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JJA Member Updates: August 2015

Aug 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 September 3, 2015.

David R. Adler wrote about alto saxophonist Steve Wilson for the June 2015 issue of JazzTimes. His essay on jazz history pedagogy will appear in the magazine’s annual Education Guide, and his profile of drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts will run in the November issue. David also recently reviewed CDs by Al Cohn and Jimmy Rowles (Heavy Love), Kamasi Washington, Maria Schneider, Ghost Train Orchestra, Andrew Bishop and Charles Evans.

Mirian Arbalejo reviewed Duke, the new album by Italian trumpeter Fabrizio Bosso celebrating Duke Ellington. She also reviewed The Heart Of Jazz, by Spanish saxophonist Toni Solà. She continues with her monographic series about jazz standards, this time with You Go To My Head and My Favorite Things.

Nancy Barell‘s 245th edition of “Jazz Spotlight On Sinatra” is airing now. As always, she has a number of new releases from some established jazz artists and some new faces. Frank Sinatra is paired with some great jazz musicians performing the great standards. If you would like your music considered for air play please contact her.

Jane Ira Bloom has just finished recording tracks at Avatar Studio B in NYC for an upcoming CD on her Outline label. Bloom is also one of nine recipients of Chamber Music America’s 2015 New Jazz Works grant funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Foundation.  The quartet featuring pianist Dawn Clement, bassist Mark Helias, and drummer Bobby Previte looks forward to premiering Bloom’s new work inspired by American poet master Emily Dickinson.

Brita Brookes is now a photography intern for the Detroit Metro Times. Her assignments cover all types of musical performances that occur in the Metro Detroit area. Brookes recently covered Avashai Cohen at Cliff Bells in Detroit for the new photographer position. Her next jazz assigment is the Detroit Jazz Festival which occurs on Labor Day weekend.

Grace-Mary Burega was a 2015 Newport Jazz Festival Student Ambassador as well as a journalist, covering the festival on her jazz education website for teenagers, Kind of Pink and Purple, and her jazz poetry blog, Without a Poem.

Andrea Canter recently began a weekly “Lead Sheet” broadcast on Minneapolis jazz radio KBEM (88.5 FM) –highlighting upcoming live jazz in the Twin Cities. The complete “Lead Sheet” is still published weekly on her blog.

Stephanie J. Castillo, Emmy-awarded filmmker, will be at the Litchfield Jazz Festival in Goshen, CT on Aug. 8 to show the first 55 minutes of her planned 2-hour art film, Thomas Chapin, Night Bird Song, slated for completion late this year. The Litchfield jazz camp students, parents, and teachers will have previewed it on Aug. 4, following Castillo’s interview that day with WNPR.


Alex Dutilh, after his week live from Montreal Jazz Festival in july, with a selection of the best live concerts, also had 3 days live from Marciac from august 10-12 on France Musique. In between, he had a 6-hour program on Winter & Winter’s 30th anniversary, including a Stefan Winter interview.


Yvonne Ervin has a feature on Geri Allen in the August edition of Hot House, and her new non-profit organization, Jazz in January, has been nominated for a Lumie Award from the Tucson Pima Arts Council for Emerging Arts Organization.

David Hajdu, longtime music critic for The New Republic, currently at The Nation, has jumped sides and co-written an album of songs, working with jazz composers Renee Rosnes and Fred Hersch, as well as the alt-pop songwriter Jill Sobule.  Titled Waiting for the Angel, the album features Rosnes and Hersch on piano, along with saxophonist Steve Wilson, trumpeter Steven Bernstein, guitarist Peter Bernstein, oboist Charles Pillow, bassist Sean Smith and drummer Carl Allen.

James Hale contributed two features to DownBeat’s annual Student Music Guide – a profile of the Frost School of Music’s Jazz & Studio Music program at the University of Miami, and a look at how some young people are designing cost-effective, two-step jazz degrees by starting at community colleges or state universities and then transferring to larger, more prestigious institutions. He also wrote reviews of CDs by Ryan Adams and Jason Isbell for SoundStage.com.

Marcia Hillman was interviewed on her writing career by Cashbox Magazine and appears on the magazine’s online site. The interviewer has become the interviewee!

Patrick Hinely attended and photographed the first rehearsals and debut performance by the Vosbein-Magee Big Band at Salem, Virginia’s annual jazz festival, Art and Jazz in July. This newly-formed 19-piece ensemble is now the resident professional big band at his alma mater and employer, Washington and Lee University, in Lexington, a hotbed of social rest.


Kiyoshi Koyama‘s nationally syndicated weekly twohour NHK-FM Jazz Tonight show (every Saturday from 11:00pm1:00am) will soon feature some of the best Afro-Cuban Jazz recorded both in New York and Havana, Cuba, commemorating the historic diplomatic relations recovery of the US and Cuba in July.


Greg Laxer (Jazz Officer Spaak) continues the 80th Birth Anniversary Celebration for RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK August 7 and 14 (first installment was July 31) during ‘THE INNER SANCTUM,’ Friday mornings 9 AM to 12 Noon on WWUH FM, broadcasting from University of Hartford (home of Hartt School of Music where Javon Jackson now carries on Directorship of Jackie McLean’s Jazz Studies program). ‘THE INNER SANCTUM’: “The Sanest 3 Hours in Your Week”!
Ed Lovell continues to work with WJ3 Jazz Recording Artist and Jazz Educator Jacques Lesure on his latest release Camaraderie.  The recording marks the sophomore recording on WJ3 for the Los Angeles-based guitarist and includes multi-instrumentalist Warren Wolf, pianist Eric Reed, contra-bassists Nat Reeves and Tony Dumas, as well as Willie Jones III on drums.  After 6 weeks on the JazzWeek charts, Camaraderie is at position 15.

Howard Mandel wrote about Ornette Coleman’s funeral for The Wire, Dave Koz’s tour of China for his blog JazzBeyondJazz, and a preface for Butch Morris’ book on Conduction. He proofread Sam Newsome’s book Lessons from the Straight Horn, worked with Oliver Lake on his memoirs, and moderated a Jazz Institute of Chicago panel with George Freeman, Ari Brown, Gene Barge and Willie Pickens.

Bill Milkowski received the 2015 Bruce Lundvall Award at the Montreal Jazz Festival, where he also held Q&A sessions following screenings of a new documentary of Jaco Pastorius on three consecutive nights. He was also on a panel with Ashley Kahn, David Fricke and Mike Stern at the Newport Jazz Festival about Miles Davis and his use of guitar in his various electric ensembles.


Rick Mitchell can now be heard on three stations with his program Jazz In the New Millennium: WCLK in Atlanta, Sundays at 3 pm; KTSU in Houston, Wednesdays at noon, and KPVU in Houston, Sundays at 10 pm. Each one hour show focuses on an individual living jazz artist. Recent and upcoming shows have spotlighted Roy Haynes, Joshua Redman and Ben Williams.

Steve Monroe’s July Jazz Avenues for the East of the River print and capitalcommunitynews.com  editions included a remembrance of July birthday hero Dr. Billy Taylor, pianist, educator and promoter of jazz, and DC Jazz Festival highlights. Monroe also blogged on the July Nomadic Jazz show with Elijah Jamal Balbed and the new CD Graffiti by J.D. Allen, and reviewed Carl Grubbs’ Inner Harbor Suite Revisited show for the July Baltimore Jazz Alliance newsletter.

Carol Sudhalter has received her first performance grant from New York Women Composers, to perform works by one or more members of the organization. The concert will take place November 2015 at Steinway Reformed Church in Queens.


Jeff Tamarkin is working on a press release for Fourplay’s 25th anniversary album and a feature story on bassist Reggie Washington. Also reviewing new titles by Terri Lyne Carrington, Ramsey Lewis and Stefano Battaglia. Coming up soon: program notes for Julian Lage and Robert Glasper.

Joyce Wilson is working day and night to finish a concept that was once a dream. My goal is to have a launch date by mid August with enough time to work out any technical issues that may arise, yet prior to attending the 36th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival. In addition to that, finding time to support the local jazz musicians & those who have tour dates in Southern California.

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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