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JJA Member News: January 2018

Jan 18th, 2018 | By

Jazz journalism is alive and well, as JJA members are getting their news and views about the music out in every media platform — locally, nationally and internationally.We never sleep! See the most recent publications and other work reported by the extremely active members of the Jazz Journalists Association after the jump. If you’re a JJA member and want 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, 2018.

Dan Bilawsky reviewed new albums from Antonio Sanchez, Deanna Witkowski, Mikkel Ploug, Stacey Kent, and various other artists for All About Jazz. In addition, late December saw the publication of Dan’s feature piece on Brian Charette—”Man in the Moment, Artist on the Fringe”—for JAZZed Magazine, and the publication of his review of the new duo album from Sam Newsome and Jean-Michel Pilc for JazzTimes.

Jane Ira Bloom’s blu-ray disc “Early Americans” (Sono Luminus SLE-70005)  was nominated for a 2018 Grammy for Best Surround Sound Album. Bloom, co-producer/mix engineer Jim Anderson, and mastering engineer Darcy Proper plan to attend the Grammy ceremony at Madison Square Garden on Sun, Jan 28, 2018.

Marcela Breton is a member of the jury for the 2nd annual 7Virtual Jazz Club Global Online Competition for Jazz Musicians.

Debbie Burke’s upcoming novel Glissando: A Story of Love, Lust and Jazz is now available via pre-order on Amazon with a hard release date of July 1. Also, her Q&A-style jazz blog has seen a sharp uptick in traffic with recent interviews including Paquito D’Rivera, Greg Vail, Wayne Tucker, Chembo Corniel, and many others.

Sharonne Cohen has recently written an artist profile on Montreal-born, NYC-based saxophonist Chet Doxas and his new project, Rich in Symbols, as well as a piece about Dièse Onze, one of Montreal’s most prominent jazz clubs. Both pieces will be published in upcoming issues of DownBeat magazine.

E. J. Decker’s April CD release, Bluer Than Velvet, a tribute to the great, deep-voiced Arthur Prysock—a major influence of E. J.’s—begins press promotion in January. Urged to undertake this project by the late Mark Murphy, Decker assays hits Prysock had, other songs in his book and songs influenced by him. For all press matter, contact Chris DiGirolamo.

Yvonne Ervin is spending January producing the 4th Tucson Jazz Festival, nominating musicians for the 2018 BNY Mellon Jazz Living Legacy by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF), and editing Hot House.

Ken Franckling prepared his annual The Year in Jazz review for allaboutjazz.com. The 2017 summary of notable awards, events, happenings and passings ran a whopping 8,000+ words. Ken also reviewed Southwest Florida concerts by saxophonist Greg Abate in Port Charlotte and guitarist Nate Najar’s annual Jazz Holiday, this time with vibes player Chuck Redd as featured guest, in Sarasota in December postings on his Jazz Notes blog.

Momchil Georgiev published a review about the unusual concert, where the guitar virtuoso Vlatko Stefanovski was a soloist of the Big Band of the Bulgarian National Radio.

E.J. Gold has  been focused on the design and opening of the ej gallery in Nevada City, California. He continues conducting weekly art classes for young persons online and in person, and has exhibited at the California Jazz Foundation’s  (CJF) annual gala fundraiser in Los Angeles annually since 2014.

Steve Griggs wrote about Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith for Earshot Jazz. Steve attended Chamber Music America, Jazz Congress, Winter Jazzfest, and Association of Performing Arts Professionals in NYC.

James Hale wrote about the new Miles Davis 1960 quintet set for DownBeat.


Sheila Jordan performs January 16th as special guest with Roseanna Vitro at The Kitabo; and January 19th and 20th special guest with the Royal Bopsters at The Jazz Forum. Happy New Year!


Ralph Lampkin, Jr. attended the Jazz Congress at Lincoln Center as Promotions Manager for Blujazz Records and Promotions, owned by Greg Pasenko. He is continuing his work as producer/Promotions assistance for Southport Record owners Joanie Pallatto and Bradley Parker Sparrow.


Howard Mandel wrote several record reviews for DownBeat, and a feature on Chicago’s Jazz Showcase, as well as text for Lewis Achenbach’s paintings exhibited at the Logan Center, and produced the JJA’s Jazz Media Summit at the Jazz Gallery on January 13.
Steve Monroe‘s December Jazz Avenues for East of the River print and capitalcommunitynews.com online editions included a Duke Ellington remembrance from the book Jazz Portraits by Len Lyons and Don Perlo to preview the Eric Felten Orchestra show on Ellington’s “Nutcracker Suite” at Blues Alley, along with other holiday jazz events including Cyrus Chestnut and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Jazz Avenues December also reviewed saxophonist Tedd Baker’s new CD Duos Vol. I.
Allen Morrison recently covered the 2017 MIMO music festival in Rio de Janeiro and  pianist/bandleader Antonio Adolfo’s show at Rio’s new Blue Note jazz club for DownBeat.com. His piece about pianist Matt King’s Monk in Brazil project; his obituary on the seminal jazz singer Jon Hendricks; and his column reviewing new releases by six vocalists all appear in the February issue of DownBeat.
Lew Shaw’s managed to catch Dr. Bruce Boyd Raeburn before the longtime curator of the Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University headed off to retirement for a profile article in the January issue of The Syncopated Times. The Archive has over 2,000 reels of taped oral history interviews concerning the emergence of  jazz in New Orleans from the late 19th Century to the present time.

Bill Tilford, a producer, writer and radio host,  attended JoJazz 2017 in Havana Cuba in November.  This is a national 4-day interpretation and composition competition for Cuba’s best  young jazz artists between 16-20 years of age.   He also distributed some instructional materials contributed by Jamey Aebersold Jazzbooks to Jazz instructors from Havana, Santiago and Guanabacoa.  He recently published an extensive article about JoJazz with multiple photo galleries and documents.

Michael J. West wrote a short piece on Eric Reed for Jazziz, covered Winter Jazz Fest for DownBeat, interviewed Esperanza Spalding for JazzTimes, and wrote the liner notes for Azar Lawrence’s forthcoming album Elementals.

Member Updates are edited by Michael J. WestUse 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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