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JJA Member Updates: May 2015

May 14th, 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 June 3, 2015.

Nancy Barell‘s 241st edition of “Jazz Spotlight On Sinatra” is airing now. Nancy says: ” I am featuring centennial tributes to Frank and Billie Holiday. I have been broadcasting over 10 years and having a great time promoting Jazz with Frank. Lots of new releases from some artists new on the scene  as well as the icons of today and yesterday. I welcome you to check it out.  I invite members to contact me with their new releases.”

Jane Ira Bloom performs with her quartet at Jazz at Kitano, 66 Park Ave. (E. 38th St), New York City on Friday, May 29, sets at 8 & 10 pm. Bloom is joined by long-time bandmates Bobby Previte (drums), Cameron Brown (bass), and Dominic Fallacaro (piano). The band performs ballads from the American songbook and originals inspired by poet Emily Dickinson.

Brita Brookes displayed 2 photos in this year’s SOUND IMAGE show at Analogue gallery in Toronto. Her music photos were published in Ride the Tempo for SCENE festival and an interview with Ontario young Jazz band Cardinals (now the Juliets) was posted. Her photo of Pierre Bensusan from his Toronto concert was used in his promotional poster design and on his new CD “Encore.”  Her shot of Bob Margolin is on his press kit page​.

Joan Cartwright has been working to register women artists, authors, architects, filmmakers, and musicians – all women in the arts – for the Symposium on Women in the Arts on August 4, 2015, Washington, DC where they will discuss ways and means to improve the equity of public funding of the arts for women. Attendees (male and female) may register here.

Tim Coakley attended events for Jazz Appreciation Month held by the Schenectady and Albany musicians unions. The Schenectady event began with a documentary film about great local pianist Lee Shaw. There was also live music by local saxophonist Keith Pray, and the group Bopitude, which featured baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan and pianist Bruce Barth. The Albany event featured four local bands and finished with the Akiko-Joe Magnarelli Quartet.

Yvonne Ervin is visiting NYC the first week of May where she will hold a webinar for Chamber Music America on “Everybody Wins with Block Booking”  on May 5 at St. Peter’s Church at 3 p.m. She is also in the city with the Tucson Jazz Institute big band for the Essentially Ellington competition at Jazz at Lincoln Center on May 8 and 9 where the band will be defending its win from the past two years.

Ken Franckling’s Jazz in the Key of Light was featured in an International Jazz Day book signing event at Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda FL on April 30. The event included an anecdotal presentation about the book, plus live music by pianist Mac Chrupcala’s trio with bassist Dominic Mancini and guitarist Tony Boffa. Mancini is one of the 80 featured musicians in the fine-art photo book. Ken reviewed an April 13 concert by trombonist Herb Bruce’s Florida-based Herbicide Jazz Band on his blog.

Steve Griggs wrote a profile of Seattle trumpeter Thomas Marriott for Earshot Jazz.

John Hasse, at the launch of the 14th Jazz Appreciation Month, helped unveil an epic painting by LeRoy Neiman, Big Band, and announced the acquisition of the 12,000-item Duncan Schiedt Photo Collection.  At the invitation of the U.S. State Department, Hasse presented a series of lectures in Romania. The Gheorge Dima Academy of Music named John “Doctor Honoris Causa”: this was the first honorary doctorate given in Romania to an individual connected to jazz.

Ellen Johnson is releasing her new recording in June, Form & formless, that features John Stowell and Larry Koonse. The project involves a mixture of free improvisation with classic jazz compositions. Ellen was thrilled that her book, Jazz Child: A Portrait of Sheila Jordan, was nominated for the JJA 2015 Awards.

Peter H. Larsen reviewed a handful of new CDs for Danish magazine Jazz Special and Swedish magazine Orkester Journalen. He’s preparing a trip to Paris and Amsterdam next week, hoping to catch singer David Linx at Sunset in Paris and will definitely go to hear a rare piano duo at Bimhuis in Amsterdam: Kenny Werner and Bert van den Brink. He has also, slowly, started preparations for the year’s biggest essay for Jazz Special: a centennial tribute to Billy Strayhorn.

Ed Lovell, working in conjunction with WJ3 Records, finalizes the details for a first in the series of performances titled “The Art Of Jazz.”  The series will be a combination of Jazz performance and visual art.  The event will be held on May 16, 2015.                                                                                                                                   

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.

Rick Mitchell began his new Atlanta radio program, Jazz In the New Millennium, in April. Each one-hour show focuses on an individual artist keeping the music alive and moving it forward in the 21st Century. Featured artists on shows that have aired so far are Jason Moran, Wayne Shorter and Branford Marsalis. Next up are Cassandra Wilson, Pharoah Sanders and Marcus Miller.

Steve Monroe’s April Jazz Avenues for the East of the River print and capitalcommunitynews.com  editions included comments on Jazz Appreciation Month events, a review of Washington Women in Jazz Festival events and Anthony Pirog’s new CD Palo Colorado Dream. Monroe also blogged on Bobby Hill Jr., Thomas Stanley and Transparent Productions shows, reviews of CDs by Reginald Cyntje and Tim Whalen, and reviewed a show by the Carl Grubbs Ensemble for the Baltimore Jazz Alliance newsletter.

Dan Ouellette continues to write weekly columns for arts/culture startup ZEALnyc.com. As senior editor, he has reviewed shows by Herbie Hancock/Chick Corea (Carnegie) and Cassandra Wilson (Apollo) as well as written profiles of Charles Lloyd, Becca Stevens and Brian Blade. He contributed a festival feature on North Sea Jazz Festival for DownBeat (May) as well as a Players piece on Jorma Kaukonen.

Doug Ramsey wrote essays for three Fresh Sound albums; the Pinky Winters-Lou Levy “Let’s Be Buddies” (on CD for the first time), Nancy Harrow’s “The Beatles and Other Standards,” and “A Lundgren Smorgasbord,” a compilation of tracks from Fresh Sound  albums that feature the Swedish pianist Jan Lundgren. Doug’s Rifftides was again nominated as the JJA’s Blog of the Year.

Daniel Smith’s recordings of the complete 37 Vivaldi bassoon concertos were recently re-released by G – Decca in a 5-CD box set. World premieres of Jazz Concertos and Brazilian jazz concertos for bassoon and orchestra, written for and dedicated to him, will take place in several countries including the USA, England, Canada and Brazil in 2015 and 2016. In June, his 23rd solo album, Jazz Suite for Bassoon, will be released world-wide on the Summit label.

Jeff Tamarkin just finished his sixth interview with Bill Frisell over a two-year period for program notes for his series of JALC shows. He has also been working with Simon Phillips, Steve Smith and others on new bios and press releases.

Judy Wexler made a rare NYC appearance singing at the Blue Note with the Mark Soskin Trio on Mother’s Day, May 10th. According to Dan Bilawsky at All About Jazz, “Judy Wexler is more than a mere singer of songs. She’s an actress, mood painter, song archaeologist, and vocalist par excellence.”

Jim Wilke marked Jazz April with location recordings and broadcasts of The Seattle JazzEd New Works Ensemble playing music of Wayne Horvitz, Tatum and Dan Greenblatt Generations Quintet, and the Jacob Zimmerman Quintet playing music of the 40s.  The broadcasts are part of the Sunday afternoon series Jazz Northwest  on KPLU and kplu.org.   Programs are archived at jazznw.org.

Deanna Witkowski posted her first educational video demonstrating her improvisation on Chopin’s “Raindrop” Prelude at YouTube. On May 21 and 23 she leads her duo at the Signature Theatre. On May 16, as one of two winners of the Astoria Choir’s call for scores contest, her SATB work, “Glistening Lily,” will be performed on the choir’s Sacred Songs program at Trinity Lutheran in Astoria.

Linda Yohn continued to host 89.1 Jazz for WEMU-FM weekdays from 9AM to 12:30PM, which included participation in a successful $200,000.00 pledge drive.  She published 3 articles for Jazz Appreciation Month at www.wemu.org on Clark Terry and Marcus Belgrave, Vincent York and Duke Ellington and Don Chisholm, 2015 JJA Jazz Hero for Ann Arbor.  On April 26th, she presented Don Chisholm’s Jazz Hero Award and on April 30th she hosted Vincent York’s Duke Ellington Tribute for International Jazz Day.

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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