute show at Thalia Hall, Chicago and also her new record, Coming Forth By Day for DownBeat; wrote liner notes for pianist Billy Lester’s Unabridged; moderated the JJA webinar on “Getting More Women in Jazz Audiences”; and worked on audience development with pianist Myra Melford prior to her week at The Stone in NYC.

Steve Monroe’s March Jazz Avenues for the East of the River print and capitalcommunitynews.com editions included a preview of Washington Women In Jazz Festival events, and Somi at Blues Alleyand a  review of Karen Lovejoy in concert. Monroe also blogged on reviews of WWJF events, Smithsonian Jazz Appreciation Month events, Nomadic Jazz and DC Jazz Festival news, and reviews of CDs by Marcus Miller, “Afrodeezia,” and Anthony Pirog, “Palo Colorado Dream.”

Fran Morris Rosman, executive director of the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, was in Washington DC to help launch  Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) 2015 with the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.  A huge and magnificentLeroy Neiman mural was installed outside of the soon-to-be “Jazz Cafe”. And yes, Ella is featured in the painting!

Daniel Smith holds the world premiere of “Blazing Bassoon Concerto’ for solo bassoon, orchestra and jazz trio on Oct 30 in Birmingham, England (also to be recorded for a British label). Further premieres are being arranged for USA and Canada. Jazz Suite for Bassoon set for release in May on the Summit label, to be followed later in the year with Big Band Bassoon, a tribute to the great swing bands.

John Szwed new book Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth was published by Viking Press on March 31.

Jeff Tamarkin wrote program notes for upcoming Carnegie Hall concerts by Brian Blade’s Fellowship Band and the Herbie Hancock-Chick Corea duo show. He also interviewed Diana Krall for M Magazine and worked on a press release for Steve Smith and Vital Information NYC Edition.

Dragan Tasic photographed for Jazz’n’More in Switzerland: Joey Defrancesco Trio in Grand Casino Lucerne, Switzerland on March 8; Trio Galliano-Fresu-Lundgren Mare Nostrum in KKL Luzern on March 18; Bettye Lavette in Marians Room Bern-Jazz Festival Bern, Switzerland on March 28; Buika in Kongresshaus Zuerich, Switzerland on March 20.

Scott Thompson returns to his radio roots at WPKN 89.5 FM  (Bridgeport, CT) and streaming on the internet at wpkn.org.  Thompson plays an eclectic mix from Hendrix to Coltrane (8-11pm-final Wed. of the month). He facilitated WPKN on-air interviews with Monty Alexander, Bobby Sanabria, Elio Villafranca, Rufus Reid, George Mraz, Randy Weston and Freddy Cole.  Thompson interviewed Wayne Shorter for his April Playbill lead feature.

Lars Westin is currently preparing ten one-hour radio shows for the Swedish Radio and a handful of CDs for the Dragon label!


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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