National Jazz Museum in Harlem Jan. 24 - Jan. 30, 2011

Upcoming events at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem for this week include:


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Christian McBride Hosts: My Musical Heroes
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
Christian’s Subject: Motown—The Jazz Singers

Our Co-Director, the brilliant bassist/composer/bandleader Christian McBride continues his insightful series on his musical heroes. This evening’s program will shed light on some music usually not included in a jazz context, and that’s a shame. As quiet as it’s kept, many of the instrumentalists and vocalists central to the Motown Sound were immersed in the jazz idiom. One of the singers you’ll hear tonight is Marvin Gaye, singing jazz ballad standards! If you like to expand your horizons, please join us.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Harlem Speaks
Tommy LiPuma, Producer

Interview by Christian McBride
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

One of the music industry’s most innovative and uniquely creative forces for more than four decades, Verve Music Group Chairman Emeritus Tommy LiPuma’s legendary career is record business history in the making. With 29 gold and platinum records to his credit, more than 30 GRAMMY® nominations, and three GRAMMY® Awards, he is one of the most successful pop and jazz producers ever.

By choosing to transition into the position of Chairman Emeritus in 2004, LiPuma decided to spend more time in the studio, and the very essence of what has driven him to be one of the most sought-out producers in the business – his keen musical insight and pristine sensibilities. “I can’t always put my finger on why I know something will work. It’s more the chills factor I look for — honing in on that artist whose music reaches inside you and takes you somewhere. There’s no scientific formula for hitting the mark, but that’s part of the excitement and challenge for me.”

One of the greatest success stories of LiPuma’s career is Diana Krall, with whom he continues a close association.

LiPuma began his first stint with Warner Bros. in 1974 as a staff A&R producer, helping launch the label careers of George Benson, Al Jarreau, and Michael Franks and recorded albums with Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Gilberto, and Claus Ogerman. After a brief time back at A&M in 1978, where LiPuma led the newly formed Horizon Records, working with Brenda Russell, Seawind, Dr. John (for whom he later produced the duet “In A Sentimental Mood” with Rickie Lee Jones), and David Grisman, he returned to Warner Bros. as Vice President, Jazz and Progressive Music. As producer and talent scout, he worked with the artists who made Warner Jazz one of the most successful jazz labels in the industry: Randy Crawford, Patti Austin, Bob James, David Sanborn, Earl Klugh, Everything But the Girl, The Yellowjackets, Joe Sample, and the late Miles Davis.

In 1990, LiPuma joined Elektra Records as Senior Vice President, A&R, rejoining his old partner Krasnow, who was label Chairman. While at Elektra, he produced Natalie Cole and Anita Baker, and brought Sanborn, The Story, and Wayne Shorter to the label. His work on Cole’s breakthrough album Unforgettable (which was produced by LiPuma, Andre Fischer, and David Foster) earned LiPuma a share of the 1991 GRAMMY® for Album of the Year. He also produced Cole’s platinum follow-up, Take a Look, as well as her 2002 Verve Records debut, Ask A Woman Who Knows.


- for the Grateful Web

I grew up in a time when being liberal was almost a moral imperative. My parents supported civil rights, women's rights, and opposed the war in Vietnam. And as best as I could tell, then and now, there weren't a lot of gray areas in those positions. The left clearly had the moral high ground, and my home state of Alabama, in the 1960s, was arguably the front line in the battle for social change.

Yet, my parents didn't march with King or join in any organized protests. They just quietly stood up, every day, for what was right. They helped build churches and playgrounds, installed plumbing and electric in black neighborhoods, respectfully voiced their "radical" opinions, and steadfastly refused to be intimidated by the Klan or anyone else.

If they were afraid, they never showed it. Probably because, being locals, they weren't. In the absurd intimacy of a small southern town, the guy who wears the hood on Saturday night is the same person who fixes your car on Monday morning. There isn't room to build fences - only bridges - and my parents always showed kindness to those whose views were different. They understood that someone's ideology is a complex recipe of birth circumstances and life experiences that shouldn't obscure who they are as a person.

It is a lesson I never forgot, though I came to believe that the left did. Perhaps buoyed by the moral righteousness of those years, the left expanded its focus into a whole host of issues that held, at least to me, a lot of gray areas. From global warming to abortion, there was bad science being touted as truth, and the messages were often inconsistent and confusing. We were encouraged to support personal privacy but not private property rights, protect squirrels but not fetuses. And if you dared to disagree, you were labeled a fool and mocked by celebrities on late-night talk shows.

eBy contrast, the right seemed to have a clearer message. Their focus was family, hard work, personal accountability, fiscal restraint, and entrepreneurship. As a young parent and small business owner, this message resonated with me. Not that I embraced the whole package, but more and more, I found myself at odds with the left, which seemed to be a bloated, bureaucracy-loving, elitist machine, too enthralled by its own rhetoric to admit the failure of social programs that were well-intended but poorly executed.

Now, the same can be said about the right. Perhaps buoyed by the patriotism we all shared after 9/11, conservatives expanded their focus into a lot of gray areas, forgetting that human nature, in practice, doesn't function according to theory, especially in regions that we barely understand. And if you dared to disagree, you were labeled unpatriotic and mocked by self-righteous pundits on late-night talk shows.

Still, I believe that both sides are well-intentioned. There is no more inherent evil in wanting to spread democracy than there is in wanting to protect the ozone layer, balance the eco-system, or feed starving children in Africa. Yet, in all these cases - in all the attempts to save the world from itself - there are repercussions we cannot predict. Farmers lose their livelihoods, bad governments get richer while the poor continue to starve, and innocent people die.

Since neither side is particularly good at admitting their mistakes, it is our duty not to let the pendulum swing too far in either direction. Even from my somewhat limited view of history, I can see that political success leads to arrogance, and arrogance leads to extremes. And although I cannot speak for all conservatives (and certainly don't), I, for one, am relieved to see the pendulum swing left again.