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JJA Member Updates: January 2016

Jan 19th, 2016 | 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 February 3, 2016.

Karl Ackermann had 3 of the top 10 “Most Read” reviews for AllAboutJazz.com in 2015, including the Number 1 “Most Read” review of the year.

Mirian Arbalejo‘s blog has been nominated for Best Art & Culture Blog in Spanish Language (Bitacoras Awards). She wrote the piece “Mussorgsky, Strayhorn and The Plastic Arts,” celebrating Billy Strayhorn in his Centennial. She also shared the list of her favorite recordings of 2015.

Philip Booth reviewed the Chicago Jazz Festival and profiled Chico and George Freeman for JazzTimes. He reviewed CDs for JazzTimes, Jazziz, and Relix. Philip, a bassist, wrote most of the compositions for Acme Jazz Garage, his band’s self-titled debut CD, and was the project’s primary producer. The recording, with guests including master conguero Gumbi Ortiz (Al Di Meola), saxophonist Jeremy Powell (Arturo O’Farill) and singer Whitney James, is due this spring on Solar Grooves.

Brita Brookes continues to work as a music photographer intern for the Detroit Metro Times. This last year included coverage of the Detroit Jazz Festival for the newpaper. Recently, Brita covered the Jean Luc Ponty/Jon Anderson tour at the Detroit Music Hall and the UMS presents Chucho Valdes Irakere 40 tour at Michigan Theater. For 2016, Brita found out she is a finalist in the 2016 SOUND IMAGE music photography competition held by Analogue Gallery.

Andrea Canter completed work on the program note for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s concert featuring pianist Fred Hersch in the Appel Room (January 15-16). Her photo of guitarist Kevin Eubanks was published on the cover of History and Tradition in Jazz, 5th Edition (Kendall Hunt, 2016). She continues to broadcast the “Lead Sheet” live, weekly on the Twin Cities’ jazz radio station KBEM (88.5 FM).

Stephanie Castillo, Emmy-winning filmmaker, has completed her film THOMAS CHAPIN, NIGHT BIRD SONG and is inviting writers and reviewers to contact her at castillosj@aol.com. She has a screener available to view online of her Showcase version which runs 2 and a half hours plus intermission.

DJ Records is a company that buys vinyl records (LPs, 45s, etc.).  Jazz is one of our specialties.  We are based in St. Louis, MO, but travel across the United States regularly for quality collections.  We became aware of JJA while purchasing the record collection of the late Dr. Herb Wong and are happy to give back to the jazz community by becoming JJA supporters.

Karen Fox photographed some of the outstanding performances in the Detroit area in December, including The Chris Potter Trio at Cliff Bell’s, and Hugh Masekela and Larry Willis in the Jazz Cafe at The Music Hall. Also in December, she shot Cecile McLorin Salvant accompanied by Aaron Diehl and trio at The Dirty Dog Cafe, and The Michigan State University Jazz Band, led by Rodney Whitaker and special guest Jimmy Cobb, at The Carr Center.

Krin Gabbard’s book, Better Git It in Your Soul: An Interpretive Biography of Charles Mingus (University of California Press), is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com.  The official publication date is February 8. In addition to a survey of Mingus’s life and career, the book takes a detailed look at his autobiography as well as some previously unknown poetry.  There are also extended accounts of his career in movies and relationships with several key sidepeople.

Steve Griggs received an award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music from ASCAP and Chamber Music America in the Jazz Ensemble Category at the annual Chamber Music America conference in New York City. He also wrote an article on grant seeking for individual artists in Earshot Magazine.

James Hale wrote the cover story for the March issue of DownBeat, about the circumstances surrounding two new Stan Getz live recordings from Keystone Korner in 1976.
Rusty Hassan wrote the liner notes for John Colianni’s new release “After Hours” on the Patuxent label. He will be teaching the jazz history course in the music department of the University of the District of Columbia.
Robin Lloyd had a merry time interviewing Matt Wilson about his Christmas Tree-o, and participated in the festivities by officiating the First Annual Lighting of the Christmas Drum Set at the Tree-o’s show at Jazz Alley in Seattle.

Bill Moody‘s short story collection Mood Swings is available on Amazon and pretty much anywhere. He is still playing and did a recent gig on the evolvement of the jazz trio We started with Teddy Wilson and worked up to Keith Jarrett. He is working on a new Evan Horne novel now called San Quentin Blue.

Ron Scott recently returned from Cuba covering the 31 Festival Internacional Jazz Plaza La Habana. It was also the first anniversary of President Obama announcing the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with America. In the city of Santiago he had the opportunity to see the dancing combination of the Rumba and how it relates to the African Diaspora. His second Cuban visit experiencing the festival, jazz clubs and its culture will be completed soon.

Mitchell Seidel’s coverage of the 25th Suncoast Jazz Classic in Clearwater Beach, Florida is the cover story of the January 2016  Jersey Jazz Journal. In December he was re-elected Vice President for Music Programming of the New Jersey Jazz Society. He was interviewed on WBGO-FM in his capacity as editorial consultant to the Rutgers University Institute of Jazz Studies for the exhibit, “Jews, Jazz and African Americans: Cultural Intersections in Newark and Beyond” at the Jewish Museum of New Jersey.

Carol Sudhalter was awarded two performance grants from her local arts council, Queens Council on the Arts, to present a concert of works by Women Composers with her 16-piece Astoria Big Band at two venues in May and October 2016.

 Deanna Witkowski led her trio at the JEN conference in Louisville on January 9. Her trio performed on January 16 and 17 at the APAP conference and on Jan 20 at the Kitano.

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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