Newswire

Mahjongg Kick Off European Tour This Week

Mahjongg- for the Grateful Web

Originally formed in the great bounteous Midwest region of the United States "Mahjongg" began as a simple experiment between The Grid and The Sphere.  To attract the brood orientation of the young mind, Mahjongg knew the only way to spread Kontpab's message was by forming a musiK band.  This ever-expanding Sect uses "irratainment" to teach the warnings and Revelations of the almighty god Kontpab. Kontpab basically warns the human race of the mass "funneling" of the populace minds into The Grid.

Once trapped in The Grid themselves, Kontpab instructed Mahjongg to make a pilgrimage to Chicago, IL., where they would form their first  "warning orbs," at local art spaces and bars, and in turn be shown the light that is The Sphere.  It was during this time that the Machinegong EP was recorded, and their first attempt to leave Kontpab's message sublimated in the patricians of the clubs was a success.  Kontpab showed Mahjongg that The Grid's seemingly well-defined rules and laws could in fact be used against The Grid itself.

Many not briefed on the vast Kontpab religion will never fully understand Mahjongg during their "Warning Orbs," so they cut another album to set into stone what Kontpab had clearly shown them: Raydoncong 2005 . Again using The Grid's vast amalgam of mathematical tools against itself, The Sect were able to demonstrate to the brood, for instance with prime numbered polyrhythms, that not only was the path to The Sphere full of spectacle and self awakening, but pharmaceuticals, beer, and dancing as well.  It was here that Mahjongg became not only teacher, but student, and this is where The Chicago Sects association with the Water Babies began.

Born into the great Chicago winter of '06 in the septic rivers of the Magikal Forest, the Water Babies used Kontpabs undivided and all seeing power to unlock The Sphere's greatest secret: improvisation. With these new teachings from the almighty Kontpab, Mahjongg was able to create a new church and recording studio for the Chicago Sect.  Soon the tapestries of aural chaos were tempered and perfected.  Software was upgraded and drums tuned.  With nervous but relevant hair follicles and motley threads, Mahjongg hit the scene.  Many eons of "Warning Orbs" have since commenced, but the human race still chooses to "funnel" into The Grid.  It is because of this that Mahjongg is left with no choice but to invoke the name of our great God almighty itself.  And it is with this name we proudly present to you our new album, Kontpab.  For we are all Kontpab.

European Tour

Oct 8, 2008 - Rome, Italy Init
Oct 9, 2008 - Pisa, Italy Caracol
Oct 10, 2008 - Genova, Italy Burrida
Oct 11, 2008 - Marseille, France Festival Actoral
Oct 12, 2008 - Bordeaux, France Saint-Ex
Oct 14, 2008 - Brest, France Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Brest
Oct 15, 2008 - Brest, France Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Brest
Oct 16, 2008 - Brest, France Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Brest
Oct 17, 2008 - Dublin, Ireland Whelans Cap
Oct 18, 2008 - Glasgow, Scotland Stereo
Oct 22, 2008 - Cardiff, Wales Clwb Ifor Bach
Oct 23, 2008 - Brighton, England Freebutt
Oct 24, 2008 - London, England Upset the Rhythm
Oct 25, 2008 - Rouen, France Emporium Galorium
Oct 26, 2008 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands Studio K
Oct 27, 2008 - Hamburg, Germany Astra Stube
Oct 28, 2008 - Leipzig, Germany Frueh Auf
Oct 29, 2008 - Dresden, Germany Scheune
Oct 30, 2008 - Berlin, Germany Bang Bang Club
Nov 1, 2008 - Boulogne-Billancourt, France Festival BBmix / Carré Bellefeuille
Nov 2, 2008 - Darmstadt, Germany Oetinger Villa
Nov 3, 2008 - Basel, Switzerland Hirscheneck
Nov 4, 2008 - Esslingen, Germany Komma
Nov 5, 2008 - Koln, Germany Tsunami
Nov 6, 2008 - Trier, Germany Ex Haus
Nov 7, 2008 - Metz, France Festival Musiques Volantes / Les Trinitaires
Nov 8, 2008 - Lausanne, Switzerland Festival Métropop / Le Romandie
Nov 13, 2008 - Castellon, Spain Tanned Tin Festival

Panjea Featuring Chris Berry & Michael Kang Plan Colorado Dates

Panjea @ Rothbury - photos by Amanda Bell- for the Grateful Web

Musical and spiritual journeyman Chris Berry alongside Michael Kang & the multi-cultural ensemble Panjea have booked a run of Colorado dates. Uniting people through music, Panjea's powerful groove and socially conscious message garnered major success throughout Southern Africa, selling out countless stadiums and over a million records. With upcoming shows in Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins along with a free live CD hosted on their website, the group is positioned to do the same stateside.

Leaving his home in California at the age of eighteen, Chris Berry relocated to Southern Africa with his mentor and began studying mbira (thumb piano) and the ngoma drum. It was during that time when he formed Panjea. Rooted deeply in African culture, their revolutionary mix of indigenous music, dance hall and hip-hop has earned the band immeasurable success throughout Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Berry's tireless dedication and unmatched skill led him to become one of the first Westerners to be accepted among the mbira masters as one of their own.

In addition to Chris Berry covering vocals, mbira and djembe, Panjea features Danny Sears on trumpet, Jon Stewart on Sax, Aaron Johnson on drums (brazillian girls), Patrice Blanchard on bass, Michael Kang on mandolin (String Cheese Indident) and Zivanai Masango from Zimbabwae on guitars. Following the edict to make a difference here, Chris Berry & Panjea continue to preach the positive message of hope, justice and peace through infectious cultural rhythms and danceable beats. Contributing to Amnesty International, Flyways and their own Panjea Foundation for Cultural Education, the group in their own right, has become a non-profit organization. Always a band to give back, Panjea has a full length CD compiled from various festivals performed at this summer. The high energy mix of live tracks is available at their new website, www.panjeamusic.com.

Featuring virtuosic musicianship, and an incredibly eclectic blend of cultures, this is a show not to be missed. The run of dates starts with an intimate show at the B Side Lounge in Boulder followed by a special Halloween show supporting Leftover Salmon at the Fillmore in Denver. Afterwards, Panjea will announce another intimate late night performance directly after the Fillmore show before wrapping up on November 6th at the Aggie Theatre in Fort Collins. 

FALL TOUR DATES:

10/30 – B Side Lounge – Boulder, CO
10/31 – Fillmore – Denver, CO
10/31 – TBD – Denver, CO after Fillmore Show Party from 12:30am to 3:00am
11/06 – Aggie Theatre – Fort Collins, CO

The Mimi Fishman Foundation Launches Charity Auction Featuring the Return of Phish

Phish Hampton Tixs- for the Grateful Web

It's no surprise the new Mimi Fishman Foundation Charity auction includes items based on the return of Phish to the stage. Three amazing Phish Hampton packages are featured in the auction that benefits the Delta Gamma Center for Children With Visual Impairments.

The Phish Hampton packages include 2 tickets to a Hampton show and a meet/greet Jon Fishman for the winner and one guest. The winner will also be handed a drumstick that Fishman used during the show as well as a signed drumhead.

The auction concludes November 6, 2008 and features:

· Phil Lesh (Grateful Dead) & Friends Signed Posters
· Crosby Stills & Nash Signed Posters
· Jack Johnson Signed CD's
· Umphrey's McGee New Years Eve VIP Ticket Package
· String Cheese Incident Signed Posters
· Disco Biscuits Signed Poster (Pollock)
· And more...

To view and/or bid on the auction, as well as read about the charities the auction supports, please visit the Mimi Fishman Foundation Auction Page.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem October Schedule

Jonathan Batiste- for the Grateful Web

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem covers the gamut in October 2008, with live performances for the Harlem in the Himalayas series featuring elder masters and young artists who defy the constraints of genre through style as well as discussions with three notable media standard-bearers: WBGO's velvet-voice Rhonda Hamilton, and two living legends of journalism, Evelyn Cunningham and Nat Hentoff. (NOTE: the Harlem Speaks interview series will return this month to the Harlem School of the Arts).         
 
Our adult ed class, Jazz for Curious Listeners, explores the impact of jazz around the world as well as the influence of Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa, and the Americas on the preeminent United States musical idiom, jazz. And don't miss a special National Endowment of the Arts discussion on the future of jazz with a panel that includes executive director of The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, Loren Schoenberg. 
 
And to wrap up September, our last Classic Album analysis (of Andrew Hill's "Point of Departure") will be held on September 30th at the Visitor's Center. 
 
As you'll see below, our claim above of covering "the gamut" is far from a public relations ploy. Whatever your taste or level of interest in jazz, you'll find programs to satisfy your longing for artistic nourishment.
 
September 30, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
What Makes it Tick? Five Classic Albums
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online 

Andrew Hill: Point of Departure

Alfred Lion, founder of Blue Note Records, considered Andrew Hill his last major discovery, for Hill's rich, rhythmic piano and utterly unique compositions stand alone. "Point Of Departure" is Hill's masterpiece, with rich three-horn arrangements for Kenny Dorham, Eric Dolphy and Joe Henderson. Richard Davis and Tony Williams complete this high level ensemble of musicians with a wide range of approaches, but who, on this classic date, created a unified aesthetic whole.
October 3, 2008

Harlem in the Himalayas
Reggie Workman, Oliver Lake & Andrew Cyrille
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Oliver Lake, saxophone
Reggie Workman, bass
Andrew Cyrille, drums
 
Trio 3 celebrates 20 years of performances in 2008. Jazz critic Gary Giddins, in his liner notes for one of the group's recordings, wrote that their ". . . cumulative experience involves the assimilation of every kind of jazz, from pre-bop mainstream to the furthest reaches of the avant-garde to sundry precincts on the world music front." 

Reggie Workman has long been one of the most technically gifted of all bassists, a brilliant player whose versatile style fits into both hard bop and very avant-garde settings. After working regularly with Gigi Gryce (1958), Red Garland, and Roy Haynes, he was a member of the John Coltrane Quartet for much of 1961, participating in several important recordings and on television. Workman then became a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1962-1964) and was in the groups of Yusef Lateef (1964-65), Herbie Mann, and Thelonious Monk (1967). He recorded frequently in the 1960s (including many Blue Note dates and Archie Shepp's classic "Four for Trane").

Since that time, Workman has been both an educator and a working musician, and has played with numerous legendary jazz musicians including Max Roach, Art Farmer, Mal Waldron, David Murray, Sam Rivers, and Andrew Hill. In the 1980s, Workman began leading his own group, the Reggie Workman Ensemble. He also began a collaboration with pianist Marilyn Crispell that lasted into the next decade. During the '90s, Workman was not only active with his own ensemble, but also in Trio Three (with Andrew Cyrille and Oliver Lake), and Reggie Workman's Grooveship and Extravaganza.

In recognition of Workman's international performances and recordings spanning over 40 years, he was named a Living Legend by the African-American Historical and Cultural Museum in his hometown of Philadelphia; he is also a recipient of the Eubie Blake Award, and serves as an Associate Professor at New York's famed The New School (Jazz and Contemporary Music Department) where, in 2007, he celebrated his twentieth-year and was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award.
 
Andrew Cyrille enrolled in Juilliard School of Music in 1958. In the late '50s and early '60s, he worked with such mainstream jazzers as Mary Lou Williams, Roland Hanna, Roland Kirk, Coleman Hawkins, and Junior Mance. He recorded with Hawkins, as well as tenor saxophonist Bill Barron, for the Savoy label. Then Cyrille succeeded Sunny Murray as Cecil Taylor's drummer in 1964. He stayed with the pianist until 1975, during which time he played on many of Taylor's classic albums. During that period he played with many other top players, including Marion Brown, Grachan Moncur III and Jimmy Giuffre. He also served for a time as artist in residence at Antioch College and recorded a solo percussion album, 1969's "What About?". Cyrille, Rashied Ali, and Milford Graves collaborated on a series of mid-'70s concerts entitled "Dialogue of the Drums." Cyrille is perhaps the preeminent free-jazz percussionist of the 1980s and '90s. 

Oliver Lake is an explosively unpredictable soloist, somewhat akin to Eric Dolphy in the ultra-nimble manner in which he traverses the full range of his main horn, the alto. Lake's astringent saxophone sound is his trademark - piercing, bluesy, and biting in the manner of a Maceo Parker, it was a perfect lead voice for the World Saxophone Quartet, the band with which Lake has made his most enduring mark on jazz.

From the late '60s to the early '70s he taught school, played in various contexts around St. Louis, and led—along with Julius Hemphill and Charles "Bobo" Shaw, among others—a musician's collective, the Black Artist's Group (BAG). In 1976, with Hemphill, Hamiet Bluiett, and David Murray, he founded the World Saxophone Quartet (WSQ). Over the next two decades, that band reached a level of popularity perhaps unprecedented by a free jazz ensemble. Its late-'80s albums of Ellington works and R&B tunes attracted an audience that otherwise might never have found its way to such an esoteric style. 

Lake continued working as a leader apart from the WSQ, he made excellent small-group albums in the '70s and '80s for Arista/Freedom and Black Saint. In the '80s, Lake led a reggae-oriented band, Jump Up, that had a degree of pop success. In the '90s, Lake continued to stretch creatively; a duo album with classically trained pianist Donal Fox set him free to explore the more fanciful side of his musical personality.

October 7, 2008

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz Around the World: Asia
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

Go to almost any of the major jazz clubs in New York, and look at the audience. Very likely you will see persons from various Asian countries in rapt attention. What is the draw for Asians to jazz? Explore the answers with Loren Schoenberg.

October 14, 2008

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz Around the World: Europe and Australia
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

Jazz has been accorded a level of respect and admiration in Europe since the 1930s rivaling the reception to jazz found anywhere, including the U.S. Many black American jazz musicians so appreciated the social acceptance of the music in Europe that they became expatriates. Come discover the cultural and social ties between American jazz and Europe, and Australia too.

October 16, 2008

Harlem Speaks
Rhonda Hamilton, Jazz Broadcaster
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: Harlem School of the Arts
(645 St. Nicholas Avenue, off 141st street)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

Please note our new location this month.
Rhonda Hamilton, a native New Yorker, is the host and producer of a popular jazz program which airs weekdays, 10AM - 2PM, on WBGO/Jazz 88FM in Newark, NJ. 

In 1976, Ms. Hamilton graduated from Boston University's School of Public Communication, receiving a B.S. in Broadcasting and Film. She also studied acting at the Actor's Studio in Boston. She began her career in radio in 1975 as a jazz announcer/producer at WBUR-FM in Boston. She later became the music director for WBUR. At WBZ-TV in Boston, she worked as a music reviewer and commentator on the public affairs program, "Mzizi Roots." 

Returning to the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area in March 1979, Ms. Hamilton came to WBGO at the station's inception and has played a key role in making Jazz 88 one of the finest and most listened to jazz stations in the world. In 1979 and 1980, she won the New York Jazz Award for Best Jazz DJ "in appreciation of a major contribution to the cultural life of our region." 

In 1995 she was recognized "for her achievements in the world of jazz" as the recipient of The Ladies in Jazz Award from Mayor Giuliani of New York and the Harlem Chamber of Commerce. 

Ms. Hamiton's work has taken her to three continents. In 1984 she was invited to attend the first Senegalese Festival of Jazz and African Music. While in Dakar, Senegal, Ms. Hamilton was interviewed as a featured guest on a national TV news program. In 1985 she was invited to Europe by the Danish Tourist Board to document the Scandinavian jazz scene. After traveling to Brazil, Ms. Hamilton exposed the American public to various aspects of Brazilian culture - music, dance, film, food, religion, etc. - when she hosted a series of 36 programs called "Brazil/New York" which aired on WNYC-TV in 1985 and 1986. 

In addition to her work at WBGO, Ms. Hamilton also does commercial and industrial voice-overs and is often called upon to host/narrate film, video and radio productions for such organizations as WNET-TV PBS/Channel 13 in New York, National Public Radio, Columbia Records and Japan Television NHK. She was the host of the nationally syndicated radio series "Big Apple Jazz", "American Women in Jazz" and "The Voices of Jazz," which she also co-produced. 

Ms. Hamilton frequently hosts special music and cultural events in such historic places as the Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Beacon Theater and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In 1993 she produced and moderated a Symposium on Women in Jazz for the Newark Jazz Festival and in 1996 she was a guest speaker on "Jazz and The Media" at the first annual Mary Lou Williams Women's Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. 

October 17, 2008

Special Event
NEA Jazz Symposium: The Future of Jazz
9:00 – 11:30am
Location: Langston Hughes Auditorium
(Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard)
FREE | r.s.v.p. by October 10

Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, invites you to participate in a lively conversation on the future of jazz, jazz education, and jazz audiences.

Panelists will include: 
Dr. David Baker, NEA Jazz Master
Dr. Billy Taylor, NEA Jazz Master 
Adrian Ellis, Executive Director, Jazz at Lincoln Center
Nicole Mitchell, flutist and composer
Loren Schoenberg, Executive Director, The National Jazz Museum in Harlem
Helen Sung, pianist and composer

Moderated by A.B. Spellman, author, poet, and critic

This symposium launches the 2009 NEA Jazz Masters celebration, taking place in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center.

October 17, 2008

Harlem in the Himalayas
The Jonathan Batiste Trio
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Jonathan Batiste was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1986. He was first introduced to music through his family's band, the Batiste Brothers Band, in which he played percussion at the age of 8, switching to the piano at age 11.  

By the age of 16 years old, Jonathan could be seen performing with some of New Orleans' most outstanding and respected musicians, including the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Irvin Mayfield, Nicholas Payton, Alvin Batiste, Cyril Neville, Donald Harrison, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews at venues such as New Orleans' Snug Harbor, Tipitinas, Funky Butt as well as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival where he debuted his band in 2005. By the age of 17, he released his first CD as a leader entitled "Times in New Orleans." Also that year, Jonathan was selected through a nationwide search to be a member of the 2004 Gibson/Baldwin Grammy High School Jazz Ensembles in which he performed, in trio format, at the Grammy week of events as well as the Grammy pre-telecast and post celebration in Los Angeles. 

In 2004, Jonathan graduated from St. Augustine High School and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) under the tutelage of Alvin Batiste, Michael Pellera, and others. NOCCA is a high-level fine arts conservatory that has produced alumni such as Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Harry Connick Jr., Terrence Blanchard and many more. Jonathan auditioned at The Juilliard School for the 2004-2005 school year and was accepted. He graduated from Juilliard in 2008. Since his arrival to New York he has been performing regularly around the city with his trio. His most recent release entitled "Live In New York: At The Rubin Museum Of Art" features the talents of his trio (Phillip Kuehn and Joe Saylor), as well as his skills as a pianist and composer in a live acoustic setting.

He recently was awarded the "Movado Future Legend" award in jazz and has been playing around the world with his trio from Portugal to New York. He joined his fellow Juilliard piano colleague Aaron Diehl and one of his key influences, Marcus Roberts, on stage at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Allen Room for a solo piano recital titled, "Ragtime, Stride and Stomp."

October 21, 2008

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz Around the World: Africa
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

Jazz was founded by descendants from the continent of Africa, who retained certain features that found its way into jazz, such as a dance-beat orientation to movement. But jazz has also influenced the music of Africa, and some noted African pop stars such as Fela Kuti, founder of the Afrobeat style. Cross-cultural influence is the theme tonight, as we continue to explore Jazz Around the World.

October 27, 2008

Jazz for Curious Readers
Nat Hentoff
6:30 – 8:00pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online

Nat Hentoff was born in Boston in 1925. He received his B.A. with the highest honors from Northeastern University and did graduate work at Harvard. He was a Fulbright fellow at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1950. From 1953 through 1957 he was associate editor of Down Beat magazine. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in education and an American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award in 1980 for his coverage of the law and criminal justice in his columns. In 1985 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws by Northeastern University. 

He has published many books on jazz, biographies and novels, including a number of books for children. Among his works: "Does Anybody Give A Damn?: Nat Hentoff on Education," "Our Children Are Dying," "A Doctor Among Addicts," "Peace Agitator: The Story of A. J Muste," "The New Equality," "The First Freedom: The Tumultuous History of Free Speech in America," "The Day They Came to Arrest the Book," "The Man from Internal Affairs," "Boston Boy," "John Cardinal O'Connor: At The Storm Center of a Changing American Catholic Church," "Free Speech for Me and Not for Thee: How the American Left and Right Relentlessly Censor Each Other,"  "Listen to the Stories: Nat Hentoff on Jazz and Country Music," and the celebrated young people's book on race and jazz, "Jazz Country." 

In addition to his weekly Village Voice column, Hentoff writes on music for the Wall Street Journal. Among other publications in which his work has appeared are the New York Times, the New Republic, Commonweal, the Atlantic and the New Yorker, where he was a staff writer for more than 25 years. 

Hentoff's views on journalistic responsibility and the rights of Americans to write, think and speak freely are expressed in his weekly column, and he has come to be acknowledged as a foremost authority in the area of First Amendment defense. He is also an expert on the Bill of Rights, the Supreme Court, student rights and education. 

October 28, 2008

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz Around the World: The Americas
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

Jazz is a North American export with strong South American "tinges," to paraphrase Jelly Roll Morton. From Brazil to Argentina, Cuba to Puerto Rico, are musicians who have incorporated jazz into their native sounds and grooves. And the presence of musicians from the Caribbean is one of the best kept secrets in jazz. Uncover the truth tonight.

October 30, 2008

Harlem Speaks
Evelyn Cunningham, Journalist
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: Harlem School of the Arts
(645 St. Nicholas Avenue, off 141st street)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

Reporter, editor, columnist, radio host, special assistant to governors, member of various  task forces, Evelyn Cunningham has been involved in much of the reporting and shaping of American civil rights. She covered the Civil Rights Movement as a reporter for one of the foremost African American newspapers the Pittsburgh Courier. Cunningham has also served underrepresented Americans through seeking to improve opportunities and increase rights for African Americans, women and poor citizens, through public and private positions within the government and various organizations.

Evelyn Elizabeth Long was born on January 25, 1916, in Elizabeth City, North Carolina in Pasquotank County. Her mother, Mary Whitehurst Long, a dressmaker, and father, Clyde Long, a cabdriver, were very involved in their children's (Cunningham has a brother, Clyde Whitehurst) education. When her parents heard their daughter say she wanted to pick cotton when she grew up, they moved the family from North Carolina to Harlem, New York, where African Americans were progressive. Upon reaching New York, Cunningham did well in school and graduated from Hunter College High School in 1934. She later went to Long Island University where she graduated with a BA in the social sciences in 1943.

In 1940, Cunningham began to work for the Pittsburgh Courier by clipping stories from the New York Times that were relevant to blacks and rewriting these stories for the Courier. She was a reporter, columnist, editor and city editor with the Pittsburgh Courier from 1940-1962. Cunningham covered lynchings, major events, protests, and key figures such as Martin Luther King, Malcolm X during this era. She was known for getting people to open up and tell her things, stories they might not tell others.

In 1961, interested in being involved in direct action while reporting, Cunningham traveled with Percy Sutton and other NAACP members to the Double T Diner in Rosedale, MD to stage a sit-in protesting segregation practices in restaurants. The group was arrested, found guilty of trespassing and fined $101.

In this same year, Cunningham began hosting "At Home With Evelyn Cunningham," a half hour radio show on WLIB in New York. During the show's five years and popularity, Cunningham interviewed significant figures within the African American community in New York. 

Evelyn Cunningham's post-journalistic career developed when she became special assistant to Jackie Robinson, former baseball player and political consultant to Governor Rockefeller. In this position and others that followed, she continued her service to the American public. Cunningham was the special assistant to New York Governors Nelson A. Rockefeller and Malcolm Wilson, and director of the Women's Unit in the office of the Governor between 1969-1974. In 1969, Cunningham accompanied Rockefeller to several Caribbean countries in order to research and write a report on racial problems and women's problems in that region. Under President Richard Nixon, Cunningham was appointed to the Task Force on Women's Rights and Responsibilities (1969). From 1975-1976, she also served as special assistant to U.S. President Gerald Ford, office of Vice President Rockefeller. In 1970, Cunningham helped to found the New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women, a nonprofit organization which seeks to improve the lives of black women and their families through implementing initiatives and services to address important social, economic, political, cultural issues. She has belonged to many feminist organizations throughout the years and has had a special interest in working within the government and in nonprofits on addressing major issues that concern women.

Evelyn Cunningham was one of five former reporters of the Pittsburgh Courier to receive the prestigious George Polk Award in 1998 on behalf of the newspaper. It was the first time the award, usually reserved for an individual, had been given to a newspaper. She also won the Women of the Century Award from the Century Club, (NYC) in 1998. A nonagenarian, Cunningham serves on different boards and on keeping young people involved in the arts.

U-Melt Back on the Road with Fall Tour

U-Melt- for the Grateful Web

The New York City based progressive groove machine known as U-Melt has announced their twelve state fall 2008 tour that will take them from the east coast, to the Rocky Mountains and back again – all before Thanksgiving. The nineteen-show trek, kicking off October 3rd at the Highline Ballroom in New York City, will feature familiar stops in familiar cities, as the dynamic quartet closes out the year. And of course, what U-Melt fall tour would be complete without one of their legendary Halloween performances?

Boasting a reputation as one of the hardest working bands in the business, U-Melt showcases their diligent work ethic through their musical chops. Blazing guitar runs, precise rhythms, punchy bass lines and mind-bending keys comprise the trademark U-Melt sound, as the band manages to raise the bar night in and night out. With a penchant for taking listeners on a musical journey through time and space, the four piece provides an aural experience unlike any other. U-Melt blends elements of rock, jazz, trance and funk and fuses them into a musical state of mind.

After the tour kickoff show, U-Melt will return to Castaways for a Saturday night party in Ithaca, NY. Following stops in Ohio and Kansas, the group will make their long awaited return to Colorado with shows at the Fox Theater in Boulder and Dulcinea's and Owsley's in Denver October 9th through the 11th. The three night stand will mark the first time the band has played in Colorado since early 2008, when the band played seven shows in seven nights at a mile high. U-Melt will then return back east, rocking Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York, before capping the tour off at The North Star in Philadelphia on November 15th. Included in the mix will be U-Melts Halloween spectacular, which will be held this year at the brand new Westcott Theater in Syracuse, NY.

Continuing on a path of evolution, U-Melt marches on like a well-oiled machine. Their dedication to the music shines in every performance. Don't miss U-Melt on tour this fall!

FALL TOUR DATES:

09/24 – Revolution Hall – Troy, NY
09/25 – Lupos – Providence, RI
09/26 – The Wheel House – Narragansett, RI
09/27 – Higher Ground (Ballroom) – Burlington, VT
10/03 – Highline Ballroom – New York, NY
10/04 – Castaways – Ithaca, NY
10/05 – Wilberts – Cleveland, OH
10/08 – The Bottleneck – Lawrence, KS
10/09 – Fox Theatre –Boulder, CO
10/10 – Dulcinea's 100th Monkey – Denver, CO
10/11 – Owsley's Golden Road – Denver, CO
10/15 – Zydeco – Birmingham, AL
10/16 – Gottrocks – Greenville, SC
10/17 – The World Grotto – Knoxville, TN
10/18 – The Rocket Club – Asheville, NC
10/31 – The Westcott Theater – Syracuse, NY
11/01 – Nietzche's – Buffalo, NY
11/06 – The Main Pub – Manchester, CT
11/07 – Bill's Bar – Boston, MA
11/08 – Revolution Hall – Troy, NYl
11/13 – Higher Ground (Showcase Lounge) – Burlington, VT
11/14 – St. Lawrence University – Canton, NY
11/15 –The North Star – Philadelphia, PA

New Jersey Blues & Jazz Festival at the Backstage Jazz Club

Rod Piazza - photo by Franky Bruneel- for the Grateful Web

The State Theatre presents the New Jersey Blues & Jazz Festival at the Backstage Jazz Club, September 25-27. It's an all-star musical lineup in an intimate setting for serious and casual jazz and blues fans alike. Featured performances during the festival include Legend of Blues: Pinetop Perkins featuring Hubert Sumlin and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (9/25/08 at 8pm & 10:30pm); Ron Carter Quartet and vocalist Lisa Sokolov (9/26/08 at 8pm & 10:30pm); and Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers and John Hammond (9/27/08 at 8pm & 10:30pm).

All three sets take place in the exclusive 238-seat club-style venue on stage. Tickets range from $30-45 and are on sale now. The festival has been made possible by the generous support of The Karma Foundation and New Millennium Bank.

"We received so much great feedback from last year's Backstage Jazz Festival, we just had to bring it back… this time adding a little blues to the lineup," commented State Theatre President & CEO Wes Brustad.

The schedule for New Jersey Blues & Jazz Festival at the Backstage Jazz Club is as follows:

Set #1 "Legend of Blues"
Thu, September 25, 2008 at 8pm & 10:30pm at the Backstage Jazz Club
Pinetop Perkins featuring Hubert Sumlin and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith
The show boasts legendary pianist and Grammy® Award nominee Pinetop Perkins, who is best known for his piano playing in the Muddy Waters Band for 12 years; guitarist Hubert Sumlin, who has played with such names as Chuck Berry, Willie Dixon, and The Rolling Stones; and seven-time W.C. Handy Award winner/multiple Grammy® Award nominee harmonica player, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith. Smith played with Muddy Waters for many years, appearing on all of Muddy's Grammy®-winning albums.
Tickets: $45 Table Seat, $30 Chairs.

Set #2 "Ron Carter Quartet"
Fri, September 26 at 8pm & 10:30pm at the Backstage Jazz Club
Ron Carter Quartet with vocalist Lisa Sokolov
Two-time Grammy Award-winner Ron Carter is among the most original, prolific, and influential bassists in jazz. With more than 2,000 albums to his credit, he has recorded with many of music's greats including: Tommy Flanagan, Gil Evans, Lena Horne, and B.B. King. From 1963 to 1968, he was a member of the acclaimed Miles Davis Quintet. He was Artistic Director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Studies while it was located in Boston and, after 18 years on the faculty of the Music Department of The City College of New York, he is now Distinguished Professor Emeritus.

Lisa Sokolov is a frontline New York jazz vocalist, improviser, and composer. Accompanying Lisa Sokolov will be Jazz bassist Cameron Brown. Brown anchored some of the most important groups of the '70s, '80s and '90s. The Don Pullen/George Adams Quartet, featuring Dannie Richmond, developed into a rewarding partnership which lasted nearly 10 years.
Tickets: $45 Table Seat, $30 Chairs.

Set #3 "Rod Piazza and Friends"
Sat, September 27 at 8pm & 10:30pm at the Backstage Jazz Club
Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers and John Hammond
From his first recordings as a leader in 1967 fronting The Dirty Blues Band, through his multiple W.C. Handy award-winning releases with his current band The Mighty Flyers, to his countless appearances both live and on record with the most revered names in the blues, Rod Piazza has established himself as one of the most influential living blues harp players.  

With a career that now spans in excess of three decades, John Hammond is one of handful of White blues musicians who was on the scene at the beginning of the first blues renaissance of the mid-'60s. He does justice to classic blues by combining powerful guitar and harmonica playing with expressive vocals and a dignified stage presence.
Tickets: $45 Table Seat, $30 Chairs.

On Stage Venue— Backstage Jazz Club
This 238-seat on stage venue is custom designed to give patrons an exclusive club-style experience just inches away from the artists. The Backstage Jazz Club provides a unique environment for patrons to relax on stage, face the beautiful interior of the magnificently renovated 1921 hall, and experience music from living jazz and blues greats up close and personal. The venue's entrance and all accommodations are backstage. There will be assigned table seating and general admission non-table seating, as well as light fare, and a fully-stocked bar.

Moran on Monk at Harlem Stage Thursday, October 2nd

Thelonious Monk- for the Grateful Web

Pianist/composer Jason Moran presents an intimate look into his new multi-media work In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall, 1959 celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Thelonius Monk's concert at Town Hall. Join Moran and artist Glenn Ligon for an illuminating discussion on the creation of this new work and Monk's influence on artists of all genres. The evening hosted by musician, composer, scholar George E. Lewis concludes with a performance of Monk music by Moran, Logan Richardson (alto saxophone), Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Tarus Mateen (bass) and Nasheet Waits (drums) with video excerpts of Monk by video artist David Dempewolf from the estate of W. Eugene Smith. In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall, 1959 will be presented as part of the Duke Performances' 50th anniversary tribute to Monk at Town Hall on February 26 and 27, 2009.

The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University is pleased to collaborate with Harlem Stage on MORAN ON MONK, to be presented at Harlem Stage Gatehouse on Thursday, October 2.

Harlem Stage Gatehouse
150 Convent Avenue
(at W. 135th St.
& Convent Ave.)

Thursday, October 2 @ 7:30pm

PBS featuring Page McConnell + PORTER, BATISTE, STOLTZ

photos by Phil Emma- for the Grateful Web

Page McConnell will join George Porter Jr., Russell Batiste Jr., and Brian Stoltz (PBS) for a handful of dates starting this Wednesday.  Page and Russell have a musical history - playing together in Vida Blue, a band that Page formed in 2001. Most recently, Page performed with PBS at the 2008 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

PORTER, BATISTE, STOLTZ featuring PAGE MCCONNELL

September 24 Revolution Hall Troy, NY
September 25 Lupo's Providence, RI
September 26 BB Kings New York, NY
September 27 Higher Ground Burlington, VT

Tickets are on sale now for all shows. Click here for more information.

Debut Album From Joey+Rory Streets October 28th

Joey + Rory- for the Grateful Web

Joey+Rory, along with Grammy-award winning producer Carl Jackson, have put the finishing touches on their debut album, The Life Of A Song, to be released by Vanguard/Sugar Hill Records on October 28th.  Having produced such greats as Alison Krauss and Merle Haggard, Jackson proved the perfect choice to help husband and wife team Rory Feek and Joey Martin create a traditional country album, seasoned with acoustic elements and equal doses of humor and sincerity.

 

"Working with Joey+Rory is a total joy for me," states Jackson.  "They are the real deal, not an act simply called 'country' whose music contradicts that label.  What makes it even more special is that I believe the only thing they love more than a great country song is each other."

 

Joey+Rory are nothing if not authentic; The Life Of A Song might be listened to as a soundtrack to their simple country lifestyle.  The couple resides in an 1870's farmhouse in tiny Hardison Mill, TN, where Joey helps run a nearby family restaurant called Marcy Jo's Mealhouse.  Perfectly in their element, Joey+Rory sing of scuffed cowboy boots ("Boots"), dusty rodeo arenas ("Rodeo"), and cherished vinyl records ("Sweet Emmylou").  They beg the listener to sing or dance along (the brash and buoyant "Cheater Cheater") before hushing the room with the lovely austerity of "Heart of the Wood."  Even the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic "Free Bird" is putty reinvented in the hands of this pair, as adventurous as they are respectful of country music's roots.

 

Together, the couple contributed their songwriting talents to seven of the album's 12 tracks, including the lead single, "Cheater Cheater."  Already an established songwriter and founding partner of Nashville publishing company Giantslayer Music, Rory has three #1 hits to his credit (Blake Shelton's "Some Beach", Clay Walker's "The Chain of Love" and Collin Raye's "Someone You Used To Know"), and has had cuts by Kenny Chesney, Randy Travis, Terri Clark, Mark Wills, Reba McEntire, Waylon Jennings, Lorrie Morgan, Buck Owens, John Michael Montgomery and Charlie Pride, among others.

 

Joey, who performs lead vocals for the duo, is also a veteran recording artist (previously signed to Sony Records, her debut album and single were never released). The pair only started performing as a duo for the audition of CMT's hit series Can You Duet in early 2008.  The pairing proved to be a hit with thousands of fans as well as Naomi Judd, one of the show's judges and Joey+Rory's most fervent supporter.  CMT is now home to Joey+Rory's debut video for "Cheater Cheater," currently in medium rotation.

JAZZ FOR OBAMA

Vote for Obama!- for the Grateful Web

ITS EASY: To purchase tickets simply click HERE.  You will be directed to the campaign contribution page.  Simply enter all required information and then click on the red PROCESS CONTRIBUTION button at the bottom.  In order to purchase multiple tickets simultaneously, just click on 'other' and enter the total dollar amount.  Then include a note stating the number/kind of tickets desired in the designated 'send a note...' box below, just above the red button.  Your name will be held at the door (tickets will not be mailed), but you will receive an email confirmation of your purchase/contribution within 24 hrs.  All proceeds benefit the Obama for America Presidential campaign.

YOU WANT MORE: If you wish to contribute a higher amount than the sum total of your ticket price, the Obama campaign will be very grateful!  Simply donate as much as you can, and then include a note stating the number of tickets desired in the designated 'send a note...' box on the contribution page just above the red button, or email us at the address below with your ticket needs.  

TELL YOUR FRIENDS: After your contribution/ticket purchase is processed, you will be asked by the campaign website to email a pre-set invitation to your contacts asking them to contribute to the Obama campaign as well.  This is a general invitation to support Barack, but you may easily transform it into a concert invitation as well!  If you would like to use this opportunity to invite anyone to the Jazz for Obama concert in particular (and we hope you will), just be sure to include a note about the concert in your email, and most importantly include our weblink jazzforobama.com so that your friends can purchase tickets just as you did!

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 1st
featuring

BILAL/ROBERT GLASPER
DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER
KURT ELLING
ROBERTA GAMBARINI
ROY HARGROVE
STEFON HARRIS
ROY HAYNES
CHARLIE HUNTER/DOUG WAMBLE DUO
HANK JONES
STANLEY JORDAN
JOE LOVANO
CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE
BRAD MEHLDAU
DIANNE REEVES
   ...and special guests

OCTOBER 1 - 7:30pm
The 92nd Street Y Kaufmann Concert Hall
 Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street
(Doors open 6:30 pm)

ALL PROCEEDS BENEFIT THE OBAMA FOR AMERICA PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN TICKETS AND ALL INFORMATION AVAILABLE ONLY AT: http://www.jazzforobama.com/