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Jazz Guitarist Jake Hertzog tours Midwest

It’s almost safe to say that this sounds like nothing you’ve heard before.  To say that Hertzog is a shredder that can’t be stopped is just to get the conversation started.  Playing somewhere between jazz and rock, this is what “Metal Machine Music”  might have sounded like if Lou Reed had intended it to be something more than a pile of shit to get him out of his contract.  Wanna hear young Al DiMeola on speed?  What else can I say?  This is the guitar record you play when you absolutely, positively need to have your mind melted.  Yngwie Malmsteen and Charlie Christian rolled into one, all this kid has to do is not run so fast that he trips over himself and the world will be his oyster.  Hot stuff for shredder ears.

Guitar Player Magazine is calling him "…the blazing wunderkind." The Boston Phoenix has declared him "...the WOW! factor." Award-winning jazz guitarist and composer, Jake Hertzog, is making it big in New York City. Jake’s second studio album, Patterns, just released this April 2010, is already Guitar Player Magazine’s Editor’s Pick. Jake is a monthly contributor to GP Magazine’s ‘Lessons’ section under the alias Hey Jazz Guy and has been coined as the Jazz ambassador to the non-jazz world.

Jake’s debut album, Chromatosphere (2009), brought him critical acclaim including a five page interview in Guitar Player Magazine (June 2009) highlighting his unique technique and approach to modern jazz guitar. Both albums, recorded and produced by Grammy Award-winner, Joshua Paul Thompson.

Furthermore, he stands as musical director and lead guitarist for Nickelodeon's The Naked Brothers Band stars, Nat and Alex Wolff. They have concluded two national tours and have performed on national television shows including Good Morning America, The View, Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, The Today Show and many others.

Past achievements include winning the Grand Prize in 2006 for the Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition in Switzerland. In the festivals 44-year history, he holds title at 20 years old as the youngest ever prize winner. He was invited back in 2007 to showcase his original music in the Montreux Jazz Festival. Jake is an Alum of the prestigious Berklee College of Music and recipient of several performance scholarships.

Tour Dates:

Saturday, May 29, 2010
The Jazz Kitchen - Indianapolis, IN
http://www.thejazzkitchen.com
7:00-10:00pm
$18

Sunday, May 30, 2010
Nighttown - Cleveland, OH
http://www.nighttowncleveland.com
7:00pm & 8:30pm
$15/each

Tuesday, June 1, 2010
The Iron Post - Champaign/Urbana, IL
http://www.theironpost.com
7:00pm
$8

June 1 from 2-4pm
Free Clinic @ University Laboratory High School Music Room
Open to public

Wednesday, June 2, 2010
The Iron Post - Champaign/Urbana, IL
http://www.theironpost.com
7:00pm
$8

The Antlers Play BOULDER At Fox Theatre On 4.26

Sometimes you have to put yourself first, no matter how difficult that notion seems; no matter how much time and effort you’ve already put into this one person—the person who’s reduced your very being to its absolute core. Just ask Peter Silberman, the string-pulling founder of The Antlers, a solo project that suddenly went widescreen on the self-released Hospice LP (now receiving a proper widespread pressing through Frenchkiss). The first Antlers effort to feature two key permanent players—powerhouse drummer Michael Lerner and the layer-lathering multi-instrumentalist Darby Cicci—it’s an album with a sound that’s actually as ambitious as its concept.

“Hospice came from the idea of caring for a terminal patient who’s mentally abusive to you,” says Silberman. “You don’t have the right to argue with them, either, because they’re the one who’s dying here; they’re the one that’s been dealt a wrong hand. So you take it, but you can only take so much. Eventually, you realize that this person is just destroying you.”

Appropriately enough, Hospice’s 10 distinct chapters resonate on debilitating sonic and lyrical levels, from the hypnotic harp and tension-ratcheting build of “Two” to the sing-or-sink choruses of “Bear” and the speaker-rattling peaks of “Sylvia,” easily one of the year’s most immediate epics. It’s here, amidst contrasting shards of ambient noise, sweeping strings and smoky horns, where The Antlers truly transcend Silberman’s singer-songwriter beginnings—a striking escalation of expectations first hinted at on 2008’s New York Hospitals EP. The progression doesn’t end there, either. In a move that could be taken as the riff-raking extension of his thorough guitar training (from the age of 6 ‘til right before college), “Atrophy” and “Wake” delve into sheets of distortion, subtle shades of soul, cicada-like effects and enough movements to fill an entire EP.

“We were going for something that’d be dense but not too complicated,” explains Silberman. “I hate the word ‘lush,’ but I guess that’s the best way of describing it. The structures are like pop songs—verse/chorus, verse/chorus—but the sound is a little more shoegaze-y or post-rocky.”

It’s about to get even more complicated, too, as The Antlers’ Technicolor-tinged trio take all of Hospice’s songs—and three previous releases—in a completely different direction, jettisoning a note-for-note rendition of the record for “a massive sound” doused in delay, reverb and unrehearsed chaos. And to think Cicci was a stage actor with a desire to drop it all for music just a few years ago.

“Hospice was the clear indication that this isn’t a singer-songwriter thing at all,” says Silberman. “Whatever we record next is going to define the three of us as a ‘band.’

He continues, “I always figured I’d be the ‘shredder’ in a group… But things somehow ended up this way.”  We wouldn’t have it any other way, either.

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The Antlers US Tour Dates With Phantogram:

Fri-Apr-16 - Columbus, OH - The Basement
Sat-Apr-17 - Urbana, IL - Canopy Club
Sun-Apr-18 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
Tue-Apr-20 - Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theatre
Wed-Apr-21 - Iowa City, IA  - The Blue Moose
Thu-Apr-22 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
Fri-Apr-23 - Ann Arbor, MI - Blind Pig

Mon-Apr-26 - Boulder, Co - Fox Theatre
Wed-Apr-28 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
Thurs-Apr-29-Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit Bar
Fri-Apr-30 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
Sat-May-01 - San Francisco, CA  - Independent
Mon-May-03 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
Tue-May-04 - Vancouver, BC - The Biltmore Cabaret
Wed-May-05 - Seattle, WA - Neumo's

The Antlers US Dates With The National:

Wed-Jun-02 - Boston, MA  - House of Blues w/The National
Thu-Jun-03 - Boston, MA  - House of Blues w/The National
Fri-Jun-04 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory w/The National
Sat-Jun-05 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory w/The National
Sun-Jun-06 - Washington, DC - Constitution Hall w/The National
Tue-Jun-08  - Toronto, ON - Massey Hall w/The National
Wed-Jun-09 - Toronto, ON - Massey Hall w/The National

Wed-Jun-16 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall w/The National

Eddie Palmieri/Brian Lynch Jazz Quartet

Musical sparks will be flying at the famed Iridium jazz club March 12-14 as Afro-Caribbean musical legend and nine time Grammy winner Eddie Palmieri joins renowned trumpeter (and Grammy Award winner) Brian Lynch for the the Eddie Palmieri/Brian Lynch Jazz Quartet. In an unprecedented jazz small group setting for “The Sun Of Latin Music” Palmieri, the Quartet is the latest manifestation of the 20 year + musical relationship between Lynch and Palmieri in Palmieri’s groups (including his acclaimed Afro-Caribbean Jazz Octet) and their collaboration for their Grammy Award winning CD “The Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri Project: Simpático”. The Quartet will be performing selections from “Simpático”, recasting classic Palmieri compositions on a jazz tip, and debuting brand new numbers from Lynch, Palmieri, and other members of the quartet. Two of the most accomplished musicians around today, bassist (of Mingus Big Band & Workshop fame) Boris Kozlov and Grammy nominated drummer/composer Dafnis Prieto, round out the quartet. Don’t miss out on musical history in the making!

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Eddie Palmieri, known for his charismatic power and bold innovative drive, has a musical career that spans over 50 years as a bandleader of Salsa and Latin Jazz orchestras. A true powerhouse of brilliance, known for his astute arranging skills and historic compositions, Mr. Palmieri has shown that time is infinite with respect to his repertoire as he continues to thrill audiences throughout the world with his legendary style. With a discography that includes 36 titles, Mr. Palmieri has been awarded nine Grammy Awards, from 1975’s “The Sun of Latin Music” (the first Grammy awarded in the Latin field), through “Palo Pa ' Rumba” (1984), “Obra Maestra/Masterpiece” in collaboration with Tito Puente (2000) to “Listen Here!” (2005) and 2006’s “Simpático”, a collaborative effort with trumpet master Brian Lynch. Palmieri’s myriad honors for his life’s work in music and culture include the Eubie Blake Award, Yale University’s Chubb Fellowship (an award usually reserved for international heads of state), the Alice Tully African Heritage Award, and induction into both the Bronx Walk of Fame and the Chicago Walk of Fame. In 2002, he received the National Black Sports and Entertainment Lifetime Achievement Award. Other inductees with him were Roberto Clemente, Count Basie, Max Roach, Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington. At the 1998 Heineken Jazz Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Berklee College of Music paid tribute to his contributions as a bandleader in bestowing on him an honorary doctorate. In 1988, the Smithsonian Institute recorded two of Palmieri's performances for their catalog of the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C a rare public honor. "Caliente," a radio show hosted by Mr. Palmieri on National Public Radio, has been a tremendous success, being picked up by more than 160 radio stations nationwide.

Born in Spanish Harlem in 1936, Eddie began piano studies at an early age, as did his celebrated older brother, the late Salsa legend and pianist, Charlie Palmieri. Possessed by a desire to play the drums, Palmieri joined his uncle's orchestra at age 13, where he played timbales.  Says Palmieri, "By 15, it was good-bye timbales and back to the piano until this day. I'm a frustrated percussionist, so I take it out on the piano." He began his professional career as a pianist in the early '50s, and subsequently spent a year with the Tito Rodriguez Orchestra before forming his own band, the legendary "La Perfecta" in 1961. With an infectious sound, Palmieri's band soon joined the ranks of Machito, Tito Rodriguez and other major Latin orchestras of the day. His unconventional style would once again surprise critics and his fans with the 1970 release entitled Harlem River Drive.  This recording was the first to really merge black and Latin styles (and musicians), resulting in a free-form sound encompassing elements of salsa, funk, soul and jazz. Further to this proclivity for creating and performing in funk Latin style, in 1997 he was invited to record by Little Louie Vega in "Nuyorican Soul," a release which has been a huge hit with dancers and dj's in the house music genre.

Palmieri's influences include not only his older brother Charlie but also Jesus Lopez, Lili Martinez and other Cuban players of the 1940s; jazz luminaries Art Tatum, Bobby Timmons, Bill Evans, Horace Silver, Bud Powell and McCoy Tyner.  Says Palmieri, "In Cuba, there was a development and crystallization of rhythmical patterns that have excited people for years.  Cuban music provides the fundamental from which I never move.  Whatever has to be built must be built from there.  It's a cross-cultural effect that makes magnificent music."

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Brian Lynch
A respected insider within both the hardcore straight ahead and Latin Jazz communities, 2007 Grammy Award Winner Brian Lynch is as comfortable negotiating the complexities of clave with Afro-Caribbean pioneer Eddie Palmieri as he is swinging through advanced harmony with bebop maestro Phil Woods. A honored graduate of two of the jazz world’s most distinguished academies, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and the Horace Silver Quintet, he has been a valued collaborator with jazz artists such as Benny Golson, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and Charles McPherson; Latin music icons as diverse as Hector LaVoe and Lila Downs; and pop luminaries such as Prince. As a bandleader and recording artist he has released a series of critically acclaimed CDs featuring his distinctive composing and arranging, and toured the world with various ensembles reflecting the wide sweep of his music. He currently is on the faculty at New York University as well as conducting clinics and workshops at prestigious institutions of learning the world over. His talents have been recognized by top placing in the Downbeat Critics and Readers Polls; highly rated reviews for his work in Downbeat, Jazziz and Jazz Times; 2005 and 2007 Grammy award nominations, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, and Meet The Composer.

Born September 12, 1956 in Urbana, Illinois, Lynch grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he apprenticed on a high level with such local residents as pianist Buddy Montgomery and organist Melvin Rhyne. In San Diego (1980-81) he gained further valuable experience in the group of alto master Charles McPherson. In 1981, Lynch moved to New York, and soon linked up with the Horace Silver Quintet (1982-1985) and the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra (1982-1988). Simultaneously, he played and recorded on the Latin scene with salsa bandleader Angel Canales (1982-83) and the legendary cantante Hector LaVoe (1983-87). He began his association with Eddie Palmieri in 1987, and at the end of 1988 joined what turned out to be the final edition of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. He began his tenure with Phil Woods in 1992.

In 1986, Lynch recorded his first album as a leader, Peer Pressure, for Criss-Cross. There followed Back Room Blues and At The Main Event [Criss Cross], In Process [Ken], Keep Your Circle Small [Sharp Nine], and a string of sideman dates with Art Blakey and Phil Woods. On each, Lynch documented his fiery, coherent tonal personality. He also made a name for himself as a composer, through numerous songs that play with and stretch harmony while never losing melodic essence and rhythmic thrust. A 1997 recording called Spheres of Influence [Sharp Nine], which earned a 4-1/2 star Downbeat rating, was Lynch's first project to reflect the panoramic range of interests that influence his working life as a musician. During these years he documented cross-cultural investigations with Eddie Palmieri's seminal Afro-Caribbean Jazz Octet on Palmieri’s Palmas, Arete and Vortex [Nonesuch and RMM]. As the ‘90s progressed, he steadily refined his concept, eventually collaborating with Palmieri as an arranger, co-composer and musical director. In a rare gesture, Palmieri took advantage of Lynch's pen on the recent albums La Perfecta II and Ritmo Caliente [Concord Picante]. The synchronistic nature of their relationship continued in 2006-7 with a series of duo and trio concert performances, the debut of the Eddie Palmieri / Brian Lynch Jazz Quartet in Japan, and Palmieri’s culminating (and Grammy winning) collaboration with Lynch on his ambitious recording project Simpático for ArtistShare.

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Boris Kozlov
Born in Moscow in 1967, Boris Kozlov started playing piano at the Evening Music School and going on to play tuba and trumpet in the public school band. He then went on to join the State Musical College on electric bass and it is there that he picked up acoustic bass, graduating in 1987 with a Diploma of Honour. In 1989 -1991 he studied at the State Academy of Music while touring USSR, Europe and USA with various jazz groups including his own. Winning many awards for his playing, Boris has performed and recorded with some of the top musicians in the jazz field including saxophonists Bobby Watson, Bob Berg, Benny Golson, James Moody, Ronnie Cuber, Lew Tabackin, John Stubblefield, Jay Collins, Jorge Sylvester, Ravi Coltrane: Trumpeters Dizzy Reese, Phillip Harper, Brian Lynch, Alex Sipiagin; pianists Andy La Verne, David Kikoski, Walter Bishop Jr., Michel Petrucciani, Stanley Cowell, Toshiko Akiyoshi; vibraphonists Terry Gibbs, Joe Locke; guitarist Mark Whitfield; drummers Tommy Campbell, Victor Jones, Jimmy Cobb, Marlon Simon: clarinetist Buddy De Franco; violinist John Blake; vocalists Jay Mc Govern, Urszula Dudziak; trombonist/vocalist Frank Lacy’s Experience, as well as funk jazz bands NHJ and his own BEA ,1992-94 Headliner of Texas International Jazz Festival. Since 1995 he has also been present on the NY recording scene working with various pop-music projects. In 1998 he started performing with the Mingus Big Band.

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Dafnis Prieto
His arrival in the U.S. has been compared by to that of an asteroid hitting New York. Indeed, within a short period of time Dafnis Prieto's revolutionary drumming techniques had a powerful impact on both the Latin and jazz music scene, locally and internationally. Having studied at the school of Fine Arts in Santa Clara, Cuba as a youngster and later at the National School of Music in Havana, Prieto obtained a thorough classical education while broadening his knowledge of Afro-Cuban music, jazz and world music outside of the academy. He first toured Europe with pianists Carlos Maza and Ramon Valle and the groundbreaking group “Columna B.” A resident of New York since 1999, he has already played in bands led by Henry Threadgill, Steve Coleman, Eddie Palmieri, Chico and Arturo O'Farrill, Dave Samuels & The Caribbean Jazz Project, Jane Bunnett, D.D. Jackson, Brian Lynch, Edward Simon, Michel Camilo, Chucho Valdez, Claudia Acuña, Roy Hargrove, Don Byron, and Andrew Hill, among others. He has performed at many national and international music festivals as a sideman and bandleader.

As a composer, he has created music for dance, film, chamber ensembles, and most notably for his own bands, ranging from duets to his “Small Big Band” and including the distinctively different groups featured on his two acclaimed recordings as a leader, “About The Monks,” and “Absolute Quintet.” A new CD, entitled “Taking the Soul for a Walk” and featuring a sextet, will be released in May 2008. He has received new works commissions, grants, and fellowships from Chamber Music America, Jazz at Lincoln Center, East Carolina University, and Meet the Composer. Various awards include “Up & Coming Musician of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2006, a Grammy Award Nomination for ”Absolute Quintet” as Best Latin Jazz Album, and a Latin Grammy Nomination for “Best New Artist” in 2007. Also a gifted educator, Prieto has conducted numerous master classes, clinics, and workshops. Since 2005, he has been a member of the NYU Music Faculty.

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IRIDIUM
1650 BROADWAY (CORNER OF 51ST)
NEW YORK, NY 10023
RESERVATIONS: 212-582-2121
HTTP://WWW.IRIDIUMJAZZCLUB.COM/
SETS  AT 8:00 & 10:00PM

The Iridium Is Pleased To Present:

MARCH 12-14 EDDIE PALMIERI/BRIAN LYNCH JAZZ QUARTET
Eddie Palmieri – piano, Brian Lynch – trumpet, Boris Kozlov – bass, Dafnis Prieto – drums

The Disco Biscuits Announce New Release Date for Planet Anthem

After plowing through four sold-out dates in Boulder, CO’s Fox Theatre, The Disco Biscuits are getting ready to release their long-awaited new album, Planet Anthem, which will be available March 16th.  The album marks the beginning of a new chapter for the band.  Since they formed in 1995, the guys created their own movement by fusing the jam band and electronic music scenes.  However, their forthcoming release prominently features elements of pop, indie dance, hip hop, and straight up rock music. The Biscuits also collaborated for the first time with multiple producers, songwriters, and outside musicians, including Don Cheegro and Dirty Harry(LudacrisChris BrownBeanie Sigel).  The result is an album filled with sing along melodies and infectious beats.

Don’t miss your chance to see the band perform their new material when they hit the road again starting in February, including a headlining performance at Ultra Music Festival.  The band has also just announced details for the annual music festival they put together, Camp Bisco, which is now in in 9th year.  Past performers have included Snoop Dogg, James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, The Roots, MSTRKRFT, Nas and Damien Marley, Girl Talk, and Kid Cudi.  This year, the event will take place July 15 – 17 in Mariaville, New York.  Tickets go on sale January 29th at 10am.

Lastly, the Biscuits will be hosting their even Bisco Inferno at Red Rocks on May 29th. This year's lineup will feature Aeroplane, Pnuma Trio, The Crystal Method (DJ Set), Booka Shade, The Glitch Mob and of course 2 sets of the Biscuits.  Stay tuned for an announcement regarding the onsale and other shows in Colorado prior Red Rocks.

 

2/18 @ Ram’s Head Live, Baltimore, MD

2/19 @  Lupos, Providence, RI

2/20 @ Calvin Theatre, Northampton, MA

2/21 @ Capitol Center for the Arts, Concord, NH

3/17 @ Town Ballroom, Buffalo, NY

3/18 @ The Egg Center For Performing Arts, Albany, NY

3/19 @ House of Blues, Boston, MA

3/20 @ Wellmont Theatre, Montclair, NJ

3/26 @ Ultra Music Festival, Miami, FL

(w/ Deadmau5, Tiesto, Will.I.Am and others)

4/14 @ Charleston Music Hall, Charleston, SC

4/15 @ Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh, NC

4/16 @ The National, Richmond, VA

4/17 @ The National, Richmond, VA

4/18 @ The NorVa, Norfolk, VA

4/20 @ 9:30 Club, Washington, DC

4/21 @ The Jefferson Theatre, Charlottesville, VA

4/22 @ The Klein Memorial Auditorium, Bridgeport, CT

4/23 @ Kirby Center For Performing Arts, Wilkes-Barre, PA

4/24 @ House of Blues, Atlantic City, NJ

4/25 @ Webster Theatre, Hartford, CT

05/29 @ Red Rocks Amphitheater, Denver, CO (Bisco Inferno)

07/15 – 0/17 @ Camp Bisco, Mariaville, New York

BaoBao Festival @ Boulder Theater

Traditional West African dance drumming, music and storytelling. BaoBao Festival entertains, educates and builds community in Colorado through artistic performances and educational events inspired by West African tradition and culture. This multifaceted collaboration between local and international performing artists (including former members of the Ghana National Dance Ensemble, the Streetside Hip Hop Dance Troupe, and others) engages and entertains world culture fans of all ages. The festival, started by Boulder resident Adjei Abankwah, a lead dancer and choreographer with the Ghana National Dance Ensemble for 11 years, has been a perennial favorite among Boulder and Denver audiences.
GA / All Ages / $22.50 / Students: $18.50 / Children under 10 free

Tickets are on sale at The Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone. Tickets are also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com. All tickets are subject to tax and service charge.

7th Annal BaoBao FestivalSaturday March 6doors 6:00pm, show 7:00pm

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National Jazz Museum in Harlem January Schedule

Swing into the New Year with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem! From live performances in downtown New York to intriguing discussions with authors, impresarios, artists and a legendary choreographer, we'll match your taste for cultural enrichment.

Our flagship series, Harlem Speaks, features conversations with pianist Connie Crothers, known for her association with Lennie Tristano, and Jack Kleinsinger, producer of the longest running jazz series in New York, Highlights in Jazz. Author and WBGO jazz radio host Sheila Anderson is our guest for Jazz for Curious Readers.

Visionary bassist Reggie Workman leads an evening Saturday panel and pre-screens a film presentation of a TRIO 3 performance. Workman will also partake in a discussion with choreographer Lar Lubovitch, whose masterful dance creations grounded and inspired by jazz music is the focus of three weeks of Jazz for Curious Listeners.

If you love the music, nothing is more important than supporting live jazz. Nurture yourself with the scintillating salsa jazz of Bobby Sanabria at Harlem in the Himalayas and the classic American Song Book sounds of Broadway interpreted jazz style at our new series, Jazz at the Players!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Jazz for Curious Readers

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

As host-producer of a TV and a radio program on jazz in the New York City area, Anderson, author of The Quotable Musician: From Bach to Tupac, has met and interviewed musicians, composers, and other music industry professionals from all genres, classical to jazz. For her latest book, How to Grow as a Musician, she put her connections to good use and culled the wisdom and personal experiences of 30 prominent musicians, including Grammy Award-winning performer Al Jarreau; Paula Kimper, a composer of opera, theater, film, and dance music; and Eric Reed, a jazz pianist who has played with the Wynton Marsalis Septet, Joe Henderson, Cassandra Wilson, and a multitude of other masters. Anderson weaves together a comprehensive guide that reveals the fundamentals necessary for living a creative and successful life in music, with insights on getting started, developing as an artist, composing, recording, songwriting, preparing for performance, working with a manager, and signing contracts. She shares musicians' candid and poignant advice on triumph and failure, self-evaluation, ego checks, and personal growth.

In our discussion with this leading lady of jazz radio (nicknamed "The Queen of Hang"), expect not only musician quotes and advice on surviving a career in music, but loads of hilarious anecdotes from her decades of first-hand observation on the front lines of jazz music.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Saturday Panels

An Evening with the Visionary Reggie Workman and Friends

7:30 – 9:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Pre-screening of the film, "Reggie Workman's Sculptured Sounds presents ... TRIO 3: At This Time”

Produced by the legendary bassist Reggie Workman, Reggie Workman's Sculptured Sounds Presents TRIO 3: At This Time” is a film documenting the celebrated 2009 performance of TRIO 3 (jazz legends Oliver Lake/Reggie Workman/Andrew Cyrille) plus noted pianist, Geri Allen, at the Birdland jazz venue. Experience interviews with these legendary artists, and commentary from noted jazz writers and artist colleagues. Watch this high octane collaboration on a journey through jazz to the edge and beyond!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners

Rhythm, Rhythm: Jazz and the World of Lar Lubovitch

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

Witness a discussion with Lar Lubovitch, Dr. Billy Taylor, and other guests as they pursue jazz culture and history as it intersects with choreography across jazz and ballet dance communities. Mr. Lubovitch will present excerpts of his work on film.

One of America's most versatile, popular and highly acclaimed choreographers, Lar Lubovitch founded the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company over 40 years ago. In the years since, he has choreographed more than 100 dances for his New York-based company, which has performed in nearly all 50 American states as well as in more than 30 foreign countries.

Lar's dances are renowned for their musicality, rhapsodic style and sophisticated formal structures. His radiant, highly technical choreography and deeply humanistic voice have been acclaimed throughout the world. Lar Lubovitch has been hailed by The New York Times as "one of the ten best choreographers in the world," and the company has been called a "national treasure" by Variety.

Born in Chicago, Lar Lubovitch was educated at the University of Iowa and the Juilliard School in New York. His teachers at Juilliard included Antony Tudor, Jose Limon, Anna Sokolow and Martha Graham. He danced in numerous modern, ballet, jazz and ethnic companies before forming the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company in 1968.

Lubovitch made his Broadway debut in 1987 with the musical staging for the Stephen Sondheim/ James Lapine musical, Into the Woods, for which he received a Tony Award nomination. In 1993 he choreographed the highly-praised dance sequences for the Broadway show The Red Shoes. The final ballet from that show joined the repertories of American Ballet Theatre and the National Ballet of Canada. For his work on that show, he received the 1993-94 Astaire Award from the Theater Development Fund. In 1996 he created the musical staging (and two new dances) for the Tony-Award-winning Broadway revival of The King and I. Most recently he devised the musical staging for Walt Disney's stage version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame in Berlin. In 2004 he was honored with the Elan Award for his outstanding choreography.

In 2007, to supplement the activities (creating, performing and teaching) of the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, he founded the Chicago Dancing Company, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to present a wide variety of excellent dance and build dance audiences in his native Chicago. Initiated by Chicago-born Lubovitch (and  Chicago-based dancer Jay Franke), the Chicago Dancing Festival (CDF) was launched in cooperation with Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and the City of Chicago. The official premiere of the festival was a free one-night-only dance concert at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. More than 8,000 people attended the performance, which featured dancers from seven leading American companies. For 2008, CDF will be expanded to include three days of programming. For his visionary risk-taking in establishing the Festival, Lubovitch was named a "2007 Chicagoan of the Year" by the Chicago Tribune.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jazz at the Players

'S Wonderful: Jazz meets Broadway

7:00pm

Location: The Players

16 Gramercy Park South, NYC

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem AllStars, featuring vocalist Champian Fulton, play the music of George and Ira Gershwin, Fats Waller, Cole Porter, and Duke Ellington for the very first Jazz at the Players event.

Born in 1985, Champian Fulton grew up in Norman, Oklahoma with her two loving parents, Stephen and Susan. Influenced at an early age by her father Stephen, a jazz trumpeter, she fell in love with the music. Surrounded by her father's musician friends, including Clark Terry and Major Holley, Champian learned the language of jazz firsthand. She began to study piano with her grandmother at age 5, and, as singing became more and more important to her, Champian began to play jazz piano to accompany herself at home.

Champian's family moved to LeMars, Iowa in 1994, when her father became the director of the Clark Terry Institute for Jazz Studies. She formed her first band at this time—"Little Jazz Quintet"—all of whose members were under the age of 10, except for the trumpeter - the elder of the group - who was 12 years old. The "Little Jazz Quintet" performed at many events in LeMars, including Clark Terry's 75th birthday party.

After a short move to New York, Champian and her family returned to Norman Oklahoma in 1998. Her full attention turned to jazz at this time, and by 1999 Champian was performing with her new band all around the region. 1999 included appearances at the Kemah Boardwalk Jazz Festival, the Corpus Christi Jazz Festival, and the Jazz in June Festival held in Norman, Oklahoma.

2001 marked the beginning of Champian's stint at Maker's Cigar & Piano Bar in Oklahoma City. The owner of Maker's, Clinton Greehaw, was very supportive of Champian as she grew musically as a professional performer. The Champian Fulton Trio would continue to perform at Maker's nearly every weekend through 2003, when she graduated from Norman North High School as valedictorian and made her move to NYC to attend SUNY Purchase Music Conservatory.

Since then, Champian has become a part of the jazz scene in the Big Apple. Besides leading her own gigs, Champian has been able to play with some world-class musicians, such as Louis Hayes, Jimmy Cobb, Frank Wess, and Lou Donaldson. You can catch her and her trio/quartet at a number of different venues in Manhattan, including Birdland, where Champian has held a steady gig for the past 3 years.

A perpetual student of jazz piano and jazz singing, Champian mentions Erroll Garner, Bud Powell, Sonny Clark, Count Basie, Dinah Washington, and Sarah Vaughan as some of her main influences.

Champian graduated from SUNY Purchase with a Bachelor of Music Degree in May of 2006. Her new CD "Sometimes I'm Happy" was released in September 2008 on Venus Records. She currently resides in NYC and performs with her trio.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Harlem Speaks

Connie Crothers, Pianist

6:30 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Connie Crothers is known for her association with Lennie Tristano, yet she is also recognized for her uncompromising spontaneous improvisation, originality, virtuosity and wide range of expression.

She leads a quartet, with alto saxophonist Richard Tabnik, drummer Roger Mancuso and bassists Ken Filiano or Adam Lane. In January 2007, this quartet released a CD, Music is a Place, on New Artists. It was chosen by Stuart Broomer for his list of the top ten recordings of the year, published on the website jazzhouse.com; the recording also received an honorable mention for best CDs of the year in All About Jazz/New York.

Crothers has performed extensively as a soloist. She appeared solo in the 2008 Vision Festival, and was presented in a solo capacity by the Interpretations Series at Merkin Hall in 2006, where she also performed a duet with Roscoe Mitchell. Lennie Tristano produced her three solo concerts in Carnegie Recital Hall. John Sutherland chose her solo recording, “Music from Everyday Life,” for his list of the best ten recordings of the year in Coda.

Her most recent CD—Conversations—is a duet recording with clarinetist Bill Payne.

Crothers has recorded duo with Max Roach—"Swish"—and performed in a duo with Mr. Roach in Tokyo, Bologna, New Orleans and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Roach and Crothers were honored by Harvard University as Visiting Jazz Artists; during the ceremony they performed with the Harvard University Band and tap dancer Diane Walker. For this concert, Anthony Braxton wrote a composition for them.

She co-led an engagement at the Village Vanguard with Warne Marsh, in a quartet featuring drummer Peter Scattaretico and bassist Eddie Gomez, a recent guest of Harlem Speaks. Crothers performed with Marsh, with Roger Mancuso and bassist Joe Solomon in Carnegie Recital Hall.

When her first record, Perception, originally on SteepleChase, was reissued in 1983 on Inner City, it was selected as one of the ten best records of the year by Mark Weber in Coda.

Crothers has had the honor of being a guest on Marian McPartland’s radio show “Piano Jazz,” where the two ladies swung mightily. She is very proud of being selected in the list of the most important and influential musicians in the last twenty-five years of the 20th century in the centennial issue of Cadence magazine.

Crothers teaches jazz improvisation in her studio in Brooklyn, passing on a legacy of intellect and musicality that she inherited as a member of the Tristano school.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners

Rhythm, Rhythm: Lar Lubovitch and His Jazz Works

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

Lar Lubovitch and company present a lecture demonstration of excerpts of pieces from his latest jazz trilogy, which includes music by Kurt Elling, Dave Brubeck, and John Coltrane. Mr. Lubovitch will discuss how the music has informed his movements, and how he has collaborated with musicians (jazz and non jazz alike).

The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company will present a two-week season at The Joyce Theater, February 23–March 7, 2010. The jam-packed season is comprised of three programs, each featuring new and recent works by Lar Lubovitch, one of America’s most acclaimed and versatile choreographers.

Lubovitch’s recently completed jazz trilogy reimagines the choreographic possibilities of jazz. The program features the world premiere of Coltrane’s Favorite Things, set to an iconic 1963 recording of John Coltrane’s interpretation of the classic Richard Rodgers song My Favorite Things. The backdrop for the dance is a reproduction of Jackson Pollock’s landmark painting Autumn Rhythm. With this dance, Lubovitch creates a vibrant choreographic counterpart to the artistic impulsiveness of these two 20th century giants. Lubovitch’s jazz trilogy also contains the wildly popular Elemental Brubeck (2005), and Kurt Elling: Nature Boy, Lubovitch’s latest incarnation of 2005’s Love’s Stories, an unabashedly passionate work set to unique renditions of jazz standards by the Kurt Elling Ensemble.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas

Bobby Sanabria & Quarteto Ache'

7:00pm

Location: Rubin Museum of Art

(150 West 17th Street)

$18 in advance | $20 at door |

Box Office: 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Bobby Sanabria & Quarteto Ache'

Peter Brainin - tenor, soprano sax, flute, percussion, vocals

Alex Hernandez - acoustic bass, percussion, vocals

Enrique Haneine - piano, percussion, vocals

Bobby Sanabria - musical director

Grammy-nominated on multiple occasions as a leader as well as on other projects as a sideman, Bobby Sanabria (drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, conductor, producer, educator, film-maker, bandleader, and multi-cultural warrior) has performed and recorded with such legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaría, Paquito D’Rivera, Ray Barretto, Candido, Henry Threadgill, Larry Harlow, and Afro-Cuban jazz Godfather, Mario Bauzá. His first big band recording, Live & in Clave!!! was nominated for a mainstream Grammy in 2001. In 2003 he was nominated for a Latin Grammy for "50 Years of Mambo," A Tribute to Damaso Perez Prado. DRUM! Magazine named him Percussionist of the Year in 2005.

His latest recording is the 2008 Grammy nominated Big Band Urban Folktales, with his 19 piece big band, on the Jazzheads label. This South Bronx native of Puerto Rican parentage is a 2006 inductee into the Bronx Walk of Fame, and has a street named after him in his borough of birth.

He holds a BM from the Berklee College of Music, and is on the faculty of the New School and the Manhattan School of Music, where he conducts Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Bands. He is associate producer of “The Palladium: Where Mambo Was King,” a documentary shown on BRAVO, and winner of the IMAGINE award for best TV documentary of 2003. He served in the same capacity for “From Mambo to Hip Hop,” winner of the ALMA award for best documentary for TV shown on PBS in 2007. He is the author of the acclaimed video series, Getting Started on Congas and he is a featured performer on the DVD, Modern Drummer Festival 2006, from Hudson Music. Mr. Sanabria was featured in the documentary, LATIN MUSIC USA, which aired on PBS in October 2009.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners

Rhythm, Rhythm: Lar Lubovitch and the Music of John Coltrane

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: The New School

66 W. 13TH St, 5th floor

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

In this final JCL for the month of January 2010, Lar Lubovitch will discuss his choreographic interpretation and inspiration of John Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things” with jazz bass legend and New School faculty member Reggie Workman. Workman played on the Copenhagen recording of “My Favorite Things,” the very same recording Lar is  using for his new dance premiering at The Joyce Theater in February 2010. The Lubovitch Dance Company will be there to demonstrate excerpts of this piece as various sections of the music are discussed.

The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company was founded by Lar Lubovitch in 1968 and is now celebrating its 40th anniversary with a national tour as well as a fall season at the New York City Center. Over the years, the company has gained a reputation as one of the world’s foremost modern dance companies, having performed in virtually every state of the US and in more than 30 foreign countries. Lar Lubovitch has been cited by The New York Times as “one of the ten best choreographers in the world.”

Based in New York, the company is internationally renowned, having toured extensively throughout America (virtually all 50 states) and the rest of the world (more than 30 countries). The company has been seen in live performances by more than a million people. On television it has been seen by millions more. In recognition of its work, the company has received many awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts and numerous foundations, including the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Harlem Speaks

Jack Kleinsinger, Impresario

6:30 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Jack Kleinsinger is the Producer/Director of HIGHLIGHTS IN JAZZ, New York City's longest-running jazz concert series, formerly performed at Theatre De LYS, Astor Place Theatre, Hunter College, NYU, Pace University, and currently at Tribeca Performing Arts Center in Manhattan.

For over 35 years he has produced and hosted each year's series of 8 jazz programs--researching, selecting and contracting the 75 or more artists in each year's 8 concerts.  In addition, Mr. Kleinsinger designs and structures each of the programs, coordinating publicity, public relations, technical assistance and fund-raising, and is solely responsible for its smooth operation.

In addition to HIGHLIGHTS IN JAZZ, Jack Kleinsinger has also produced many concerts in New York City schools, colleges and prisons; he has co-produced programs for the Newport and the New York Jazz festivals; stage managed the Jazz Festival in Nice, France, and has taught Jazz courses at New York University.  He also volunteered his services as an instructor at the International Center in New York City.

He has served as a talent consultant and assistant for the Bern Jazz Festival in Switzerland and produced children's jazz programs for the Boston Globe Festival in Massachusetts and the Sarasota, Fl. Jazz Society.

Mr. Kleinsinger is an attorney, a former candidate for public office, a teacher and lecturer.  In August, 1991, he retired from his position as Assistant Attorney General of the State of New York.

On June 26, 1997, the JVC Jazz Festival presented a concert entitled "Thanks to Jack Kleinsinger for 25 years of HIGHLIGHTS IN JAZZ" at the Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse in New York City.

On February 5, 1998, the Manhattan Borough President issued a Proclamation designating that date "JACK KLEINSINGER DAY" in the Borough.  This was in recognition of Jack Kleinsinger's contribution to the cultural life of New York City.

On September 6, 1998 Mr. Kleinsinger received the CHARLIE PARKER MEMORIAL AWARD at the 52nd Street Americana Festival.

On June 18, 2008, the JVC Jazz Festival presented a concert entitled "A CELEBRATION OF 35 YEARS OF HIGHLIGHTS IN JAZZ HONORING JACK KLEINSINGER" at New York Society for Ethical Culture. Tonight, we're honored to sit down with Mr. Kleinsinger, a pillar producer of jazz in its capital.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem December Schedule

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem invites you to join us in this final month of programming in 2009! The month begins and ends with the co-director of the museum, Christian McBride, who comes off the road for five free Jazz for Curious Listeners sessions focusing on the role of the bass in jazz history, the jazz ensemble, and in his illustrious career.

Drummer Ben Riley, first famous for his 1960’s tenure with Thelonious Monk, is the first guest of the flagship Harlem Speaks series. He remains one of the most important drummers on the scene today, so don't miss this rare discussion about his long and distinguished career. The second guest of Harlem Speaks is the saxophonist, composer and arranger Ray Santos, a true icon for over sixty years in the Latin jazz world.

Join for several panel discussions, one peering deeply into the past with a new look at ways jazz informed the work of writer Jack Kerouac, the other projecting a view to the future of jazz in the 21st century.

And so we can take out the old and bring in the new swingin’, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Star Big Band, under the direction of Loren Schoenberg, will perform live at the Rubin Museum of Art for the Harlem in the Himalayas series.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners
A Month with Christian McBride: The Bass
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

The finest musicians to spring from the world of jazz have clearly had an advantage when it comes to branching into other genres of music. Their mastery of composition, arranging and sight reading coupled with their flair for improvisation and spontaneous creation make them possibly the most seasoned and adaptable musicians in the art. Grammy Award winner Christian McBride, chameleonic virtuoso of the acoustic and electric bass, stands tall at the top of this clique. Beginning in 1989 – the beginning of an amazing career in which he still has wider-reaching goals to attain - the Philadelphian has thus far been first-call-requested to accompany literally hundreds of fine artists, ranging in an impressive array from McCoy Tyner and Sting to Kathleen Battle and Diana Krall.

His clear mastery of the bass, undisputed respect and admiration of his peers, and acclaim in the media offers a unique opportunity for those in attendance at tonight’s session. Hear one of the greatest artists on his instrument discuss the role of the bass in the jazz ensemble throughout jazz history and also demonstrate on his own bass.

McBride often uses the analogy of the offensive linemen in football as being comparable to the role of the bassist in jazz. “Although most of the focus is on the quarterback, the leader of the team, he’s only as good as his offensive line. The bass player’s role isn’t glamorous or glorious, but it’s essential.”

Yet in McBride’s able hands the bass takes on a shine of glamour, and his insights will surely illuminate the glory of the bass in the heartbeat of jazz.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Harlem Speaks
Ben Riley, Drummer
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Ben Riley was born on July 17, 1933 in Savannah, Georgia, and his family moved to New York four years later.  He began studying with noted Harlem band leader Cecil Scott while in junior high school, and in high school began playing in a school band.

In 1952 Ben Riley joined the army and began to perform with the army band, ramping up his learning curve several notches. Following his discharge from the army in the late 1950's, he began working in and around New York and developed long-lasting relationships with Randy Weston, Mary Lou Williams, Sonny Rollins, Woody Herman, Stan Getz, Billy Taylor, and many others. Yet the association that secured Ben's place in jazz history was his four year stint with the legendary Thelonious Monk. He toured extensively with Monk and recorded several now classic albums with the pianist, such as It’s Monk’s Time, Underground, and Straight, No Chaser. A marvelous example of Riley’s playing with Monk is also found in the black-and-white DVD released by Jazz Icons.

During his tenure with Monk, Riley also showcased his ability to play with a wide variety of musicians, including Earl "Fatha" Hines, Andrew Hill, Hank Jones, Barry Harris and Clark Terry. After leaving Monk in the late 1960's, Ben chose to take time off from the road and took a position with the Wyandanch, New York school district, where he remained for five years.

Then, during the mid-1970's, the call of music became too strong to resist and Riley began performing and recording once again, this time with Alice Coltrane and as a member of the New York Jazz Quartet. From the late 70's through the 80's he performed and recorded extensively with the Ron Carter Quartet, which included bassist Buster Williams and pianist Kenny Barron, whom Ben recommended for the band.

When Carter disbanded his quartet, the rhythm section of Riley, Williams and Barron remained intact, working as a trio and rhythm section for various touring artists visiting New York. Ben Riley suggested adding a permanent horn player to their trio; Charlie Rouse, Monk’s favorite tenor man in his band, joined and the cooperative band Sphere was the result. Upon Rouse’s death, Sphere disbanded but Riley continued to perform extensively with Barron. He also continued to develop musical relationships with Abdullah Ibrahim, Barney Kessel, Chet Baker, and Johnny Griffin, among several others.

In 1992, because of his vast contribution to jazz music, Riley was inducted into his hometown-based Coastal Jazz Hall of Fame in Savannah, Georgia.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Jazz for Curious Readers
Greg Tate
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

Greg Tate was a staff writer at The Vil­lage Voice from 1987–2003. His writ­ings on cul­ture and pol­i­tics have also been pub­lished in The New York Times, The Wash­ing­ton Post, Art­fo­rum, Rolling Stone, VIBE, Pre­miere, Essence, Suede, The Wire, One World, Down­beat, and Jaz­zTimes. He was recently acknowl­edged by The Source mag­a­zine as one of the ‘God­fa­thers of Hiphop Jour­nal­ism’ for his ground­break­ing work on the genre’s social, polit­i­cal, eco­nomic and cul­tural impli­ca­tions in the period when most pun­dits con­sid­ered it a fad.

His pub­lished inter­views include dia­logues with Miles Davis, George Clin­ton, Richard Pryor, Car­los San­tana, Lenny Kravitz, Sade, Erykah Badu, Wayne Shorter, Joni Mitchell, Lisa Bonet, Samuel R Delany, Ice Cube, Dex­ter Gor­don, Betty Carter, King Sunny Ade, Chuck D of Pub­lic Enemy, Cas­san­dra Wil­son, Jill Scott, Wyn­ton Marsalis, Bran­ford Marsalis, Ornette Cole­man, Henry Thread­g­ill and Ver­non Reid of Liv­ing Colour.

Tate has also writ­ten for the Museum of Mod­ern Art, The Whit­ney Museum, ICA Boston, ICA Lon­don, Museum of Con­tem­po­rary Art Hous­ton, The Stu­dio Museum In Harlem, The Gagosian Gallery, Deitch Projects and the Tate Muse­ums Lon­don and Liv­er­pool. His writ­ing about visual art includes mono­graphs and essays about Chris Ofili, Wengechi Mutu, Jean Michel Basquiat, Ellen Gal­lagher, Kehinde Wiley and Ramm El Zee.

His books include Every­thing But The Bur­den, What White Peo­ple Are Tak­ing From Black Cul­ture (Harlem Moon/Random House, 2003), Mid­night Light­ning: Jimi Hen­drix and The Black Expe­ri­ence (Acapella/Lawrence Hill, 2003), and Fly­boy In The But­ter­milk, Essays on Amer­i­can Cul­ture (Simon and Shus­ter, 1993). Next year Duke Uni­ver­sity Press will pub­lish Fly­boy 2: The Greg Tate Reader. He recently com­pleted ‘The 100 Best Hiphop Lyrics’ for Pen­guin and is now work­ing on a book about the God­fa­ther of Soul, James Brown, for River­head Press.

His play My Dar­ling Grem­lin (with live music score by Lawrence Butch Mor­ris) was pro­duced at Aaron Davis Hall in 1993 and at The Kitchen in 1995. His short fea­ture film Black Body Radi­a­tion was com­pleted in 2006. He also col­lab­o­rated on the libret­toes for Juluis Hemphill’s opera Long Tongues (Apollo Pro­duc­tion) and for Leroy Jenk­ins’ Fresh Faust, (Boston ICA Production). Tate, who performs on guitar in his group Burnt Sugar, is currently teaching a course  as the Visiting Louis Armstrong Professor at Columbia University’s Center for Jazz Studies.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners
A Month with Christian McBride: On Film
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

Come witness Christian McBride, co-director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, on film, with his own bands, as well as with legends such as Sonny Rollins and Herbie Hanock.

If you do you’ll see for yourself that the most awe-inspiring thing about Christian McBride is that his prowess as a player is only half of what makes him such a respected, in-demand and mind-bogglingly busy individual, taking time out to share with the audience of the museum.

The portrait is completed by a mere mid-thirty-something man who carved out time to speak at former President Clinton’s town hall meeting on “Racism in the Performing Arts.” He holds Artistic Director posts at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass summer program and the Dave Brubeck Institute at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. McBride participated in a Stanford University panel on “Black Performing Arts in Mainstream America.” He’s hosted insightful one-on-one “jazz chats” in Cyberspace on Sonicnet.com. He also scribed the foreword for pianist Jonny King’s book, What Jazz Is (Walker & Co., New York).

2005 witnessed his adding two more prestigious appointments to his resume. In January, he was named co-director of The Jazz Museum in Harlem. Christian has been focusing on a longtime concern: exposing jazz to young people.

“To a degree, jazz is non-existent in most major urban communities, which deeply saddens me,” McBride states. “Kids don't understand who our jazz greats were. My contribution towards rectifying this will be getting them to check out free events at the museum by inviting jazz and non-jazz musicians, athletes and speakers that they can relate to.”
While working for the museum in Harlem, McBride racked up frequent flyer miles as Creative Chair for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which gave him a degree of influence over commercial and educational programs at the Hollywood Bowl and Disney Hall. The position was passed on to him by singer Dianne Reeves who held it for three years; McBride handed off the chair to none other than Herbie Hancock.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jazz Is: Now!
All about jazz in the 21st century – Part One with Jonathan Batiste
7:00pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Over the course of one century, jazz transitioned from folk to pop to fine art status. In the U.S., where pop music commands the attention of millions, jazz seems to be off the radar of the mainstream media. Yet changes in the landscape of the music industry, driven largely by the Internet and technological innovation, bodes opportunity for jazz musicians, promoters, producers and presenters.

This evening pianist Jonathan Batiste brings together a panel to discuss the future of jazz in the 21st century.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners
A Month with Christian McBride: My Bands
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

As one of the most in-demand bassists in music, Christian McBride could make a good living as a sideman. However, not only does he refuse to rest on his laurels or sideman status, over the course of his 20 year career he has asserted his own prerogative as a leader. Come hear him discuss his own bands, both electric and acoustic, including his latest ensemble, Inside Straight, which headlined at the Village Vanguard in November.

Christian McBride was born on May 31, 1972 in Philadelphia. Electric bass was Christian's first instrument, which he began playing at age 9, followed by acoustic bass two years later. His first mentors on the instrument were his father, Lee Smith (a renowned bassist in Philly) and his great uncle, Howard Cooper (a disciple of the jazz avant-garde). While intensely studying classical music, Christian's love for jazz also blossomed. Upon his 1989 graduation from Philadelphia's fertile High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (C.A.P.A.), Christian was awarded a partial scholarship to attend the world-renowned Juilliard School in New York City to study with the legendary bassist, Homer Mensch. That summer, before making the move to the Big Apple, the already in-demand bassist got his first taste of touring going to Europe with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, and traveling the U.S. with the classical jazz fusion group, Free Flight.

McBride never had a chance to settle into his Juilliard studies. Within the first two weeks of the semester, he joined saxophonist Bobby Watson's band, Horizon. He also started working around New York at clubs such as Bradley's and the Village Gate with John Hicks, Kenny Barron, Larry Willis and Gary Bartz. After one year at Juilliard, McBride made a critical decision to leave school to tour with trumpeter Roy Hargrove's first band, electing "experience with as many musicians as possible" as the best teacher. In August of 1990, he landed a coveted position in trumpeter Freddie Hubbard's band until January of 1993.
In 1991, legendary bassist Ray Brown invited the young wunderkind to join him and John Clayton in the trio SuperBass. After being hailed “Hot Jazz Artist” of 1992 by Rolling Stone, Christian continued to prove it as a member of guitarist Pat Metheny's "Special Quartet," which included drum master Billy Higgins and saxophonist Joshua Redman. While recording and touring with Redman the following year, McBride signed to Verve Records in the summer of 1994, recording his first CD as a leader, Gettin' to It. He also graced the big screen playing bass in director Robert Altman's 1940's period piece, Kansas City (1996).

Christian recorded three more career-shaping albums at Verve: Number Two Express (1996), the soul-jazz fusion project A Family Affair (1998 – featuring Christian’s first two songs as a lyricist), and the critically acclaimed SCI-FI (2000), marking the inaugural execution of Christian’s concept of music being boundless by genre. The following year, he continued to expand his audience with two endeavors. He dipped into hip hop with a side project dubbed The Philadelphia Experiment, a “jam band”-inspired CD that reunited Christian with his high school friend, drummer Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson (leader of The Roots) and featured keyboardist Uri Caine and guitarist Pat Martino.

Later that year, pop star Sting invited Christian to become a key figure in his 2001 All This Time CD, DVD and tour. Then in 2002, Christian supported George Duke by becoming a member of his band and recording on his landmark album Face the Music: the legendary keyboardist’s first album on his own recording label, BPM. “Christian is a monster on that bass,” Duke states with pride. “It isn’t often these days to find a young musician so dedicated to his craft. Christian is my kind of musician, one that is open to new ideas, good at playing different styles, reads music prolifically and is dedicated to furthering the growth of music not only as a musician, but as a young representative of his profession. There isn’t anyone better. And besides that, he’s a great cat!”

In 2003, Christian released one album on Warner Bros. Records titled Vertical Vision, a blazing recording that introduced the current incarnation of the Christian McBride Band. Over the years, McBride has been featured on hundreds of albums, touring and/or recording with artists such as David Sanborn, Chick Corea, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, George Benson, and the late greats Joe Henderson, Betty Carter and Milt Jackson. He also undertook his first pop Musical Directorship at the helm of a Christmas show featuring gospel royalty BeBe Winans and pop star Carly Simon. The event marked stage-shy Simon’ first New York concert appearance in a decade and she expressly insisted that only McBride could be her MD.

Finally, as a composer, Christian has achieved several high watermarks. Among them is a commission from Jazz at Lincoln Center to compose "Bluesin' in Alphabet City," performed by Wynton Marsalis with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. And in 1998, the Portland (ME) Arts Society and the National Endowment for the Arts awarded McBride with a commission to write "The Movement, Revisited," Christian's dramatic musical portrait of the civil rights struggle of the 1960's written and arranged for quartet and a 30-piece gospel choir.

There have been very few artists who truly embody the genuine, heart-felt passion for music in all areas as has Christian McBride. By boldly continuing to leave his mark in areas of musical performance, composition, education and advocacy, he is destined to be a force in music for decades to come. Tonight’s focus on his own groups will unequivocally show why.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Jazz Is: Now!
All about jazz in the 21st century – Part Two with Jonathan Batiste
7:00pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Harlem Speaks
Ray Santos, Saxophonist/composer
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

For years, Ray Santos has been one Latin Music’s best kept secrets. Not anymore. His arrangement of “Beautiful Maria of My Soul” for the Hollywood movie, The Mambo Kings, was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Song for a Movie Category (1992). He penned the arrangements for tunes such as “Perfidia” and “Quiereme Mucho,” sung on the movie soundtrack by Linda Ronstadt. Excited by the power of the Ray Santos arrangements, she quickly contracted him to arrange and conduct the material for an album of Latin standards.

The result of the Ronstadt/Santos collaboration was the release entitled Frenesi, a tour-de force production that earned the Grammy Award for Best Tropical Latin Album of the Year (1992). On Tito Puente’s 100th Album and Afro-Cuban Jazz progenitor Mario Bauza’s last three productions, Ray Santos’ musicality poured forth through his big band arrangements.

The Juilliard graduate has played, recorded, composed and arranged for the frontline orchestras in the Latin Music Industry over the past 50 years. Mr. Santos, born and raised in New York City, reveled in the atmosphere of the Big Band Era. During this period he absorbed the popular music of his folk from the Caribbean and the Swing Music of the ‘30s and ‘40s. One night, around 1948, while listening to Symphony Sid on the radio, he heard him announce in that familiar deep voice: “Now, here’s ‘Bird,’ Charlie Parker soloing with Machito and His Afro-Cubans.” The thrill of that moment still in his voice, Ray excitedly describes his reaction as “WOW, This is it! This is the real meeting between Jazz and Afro-Cuban Music.”

Creative determination compelled the young saxophonist of the ‘50s to arrange and compose music that captured the incessant rhythmic drive of the Afro-Cuban Sound fused with the power and sonority of Big Band Jazz. The ace arranger penned an extensive output of charts, recorded by two generations of the most influential musical figures in contemporary American and Caribbean music, such as Machito, Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez. His career from the ‘60s into the early ‘80s matured in Puerto Rico where he wrote and directed music for television, produced recordings for established and emerging Salsa Bands, and played for many top stars in the business. Upon returning to New York, Santos contributed several arrangements to Eddie Palmieri’s 1986 Grammy-winning album in the Latin Music category. His career as a music educator at City College of New York has established him as an authority on Caribbean music, teaching a new generation of musicians. Media and film producers have contracted him as an arranger and music consultant and he remains an artistic innovator in the field.

In September of 1998, Mr. Santos was invited by Wynton Marsalis to conduct the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in a series of three concerts presenting “Con Alma/Jazz With A Latin Tinge.” These concerts were received with great enthusiasm by the audience and drew favorable reviews in the press. In 1999 Ray collaborated with Paquito D’Rivera in the production of Maestro D’Rivera’s album, Tropicana Nights, that was awarded a Tropical Latin Grammy. In December of 1999 he co/produced, with David Chesky, the CD titled The Conga Kings featuring Candido Camero, Carlos “Patato” Valdes and Giovanni Hidalgo, three world-class exponents of conga drumming. In 2000, Ray arranged for the Masterpiece production with Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri; this CD was awarded a Grammy. A second CD Conga Kings Jazz Descargas, with alto saxophonist Phil Woods was released in 2001 on Chesky Records.

Mambo’s resurgence heavily depends on those in the know. Ray Santos is riding, once again, on the crest of the new wave, experimenting with new ideas and musical approaches that will continue to enrich the popular art form, whether it is labeled salsa, Latin music or Afro-Cuban Jazz. “Mambo,” explains Ray, “is the interplay between a cooking rhythm section accompanying the saxes that lay down a melodic groove, over which the brass comes in blaring high powered riffs. The rhythm players, hearing this, step up the intensity of the beat while the dancers on the floor move with frenzy to this tremendous output. The musicians feed off the dancers’ reaction to the music, so it’s like a cycle of energy that goes back and forth between the music and the dancers.”

Proficient musicianship, the gift to express and write musical inspiration and a well-rounded persona has placed Ray Santos among the developers of the music. In turn, he is also preparing a new generation of musicians who will keep the traditions alive and contribute their own innovations. This unassuming gentleman will be, for days to come, a topic of conversation among musicologists, industry people and music lovers alike. And the recognition that Ray has and will continue to receive proves that even in the midst of a highly competitive music industry, nice guys need not finish last.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Harlem in the Himalayas National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Star Big Band
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 7PM
Box Office: 212-620-5000 ext. 344
Band includes: Seneca Black, John Eckert, Dominick Farinacci, Dion Tucker, Pete and Will Anderson, Jason Marshall, Keith Loftis, Ben Williams and Marion Felder.

Swing with executive director Loren Schoenberg and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem AllStar Big Band at our very last performance at the Rubin Museum of Art in 2009!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday Panels
Jack Kerouac: What's New?
11:00am – 4:00pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Join scholar Sara Villa, poet Rueben Jackson and others on recent discoveries and jazz-related items in the Kerouac oeuvre.

When thinking of the relationship between Kerouac’s writings, the first things that generally come to mind are his major novels – most evidently On the Road and The Subterraneans – his poems, like the “Charlie Parker Choruses” of Mexico City Blues, or his poetical statements, such as his “Essential of Spontaneous Prose”.  If, however, we unite this specifically literary perspective to the analysis of his apparently most scattered writings on jazz, a new image of Kerouac is revealed. These texts, dating from 1939 to the late Fifties, include the articles Kerouac wrote for the Horace Mann Record dedicated to Count Basie, Glenn Miller and George Avakian’s Chicago Jazz album, essays on the hybridizing influences of contemporary classical compositions and on the evolution of bebop and cool jazz, poems and journal entries disclosing the poignant insight of a refined cultural critic, one who is extremely knowledgeable and refined in his embrace of jazz music and culture. These texts will be the beginning of a more expanded dialogue and discussion on Kerouac and jazz, with a special contribution of jazz, classical musician and composer David Amram on his jazz poetry performances with Jack Kerouac and on the creation of Pull My Daisy, directed by Robert Frank and Albert Leslie, ad-libbed by Jack Kerouac with original music composed by David Amram.

Sara Villa is a postdoctoral fellow in a joint program between Columbia University’s Center for Jazz Studies and the State University of Milan, where she received her PhD in 2008. Her research project is dedicated to Jack Kerouac’s manuscripts on jazz, from his youthful articles on Glenn Miller and Count Basie to the more mature production of essays on bebop and cool jazz. Dr. Villa is the translator into Italian of Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac 1947-1954, and the editor of a forthcoming collection of Kerouac’s music writings. She is the author of articles on Jack Kerouac, Virginia Woolf, and Anglo-American Contemporary Cinema. Her monographic volume on Woolf’s Orlando (I due Orlando: dal romanzo di Virginia Woolf all’adattamento cinematografico di Sally Potter/Two Orlandos: From Virginia Woolf’s Novel to Sally Potter’s Film Adaptation) has recently been published by CUEM, Milan.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners
A Month with Christian McBride: All-Star Projects
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

This evening Christian McBride shall share audio and video clips from his tenure with truly all-star bands, such as Sting, trios led by Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny, groups fronted by Willie Nelson and Queen Latifah, as well as the Philadelphia Experiment and, very recently, the Chick Corea-John McLauglin Five Piece Band.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners
A Month with Christian McBride: Favorite Recordings
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

As the premier jazz bassist of his generation, Christian McBride is naturally associated with the jazz idiom. But his tastes in music are quite eclectic, as you will discover tonight at the very last public program of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem in 2009.

The staff and board of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem wish you happy holidays and a prosperous New Year!

National Jazz Museum in Harlem September Schedule

This month the National Jazz Museum in Harlem features films galore, discussions with musicians, jazz educators and journalists, and live performances at one of the best acoustic halls in New York City.

Jazz for Curious Listeners will focus on the artistry of several of the most unique stylists and improvisers in jazz history as seen on film: pianists Dave Brubeck, Cecil Taylor and Art Tatum, saxophonist Rahsaan Roland Kirk and guitarist Django Reinhardt. Our flagship series, the bi-weekly Harlem Speaks interview, is proud to bring jazz drummer and jazz education pioneer Clem DeRosa and the ingenious young jazz pianist Jason Moran to the forefront of discussion at our Visitor's Center. Journalist Ted Panken has been in the thick of the jazz journalist community for decades, and a respected jazz radio announcer to boot. He's featured at Jazz for Curious Readers.

Live performances, where music holds sway beyond words, are the attraction for Harlem in the Himalayas, where pianist Fred Hersch, and saxophonist David Binney will, respectively, hold court.

And don't miss an exclusive preview screening of the PBS documentary, "Latin Music U.S.A." at our Saturday Panel, hosted by one of its creators, musician and historian Bobby Sanabria.

Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Dave Brubeck
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Jazz on Film
Dave Brubeck has long served as proof that creative jazz and popular success can go together. Although critics who had championed him when he was unknown seemed to scorn him when the Dave Brubeck Quartet became a surprise success, in reality Brubeck never watered down or altered his music in order to gain a wide audience. Creative booking (being one of the first groups to play regularly on college campuses) and a bit of luck resulted in great popularity, and Dave Brubeck remains one of the few household names in jazz.

From nearly the start, Brubeck enjoyed utilizing poly-rhythms and poly-tonality (playing in two keys at once). He had classical training from his mother, but fooled her for a long period by memorizing his lessons and not learning to read music. He studied music at the College of the Pacific during 1938-1942. Brubeck led a service band in General Patton's Army during World War II and then, in 1946, he started studying at Mills College with the classical composer Darius Milhaud, who encouraged his students to play jazz. During 1946-1949, Brubeck led a group consisting mostly of fellow classmates, and they recorded as the Dave Brubeck Octet; their music (released on Fantasy in 1951) still sounds advanced today, with complex time signatures and some poly-tonality. The octet was too radical to get much work, so Brubeck formed a trio with drummer Cal Tjader (who doubled on vibes) and bassist Ron Crotty. The trio's Fantasy recordings of 1949-1951 were quite popular in the Bay Area, but the group came to an end when Brubeck hurt his back during a serious swimming accident and was put out of action for months.

Upon his return in 1951, Brubeck was persuaded by altoist Paul Desmond to make the group a quartet. Within two years, the band had become surprisingly popular. Desmond's cool-toned alto and quick wit fit in well with Brubeck's often heavy chording and experimental playing. Joe Dodge was the band's early drummer but, after he tired of the road, the virtuosic Joe Morello took his place in 1956; while the revolving bass chair finally settled on Eugene Wright in 1958. By then, Brubeck had followed his popular series of Fantasy recordings with some big sellers on Columbia, and had appeared on the cover of Time (1954). The huge success of Paul Desmond's "Take Five" (1960) was followed by many songs played in "odd" time signatures such as 7/4 and 9/8; the high-quality soloing of the musicians kept these experiments from sounding like gimmicks. Dave and Iola Brubeck (his wife and lyricist) put together an anti-racism show featuring Louis Armstrong (The Real Ambassadors) which was recorded, but its only public appearance was at the Monterey Jazz Festival in the early '60s.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet constantly traveled around the world until its breakup in 1967. After some time off, during which he wrote religious works, Brubeck came back the following year with a new quartet featuring Gerry Mulligan, although he would have several reunions with Desmond before the altoist's death in 1977. Brubeck joined with his sons Darius (keyboards), Chris (electric bass and bass trombone), and Danny (drums) in Two Generations of Brubeck in the 1970s. In the early '80s, tenor saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi was in the Brubeck Quartet, and beginning in the mid-'80s, clarinetist Bill Smith (who was in the original octet) alternated with altoist Bobby Militello.

There is no shortage of Dave Brubeck records currently available, practically everything he cut for Fantasy, Columbia, Concord, and Telarc are easy to locate. Brubeck, whose compositions "In Your Own Sweet Way," "The Duke," and "Blue Rondo a la Turk" have become standards, remains very busy to the current day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Cecil Taylor
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Jazz on Film
Soon after he first emerged in the mid-'50s, pianist Cecil Taylor may have been the most unique improviser in jazz; five decades later he is still the most radical. Although in his early days he used some standards as vehicles for improvisation, since the early '60s Taylor has stuck exclusively to originals. To simplify describing his style, one could say that Taylor's intense atonal percussive approach involves playing the piano as if it were a set of drums. He generally emphasizes dense clusters of sound played with remarkable technique and endurance, often during marathon performances. Suffice it to say that Cecil Taylor's music is not for everyone.

Taylor started piano lessons from the age of six, and attended the New York College of Music and the New England Conservatory. Taylor's early influences included Duke Ellington and Dave Brubeck, but from the start he sounded original. Early gigs included work with groups led by Johnny Hodges and Hot Lips Page, but, after forming his quartet in the mid-'50s, Taylor was never a sideman again. The group played at the Five Spot Cafe in 1956 for six weeks and performed at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival (which was recorded by Verve), but, despite occasional records, work was scarce. In 1960, Taylor recorded extensively for Candid and the following year he sometimes substituted in the play The Connection. By 1962, Taylor's quartet featured his longtime associate Mimmy Lyons on alto and drummer Sunny Murray. He spent six months in Europe (Albert Ayler worked with Taylor's group for a time although no recordings resulted) but upon his return to the U.S., Taylor did not work again for almost a year. Even with the rise of free jazz, his music was considered too advanced. In 1964, Taylor was one of the founders of the Jazz Composer's Guild and, in 1968, he was featured on a record by the Jazz Composer's Orchestra. In the mid-'60s Taylor recorded two very advanced sets for Blue Note, but it was generally a lean decade.

Things greatly improved starting in the 1970s. Taylor taught for a time at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Antioch College, and Glassboro State College, he recorded more frequently with his Unit, and European tours became common. After being awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1973, the pianist's financial difficulties were eased a bit; he even performed at the White House (during Jimmy Carter's administration) in 1979. A piano duet concert with Mary Lou Williams didn't go too well but a collaboration with drummer Max Roach was quite successful. Taylor started incorporating some of his eccentric poetry into his performances and, unlike most musicians, he has not mellowed with age. The death of Jimmy Lyons in 1986 was a major blow, but Cecil Taylor has remained quite active up until the present day, never compromising his musical vision. His music remains as challenging and wondrous as ever.

Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009


Harlem Speaks
Clem DeRosa, Drummer/Educator
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

His career as a professional musician, educator, arranger, composer and orchestra leader spans 50 years. At the age of 15 Clem DeRosa's natural ability allowed him to perform with the best musicians in the New York metropolitan area. At age 18 his career was interrupted by World War II when he entered military service.

During his military career, Clem served with one of Glenn Miller's Air Corps Bands. After his discharge, he resumed his career as a professional drummer. Through the years he has recorded and/or performed with Charlie Mingus, Marian McPartland, Teo Macero, Teddy Wilson, Thad Jones, Ben Webster, Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Coleman Hawkins, John LaPorta, Kenyon Hopkins, Bobby Hackett and more.

Clem had a strong desire to increase his musical knowledge, so he enrolled at The Juilliard School to study composition and conducting. He later transferred to the Manhattan School of Music, where he received his Master's degree.

During the next era of his life, Clem became deeply involved in music education as one of the leading pioneers of jazz education. Highlights of his achievements in education include co-founding and serving as president of the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE), teaching at Columbia University's Teachers College, performances with his student jazz ensembles on the Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin TV shows, receiving an honorary doctorate from Five Towns College, and being named to the IAJE Hall of Fame in 1990.

Throughout his years in music education he maintained his professional performing, arranging and conducting activities for many prominent artists. Eventually he became the respected leader of the Glenn Miller Orchestra (received gold record from GRP for assistance in production of "In The Digital Mood"), the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, and the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra. Today Clem is one of America's leading conductors and producers of corporate events.

Friday, Sept. 11, 2009

Harlem in the Himalayas
Fred Hersch, Pianist
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Pianist and composer Fred Hersch has been called "one of the small handful of brilliant musicians of his generation" by Downbeat and has earned a place among the foremost jazz artists in the world today. From the late 70's onward as a sideman to jazz legends including Joe Henderson, Art Farmer and Stan Getz, he has solidified a reputation as a versatile master of jazz piano, as well as a relentlessly probing composer and conceptualist. He is widely recognized for his ability to steadfastly create a unique body of original works while reinventing the standard jazz repertoire – investing time-tested classics with keen insight, fresh ideas and extraordinary technique. Whether unaccompanied, in duo, working with trios and quintets, Hersch has explored the jazz tradition to its fullest even as he opens new and undiscovered doors. Hersch's numerous accomplishments include a 2003 Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for composition, two Grammy® nominations for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance and a Grammy® nomination for Best Instrumental Composition. He has appeared on over one hundred recordings, including more than two-dozen albums as bandleader/solo pianist.

His career as a performer has been greatly enhanced by his composing activities, a vital part of nearly all of his live concerts and recordings. In 2003, Hersch created Leaves of Grass (Palmetto Records), a large-scale setting of Walt Whitman's poetry for two voices (Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry) and an instrumental octet; the work was presented in March 2005 in a sold-out performance at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall as part of a six-city US tour. Hersch has toured with concert pianist Christopher and he has also collaborated with artists ranging from Bill Frisell, Toots Thielemans and Charlie Haden to singers Renée Fleming, Norma Winstone and Audra McDonald. He has received commissions from The Gilmore Keyboard Festival, The Doris Duke Foundation, the Miller Theatre at Columbia University, The Gramercy Trio and The Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Naxos Records has released Fred Hersch: Concert Music 2001-2006, a disc of his through-composed "classical" works.

Hersch is considered to be one of the most prolific and widely-praised solo jazz pianists of his generation. In 2006, Palmetto Records released the solo disc Fred Hersch in Amsterdam: Live at the Bimhuis; its release led to Hersch becoming the first pianist in the 70-year history of New York's legendary Village Vanguard to play an entire week as a solo pianist shortly after the disc's release. In addition, he leads a trio, a quintet and has ongoing special collaborations with jazz and classical instrumentalists and vocalists around the world. His newest project features an unconventional line-up of piano, trumpet, voice and percussion. The Fred Hersch Pocket Orchestra: Live at Jazz Standard was released in April 2009 on Sunnyside Records.

Hersch has acted as a passionate spokesman and fund-raiser for AIDS services and education agencies since 1993. He has produced and performed on four benefit recordings and at numerous concerts for the charities Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS that have raised over $250,000 to date.

Hersch has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning with Dr. Billy Taylor and on a wide variety of National Public Radio programs including Fresh Air, Jazz Set, Studio 360 and Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz. Hersch has also been awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship, grants from The National Endowment for the Arts and Meet the Composer, and six composition residencies at The MacDowell Colony. He conducted a Professional Training Workshop for Young Musicians at The Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall in 2008 and was awarded the Branigan Lectureship at Indiana University in 2004. A committed educator, Hersch has taught at The New School and Manhattan School of Music; he is currently a visiting professor at Western Michigan University and is on the Jazz Studies faculty of The New England Conservatory.

Monday, Sept. 14, 2009

Jazz for Curious Readers
Ted Panken
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Ted Panken writes feature articles, reviews, and commentary for various print and online music publications, including Downbeat, Jazziz, and www.jazz.com, and won the 2007 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for his Downbeat article “Smalls Universe.” He has annotated some 400 compact disk releases, and his work has also appeared in the New York Daily News, the Village Voice, and Tikkun. Between 1985 and 2008, Panken presented jazz and other jazz-related forms of improvised music on New York’s WKCR-FM, where he conducted hundreds of live, in-depth interviews with both established and [then] up-and-coming musicians.

His work at WKCR was integral to his becoming a writer. Musicians he met at the station, for instance Joe Lovano and James Williams, asked him to write liner notes for their recordings. As Panken put it, "word got around," and his career as a writer took off. In addition to the publications mentioned above, he has written program notes for concerts at Jazz at Lincoln Center for many years.

A life-long New Yorker, who spent much of the ‘70s in Chicago, he now lives in Brooklyn with his wife, daughter, dog, and cat.

Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Rahsaan Roland Kirk
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Jazz on Film
One of the most exciting saxophone soloists in jazz history, Rahsaan Roland Kirk was a post-modernist before that term even existed. Kirk played the continuum of jazz tradition as an instrument unto itself; he felt little compunction about mixing and matching elements from the music's history, and his concoctions usually seemed natural, if not inevitable. When discussing Kirk, a great deal of attention is always paid to his eccentricities -- playing several horns at once, making his own instruments, clowning on stage. However, Kirk was an immensely creative artist; he covered every aspect of jazz, from Dixieland to free -- and perhaps no other jazz musician has ever been more spontaneously inventive. His skills in constructing a solo are of particular note. Kirk had the ability to pace, shape, and elevate his improvisations to an extraordinary degree. During any given Kirk solo, just at the point in the course of his performance when it appeared he could not raise the intensity level any higher, he always seemed able to turn it up yet another notch.

Kirk was born with sight, but became blind at the age of two. He started playing the bugle and trumpet, then learned the clarinet and C-melody sax. Kirk began playing tenor sax professionally in R&B bands at the age of 15. While a teenager, he discovered the "manzello" and "stritch" -- the former, a modified version of the saxello, which was itself a slightly curved variant of the B flat soprano sax; the latter, a modified straight E flat alto. To these and other instruments, Kirk began making his own improvements. He reshaped all three of his saxes so that they could be played simultaneously; he'd play tenor with his left hand, finger the manzello with his right, and sound a drone on the stritch, for instance. Kirk's self-invented technique was in evidence from his first recording, a 1956 R&B record called Triple Threat. By 1960 he had begun to incorporate a siren whistle into his solos, and by '63 he had mastered circular breathing, a technique that enabled him to play without pause for breath.

In his early 20s, Kirk worked in Louisville before moving to Chicago in 1960. That year he made his second album, Introducing Roland Kirk, which featured saxophonist/trumpeter Ira Sullivan. In 1961, Kirk toured Germany and spent three months with Charles Mingus. From that point onward, Kirk mostly led his own group, the Vibration Society, recording prolifically with a range of sidemen. In the early '70s, Kirk became something of an activist; he led the "Jazz and People's Movement," a group devoted to opening up new opportunities for jazz musicians. The group adopted the tactic of interrupting tapings and broadcasts of television and radio programs in protest of the small number of African-American musicians employed by the networks and recording studios. In the course of his career, Kirk brought many hitherto unused instruments to jazz. In addition to the saxes, Kirk played the nose whistle, the piccolo, and the harmonica; instruments of his own design included the "trumpophone" (a trumpet with a soprano sax mouthpiece), and the "slidesophone" (a small trombone or slide trumpet, also with a sax mouthpiece). Kirk suffered a paralyzing stroke in 1975, losing movement on one side of his body, but his homemade saxophone technique allowed him to continue to play; beginning in 1976 and lasting until his death a year later, Kirk played one-handed.

Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009

Harlem Speaks
Jason Moran, Pianist
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Jason Moran made his professional recording debut on Greg Osby’s 1997 Blue Note CD, Further Ado, which brought him to the attention of Blue Note executives who signed the pianist to his own record deal shortly thereafter. The association with Blue Note is fitting, placing Moran in the lineage of innovative pianist/composers whose career beginnings were nurtured by the veteran jazz label, musicians such as Monk, Herbie Hancock and Herbie Nichols.

Moran’s debut recording as a leader, Soundtrack to Human Motion, which found him in the company of Osby, Eric Harland, vibraphonist Stefon Harris and bassist Lonnie Plaxico, was released in 1999 to great critical praise (Ben Ratliff of The New York Times named it the best album of the year). The following year’s Facing Left found Moran stripping down to a trio with bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits, and prompted JazzTimes to declare the album "an instant classic." Moran augmented the trio for his third Blue Note release, Black Stars, adding avant-garde icon Sam Rivers, who plays saxophone, flute and piano on the recording. Gary Giddins of the Village Voice exclaimed "Black Stars is possibly a Blue Note benchmark, definitely one of the year’s outstanding discs."

Moran has performed as a sideman with such artists as Cassandra Wilson, Joe Lovano, Don Byron, Steve Coleman, Lee Konitz, Von Freeman, Ravi Coltrane, and Stefon Harris. He was the youngest honoree of the New Work Commission by the San Francisco Jazz Festival. He was also awarded a grant from Chamber Music America’s "New Works: Creation and Presentation" program, which is funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. For these two grants Moran used sampled conversations as vocal triggers. These compositions would be the foundation for many of Moran’s new compositions. Jazziz magazine wrote “Moran is blessed with the courage of his own convictions—part scavenger and part seer, fluent in the cut/paste/splice devices of hip hop production....”

In 2002, Moran released his universally acclaimed solo piano disc Modernistic. The Cork Jazz Festival awarded Moran the 2002 Guiness Rising Star Award. 2003’s The Bandwagon, culled from the trio’s six-day stint at New York’s Village Vanguard, earned the team of Moran-Mateen-Waits a title as "the best new rhythm section in jazz" (The New York Times) and caused Rolling Stone to proclaim Moran "the most provocative thinker in current jazz."

Moran's sixth release on Blue Note, Same Mother, was released in February '05. This blues based recording adds guitarist, Marvin Sewell, to the Bandwagon. Same Mother is "a reconsideration of the blues that doesn't depend on clichéd dynamics and song structure' (The New York Times).

He has composed and performed extended works commissioned by New York City's Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Dia: Beacon in Beacon, New York. Duke University, Town Hall and Harlem Stages presented an ambitious multimedia work by Moran based on Thelonious Monk's historic 1959 concert at Town Hall in New York City, and rehearsal tapes and photographs taken that year by W. Eugene Smith.

Friday, Sept. 25, 2009

Harlem in the Himalayas
David Binney Quartet
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Saxophonist/composer David Binney was born in Miami, Florida and raised in Southern California. His parents were jazz fans, and introduced Binney to jazz greats such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Bobby Hutcherson, and Wayne Shorter. Binney's parents also exposed him to the music of Jimi Hendrix, Milton Nascimento, Sly Stone and a variety of other styles of music that helped foster an interest in a broad spectrum of music. He began to study the saxophone with various teachers in Los Angeles. At the age of 19 he moved to New York City, where he studied with Phil Woods, Dave Liebman, and George Coleman. In 1989, Binney was awarded an NEA Grant which he used to record his first album, Point Game on Owl Records.

Binney has performed in basement clubs in New York to jazz festivals in Europe, appeared on stage with Aretha Franklin at Carnegie Hall, and with Maceo Parker. He has produced all of his own albums, in addition to two of the Lost Tribe releases. Binney is a founding member of Lost Tribe and Lan Xang, and has recorded as a sideman for Uri Caine's Mahler Project, Drew Gress' Jagged Sky and Medeski, Martin and Wood. David started his record label, Mythology Records, in 1998.

David Binney performs regularly at the 55 Bar in New York City.

Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009

Saturday Panels
Latin Music U.S.A.
11:00am – 4:00pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Musician and historian Bobby Sanabria hosts a screening of portions of the new PBS documentary along with the film’s producer Pamela Aguilar and director Dan McCabe as discussion guests.
Four Part Documentary Series Premieres on PBS Over Two Evenings October 12 and 19, 2009
Latin Music USA is a film about American music. Fusions of Latin sounds with jazz, rock, country, rhythm and blues — music with deeper roots and broader reach than most people realize. It's a fresh take on our musical history, reaching across five decades and across musical genres to portray the rich mix of sounds created by Latinos and embraced by all.
The four-hour documentary series premieres on October 12th (Episodes 1&2) and October 19th (Episodes 3&4) 2009, on PBS stations nationwide and on PBS.org/latinmusicusa. Produced by a team led by WGBH, in co-production with the BBC, Latin Music USA invites the audience into the vibrant musical conversation between Latinos and non-Latinos that has helped shape the history of popular music in the United States. Fittingly, the series launches in Hispanic Heritage Month, a time to recognize the contributions of Latinos to the United States and to celebrate Latino heritage and culture.

The series features the stories of an extraordinary range of artists, including salsa greats Willie Colón and Marc Anthony; the Latin-inflected sounds found in much of sixties rock and roll, from the Drifters to Motown to the Rolling Stones; jazz fused with Cuban rhythms from Mario Bauzá and Chano Pozo; the genius of Texas accordion player Flaco Jiménez; Carlos Santana; Linda Ronstadt; the legendary Chicano rock band Los Lobos; megastars Gloria and Emilio Estefan; Ricky Martin and Juanes; Miami rapper Pitbull; reggaetón performers Daddy Yankee and Tego Calderón; and Lin-Manuel Miranda from the Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights. The life experiences of these and many other unforgettable artists will reveal how Latinos have reinvented their music in the United States, while never losing sight of their own rich traditions.  

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners

Art Tatum / Django Reinhardt
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Jazz on Film
 
Art Tatum has been a focus of several jazz museum events over the past several years, most recently a Saturday panel that also featured Ben Webster. Now he's paired with another pioneer who became known to jazz fans and writers in the 1930s, guitarist Django Reinhardt. Seeing each on film will bring their artistry to life!
Django Reinhardt

Reinhardt was the son of a traveling entertainer and the brother of Joseph Reinhardt. He grew up in a gypsy settlement outside Paris. Reinhardt first played violin and later took up guitar, and began working professionally in 1922 with the accordionist Guerino. In 1928, he was badly burned in a caravan fire, which resulted in the mutilation of his left hand. This deprived him of the use of two fingers and led him to devise a unique fingering method to overcome his handicap.

After a period of convalescence, he worked in cafés in Paris and in a duo with the singer Jean Sablon. In 1934, he was a founding member, with Stephane Grappelli, of the ensemble that became known as the Quintette du Hot Club de France. In the years before World War II the group gained considerable renown through its numerous recordings, and Reinhardt became an international celebrity. He appeared throughout Europe and recorded with many important American musicians who visited the Continent. During the war, while Grappelli lived in Britain, Reinhardt remained in France. He led a big band, then achieved considerable success as the leader of a new quintet in which the clarinetist Hubert Rostaing took Grappelli's place. He also became interested in composition and, with Andre Hodeir, arranged the music for the film Le Village de la Colere (1946). In 1946, he visited England and Switzerland, toured the USA as a soloist with Duke Ellington's band (playing an amplified guitar for the first time), and worked in New York.

After his return to France, he lived in Samois and toured and recorded with his quintet, which sometimes included Grappelli again. Reinhardt's grasp of harmony, remarkable technique, and trenchant rhythmic sense made him an excellent accompanist. His incisive support is heard to advantage on Stardust (1935), recorded with Coleman Hawkins. He later developed into a soloist of unique character, creating a deeply personal style out of his own cultural patrimony. By 1937, when he recorded Chicago with the Quintette, he was established as the first outstanding European jazz musician, a stylist with great melodic resourcefulness and a mastery of inflection. He was a gifted composer of short evocative pieces and had a flair for pacing a performance so the maximum variety could be wrung from it without compromising its homogeneity; an excellent example of this is St. Louis Blues (1937).

Endowed with remarkable sensitivity, he could work with visiting American performers without forsaking his own essentially romantic style. In the 1940s, he switched to the electric guitar. However, this did not coarsen his playing since he used its power with discretion. The rhythmic content of his work became more varied, as in Minor Swing (1947), and his improvised lines more flexible. The asymmetrical, occasionally violent playing heard in some later performances shows the continual widening of his expressive scope. A documentary film, Django Reinhardt (1958), was made after his death by the director Paul Paviot. It includes an introduction by Jean Cocteau and features music performed by Grappelli, Rostaing, and Joseph Reinhardt.

Django's two sons, Lousson and Babik, were both fine guitarists, and after their father's death, Babik established a reputation in his own right.

Art Tatum

Art Tatum is one of the greatest pianists to ever play the instrument. Despite seriously impaired vision (he was blind in one eye and had only partial sight in the other), Tatum received some formal piano training as a teenager at the Toledo School of Music and learned to read sheet music with the aid of glasses and by the Braille method. Other than that, he was self-taught, learning from piano rolls, phonograph recordings, radio broadcasts, and various musicians whom he encountered as a young man in the area around Toledo and Cleveland. Tatum acknowledged Fats Waller as his primary inspiration, with the popular radio pianist Lee Sims, whose interpretations contained many interesting harmonies, as an important secondary influence.

Tatum was playing professionally in Toledo by 1926 and performed on radio in 1929-30. In 1932, he traveled to New York as the accompanist for Adelaide Hall. There, in March 1933, he made his first solo recordings, for Brunswick. After leaving Hall, he worked in Cleveland from 1934-5 and led a group in Chicago from 1935-6. His reputation as an outstanding jazz pianist was consolidated in 1937 with his performances in various New York clubs and on radio shows. He toured England the following year and appeared regularly in New York and Los Angeles in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Taking Nat "King" Cole's successful jazz trio as a model, Tatum founded his own influential trio with Slam Stewart (double bass) and Tiny Grimes (electric guitar) in 1943. Grimes left the following year, but Tatum continually returned to this format, playing with Everett Barksdale in particular.

In 1944, Tatum played in a jazz concert at the Metropolitan Opera House, and in 1947 he made a cameo appearance in the film The Fabulous Dorseys. Although he was regularly active in nightclubs, radio shows, recording studios, and was lionized by jazz musicians and critics, he did not acquire a large popular following during this period and was bypassed in jazz popularity polls. In 1953, he began an association with the record producer Norman Granz that led to a number of outstanding small-group recordings with such mainstream musicians as Benny Carter, Roy Eldridge, and Ben Webster. More importantly, he was recorded in a long series of solo performances, which indicated both the extent of his repertory and his extraordinary imagination. Tatum remained active and constantly improving his art until shortly before his death.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem August Schedule

The August 2009 public programs of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem present a diverse selection of events. For instance, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis’s compositional range and depth will be the focal point of a four-part series on Tuesdays. From his writings for small and large ensembles, to his forays into long-form and chamber composition, this free program will provide depths of musical analysis of Marsalis’s compositions unavailable even in most university settings.
 
One Saturday per month we delve deeply into a jazz topic of interest, often of musical artists of yesteryear deserving more attention. This month the pioneering drummer Papa Jo Jones is the focus of the Saturday panel, and will contain the viewpoints of senior statesmen of the music, as well as scholar Paul Devlin, who has spent many years working on a Jones biography.
 
On two Wednesdays this month we will pursue the current relevance of jazz culture via a forward-looking panel discussion and live performance moderated by one of the most exciting young pianists to hit
the scene in decades, Jonathan Batiste. This new program will accentuate the perspective of emerging jazz artists on the present and future valence of jazz music in modern society and culture.
 
Batiste will also lead a trio at
the Rubin Museum of Art, where the music will speak for itself.
 
Another angle into the genius of Duke Ellington will be explored as we investigate his efforts with the written word. Our flagship series, Harlem Speaks, now in its fifth year, has two musicians of appeal across generations and style.
 
The first, pianist Vijay Iyer, is a polymath with musical talent who has garnered winning attention from jazz critics far and wide for his compositional daring and integration of elements ranging from Indian music to free jazz. The second, bassist Eddie Gomez, has been a standard-bearer in countless rhythm sections of note since the ’60s. Both combine intellect and soulfulness in their musical and verbal conversations. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to spend time with them as they stretch out.

Monday, August 3, 2009

 
Jazz for Curious Readers

Ellington: The Author
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Tonight's program focuses on Duke Ellington’s written words.

Duke Ellington is best known as a composer, band leader and pianist. His musical oeuvre is second to none among American composers. Much less known is his writings, which include occasional responses to critics and his only book-length work, Music is My Mistress. Join us for this in-depth exploration of his original writings.
 
Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners

Wynton Marsalis: Small Groups
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
                                                                    
Wynton Marsalis: The Composer
 
Wynton Marsalis is the Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1961, Mr. Marsalis began his classical training on trumpet at age 12 and soon began playing in local bands of diverse genres. He entered The Juilliard School at age 17 and soon joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Mr. Marsalis made his recording debut as a leader in 1982, and since he has recorded more than 40 jazz and 11 classical recordings, which have garnered him nine GRAMMY Awards. In 1983, he became the first and only artist to win both classical and jazz GRAMMYs in the same year; Mr. Marsalis repeated this feat in 1984.

Mr. Marsalis’s rich body of compositions includes Sweet Release, Jazz: Six Syncopated Movements, Jump Start, Citi Movement/Griot New York, At the Octoroon Balls, In This House, On This Morning, and Big Train. In 1997, Mr. Marsalis became the first jazz artist to be awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in music, for his oratorio Blood on the Fields, which was commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center. In 1999, he released eight new recordings in his unprecedented “Swinging into the 21st” series, and premiered several new compositions, including the ballet Them Twos, for a June 1999 collaboration with the New York City Ballet. That same year he premiered the monumental work All Rise, commissioned and performed by the New York Philharmonic along with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the Morgan State University Choir in December 1999. Sony Classical released All Rise on CD October 1, 2002. Recorded on September 14 and 15, 2001 in Los Angeles in those tense days following 9/11, All Rise features the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra along with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Morgan State University Choir, the Paul Smith Singers and the Northridge Singers.
 
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners

Wynton Marsalis: Big Band
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Wynton Marsalis: The Composer

 
On March 6, 2007 he released From the Plantation to the Penitentiary on Blue Note Records, the follow-up CD to his Blue Note Records releases The Magic Hour and Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, the companion soundtrack recording to Ken Burns’ PBS documentary of the great African-American boxer, and Wynton Marsalis: Live at The House Of Tribes.

Mr. Marsalis is also an internationally respected teacher and spokesman for music education, and has received honorary doctorates from dozens of universities and colleges throughout the U.S. He conducts educational programs for students of all ages, and hosts the popular Jazz for Young People concerts and the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Program produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center. Mr. Marsalis has also been featured in the video series Marsalis on Music and the radio series Making the Music.  

He has also written four books: Sweet Swing Blues on the Road in collaboration with photographer Frank Stewart, Jazz in the Bittersweet Blues of Life with Carl Vigeland, Marsalis on Music which was the companion book for the PBS television series of the same name, and recently released To a Young Musician: Letters from the Road with Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, published by Random House in 2004. He was also one of three contributing authors to a children's book called Listen to the Storyteller and, in October 2005, Candlewick Press released Marsalis’s Jazz ABZ, an A to Z collection of 26 poems celebrating jazz greats, illustrated by poster artist Paul Rogers.
 
Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Jazz Is: Now!

Jazz Culture I
Host: Jonathan Batiste
7:00pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

NEW PROGRAM

Join pianist/composer/bandleader/phenom Jonathan Batiste with an open panel discussion on jazz culture and its relevance in today's society, with special musical guest performances.
 
Thursday, August 13, 2009

Harlem Speaks

Vijay Iyer, Pianist
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Voted the #1 Rising Star Jazz Artist and #1 Rising Star Composer in the Downbeat Magazine International Critics' Poll for both 2006 and 2007, VIJAY IYER was described in The Village Voice as "the most commanding pianist and composer to emerge in recent years." The son of Indian immigrants, he is a largely self-taught creative musician grounded in the American jazz lexicon and drawing from a range of Western and non-Western traditions. His widely acclaimed recordings include Panoptic Modes (2001), Blood Sutra (2003), Reimagining (2005), and Tragicomic (2008) with his trio/quartet; Your Life Flashes (2002), Simulated Progress (2005), and Door (2008) with the experimental three-piece unit Fieldwork; Raw Materials (2006) in his longstanding duo with saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and In What Language? (2004) and Still Life with Commentator (2007), his large-scale works in collaboration with poet-performer Mike Ladd.
 
As a composer/performer, Iyer has received commissioning grants from the Rockefeller Foundation MAP Fund (2000, 2001, 2005), the New York State Council on the Arts (2002), Creative Capital Foundation (2002), Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust (2002, 2004), American Composers Forum (2005), Chamber Music America (2005), and Meet The Composer (2006). He received the prestigious 2003 CalArts Alpert Award in the Arts, the 2004 Up & Coming Musician of the Year Award in the Eighth Annual Jazz Awards, a 2006 Fellowship in Music Composition from New York Foundation for the Arts, and a 2007 Artist Residency at Harvestworks.
 
Iyer's first orchestral work, Interventions, was commissioned and premiered by the American Composers Orchestra in March 2007 under the baton of Dennis Russell Davies for the ensemble's 30th anniversary gala concerts. It was praised by Anthony Tommasini in The New York Times as "all spiky and sonorous," and David Patrick Stearns of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that the piece "immediately proclaimed its importance." Peter Burwasser wrote in the Philadelphia City Paper, "[Iyer] brings it off with a heft and dramatic vision and a daring sense of soundscape."
 
Iyer has collaborated in performance and on disc with a wide range of contemporary artists, including Steve Coleman, Roscoe Mitchell, Amiri Baraka, Wadada Leo Smith, Dead Prez, Amina Claudine Myers, Butch Morris, George Lewis, Miya Masaoka, Trichy Sankaran, Samir Chatterjee, Pamela Z, Imani Uzuri, Will Power, Suphala, Dafnis Prieto, Burnt Sugar, Karsh Kale, Ibrahim Quraishi, DJ Spooky, John Zorn, and many others.
 
A polymath whose work has spanned the sciences, arts, and humanities, Iyer holds a B.S. in Mathematics and Physics from Yale College, and a Masters in Physics and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Technology and the Arts from the University of California at Berkeley. He was chosen as one of nine "Revolutionary Minds" in the science magazine Seed, and his research in music cognition has been featured on the radio programs This Week in Science and Studio 360. He has given master classes and lectures in composition, improvisation, cognitive science, jazz studies, and performance studies at New York University, The New School University, California Institute of the Arts, Columbia University, Harvard University, Manhattan School of Music, and the School for Improvisational Music, among others. His writings appear in Music Perception, Current Musicology, Journal of Consciousness Studies, Critical Studies in Improvisation, Journal of the Society for American Music, and the edited anthologies Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies (Columbia Univ. Press) and Sound Unbound (MIT Press). He is a Steinway artist.
 
Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Jazz for Curious Listeners

Wynton Marsalis: Orchestral
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Wynton Marsalis: The Composer

 
In 2001, Mr. Marsalis was appointed Messenger of Peace by Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and he has also been designated cultural ambassador, in conjunction with Jazz at Lincoln Center touring, to the United States of America by the U.S. State Department through their CultureConnect program. Mr. Marsalis was instrumental in the Higher Ground Hurricane Relief concert, produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center, which has raised over $3 million for the Higher Ground Relief Fund to benefit the musicians, music industry related enterprises and other individuals and entities from the areas in Greater New Orleans who were impacted by Hurricane Katrina. He helped lead the effort to construct Jazz at Lincoln Center’s new home – Frederick P. Rose Hall – the first education, performance, and broadcast facility devoted to jazz, which opened in October 2004.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jazz Culture II
Host: Jonathan Batiste
7:00pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

NEW PROGRAM

Join pianist/composer/bandleader/phenom Jonathan Batiste with an open panel discussion on jazz culture and its relevance in today's society, with special musical guest performances.
 
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners

Wynton Marsalis: Chamber
Instructor: Ethan Iverson
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Wynton Marsalis: The Composer

 
Small ensemble jazz is comparable to chamber classical music in the intimate settings in which they are often performed and the conversational nature of the interaction among the musicians. Wynton Marsalis has innovated a unique compositional style for small jazz ensembles that makes for an intriguing study of comparison to his writings for the classical chamber ensemble. Join Ethan Iverson of The Bad Plus fame for an in-depth look and listen to some challenging and innovative music.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Harlem Speaks

Eddie Gomez, Bassist
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Eddie Gomez (born October 4, 1944) is a jazz bassist born in Santurce, Puerto Rico; he emigrated with his family at a young age to the United States and grew up in New York. He started on double bass in the New York City school system at the age of eleven and at age thirteen went to the New York City High School of Music and Art. He went on to study with Fred Zimmerman. He played in the Marshall Brown-led Newport Festival Youth Band from 1959 to 1961, and was later educated at Juilliard.
 
His impressive resumé includes performances with jazz giants such as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans, Gerry Mulligan, Benny Goodman, Buck Clayton, Marian McPartland, Paul Bley, Wayne Shorter, Jeremy Steig, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Chick Corea and Carli Muñoz. Time Magazine lauded: “Eddie Gómez has the world on his strings”. Eddie Gómez would spend a total of eleven years with Bill Evans Trio which included performances throughout the United States, Europe, and the Orient, as well as dozens of recordings. Two of the Trio's recordings won Grammy awards. In addition, he was a member of the Manhattan Jazz Quintet.
 
Simply put, Gomez is one of jazz’s great veterans and this is a rare opportunity to hear him speak at length about his long and distinguished career.
 
In addition to working as a studio musician for many famous jazz musicians, he has recorded as a leader for Columbia Records, Projazz and Stretch. Most of his recent recordings as a leader, are co-led by jazz pianist Mark Kramer.

 
Friday, August 28, 2009

Harlem in the Himalayas

Jazz Festival: 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

Musicians you SHOULD know about!


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 the percussions at the age of 8, switching to the piano at age 11. A student of jazz and classical music, Jonathan has been mentored by his musical family and other great musicians and is a poised and talented pianist of his generation. "An extremely rare talent. His feeling, originality, humor, boldness of conception and deep swing are an absolute joy" says pianist Benny Green.
 
By the age of 16 years old, Jonathan had, and can be seen, performing with some of New Orleans' most outstanding and respected musicians including the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Irvin Mayfield, Nicholas Payton, Alvin Batiste, Cyril Neville, Donald Harrison, Greg Tardy, Maurice Brown, Russell Batiste, Big Sam's Funky Nation, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews and other great musicians. He has been performing at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival for years and in 2005 headlined his show in the WWOZ Jazz Tent. He can be seen performing around the city at venues such as New Orleans' Snug Harbor, Tipitinas, Funky Butt as well as other venues and festivals worldwide.
 
His skills range from gifted performer and recording artist to composer and arranger as well. At the age of 17, Jonathan wrote the score for the Arts Council of New Orleans. His score will be played every day and all day as background music at the Louisiana Arts Work Museum in New Orleans.
 
The year of 2004, Jonathan graduated from St. Augustine High School and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). 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. He studied Jazz at NOCCA in which he received education in ear training, big band, combo playing and private lessons in which he studied with Michael Pellera, a prominent pianist/composer and educator. He also studied with Alvin Batiste, New Orleans clarinetist/composer who is head of the jazz studies department at NOCCA. Jonathan received a letter from the State of Louisiana Governor Office acknowledgement of outstanding NOCCA student. Jonathan was selected to the National Beta Club at St. Augustine High School, which is the academic high school he attended.
 
Upon graduating from high school he was the talk of many throughout New Orleans and even the country. Many people believe in the talent of this youth. "Full understanding of the harmonic approach to the piano. His solos, almost Monk-like, are inventive and unpredictable" says the great Benny Golson. The next move was New York City.
 
Jonathan auditioned at The Juilliard School for the 2004-2005 school year and was accepted. He is presently studying Jazz Piano at The Juilliard School of music in New York. Since his arrival to New York he has already began to make his mark on the music scene, from performing regularly around the city with his groups and others to debuting at Carnegie Hall in November of 2005.

Jonathan is already considered to be one of the of the next generation of young lions who will carry on the legacy of New Orleans' composers/piano wizards such as Jelly Roll Morton, Professor Longhair, and James Booker to New Orleans and the world over. He is establishing his own unique voice in the epically diverse world that we call music.
 
Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday Panels

Jo Jones
10:00am – 4:00pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

The Man Who Played Like The Wind

Paul Devlin, a literary scholar with a strong basis in jazz, has been working with Albert Murray on a biography of Jo Jones for many years. He will be sharing many of his insights, along with musicians who have found much to study, revere, and love about the music of this percussionist pioneer.
                           
Jo Jones shifted the timekeeping role of the drums from the bass drum to the hi-hat cymbal, greatly influencing all swing and bop drummers.  Buddy Rich and Louie Bellson were just two who learned from his light but forceful playing, as Jones swung the Count Basie Orchestra with just the right accents and sounds. After growing up in Alabama, Jones worked as a drummer and tap-dancer with carnival shows. He joined Walter Page's Blue Devils in Oklahoma City in the late '20s. After a period with Lloyd Hunter's band in Nebraska, Jones moved to Kansas City in 1933, joining Count Basie's band the following year. He went with Basie to New York in 1936 and with Count, Freddie Green and Walter Page he formed one of the great rhythm sections. Max Roach said on many occasions that if a drummer played three beats, he owed two of them to Jones.
 
Jones was with the Basie band (other than 1944-46 when he was in the military) until 1948 and in later years he participated in many reunions with Basie alumni. He was on some Jazz at the Philharmonic tours and recorded in the 1950s with Illinois Jacquet, Billie Holiday, Teddy Wilson, Lester Young, Art Tatum and Duke Ellington among others; Jones appeared at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival with both Basie and the Coleman Hawkins-Roy Eldridge Sextet. Jo Jones led sessions for Vanguard (1955 and 1959) and Everest (1959-60), a date for Jazz Odyssey on which he reminisced and played drum solos (1970) and mid-'70s sessions for Pablo and Denon. In later years he was known as "Papa" Jo Jones and thought of as a wise if brutally frank elder statesman. This is a wonderful chance to focus in on one of the greatest jazz innovators and philosophers.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem July Schedule

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem’s July programming covers the gamut, with programs showcasing all generations, from musical harmony to discussion and debate.

Two veterans of jazz grace the interview chair for Harlem Speaks, the museum’s flagship series: the first, Jon Hendricks, continues a highly entertaining and revealing conversation for archival video and audio capture in front of a live audience; the second, drummer Louis Hayes, will be the focus in conversation about his role as a sideman with several of the greatest soloists in jazz as well as his own direction of startlingly fresh ensembles with youthful players following his lead.

The career of the father of jazz, Louis Armstrong, from the revolutionary ‘20s through the resurgent ‘50s is the focus of Jazz for Curious Listeners. The Kataru jazz trio will bring experimental excursions of multi-layered sonorities to the wonderful all-acoustic venue at the Rubin Museum of Art for Harlem in the Himalayas, as will showcases for young musicians deserving greater recognition: Two Young Tenors and Two Young Pianists.

Author Stephanie Crease will discuss her recently published children’s book on Duke Ellington for Jazz for Curious Readers and will also lead a session with youth in Central Park.

Expect insights and the delights of debate at our monthly Saturday panel, as a group of scholars, journalists and musicians discuss the role of the critic in jazz, as help or perhaps as hindrance to the objective of increasing the audience of listeners and consumers of jazz music.

 
Monday, July 6, 2009

Jazz for Curious Readers
Stephanie Crease
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Tonight's program focuses on Stephanie Crease's book, Duke Ellington; His Life in Jazz.

Stephanie Stein Crease is the author of Gil Evans: Out of the Cool, a winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award, and Duke Ellington: His Life in Jazz. She is a music journalist who has contributed to the New York Times, Down Beat, JAZZIZ, Pulse, and The Oxford Companion to Jazz.

Her large-format book combines an illustrated biography of Duke Ellington with activities designed to offer insights into Ellington’s era and his music. The main text presents Ellington’s life in a straightforward account, concentrating on his career as a jazz musician, composer, and band leader. Meanwhile, the many sidebars discuss related topics such as turn-of-the-twentieth-century music technology (piano rolls and phonographs) and the U.S. State Department’s “jazz ambassadors” program during the Cold War. Appearing throughout the book, the activities mentioned in the subtitle vary from “Learn to Read Drum Notation” to “Make Corn Bread for a Rent Party” to “Write Lyrics to an Ellington Tune.” The many black-and-white excellent photos show up well on the glossy pages. Appendixes include bibliographies and lists of recommended recordings, films, and Web sites.  

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Louis Armstrong: Fireworks: The '20s
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong – The ‘20s

Despite his battles with poverty and his struggles as a musician in New Orleans, Louis Armstrong spoke highly of his hometown's diversity and vitality, particularly appreciating the wide variety of music—from ragtime and blues to opera and church music—that permeated the streets. Still, Armstrong began to travel, playing with Fate Marable's riverboat band. During his two-year tenure cruising the Mississippi River Armstrong refined his ability to read music and reproduce songs requested of him.

King Oliver, Armstrong’s mentor in New Orleans, left town at this point a well-known and prolific musician in Chicago, and decided he wanted to add a second cornetist to his Creole Jazz Band. Until Armstrong eventually paved the way for the soloist, jazz music had emphasized the importance of the group as a whole, where each musician must fulfill a particular role.

But when Oliver requested Armstrong to join his band at Lincoln Gardens in 1922, Armstrong did not hesitate. "I felt it was a great break for me," Armstrong wrote in his 1954 autobiography Satchmo, "even to sit beside a man like Joe Oliver with all his prestige."

Indeed, Oliver provided Armstrong with a sterling mentorship and through his work with the Creole Jazz Band, Armstrong further honed his sense of harmony, developed his ear, and made his first recordings with the band at the Gennett Studios in Richmond, Indiana. However, Armstrong, an innovative musical genius, quickly exhibited his superiority over the other band members.

By now, the Creole Jazz Band's pianist Lil Hardin had become Armstrong's second wife, and she pressured Armstrong to leave the band and join Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra at the Roseland Ballroom in New York. Although he had to accept a pay cut to join Henderson, Armstrong seized the opportunity to play with such a well-known band.

During his period with Henderson's Orchestra, Armstrong's name became synonymous with the finest new 'hot' music of the day. His innovative use of syncopation, particularly in songs like "Shanghai Shuffle," had never been heard before. He also recorded with many blues singers, including Clara Smith and Trixie Smith, and his recording of "St. Louis Blues" with Bessie Smith had become a huge success.

In 1925, Armstrong returned to Chicago, switched from the cornet to the trumpet, and recorded the first album as leader of his own band, the Hot Five. The recordings Armstrong made with the Hot Five and its successor, the Hot Seven, at Okeh Records were—and still remain—some of the most influential jazz recordings in history. With Armstrong's masterful technique, pieces like "Cornet Chop Suey," "Potato Head Blues," and "West End Blues" helped give rise to the solo as the centerpiece in jazz music.

The original Hot Five included Johnny Dodds on clarinet, Kid Ory on trombone, Johnny St. Cyr on banjo, Lil Hardin on piano, and of course Armstrong on cornet. Eventually Lil was replaced with Earl "Fatha" Hines on piano and—with the addition of Pete Briggs on tuba and Baby Dodds on drums—the Hot Seven emerged. Neither the Hot Five nor the Hot Seven played live, but they recorded their extraordinary music for three years.

Not only did the Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings significantly influence all jazz instrumental music that would succeed them, but vocal music was also affected. In the 1926 recording of “Heebie Jeebies,” Armstrong sang but he did not use any words, a style popular in the New Orleans of his youth. Using vowels and consonants, Armstrong popularized a vocal style that became known as scat singing.

Meanwhile, Armstrong's source of income came from performances with his wife's band at the Dreamland Café and with the Carroll Dickerson Orchestra at the Sunset Café. While at the Sunset Café, he met his future manager Joe Glaser, an ex-convict who had ties to the Al Capone mob.

Armstrong moved to New York in 1929, and as hired to play in the orchestra of the Broadway musical Hot Chocolates, the creation of Fats Waller and Andy Razaf. The musical was well-received, and Armstrong's active participation in the theatrical arts had begun.

By the late 1920's, phonograph records started to replace sheet music, and many audiences worldwide could hear the music of Louis Armstrong. His 1929 recording of "Ain't Misbehavin" became his top selling record to date.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Harlem Speaks
Jon Hendricks, Vocalist (Part 2)
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

In the first of our two-part exploration into the life and art of legendary vocalist and vocalese master Jon Hendricks, he discussed aspects of his early life in Toledo, Ohio, where he sang for change, rehearsed with Art Tatum, and watched Fats Waller steal a swig of alcohol as Hendricks’ father, a Christian minister, looked away. Hendricks also recalled memories of the personality and musical genius of Charlie Parker and Theolonious Monk; about the latter, Hendricks shared intimate and hilarious details of his collaboration as Monk’s lyricist. The early days of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross was also a topic of inquiry and conversation.
 
Part 2 promises to go even deeper into the mind and heart of long-time NEA Master Jon Hendricks, so come early and ready for swingin’ conversation!
 

Friday, July 10, 2009

Harlem in the Himalayas
Jazz Festival: Two Young Tenors
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Musicians you SHOULD know about!
 
There have always been a tremendous amount of wonderful jazz players who arrive in New York to attain the seasoning needed to distinguish themselves in the leading rank of musicians. Meet two of them this evening that are ready for major careers:
 
Tom Gardner and our surprise special guest have equally original and contrasting styles on the tenor sax. Check out this musical debate that will be one of the memorable jazz evenings of this summer.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Special Event
110 on 110: A Clearing in the Forest
1:00 – 2:00pm
Location: Children's Glade
(inside Central Park from West 103rd St. to West 106th St.)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

With author Stephanie Crease

If you have children for whom you’d like to spark or nurture an interest in jazz, we invite you to bring them to an event based on Stephanie Crease’s book Duke Ellington: A Life in Music with 21 Activities. There will be activities for all children to participate in. This will be a memorable afternoon for kids and parents for sure. They’ll all leave with the following equation: JAZZ=FUN!
 
Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Louis Armstrong: Swing That Music: The '30s
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong – The ‘30s

Between 1930 and 1934, Armstrong separated from Lil Hardin, hired Johnny Collins as his manager, and moved back and forth between Los Angeles, Chicago, and Paris. Around this time, many nightclubs were connected to the mob, and it was difficult for Armstrong to avoid interactions with gangsters. When Armstrong refused to return to Connie's Inn, thugs followed Armstrong and his musicians around the streets of New York, and Armstrong was forced to extend tours across the country and in England.

Armstrong briefly led the Sebastian New Cotton Club Orchestra in California, then toured throughout the United States and Europe. Eventually, Armstrong's nickname Satchmo (short for satchel mouth) became known around the world.

When Armstrong returned to the United States in 1935, he hired the Joe Glaser to be his manager and the Luis Russell Orchestra to be his backup band. Consisting of mainly New Orleans musicians, the Orchestra provided a very comfortable setting for Armstrong, and together they became known as Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra. In 1936, Armstrong recorded "Swing That Music," a song that was famous for the trumpeter's ability to hit forty-two high C's followed by a high E-flat. Later that year, Armstrong's autobiography Swing That Music was published.

In 1937, Armstrong hosted the Fleischmann's Yeast Show, a national network radio program, and a year later, he divorced Lil Hardin and married Alpha Smith shortly thereafter. His marriage to Alpha lasted three years, and in 1942 Armstrong married for the fourth time—his time to Lucille Wilson, who would remain his wife for the rest of his life.

Thursday, July 17, 2009

Harlem in the Himalayas
Jazz Festival: Kataru
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Musicians you SHOULD know about!

Kaoru Watanabe
Tatsuya Nakatani
Adam Rudolph
 
KATARU, meaning “to speak” in Japanese, is a trio made up of Kaoru Watanabe on Japanese and Western flutes and taiko drums, Adam Rudolph on Handrumset and percussion and Tatsuya Nakatani on modified drumset , bowed gongs and percussion - three musicians of disparate musical backgrounds who, by seamlessly integrating abstracted Japanese Noh, Gagaku, festival and folk music components with traditional global percussion, free jazz and noise elements create ever shifting emotional soundscapes.  The spontaneity, delicacy and visceral intensity of the trio seeks to reflect, in a contemporary aesthetic, an ancient prototypical human expression.
 

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Louis Armstrong: Gone Fishin': The '40s
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong – The ‘40s  -- By the 1940's, swing bands were losing their popularity and Armstrong was growing tired of leading a large group. In 1947, promoter Ernie Anderson introduced Armstrong to a small band, featuring Jack Teagarden on trombone, Earl 'Fatha' Hines on piano, Arvell Shaw on bass, and Velma Middleton on vocals. These musicians—with various changes including the addition of Barney Bigard on clarinet, 'Big' Sid Catlett on drums, and Trummy Young on trombone—formed the Louis Armstrong All Stars, which became one of the most well-known jazz outfits in history.

Armstrong's All Stars performed relentlessly all over the world in clubs, festivals, and concert halls. No matter where they performed, they were followed by admiring audiences. Armstrong made appearances at the Nice Jazz Festival, the first international jazz festival, and in Africa, where he was greeted and hailed by thousands.

An international celebrity, Armstrong's music and face began appearing everywhere. He was pictured on the cover of Time magazine on February 21, 1949. He made appearances in the musical High Society and on television shows such as Johnny Carson's Tonight Show and the Ed Sullivan Show. He collaborated with the Oscar Peterson Trio and with singers Bing Crosby, Louis Jordan, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Harlem in the Himalayas
Jazz Festival: Two Young Pianists
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Musicians you SHOULD know about!

There have always been a tremendous amount of wonderful jazz players who arrive in New York to attain the seasoning needed to distinguish themselves in the leading rank of musicians. Meet two of them this evening that are ready for major careers:

Kris Bowers and Brandon McCune pair off on a beautiful Yahama concert grand. Come watch the sparks fly.

Satruday, July 25, 2009

Saturday Panels
The Pen is Mightier Than The Sword
10:00am – 4:00pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Jazz Journalists in Conversation with Musicians/Writers

Moderator: Greg Thomas
 
Panelists to include: Gary Giddins, Steve Coleman

At the 2009 Jazz Journalists Association Award ceremony many musicians thanked the writers and critics present for connecting their work for and to a larger public. While the music and the musicians who play it are the best exemplars of the art form in action, jazz journalists play a key role in the mass and niche media by way of bridging the art and artists with consumers and listeners.

But in light of the downfall of Jazz Times, the cancellation of the major New York jazz festival, and, several years ago, the dissolution of the International Association of Jazz Educators, the state of jazz as a viable institutional force has been called into question.

However, jazz musicians and jazz journalists have confronted, decade after decade, the notion that jazz is on a death knell, while the number of students studying jazz in college continues to rise. Do journalists and musicians see eye-to-eye on a vision of a jazz future? What role does race and cultural background play into the often contentious discourse between and among musicians and journalists and critics?

These questions are just two of the many topics to be pursued in this Saturday panel. The present state of jazz journalism and the music will of course be discussed also.

To place the discussion in a historical context, scholar John Gennari, author of Blowing Hot and Cold: Jazz and its Critics, will provide a narrative of the key issues and questions that have arisen in jazz criticism.

Jazz Journalists Association president Howard Mandel, author of Miles Ornette Cecil: Jazz Beyond Jazz, is another panel guest.

Gary Giddins, considered by many the premier jazz critic in the nation, will also participate.

Steve Coleman, alto saxophnist, composer and band leader, is critical of aspects of jazz criticism and will bring his unique perspective to the discussion.

Several other jazz journalists and musicians of note are expected to confirm shortly. (Visit our website for updates.)
 

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Louis Armstrong: La Vie En Rose: The '50s
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong – The 50s and beyond

The 50’s saw many Armstrong create many of his greatest masterpieces, from the recordings with Ella Fitzgerald to the W.C. Handy and Fats Waller tributes, to the films including High Society, and the musical autobiography done for Decca Records, where he revisited many of his earlier classics, creating updates that were anything but inferior to the originals. As for social issues, contrary to what his critics believed, Armstrong was deeply incensed by racial discrimination and often voiced his disapproval. Even though his popularity had spread across the world, Armstrong was not excluded from the racism and prejudices that were pervasive during his career. He felt alienated even in his hometown New Orleans, where he refused to visit because the Jim Crow laws were still being exercised after they were ruled illegal. "I don't care if I ever see that city again," Armstrong said. "They treat me better all over the world than they do in my hometown. Ain't that stupid? Jazz was born there and I remember when it wasn't no crime for cats of any color to get together and blow."

Not only was Armstrong the first prominent African-American celebrity of international acclaim, but he was the first jazz musician to tour Africa extensively and one of the first musicians to play for integrated audiences. In 1957, Armstrong cancelled his tour in Russia to speak out against President Eisenhower and the way desegregation was handled in a school in Little Rock, Arkansas. He then congratulated the President when the policy was reversed.  

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Harlem Speaks
Louis Hayes, Drummer
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

For more than forty years, drummer Louis Hayes has been a catalyst for energetic, unrelenting swing in his self led bands, as well as in those whose respective leaders reads like an encyclopedia of straight ahead post-bop modern jazz. Hayes, himself an authentic architect of post-bop swing, began his professional activities in 1955 at the tender age of 18. He started with tenor saxophonist, flautist and oboist Yusef Lateef, who like Hayes is a Detroit native. After the stint with Lateef, Hayes went on to propel groups led by pianist Horace Silver, legendary saxophonist Cannonball Adderley and pianist Oscar Peterson. These positions were augmented by countless recordings on the Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside and other labels with John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, J.J. Johnson, Jackie McLean, Wes Montgomery, Cedar Walton, Dexter Gordon, Woody Shaw, George Benson, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, and a plethora of others.

For the last twenty-plus years, Louis has led or co-led some of the most uncompromisingly swinging groups in all of jazz. Each unit has displayed tight-knit harmonic cohesion and hard-driving consistency as part of its signature.

With so much activity in his past, Louis could easily rest comfortably on his laurels. But being a forward thinker and doer, Hayes operates “in the present.” His recent groups contain some of the cream of the young jazz crop. Saxophonist Javon Jackson and Abraham Burton, young trumpeter Riley Mullins and other stellar players are among current members of the Louis Hayes Quintet. Louis Hayes possesses an embarrassment of riches. His story, still being told, contains a glorious past, a vibrant present and an ever promising future, all of which he'll discuss at this, the closing event of the month of July for the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.