jazz

Swing Into The Holiday Season With George Gee's Make-Believe Ballroom Orchestra

George Gee- for the Grateful Web

This Holiday season, The Edison Ballroom and producer Mickey Marchello, former guitarist from the legendary New York Rock Band Good Rats, will welcome the swing era sounds of George Gee and his Make-Believe Ballroom Orchestra as they entertain guests with a new show that evokes a golden era:  "Sleigh Bells Swing."  George Gee and his 22-piece Big Band offer the perfect Holiday treat for not only swing and jazz music fans, but also for tourists and tri-state area residents looking for an incredible Holiday entertainment experience.  The Edison Ballroom poses as the perfect backdrop for George Gee's musical extravaganza with its plush leather walls and sophisticated art deco accents in tones of whites, blacks, shades of grey, and platinum juxtaposed against illuminated glass tiles.  Combined with the décor of The Edison Ballroom and a presentation of classic Holiday songs, guests will feel as if they are re-entering a fantasy world of 1930s/1940s retro era of glitz and glamour that no longer exists – until now.
 
A world-renowned professional swing band leader, George Gee is also the only Chinese-American one. He has compiled a hip and cosmopolitan big band show fully equipped with 22 tuxedoed musicians, captivating singers, rhythmic tap dancers and gravity-defying lindy hoppers, punctuated by a custom-tailored bandstand to complete the look of this elegant evening.  "Sleigh Bells Swing" will begin with an interactive and multi-media floor show with the full swing orchestra and complete cast during dinner, MC'ed by the seasonal anecdotes of Mickey Marchello.  After the show and four course meal, the complete 1,700 square feet dance floor will open for dancing to the swingin' big band sounds of George Gee and his orchestra.

Edison Ballroom's "Sleigh Bells Swing" will run straight from December 20th, 2008 through January 3rd, 2009 (with no performance on December 24th, 2008).  Tickets for the floor show and dinner are $190.00 per person including all drinks and dancing; tickets are $75 per person for general dancing, include open bar and hors d'oeuvres  (post-dinner and floor show).

ABOUT THE EDISON BALLROOM

The Edison Ballroom, first opened in the 1930's, reopened June 2008 following a $5 million renovation targeted to make it the premiere venue for a wide variety of private events and celebrations. Located at 240 West 47th Street in the heart of Times Square (between Broadway and 8th Avenue), the Edison Ballroom boasts a long and illustrious history that is still visible in the details of its restoration.  The new renovation is meant to highlight the room's art deco flair of the 1930's.  Owner, Allan Wartski (Christo's Steakhouse and Hakata Grill) hired Glen Coben of the award winning New York-based architecture and design firm Glen & Company to design the interior.  A neutral palette was used to play up the architectural details, spotlighting their beauty. The main floor houses a 700 square foot stage framed by elegant and traditional silk curtains. Upstairs is a balcony that has its own bar.

ABOUT GEORGE GEE

Nearly three decades ago, in an era when punk, new wave and heavy metal ruled, a Chinese-American musician named George Gee launched his imaginative big band vision.  A native New Yorker, George Gee has always loved the syncopated jump styles of the Big Band Era and his career was propelled by the support of  swing giant Count Basie.  He grew up with rock 'n' roll, R&B and disco – but also developed a powerful passion for swing. At renowned Stuyvesant High School, George Gee wowed the crowds with his flashy showmanship on bass in the school's jazz band.  After an extended stint on the road, George returned to his hometown of NYC in 1989 to make his big band dream a reality.  He  summoned top notch musicians – (young and old), including veterans of legendary bands such as those led by Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and also Latin and pop music giants – all to continue living his big band dream.
 
With each performance, George Gee's powerful and entertaining swing orchestra continues to set new standards and reach for loftier heights.  George Gee and the band were recently invited to the Middle East to perform for an audience including The Prince of Jordan and musical impresario Quincy Jones. Gee also served as a primary expert for the nationally broadcast and DVD distribution of the documentary "The Joint is Jumpin'" and was also a featured appearance on PBS's "Live at Lincoln Center" for 11 million viewers.  George Gee continues to tour the world spreading the Gospel of Swing and is ecstatic about his collaboration with The Edison Ballroom.

Jazz Museum Events: Nov. 17-21, 2008

James McBride- for the Grateful Web

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem begins an exciting full week of public programming with a conversation between executive director Loren Schoenberg and best-selling author, saxophonist and composer James McBride for Jazz for Curious Readers, whose first novel was recently turned into a film by acclaimed director Spike Lee.
 
Thelonious Monk's musical style was singular, yet his ensembles embraced the voices of other titans in jazz music. Don't miss Jazz for Curious Listeners this week: the tenures of John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, the standard-bearers of jazz tenor saxophone innovation post-1950s, with Thelonious Monk is the intriguing topic that Schoenberg will pursue.
 
Join us mid-week for an exploration of jazz legends at Jackie Robinson Park for Jazz in the Parks. We'll screen a series of short films in which you can see the legends for yourself. Details below.
 
Top jazz educator and percussionist Justin DiCioccio is the guest at Harlem Speaks this week. Guest interviewer Greg Thomas will investigate the state of jazz education through the vision and experience of DiCioccio, chair of the jazz department of the Manhattan School of music.
 
Expect an eclectic mix of sonic pleasure at Harlem in the Himalayas at the Rubin Museum of Art, as we close out the week with guitarist Bern Nix and bassist Francois Grillot.

Monday, November 17, 2008
Jazz for Curious Readers
James McBride
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE  

James McBride is an award-winning writer and composer. His critically acclaimed memoir, The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, explores the author's struggle to understand his biracial identity and the experience of his white, Jewish mother, who moved to Harlem, married a black man, and raised 12 children. The Color of Water won the 1997 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Literary Excellence, was an ALA Notable Book of the Year, and spent more than two years on the bestseller list. Chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the 25 books of 1996 to remember, The Color of Water has sold more than 1.3 million copies in the United States alone and is now required reading at numerous colleges and high schools across the country. It has also been published in 16 languages and in more than 20 countries.

After the success of The Color of Water, McBride turned to fiction, albeit inspired by his family's history. "My initial aim was to write a novel about a group of black soldiers who liberate a concentration camp in Eastern Europe," McBride explains on his web site. "I read lots of books and spent a lot of time researching the subject but soon came to the realization that I'm not qualified to write about the holocaust. It's too much."  So, instead, he recalled the war stories of his uncle and cousin, who served in the all-black 92nd Infantry Division, and began researching World War II in Italy - particularly the clashes between Italian Partisans and the German army. Miracle at St Anna was published in 2002, and was recently turned into a major motion picture by acclaimed director Spike Lee, for which McBride also wrote the screenplay. His second novel, Song Yet Sung, was published in 2008.

McBride is a former staff writer for The Washington Post, People Magazine and The Boston Globe. His work has also appeared in Essence, Rolling Stone and The New York Times. Aside from his literary honors, McBride is the recipient of several awards for his work as a composer in musical theater, including the 1996 American Arts and Letters Richard Rodgers Award, the 1996 ASCAP Richard Rodgers Horizons Award, and the American Music Festival's 1993 Stephen Sondheim Award. He has written the score for several musicals, including the highly acclaimed, award-winning show "Bobos."

McBride, an accomplished saxophonist who has toured with renowned jazz singers and musicians, has written songs (music and lyrics) for Anita Baker, Grover Washington, Jr., Gary Burton, Silver Burdett Textbooks, and for the PBS television character "Barney." He is a graduate of New York City's public schools, studied composition at The Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, and received a Masters in journalism from Columbia University in New York at age 22. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters from Whitman College. He lives in Pennsylvania and is currently a Distinguished Writer-In-Residence at New York University.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
The World of Thelonious Monk: With Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online

The pianist Eric Reed once said that "When you playing Monk's compositions, you're kind of playing Monk. His compositions and improvisations are completely integrated." Such is the nature of his compositions, so intertwined with his quirky, singular and ingenious style of playing and composing jazz.

The two foremost giants of jazz tenor saxophone in the 1950s, Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, were a part of Monk's band at signal moments in the development of their styles and careers.  

This promises to be a night of swingin' revelation, so don't miss it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Jazz in the Parks
Jazz legend shorts
7:00 - 9:00pm
Location: Jackie Robinson Recreation Center
(85 Bradhurst Avenue @ West 146th Street)
FREE | RSVP, please call (212) 408-0296 or email for more info: NYC Department of Parks

A selection of short films about Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Charlie Parker. Parker discovered Davis, and it was Davis who made John Coltrane into a musical icon. It's one thing to listen to their music, and another to see them play, live, in action. This is an unforgettable evening of rare film of three of America's greatest artists

Thursday, November 20, 2008
Harlem Speaks
Justin DiCioccio, Drummer/educator
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

Justin DiCioccio is internationally recognized as one of the foremost jazz educators of our time. In January 2001, he was inducted into the Jazz Education Hall of Fame, which took place at the 28th Annual International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) conference in New York City. His keen insight into the teaching of conceptual and inventive ideas has earned him the title of "the musician's teacher." His performances, guest conducting appearances, adjudications, jazz and percussion clinics and workshops are numerous and widely recognized in the professional and educational fields.

Mr. DiCioccio was named assistant dean of Manhattan School of Music in June 2002, where he chairs the School's jazz department, a position that he has held since 1999. In addition, he has been a member of the School's jazz faculty since 1984, teaching percussion and coaching ensembles. Under his leadership, a complete restructuring of the jazz curriculum has taken place, which includes the creation of a new Jazz DMA program. His goal is to initiate and put into action the concept of the complete artist musician – performer, composer, and pedagogue – as well as the creation of working partnerships with public schools, community organizations, institutions and the music industry. He also directs international summer jazz programs in partnership with Manhattan School of Music that take place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and at the Brevard Music Festival in North Carolina.

Mr. DiCioccio works actively in Manhattan School of Music's educational outreach program bringing jazz education to hundreds of New York City public school children. In addition, Mr. DiCioccio has initiated the creation of a jazz component to the School's already existing Preparatory Division, open to students ages 10 to 18, making Manhattan School of Music on of the few institutions in the country to offer jazz programs at the elementary, secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels.

Mr. DiCioccio serves as program director for Carnegie Hall Jazz Education and under his direction in January 2001, the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall as part of its Family Concert Series. He also acts as a consultant to Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center, with whom he also performs and gives clinics, as well as conductor of the Henry Mancini Summer Institute in Los Angeles, CA. He designed, developed and directed the internationally known and award-winning LaGuardia High School of the Arts jazz program, the first fully accredited secondary jazz program in the United States.

Mr. DiCioccio is the recipient of a citation for the major of New York for "Distinguished and Exceptional Service to Young Instrumentalists" and is currently active with the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, the Music for Youth Foundation and the National Foundation for Jazz Education. He is a three-time recipient of the Presidential Scholars teaching recognition award in the jazz field by the U.S. Department of Education. In May 1998, The Commission Project, in partnership with the New York City Board of Education, created the JD Award for Outstanding Service to Music in New York City Schools. The award, presented annually, recognizes and celebrates individuals who have made significant contributions to the world of music education and honored Mr. DiCioccio as its first honoree. In June 2003, Mr. DiCioccio received an Achievement Award from Downbeat magazine.

Friday, November 21, 2008
Harlem in the Himalayas
Bern Nix and Francois Grillot
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Bern Nix has played the guitar since the age of 11. Bern studied music and graduated with a degree in music education from the Berklee College of Music. Since 1985, he has led The Bern Nix Trio. Before leading his Trio, Bern performed and recorded with Ornette Coleman from 1975 to 1987 as an original member of the Prime Time Band. The Prime Time Band recorded six albums including Dancing in Your Head, Of Human Feelings and Body Meta and performed hundreds of concerts around the world. The Bern Nix Trios first recording, Alarms and Excursions (New World Records) was released in 1993, making many top ten critics lists. Bern has performed with artists such as, Ornette Coleman, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Elliott Sharp, Jemeel Moondoc, Ronald Shannon Jackson, James Chance, Jayne Cortez and Kip Hanrahan. Hailed as one of the greatest jazz guitarists of our time, Bern was voted among the top ten jazz guitarists poll by Down Beat magazine. Most recently, Bern composed and recorded the score for the feature length documentary, A James Lord Portrait. Bern has a solo album coming out this fall on Tompkins Square Records.

Francois Grillot, born in Burgundy France, began studying trumpet, then guitar and electric bass. He recorded with Edition Speciale, on RCA, touring throughout France. Other credits include recordings with Mama Bea Teckelsk (RCA) and Serge Bringolf (Strave on Musea Records). Upon moving to New York he has been playing along side a number of notable musicians including Bill Bickford, Ken Hatfield, Adam Naussbaum, Harold Danko, and Mike Clarke. In 2001 his music took a turn with collaborators Matt Lavelle, Steve Swell, Daniel Carter, Matt Maneri, Roy Campbell, Mark Edwards, Jackson Krall, Lou Grassi, Jason Kwang, Robert Dick, Daniel Levin, William Hooker, Charles Burnham, Louie Belogenis, Bern Nix, Michael Marcus, Ken Filiano and a many others.

Karrin Allyson Appearing This Weekend At The Iridium Jazz Club

Karrin Allyson- for the Grateful Web

Born on July 27th, in Great Bend, Kansas, Karrin Allyson (pronounced 'CAR-in') has spent the last fifteen years carving out an impressive career as a singer, songwriter, pianist, composer and bandleader.

It's not just critics who love her, it's the rest of the world, too-musicians, concertgoers and connoisseurs of quality music.

One thing's for certain, though: The two-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated artist has been winning over fans and critics alike. And she's been doing so just about everywhere jazz can be heard or seen since 1992.

That was the year Allyson assembled her Kansas City-based rhythm section, borrowed funds from her family and headed into the studio. The result? I Didn't Know About You. The reaction was immediate. "Stunning debut! Irresistible twists of melody and inflection," wrote veteran jazz critic Neil Tesser in Playboy Magazine, placing the young singer in the company of legends Ella Fitzgerald and Shirley Horn. Critics and jazz lovers from coast to coast echoed the news. Allyson is a major talent that will drive you wild.

Over the years, Karrin Allyson has recorded a series of eleven CDs for Concord Records, each of which have showcased her astonishing breadth of repertoire, from standards by Gershwin and Porter to Brazilian bossa nova to samba and Thelonious Monk. She has also taken on French and Brazilian music (From Paris to Rio), the genius of John Coltrane (Ballads: Remembering John Coltrane) and the blues (In Blue).

Most recently, the vocalist has released Imagina: Songs of Brasil, a beautiful collection of 14 tracks that features songs sung fully in Portuguese, as well as Brazilian songs with English translations by Susannah McCorkle, Chris Caswell, Gene Lees, Paul Williams and Jon Hendricks. But, "Whatever your native language," she says, "I hope that these songs speak directly to your heart, as they have to mine."

Her many eclectic and steadfast recordings, however, are only the tip of the iceberg. Karrin Allyson spends two days out of three on the road, playing the major jazz festivals and clubs of the U.S. and making repeated tours overseas. In February 2004, she toured Australia for the first time. This summer, she embarks on yet another tour of Europe, South America and the Far East.

What you may not know, is that not only has Karrin performed in traditional jazz venues throughout the world, but she has appeared at Carnegie Hall, at Lincoln Center, and at the 92nd St. Y; performances made all the more special to the artist because those concerts took place in what has been Karrin's adopted home town for the last decade, New York City.

The singer has also been a popular and welcomed guest of Garrison Keillor on National Public Radio's A Prairie Home Companion on several occasions, most recently from Tanglewood. And finally, Allyson and her band have performed with symphony orchestras around the country, including the new Carnegie Hall concert series at Zankel Hall.

What has generated this much esteem and success? First of all there is the singer's uniquely distinctive voice. Notable jazz critic and historian Gary Giddins affirms, "Allyson coolly stakes her claim. She brings a timbre that is part ice and part grain...incisive, original, and emotionally convincing." The Houston Press agrees wholeheartedly, "If there's a choir in heaven, someday the exquisite vocalist Karrin Allyson will lead it. She's such an otherworldly talent that the creator probably already has her on heavy rotation."

But there is more. When one listens to Allyson, you hear heart, intelligence, and musical sophistication. Her emotional range, from heartfelt to sassy, is beyond her musical peers. And there is a literate and engaging connection that honors the great traditions of blues, jazz and roots, expands to the Great American Songbook and embraces French and Brazilian rhythms.

The classically trained Karrin Allyson is also a great bandleader - she is a musician's musician. If you listen carefully, you will hear highly developed musical interplay with her band that sounds so effortless and natural that it conceals the deep level of musical sophistication. This is one of Allyson's great achievements, and it is the result of working for more than a decade with an ensemble of fearless and powerfully committed jazz virtuosi. Together, they have developed a powerful and flexible language and style unique among current groups.

IRIDIUM JAZZ CLUB
1650 BROADWAY (Corner of 51st)
NEW YORK, NY 10023
RESERVATIONS: 212-582-2121
http://www.iridiumjazzclub.com/

Mel Martin Quartet at The Kitano NYC November 14-15

photo by Ed Berger- for the Grateful Web

Mel Martin—composer, arranger, bandleader, saxophonist, flutist—is one of the most versatile and inventive musicians ever to emerge from the San Francisco Bay Area. In his long career, he's played a part in many of the innovative movements that have emerged from that creative community. He worked and recorded with a number of the progressive rock and Latin bands of the late '60s and early '70s, including the Loading Zone, Cold Blood, Azteca, and Boz Scaggs. In 1977 he founded the award-winning Listen, one of the first West Coast jazz-fusion bands. And he's currently artistic director of Bebop and Beyond, a group he formed in 1983, as well as leading The MEL MARTIN BAND and Big Band, the Tenor Conclave, and the Benny Carter All-Star Tribute Band.

 

Martin's latest CD, Just Friends by the Mel Martin/Benny Carter Quintet, was recorded live at Yoshi's Jazz Club in Oakland in April 1994 with Carter on alto saxophone, Martin on tenor saxophone and flute, Roger Kellaway on piano, bassist Jeff Chambers, and drummer Harold Jones. Its summer 2007 release coincides with Carter's centennial (August 8). Martin calls the disc "one of the best-sounding live recordings I've ever heard."

 

The musicianship on Just Friends is superb. Kellaway and Jones had played frequently with Carter, and Chambers and Martin have a long working relationship of their own, giving the ensemble an uncanny level of communication. As for Carter, "Benny's playing was fluid and exploratory," Martin says. "You never knew where he was going to go."

The set includes "Perdido," a tune associated with Duke Ellington; "People Time," a Carter composition with Mel on flute ("the best flute performance I've ever recorded," he says); "Elegy in Blue," composed by Carter upon the death of a close longtime friend; Martin's 3/4 original "Spritely," a feature for Mel and the trio; and the standards "Secret Love" and "Just Friends."

 

"The arrangements [on the new CD] were spontaneous," Martin says. "We would listen to each other, then make contributions to the ongoing conversation. That's how we'll play in the Benny Carter Tribute Band I'm putting together now with Roger [Kellaway], Andrew [Speight, alto saxophone], Robb [Fisher, bass], and Jeff [Marrs, drums]."

 

Mel Martin met Benny Carter at a Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame gathering in 1978. "I was in the pit orchestra," Martin recalls. "Benny spoke about his work scoring films and showed clips from Stormy Weather and other movies he worked on. At the end of the gig he said hello to every member of the band and shook everybody's hand, a typically gracious gesture.

 

"In 1986 I went to the Verona Jazz Festival with Bebop and Beyond. Benny and I got to hang out, and he stayed in touch." In 1989 Carter asked Martin to put together a big band for a weeklong gig at Kimball's East. "It was a five-sax, eight-brass and rhythm section group; we played Benny's compositions." After a second weeklong run at Kimball's in 1990, Carter asked Martin to join his big band for two tours of Japan.

"Except for a few tunes like 'Only Trust Your Heart,' 'Key Largo,' and 'Cow Cow Boogie,' Benny's music isn't that well known," Martin observes, "but it's up there with Ellington. He's one of the most underappreciated composers of the 20th century. When I got to know his compositions on that tour, I was astounded."

 

The arrangements Carter created for his music inspired Martin to apply for an NEA grant to record Carter's compositions. Mel Martin Plays Benny Carter (Enja, 1994) combined music recorded live at Yoshi's in 1994 with a studio session featuring pianist Kenny Barron, drummer Victor Lewis, and bassist Rufus Reid. Just Friends lets us hear more of what Carter and Martin played on those magical nights.

 

Mel Martin was born in Sacramento on June 7, 1942. Both parents were singers, and early piano and clarinet lessons led him to Benny Goodman and to Glen Church's Jazz Rhythm & Blues radio program. The big bands passing through town—Woody Herman, Duke Ellington, Count Basie—kept his interest high. "Seeing Benny Goodman made me want to play jazz," Mel recalls. "His sax man Budd Johnson had an incredible sound; he didn't need a mike to fill the hall. I had a small combo—clarinet, accordion, and drums. After gigs we played at Mel's drive-in for tips."

 

While still a teenager, Martin was fortunate enough to sit in with Wes Montgomery and his brothers. "Monk and Buddy Montgomery moved to Sacramento after the Mastersounds [their successful quartet with Richie Crabtree and Benny Barth] disbanded. They brought Wes out from back East, and drove around to gigs in a pink Caddy.

"I'd go listen when they played the Swinging Lantern or the Iron Sandal. I showed up one night with my flute, got up my nerve and asked if I could sit in. They were very encouraging. After the gig, Wes wrote out the changes to 'West Coast Blues' on a napkin I still have."

 

While majoring in music at San Francisco State in 1962, Martin met John Handy, a fellow undergraduate, and played in his Freedom Band. "[John] had played with Mingus and had his own records on Roulette. He was a big influence on me. We played demonstrations and colleges. There wasn't a lot of money involved, but we played stuff by Mingus and Handy."

 

Martin learned how to play bop with the musicians who hung out at Bop City, Soulville, the Jazz Workshop, Shelton's Blue Mirror, Jack's on Sutter, and later the Both/And. "The greats would go there after their gigs to hang with the local musicians, eat chicken and waffles, and play jazz," he recalls. "Clubs had jams from 2 to 6 a.m. and from 6 to 11 a.m. You could catch a gig on Friday, then go to a club and play all night, get some sleep and do it all over again on Saturday. Bop City and Soulville were my schools."

 

Starting in the late 1960s, Martin began a period of playing with progressive rock and Latin bands, among them the Loading Zone, Cold Blood, Azteca, and Boz Scaggs. In 1977 Martin formed Listen, an important part of the early West Coast jazz-fusion scene. "The Fourth Way, Jerry Hahn Brotherhood, and the John Handy Quintet were all based here," Martin points out. "Chick Corea was putting Return to Forever together, and Herbie Hancock started the Headhunters in San Francisco, so there's a rich lineage of fusion in the Bay Area."

 

Listen made three albums—two for the Inner City label, Listen Featuring Mel Martin (1977) and Growing (1978); and She Who Listens (1979) for the small Scottish label Move. Martin received a Musician of the Year award from the San Francisco chapter of NARAS (Grammy) in 1977 as well as a Bammy for Best Jazz Album of 1977 for Listen Featuring Mel Martin. Illustrious Listen alumni include steel pan player Andy Narell and drummer Terry Bozzio.

 

Martin has been artistic director of the group Bebop and Beyond since 1983. Eddie Marshall, John Handy, George Cables, Ed Kelly, and Warren Gale have passed through its ranks. The band's discography includes Bebop and Beyond (Concord, 1984); Bebop and Beyond Plays Thelonious Monk (Blue Moon, 1990); Bebop and Beyond Plays Dizzy Gillespie (Blue Moon, 1991), with special guest Dizzy Gillespie; and Friends and Mentors: Bebop and Beyond Plays the Music of Mel Martin (Quixotic, 2000).

 

Mel Martin has received five National Endowment for the Arts grants—a Compositional Grant in 1976, and subsequent funding to preserve the music of Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and Benny Carter for the recordings Bebop and Beyond Plays Thelonious Monk, Bebop and Beyond Plays Dizzy Gillespie, Mel Martin Plays Benny Carter,and the brand-new Just Friends. He has been honored by the San Francisco Jewish Museum as part of their Jewish Presence in Jazz Series. Other projects include the Tenor Conclave, currently on hiatus, a sextet with Tim Armacost, Rob Roth, Mark Levine, Robb Fisher, and Akira Tana, focusing on the repertoire of great saxophonists of the past, particularly Joe Henderson; and the Mel Martin All-Star Big Band, which plays new arrangements of standards as well as the music of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Carter, Jimmy Heath, and Mel Martin.

 

As performer, composer-arranger, and multi-instrumentalist (soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones; flute and alto flute; clarinet and bass clarinet), Martin has contributed to the CBS television series The Twilight Zone and the films Rumblefish, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Warriors, and Street Music. Martin has assembled (and performed in) big bands for McCoy Tyner and Dizzy Gillespie, and played with the Freddie Hubbard Quintet and Charlie Haden's Liberation Orchestra.

 

Martin, who taught at the Stanford Jazz Workshop at Stanford University from 1984 to 1995, is a highly respected national clinician. He has produced the Bebop and Beyond Advanced Jazz Workshops for the Marin Jewish Community Center, and conducts workshops at his studio in Novato and in the Marin County public schools. "I feed my students classics from the jazz repertoire and discover some of the young talents that will take the music into the future.

 

"I've always loved music," Martin adds, "from jazz to rock to classical, and I've been blessed to be able to make a living at it." After six decades of playing, Mel Martin is still exploring the limitless possibilities of musical expression with the same enthusiasm he felt when he first picked up a clarinet as a boy.

THE MEL MARTIN QUARTET @ The Kitano 

66 Park Avenue, NY, NY 10016 (212)885-7000 ( 800)548-2666
Shows at 8 & 10PM $25 cover, $15 minimum.
with
Mel Martin - saxophones & flute
Taylor Eigsti - piano
Steve Laspina  - bass
Steve Johns  - drums

ELECTION NIGHT JAZZ -The Shaynee Rainbolt Quartet

Shaynee Rainbolt- for the Grateful Web

Swingin' Jazz for the Bipartisan-Curious

Featuring:  
The Shaynee Rainbolt Quartet

Shaynee Rainbolt, Vocals
Barry Levitt, Piano
Tom Hubbard, Bass
Ray Marchica, Drums

Special Guests Include:

Great American Songbook composer/lyricist Ervin Drake ('Perdido','I Believe",'It Was a Very Good Year','Good Morning Heartache')

MAC and Bistro Award Winning Vocalist: Terese Genecco

MTV, Here TV, and host of the Acclaimed NYC variety/comedy show 'On The Rocks,' Comedian: Danny Leary

IRIDIUM JAZZ CLUB
1650 BROADWAY (Corner of 51st)
NEW YORK, NY 10023
RESERVATIONS: 212-582-2121
http://www.iridiumjazzclub.com/
Sets At 8:30 & 10:30PM

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Cachaca Jazz Featuring The Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra

Todd Marcus- for the Grateful Web

"... one of the finest [CDs] to come out in late 2006.  Thank god I made time to listen to [the] disc among the ad nauseum cookie-cutter singer records I had to review. [The] music was a fabulous ear and brain cleaner. We dug the freshness of the approach...Truly refreshing in a world of sameness."   - - Linda Yohn, WEMU Music Director

"Todd Marcus shows a lot of promise with his exciting recording debut as a leader."  - - All Music

"[Marcus] was self taught as an arranger and player. In one respect you'd never guess this was the case, for his music is organized, balanced and mature. On the other hand, there is a fire, which resonates on this recording. His bass clarinet playing has an original sound, and his arranging has a style of his own…[The band's] energy is awesome and the ensemble has a bright future.  - - Rich Holland, Jazz Radio 247.com

"Marcus…brings a saxophonic rigor to the bass clarinet while also generating enough sonic power to front a nine-piece ensemble…With his melodic imagination and technical aptitude on an unorthodox horn, Marcus has something truly new and personal to offer."  - - David R. Adler, contributing writer, Jazz Times 

"Once you know who Todd Marcus is and what his music is you learn that you have found something special.  He writes beautiful music, and he and his orchestra have the magic touch…"  - - Music Monthly

"While the bass clarinet has been used often since Dolphy, it is typically used by a saxophonist or clarinetist as a second or third instrument…Very few performers have used the instrument exclusively, but one such performer is the Baltimore-based American musician and bandleader Todd Marcus."  - - Wikipedia

"Excellent bass clarinetist, composer."  - - Baltimore Sun

Cachaca @ 35 West 8th Street · Greenwich Village · New York, NY 10011 · 212.388.9099

Monday, November 3rd, sets at 10:30pm and midnight

Todd Marcus  (bass clarinet/compositions), 
Russell Kirk (alto), Jacob Yoffee (tenor), Lyle Link (alto/flute), 
Theljon Allen (trumpet), Alan Ferber (trombone), 
Joel Holmes (piano), Gavin Fallow (bass), McClenty Hunter (drums)

Squirrel Nut Zippers @ Boulder Theater

photos by Joshua J. Smelser- for the Grateful Web

The band that brought the world Perennial Favorites, Hot, Bedlam Ballroom, and The Inevitable are on the road together again. Featuring original and founding members Katherine Whalen, Jimbo Mathus, Chris Phillips, Je Widenhouse and Stuart Cole - the Squirrel Nut Zippers perform selections from the entire catalog, plus new songs and the occasional cover. In addition most shows include a video performance of the amazing Ghost of Stephen Foster cartoon, created by their friends at The Simpsons.

The band still rejoices at the difficulty people have in pigeonholing their unmistakable sound. A rich, hybrid-stew of Southern roots traditions, the Zippers were aptly tagged "30s punk" by one critic. They have always flirted with a muse most concerned with ghosts, fever-dreams, love gone wrong and characters that seemed to have been torn from the pages of a long forgotten novel. Centered around the beguiling vocals of Katherine Whalen and the anachronistic windup toy that is Jimbo Mathus, the Zippers promise to both charm and confound.

Since 2001, the members have kept themselves more than busy. Katherine Whalen has released several solo albums, including the critical favorite Dirty Little Secret. Jimbo Mathus has released several solo records, worked as musical director for legendary blues musician and Grammy winner Buddy Guy, and operated a recording studio outside of Memphis. Chris Phillips spent time playing with the Dickies and was the composer for the Comedy Central television show Lil' Bush. Je Widenhouse performs throughout the country with his Dixieland jazz group The Firecracker Jazz Band. Not to be outdone, Cole has written "Dancing to Morocco", a travel guide for Northern Africa based on his recent touring in the region with the Amazing Dancer Troupe.

Upcoming Zippers Dates
Dec 5 2008 9:00P
Southpaw w/ The Old Ceremony Brooklyn, New York
Dec 6 2008 8:00P
The State Theatre Ithaca, New York
Dec 7 2008 8:00P
Webster Theatre Hartford, Connecticut
Dec 8 2008 8:00P
Tupelo Music Hall Londonderry, New Hampshire
Dec 9 2008 8:00P
Showcase Live Foxboro, Massachusetts
Dec 17 2008 8:00P
Boulder Theatre Boulder, Colorado
Dec 18 2008 11:00P
Belly Up Aspen Aspen, Colorado
Dec 19 2008 8:00P
Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom Denver, Colorado

National Jazz Museum in Harlem November Schedule

Thelonious Monk- for the Grateful Web

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem's first event in November 2008 takes place a week after the presidential election, focusing on The World of Thelonious Monk for Jazz for Curious Listeners.
 
Now in its fifth year, the Harlem Speaks interview series continues strongly this month, with relaxed talks with photographer and producer Hank O'Neal and educator and drummer Justin DiCioccio. Best-selling author and jazz musician James McBride comes through to the Visitor's Center for Jazz for Curious Readers.
 
Live performance takes no back seat, as Harlem in the Himalayas presents several concerts boding experimental approaches (see details below.) 
 
If you've attended any of our events, or even have read our weekly and monthly press releases, you know that most of our programming is free to the public. Please consider giving your financial support to the National Jazz Museum in Harlem at our Gala 2008 fundraiser on November 25, 2008. 
 
That way, we can continue sharing the legacy and contemporary value of jazz, and keep swingin'!
 
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
The World of Thelonious Monk: The Minton's Years
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online
            
In the 1940s pianist and composer Thelonious Sphere Monk was a house pianist at Minton's uptown in Harlem, a hotbed locale for the adventurous sound style that became known as bebop. Way before his wider popularity and critical recognition, his tenure at Minton's established his reputation among his musician peers, some of whom even questioned his approach. One man whose imprimatur stood Monk in good stead during this period was Coleman Hawkins, the "father" of the jazz tenor saxophone. 
 
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Harlem Speaks
Hank O'Neal, Author/producer
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

His mother, Sarah Christian O'Neal was a musically and intellectually inclined housewife from Tyler, Texas.. His father was a professional soldier and educator in the US Army in Texas and the Pacific (1929-1947) and, following World War II, an educator and public school superintendent in upstate New York (1953-72). O'Neal was raised throughout Texas, primarily, and Syracuse, NY. After first attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he graduated from Syracuse University in 1962.

In 1960 O'Neal was introduced to a representative of the CIA and ultimately accepted employment with that organization. He reported for duty in January 1963 and remained with the CIA in Washington D.C. and New York City until 1976. He served in the US Army during the same period (1962-1967), rising to the rank of Captain. The nature of his employment allowed him the flexibility of pursuing other interests during these years.

During a forty year career in music, he formed two record companies, Chiaroscuro Records and Hammond Music Enterprises, built two recordings studios (WARP and Downtown Sound), produced over 200 jazz LPs/CDs and - in conjunction with his business partner, Shelley M. Shier and their production company, HOSS, Inc. - over 100 music festivals (The Floating Jazz Festival, The Blues Cruise, Mardi Gras At Sea, Big Bands At Sea and others from 1983-2002), published a number of books and articles on jazz, photographed most of the giants of jazz from the second half of the 20th Century, exhibited these photographs regularly and served on the boards of various non-profit organizations that serve the jazz community, including the Jazz and Contemporary Music Program of The New School (1985 to present), the Jazz Foundation of America (1993 to present) and more recently The Jazz Gallery (1995 to present).

As a photographer, O'Neal didn't begin to pursue photography seriously until 1969 when he acquired a professional camera and began documenting recording sessions and jazz concerts he was producing. Long before Berenice Abbott admonished him to always have a project, he undertook his first, in rural East Texas during the years 1970-1973. These photographs led to his first exhibition in September 1973, at The Open Mind Gallery in New York City.

In the 1970s he became friendly and associated with a diverse group of photographers, notably Walker Evans, André Kertész and, most importantly, Berenice Abbott, with whom he worked for the last 19 years of her life.

Between the years 1970 and 1999, in addition to undertaking many photographic projects, O'Neal also published numerous books related to photography. In 1999, at the urging of Evelyn Daitz, the gallery director, he had a major retrospective of his work to that point at The Witkin Gallery. The focus of his activities have been more directed towards photography since then. He has had many exhibitions since that time. In 2003 his photographic career was summarized in a major profile in the New York Times.

Friday, November 14, 2008
Harlem in the Himalayas
Anat Fort and Paul Motian
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

With Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Paul Bley, Elvis Costello, John Coltrane and Egberto Gismonti among her many formative influences, Anat Fort's music can also subtly hint at her geographical origins. Born near Tel Aviv, she studied classical piano as a child and began improvising from an early age, all the while remaining open to the many musical sounds of her environment. 

In the early 1990's, Anat came to the United States to study jazz, looking to balance a natural tendency towards freer playing with a firm grounding in the tradition. Her sojourn resulted in her self-produced debut album Peel, and commissions to write for various ensembles including chamber and chorus and orchestra. Her most recent commission was premiered at the Opera House in Tel Aviv in January 2006. Anat received two artist-in-residence grants from the Jerome Foundation as well as the Creative Connections award from Meet the Composer. A session recorded with drummer Paul Motian, with whom she's performing this evening, bassist Ed Schuller, and clarinetist Perry Robinson was brought to the attention of the legendary producer Manfred Eicher ECM Records, and the resultant CD was released in 2007 as A Long Story

An important presence on the NYC alternative jazz scene and equally highly regarded in her homeland, Anat currently splits her time between Israel and the US and performs with bassist Gary Wang and drummer Roland Schneider in her touring band, the Anat Fort Trio.

Stephen Paul Motian was born on March 25, 1931 in Providence, Rhode Island. Motian played guitar in Providence in his teens, then served a term in the US Army. On his discharge in 1954 he went to New York to study music at the Manhattan School of Music. By 1956 he was playing drums for George Wallington and Russell Jacquet. Between 1956 and 1958 he worked with Tony Scott, with whom he met the pianist Bill Evans. His work in the Evans trio (1959-64) has since achieved legendary status for its delicacy and balance. Motian also played with Oscar Pettiford, Zoot Sims and Lennie Tristano in the late 50s. In the mid-60s he worked with singers Mose Allison and Arlo Guthrie and was part of the Paul Bley trio in 1964. Motian had met Ornette Coleman's bass player Charlie Haden in 1959 and had a chance to work with him in Keith Jarrett's band with Dewey Redman (1967-76); he also joined Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra for its debut recording in 1969 and toured with the re-formed Orchestra in the 80s. In the 70s he was active in the Jazz Composers' Orchestra and played on Carla Bley's Escalator Over The Hill in 1972.

Motian emerged as a leader in 1974, since which time he has released an impressive series of albums on the ECM Records, Soul Note Records, and JMT labels that have confirmed his stature as a drummer and composer. Tribute (1974) featured Carlos Ward on alto, while Dance and Le Voyage from the late 70s boasted rare appearances by saxophonist Charles Brackeen. In the 80s, Motian began long-term associations with guitarist Bill Frisell, whose arching, tremulous interpretations of Motian's melodies are particularly sympathetic, and the inventive tenorist Joe Lovano. In the late 80s, he renewed his acquaintance with Paul Bley on a marvelous album of improvised duets (Notes), and joined with Haden and pianist Geri Allen to form one of the most thoughtful of contemporary piano trios; a guest appearance with Marilyn Crispell's trio (Live In Zurich, 1991) proved he was also at home in more exploratory modes. Motian's examination of Thelonious Monk (Monk In Motian), standards (Motian On Broadway) and his piano-less tribute to Bill Evans (1991) show a questing musical mind, still working as keenly as ever. He recorded with his Electric Bebop Band (E.B.B.B) in the 90s and into the new millennium, which included Steve Swallow and Don Alias.

Monday, November 17, 2008
Jazz for Curious Readers
James McBride
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

James McBride is an award-winning writer and composer. His critically acclaimed memoir,The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, explores the author's struggle to understand his biracial identity and the experience of his white, Jewish mother, who moved to Harlem, married a black man, and raised 12 children.  The Color of Water won the 1997 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Literary Excellence, was an ALA Notable Book of the Year, and spent more than two years on the bestseller list. Chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the 25 books of 1996 to remember, The Color of Water has sold more than 1.3 million copies in the United States alone and is now required reading at numerous colleges and high schools across the country. It has also been published in 16 languages and in more than 20 countries. 

After the success of The Color of Water, McBride turned to fiction, albeit inspired by his family's history. "My initial aim was to write a novel about a group of black soldiers who liberate a concentration camp in Eastern Europe," McBride explains on his web site. "I read lots of books and spent a lot of time researching the subject but soon came to the realization that I'm not qualified to write about the holocaust. It's too much."  So, instead, he recalled the war stories of his uncle and cousin, who served in the all-black 92nd Infantry Division, and began researching World War II in Italy - particularly the clashes between Italian Partisans and the German army. Miracle at St Anna was published in 2002. His second novel, Song Yet Sung, was published in 2008.

McBride is a former staff writer for The Washington Post, People Magazine and The Boston Globe. His work has also appeared in Essence, Rolling Stone and The New York Times. Aside from his literary honors, McBride is the recipient of several awards for his work as a composer in musical theater, including the 1996 American Arts and Letters Richard Rodgers Award, the 1996 ASCAP Richard Rodgers Horizons Award, and the American Music Festival's 1993 Stephen Sondheim Award. He has written the score for several musicals, including the highly acclaimed, award-winning show "Bobos." 

McBride, an accomplished saxophonist who has toured with renowned jazz singers and musicians, has written songs (music and lyrics) for Anita Baker, Grover Washington, Jr., Gary Burton, Silver Burdett Textbooks, and for the PBS television character "Barney." He is a graduate of New York City's public schools, studied composition at The Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, and received a Masters in journalism from Columbia University in New York at age 22. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters from Whitman College. He lives in Pennsylvania and is currently a Distinguished Writer-In-Residence at New York University.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
The World of Thelonious Monk: With Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

The pianist Eric Reed once said that "When you playing Monk's compositions, you're kind of playing Monk. His compositions and improvisations are completely integrated." Such is the nature of his compositions, so intertwined with his quirky, singular and ingenious style of playing and composing jazz. 

The two foremost giants of jazz tenor saxophone in the 1950s, Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, were a part of Monk's band at signal moments in the development of their styles and careers. This promises to be a night of swingin' revelation, so don't miss it. 

Thursday, November 20, 2008
Harlem Speaks
Justin DiCioccio, Drummer/educator
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

Justin DiCioccio is internationally recognized as one of the foremost jazz educators of our time. In January 2001, he was inducted into the Jazz Education Hall of Fame, which took place at the 28th Annual International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) conference in New York City. His keen insight into the teaching of conceptual and inventive ideas has earned him the title of "the musician's teacher." His performances, guest conducting appearances, adjudications, jazz and percussion clinics and workshops are numerous and widely recognized in the professional and educational fields. 

Mr. DiCioccio was named assistant dean of Manhattan School of Music in June 2002, where he chairs the School's jazz department, a position that he has held since 1999. In addition, he has been a member of the School's jazz faculty since 1984, teaching percussion and coaching ensembles. Under his leadership, a complete restructuring of the jazz curriculum has taken place, which includes the creation of a new Jazz DMA program. His goal is to initiate and put into action the concept of the complete artist musician – performer, composer, and pedagogue – as well as the creation of working partnerships with public schools, community organizations, institutions and the music industry. He also directs international summer jazz programs in partnership with Manhattan School of Music that take place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and at the Brevard Music Festival in North Carolina.

Mr. DiCioccio works actively in Manhattan School of Music's educational outreach program bringing jazz education to hundreds of New York City public school children. In addition, Mr. DiCioccio has initiated the creation of a jazz component to the School's already existing Preparatory Division, open to students ages 10 to 18, making Manhattan School of Music on of the few institutions in the country to offer jazz programs at the elementary, secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels.

Mr. DiCioccio serves as program director for Carnegie Hall Jazz Education and under his direction in January 2001, the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall as part of its Family Concert Series. He also acts as a consultant to Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center, with whom he also performs and gives clinics, as well as conductor of the Henry Mancini Summer Institute in Los Angeles, CA. He designed, developed and directed the internationally known and award-winning LaGuardia High School of the Arts jazz program, the first fully accredited secondary jazz program in the United States.

Mr. DiCioccio is the recipient of a citation from the mayor of New York for "Distinguished and Exceptional Service to Young Instrumentalists" and is currently active with the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, the Music for Youth Foundation and the National Foundation for Jazz Education. He is a three-time recipient of the Presidential Scholars teaching recognition award in the jazz field by the U.S. Department of Education. In May 1998, The Commission Project, in partnership with the New York City Board of Education, created the JD Award for Outstanding Service to Music in New York City Schools. The award, presented annually, recognizes and celebrates individuals who have made significant contributions to the world of music education and honored Mr. DiCioccio as its first honoree. In June 2003, Mr. DiCioccio received an Achievement Award from Downbeatmagazine.

Friday, November 21, 2008
Harlem in the Himalayas
Bern Nix and Francois Grillot
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Bern Nix has played the guitar since the age of 11. Bern studied music and graduated with a degree in music education from the Berklee College of Music. Since 1985, he has led The Bern Nix Trio. Before leading his Trio, Bern performed and recorded with Ornette Coleman from 1975 to 1987 as an original member of the Prime Time Band. The Prime Time Band recorded six albums including Dancing in Your HeadOf Human Feelings and Body Meta and performed hundreds of concerts around the world. The Bern Nix Trios first recording, Alarms and Excursions (New World Records) was released in 1993, making many top ten critics lists. Bern has performed with artists such as, Ornette Coleman, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Elliott Sharp, Jemeel Moondoc, Ronald Shannon Jackson, James Chance, Jayne Cortez and Kip Hanrahan. Hailed as one of the greatest jazz guitarists of our time, Bern was voted among the top ten jazz guitarists in a poll by Down Beat magazine. Most recently, Bern composed and recorded the score for the feature length documentary, A James Lord Portrait. Bern has a solo album coming out this fall on Tompkins Square Records.

Francois Grillot, born in Burgundy France, began studying trumpet, then guitar and electric bass. He recorded with Edition Speciale, on RCA, touring throughout France. Other credits include recordings with Mama Bea Teckelsk (RCA) and Serge Bringolf (Strave on Musea Records). Upon moving to New York he has been playing along side a number of notable musicians including Bill Bickford, Ken Hatfield, Adam Naussbaum, Harold Danko, and Mike Clarke. In 2001 his music took a turn with collaborators Matt Lavelle, Steve Swell, Daniel Carter, Matt Maneri, Roy Campbell, Mark Edwards, Jackson Krall, Lou Grassi, Jason Kwang, Robert Dick, Daniel Levin, William Hooker, Charles Burnham, Louie Belogenis, Bern Nix, Michael Marcus, Ken Filiano and a many others

Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Special Event
Gala 2008 Fundraiser
6:30 – 9:30pm
Location: Players Club
(16 Gramercy Park South, New York, New York)
Tickets: $250 / $1000, Tables of 10: $2,500 / $10,000 | 
RSVP online

Honoring:
Representative Charles B. Rangel
Chairman, Ways and Means Committee
U.S. Congress
Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Billy Taylor
Pianist, Composer and Educator
Radio and Television Personality
Artistic Advisor, Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.
Lifetime Achievement Award

Music by:
The National Jazz Museum in Harlem All-Stars
featuring Junior Mance, Reggie Workman,
and Dominick Farinacci

Reception: 6:30 pm
Awards: 7:30 pm
Dinner: 8:00 pm

Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
The World of Thelonious Monk: The Pianist
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

Some listeners today, and even some critics back in his days, thought that Thelonious Monk wasn't a complex piano player. Yet Monk was steeped in the stride and swing piano styles of his forebears, and sprinkled his compositions and improvisations with flourishes that clearly demonstrated his prowess. In fact, Dr. Billy Taylor has informed the audience at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, that early on Monk was an acolyte of Art Tatum, a man whose florid style can be posed as diametrically different than Monk's mature approach. 

Come get the real scoop on Thelonious Monk . . . as a pianist.

Friday, November 28, 2008
Harlem in the Himalayas
Grace Kelly
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Grace Kelly, saxophones/vocal
Jason Palmer, trumpet
Jake Sherman, piano
Evan Gregor, bass
Jordan Perlson, drums
 
Born Grace Chung on May 15, 1992 in Wellesley, Massachusetts to Korean parents, Grace moved to Brookline, MA when she was two years old with her mother and sister after her parents divorced. Grace's mother married Robert Kelly in 1997 and a few years later Grace and her sister Christina were legally adopted by her stepfather and thus her name became Grace Kelly. Grace was brought up by a family that greatly appreciates music and the arts. When she is not busy with her burgeoning musical career, Grace likes to dance, act, and hang out with her friends.  She picked up the acting bug from her sister Christina, currently a student at Harvard University.  Grace also has two stepsisters and a stepbrother: Heather, Sara and Tim. Tim was a sergeant in the Marines and served twice in the war in Iraq.

Mother Irene Chang Kelly believes that learning piano is the best way to prepare for a lifetime of music, and so Grace began piano lessons at age six. She began with classical training but soon changed to jazz because she had the propensity not to stick to the notes on the page but wanted to make up her own melodies. Grace wrote her first song "On My Way Home" at age seven.  

All public school students in Grace's hometown are required to choose an instrument and take a year of school-sponsored instruction in fourth grade, and Grace chose the clarinet.  But this fourth-grader had already gotten hooked on another sound: the warm, almost-human voice of the saxophone. Her mom always loved [saxophonist] Stan Getz and would be playing him at home when they had Sunday brunch.  Grace always wanted to play saxophone, but they didn't let you take it until fifth grade.  So she started on clarinet. Grace couldn't wait until fifth grade, so halfway through fourth grade she started private lessons on the saxophone. When Grace was 12 she met Ann Hampton Callaway, a renowned cabaret artist, prodigious recording artist and award-winning songwriter. Seeing all that Grace had accomplished in those two short years, it is no wonder that when Ann Hampton Callaway met Grace she declared of Grace that "her sensitivity, control and focus as an alto saxophonist is impressive.  When I played some songs of hers for the legendary drummer Victor Lewis [who has played with Duke Ellington, Stan Getz, and many more], he said, 'Wow, I love her sound.'"  

Grace currently studies saxophone with Jerry Bergonzi, Lee Konitz, and Allan Chase. She also studies composition, arranging, flute, drums, and piano. Having participated in the certificate programs at both Brookline Music School and the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, Grace is the youngest ever to complete the four year Jazz Studies Certificate Program at New England Conservatory Prep School.
Grace began taking voice lessons this past year although she has been singing since she could talk; her soulful, versatile voice is quickly becoming one of her trademarks whether she's crooning a love song or belting out the blues.  She has kept up with piano all of these years, but now mostly uses those skills in conjunction with her creativity to write original songs. A visit to the Kelly's proves this very quickly, for Grace is frequently trying out a new idea for a song on the piano or guitar or listening to one of her creations via Sibelius, a music notation program, connected to her keyboard.  "Grace has always had an innate creativity.  When she was younger she never really needed toys because she could make up stories, songs, and dances – entertaining herself for hours by standing in front of a mirror and performing for her own reflection.  She remembers Grace practicing piano and ten minutes later she'll be making up songs instead of practicing. She's a very creative being," remarked Mrs. Kelly.

Grace plays the alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, piano, some clarinet, flute, drums, bass and sings. The styles of music that intrigue Grace are many. Although jazz is her first love she embraces blues, funk, rock and contemporary styles. Some of the artists on Grace's nightstand are Paul Desmond, Joshua Redmond, Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Brad Meldau and Pat Metheny, Dave Brubeck, Lee Konitz, Phil Woods, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Billy Childs, Steve Wilson and Frank Morgan. Grace is also inspired by Ella, Sarah, Billy, Carmen McRae, Shirley Horn, Dianne Reeves, Ann Hampton Callaway, among others. Grace loves old movies and more recent romantic comedies. Some of her favorite actors are  Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Hugh Grant, Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Orlando Bloom, Cary Grant, and of course Princess Grace Kelly.

What does the future hold for this emerging musical powerhouse?  Grace says she hopes to become better and better at playing all her instruments and to do a lot more composing and arranging. "I just want to share my music with as many people as I can, hoping that my music gives as them joy and pleasure."

George Winston @ Boulder Theater

George Winston- for the Grateful Web

George Winston, best known for his melodic rural folk piano style, has made no secret of the debt his playing owes to the musicians of New Orleans. Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions–A Hurricane Relief Benefit was inspired by Winston's desire to support the Gulf Coast after the recent hurricane related devastation. This beautiful and vast region has a mystique all its own and he has been to it many times, from Corpus Christi, to Galveston, to Lake Charles, to New Orleans, to Gulfport/Biloxi/Bay St. Louis, to Mobile, to Pensacola, to Panama City, to the Tampa Bay, to Ft. Myers, to Naples.

Winston cites the pianists of New Orleans as the biggest influences on his own piano playing. He will donate all of his artist royalties from the album to organizations involved in helping those on the Gulf Coast and in New Orleans to rebuild and return – organizations such as Common Ground, ACORN, and others. He has also donated all the proceeds of his September and October 2005 concerts to the same causes. In unity with the artist, RCA Records will be donating the bulk of its net profits to benefit musicians in the New Orleans area.

Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions features six Winston compositions inspired by the Gulf Coast as well as pieces written by or influenced by six of the greatest New Orleans pianists: Henry Butler, James Booker, Professor Longhair, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, and Jon Cleary. "Much of my work on the piano is studying the musical languages of the great New Orleans R&B pianists," Winston says. "Especially Professor Longhair, the founder of the New Orleans R&B piano scene in the late 1940s who inspired so many; James Booker, whose language most influences the way I think of playing; and Henry Butler, who is the pianist I have studied the most since 1985. I'm also indebted to New Orleans pianists Dr. John, Jon Cleary, and the eminent composer/pianist Allen Toussaint.

GEORGE WINSTON PERFORMS SATURDAY, APRIL 11 @ the Boulder Theater

Boulder Theater
2032 14th Street
Boulder, CO 80302
303.786.7030
www.bouldertheater.com

BACKYARD TIRE FIRE on Tour Now!

BACKYARD TIRE FIRE- for the Grateful Web

Backyard Tire Fire have just released a video for "How In The Hell Did We Get Back Here?" off their acclaimed new album, The Places We Lived, on Hyena Records. Filmed in their hometown of Bloomington, Illinois, the footage captures the Midwestern, blue collar spirit that shapes the band's music. 

Director Filipe Bessa explains: "What always struck us about Backyard Tire Fire is the idea of the musicians and the music coming from a working-class background and really embracing what that means by approaching their music as their craft. Upholding an artist as a craftsman is very important to us, because art shouldn't be looked at as something we do solely to 'express ourselves,' but rather as a craft, worked within and around its own contexts and environments. The local musician has a lot more in common with the local mechanic than we tend to imagine. Ideally they both represent what makes up the American landscape as we know it. The joy and the sadness of work are present in both, and that's a powerful correlation."

Click to watch "How In The Hell Did You Get Back Here?"

Backyard Tire Fire will remain on the road throughout 2008. Upcoming tour dates are:

October 24 / The Double Door / Chicago, IL

October 25 / Bloomington Cent. for the Perf. Arts / Bloomington, IL (w/ Los Lobos)

October 27 / The Orange Peel / Asheville, NC (w/ Squirrel Nut Zippers)

October 28 / The Music Farm / Charleston SC (w/ Squirrel Nut Zippers)

October 29 / Variety Playhouse / Atlanta, GA (w/ Squirrel Nut Zippers)

October 30 / Bijou Theatre / Knoxville, TN (w/ Squirrel Nut Zippers)

November 5 / Blueberry Hill / St. Louis, MO (w/ Grace Potter and the Nocturnals)

November 6 / Redstone Room / Davenport, IA (w/ Grace Potter and the Nocturnals)

November 7 / Crosstown Station / Kansas City, MO (w/ Grace Potter and the Nocturnals)

November 13 / Newport Music Hall / Columbus, OH (w/ The Clarks)

November 14 / Club Cafe / Pittsburgh, PA 

November 15 / Grog Shop / Cleveland, OH (w/ The Clarks)

December 3 / Mercy Lounge / Nashville, TN (w/ Reverend Horton Heat)

December 4 / Vogue / Indianapolis, IN (w/ Reverend Horton Heat)

December 5 / Southgate House / Newport, KY (w/ Reverend Horton Heat)

December 6 / Majestic Theatre / Detroit, MI (w/ Reverend Horton Heat)

December 7 / The Intersection / Grand Rapids, MI (w/ Reverend Horton Heat)

December 10 / Otto's / Dekalb, IL (w/ Reverend Horton Heat)

December 11 / People's / Des Moines, IA (w/ Reverend Horton Heat)

December 12 / Cain's Ballroom / Tulsa, OK (w/ Reverend Horton Heat)

December 13 / The Village / Little Rock, AR (w/ Reverend Horton Heat)

December 27 / House of Blues / Chicago, IL (w/ Rusted Root)

December 28 / House of Blues / Chicago, IL (w/ Rusted Root)

December 29 / Eagles Ballroom / Milwaukee, WI (w/ Rusted Root)

December 30 / St. Andrews Hall / Detroit, MI (w/ Rusted Root)

December 31 / House of Blues / Cleveland, OH (w/ Rusted Root)