2010

Amelia's Mechanics Announces Plans for New Album + Tour Dates

Amelia's Mechanics is fronted by Greensboro, NC singer-songwriter's Molly McGinn and Molly Miller and backed by a talented group of musicians out of Nashville, TN. Despite what the oil-and-iron name might suggest, the women of Amelia's Mechanics swap that toughness for a more urban, sophisticated take on Americana music, using luxuriating harmonies and classical swells to temper their lyrical frustrations with love and life. The instrumentation and vocal harmonies of Amelia's Mechanics result in a genre-busting sound best described as "vintage country with a moonshine concerto."
The band released their debut album "North, South," produced by Jim Avett (father, The Avett Brothers,) in February of 2010 to critical acclaim and embarked on an inaugural tour pleasing audiences from Florida to West Virginia. Select performances in May will feature support from guitarist Daryl Hance (guitarist, J.J. Grey & Mofro.)
Amelia's Mechanics will begin recording a follow-up album this summer in Asheville, NC at the wonderful Echo Mountain Studios (Smashing Pumpkins, The Avett Brothers, Band of Horses) with three-time Grammy-winner Steven Heller (producer, David Holt's Stellaluna, Doc Watson's Legacy) and fellow Greensboro, NC singer-songwriter Laurelyn Dossett (songwriter, Ana Lee) at the helm. A release date has not been set for the new album.
REMAINING PERFORMANCES - SPRING 2010:

Acoustic Coffeehouse - April 8 (Johnson City, TN)
Canyons - April 9 (Blowing Rock, NC)
Pisgah Brewing Co. - April 10 (Black Mountain, NC)
Five Spot - April 21 (Atlanta, GA)
Carrboro Arts Center - April 24 (Chapel Hill, NC)
Carolina Theatre - April 25 (Greensboro, NC)
Preservation Pub - April 28 (Knoxville, TN)
Garage - April 29 (Winston-Salem, NC)
Tipsy Teapot - April 30 (Greenville, NC)
MerleFest - May 2 (Wilkesboro, NC) - Molly McGinn PA
Purple Fiddle - May 5 (Petersberg, WV)
Ashland Coffee and Tea House - May 6 (Ashland, VA)
Center City Park - May 7 (Greensboro, NC)
Pour House Music Hall - May 12 (Raleigh, NC)
Stillwater Taproom - May 14 (Augusta, GA)
NC Potato Festival - May 15 (Elizabeth City, NC)
3rd & Lindsley -May 18 (Nashville, TN)
FemmeFest - May 22 (Charlotte, NC)
White Mule Music Pub - May 27 (Columbia, SC)
Home Team BBQ - May 28 (Charleston, SC)
Music in the Woods - May 29 (Paris Mnt. State Park)
Maguire Theater - June 3 (Elizabeth, City, NC)

DiscoverHope Fund Present: Band Together for Hope

Come enjoy the music and contribute to the global effort to end poverty for some of the 3 billion people who live on less than $2 a day and are trapped in poverty so they cannot adequately feed, clothe, or shelter themselves or their families. DiscoverHope Fund (DHF) is a 501(c)3 promoting abundance for women and their families in economic poverty through microcredit and entrepreneurial training.  DHF’s “Microcredit Plus” model implements a dual approach to poverty alleviation—providing microloans and entrepreneurial training to help loan recipients build their businesses. DHF asks loan recipients what they need to build and sustain their business; then it answers with business trainings, literacy classes, artisan workshops and more. A percentage of ticket sales and funds from an on-site opportunity drawing will go toward our work to create a new consciousness of prosperity that women can pass onto their children, families, communities, society, and this world. DiscoverHope is proud to present an evening of great music starring Americana without Borders allstars – Great American Taxi.

In the past five years, Great American Taxi has become one of the best-known headliners on the jam band circuit. Their uninhibited sound is a swinging concoction of swampy blues, progressive bluegrass, funky New Orleans strut, Southern boogie, honky tonk country, gospel, and good ol’ fashioned rock ’n’ roll. Great American Taxi was born when singer, guitarist, and mandolin player Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon joined keyboard player and singer Chad Staehly for a superstar jam to benefit the Rainforest Action Group in Boulder, in March of 2005. “We put together a dream band of the best local musicians for a one-off gig,” Herman recalls. “It worked so well we had to do it again, and again, and again.” Great American Taxi quickly evolved into one of the best country-, rock-, and bluegrass- influenced jam bands in the land, masterfully blending acoustic and electric instruments into music they call “Americana Without Borders."

Great American Taxi has been equated with roots rockers like the New Riders of the Purple Sage, Grateful Dead, Wilco, Uncle Tupelo, The Byrds, and Little Feat. Herman finds the comparisons flattering. “We’re definitely connected to all the acts in the country/rock spectrum, as well as the spirit of Gram Parsons and Woody Guthrie,” he says. “We want to address the issues appropriate to our times, while making music that gets people up and moving.”

The benefit will also feature an amazing opportunity drawing with a grand prize of 2 tickets to 2010 10th Anniversary Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, IL as well as other prizes such as signed and unsigned rock artwork, local gift certificates, and other amazing prices to be announced.

Who: Great American Taxi, Chicago Farmer & Farmaggedon

Where: Coconut Louie’s 2303 E. Washington Bloomington, IL

When: Thursday, April 15th 2010

WHY: To support Discover Hope Fund

COST: $8

WEB: www.discoverhopefund.org

National Jazz Museum in Harlem April Schedule

Come pursue the varieties of jazz experience at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem! From conversations and live performances to educational sessions and panel discussions, you’re sure to have a ball and learn a lot too.

For Jazz for Curious Readers, scholar of jazz and saxophonist Salim Washington will discuss his co-authorship of a recent work delving into the Miles Davis/John Coltrane relationship and impact. Harlem Speaks features discussions with baritone sax master Joe Temperley, and critically-praised and provocative big band leader Darcy James Argue.

If live music performance is your bent, look no further than our three concert series:  Harlem in the Himalayas, which this month starts with a pairing of radically talented musicians Suphala, a tabla whiz, and jazz pianist Jason Lindner, to whom no style is foreign. The second featured artist for this series held at the Rubin Museum of Art is young trumpeter Dominick Farinacci, who has absorbed the jazz trumpet tradition and presents it with suave and vitality. Jazz at the Players has yet another young player making his mark, pianist Aaron Diehl, in a trio setting. And bring your dancing shoes, as trumpeter Etienne Charles, who recently (as did Diehl) graduated from Juilliard, inaugurates our newest series, right here in Harlem, with  an ensemble for Jazz at the Dwyer (where people come to dance and enjoy the music) that will embody the spirit of Trinidad within the frame of jazz.

This month the National Jazz Museum in Harlem puts special focus on the musical and cultural contributions of an important early jazz figure, Fats Waller. At Jazz for Curious Listeners (every Tuesday evening) we begin with his rich legacy as a composer of compositions key to the jazz dimensions of the American Song Book, and continue on with his place in American music as a pianist and organist. In the latter part of April we present a Saturday Panel on “Fat Waller’s Harlem: Reflections on the 1920s and 30s” and top it off with Fats on film for the last JFCL event of the month.

What are you waiting for? Mark your calendar!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas
Jason Lindner/Suphala
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
For tickets: RMA Box Office or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Pianist Jason Lindner grew up in Brooklyn, NY, started playing piano by ear at age 2 and was playing jazz proficiently at 15. He apprenticed with master bebopper Barry Harris and the mystic master Chris Anderson (Herbie Hancock's harmonic guru), and worked as a journeyman with Junior Mance, Tardo Hammer, Harold Danko, Frank Hewitt and Jaki Bayard before exploring a world of Latin and African rhythms, Funk, R&B, Hip Hop, Electronica, and even Rock. He's been a fixture in the New York jazz scene since the mid-90s when the well-respected Greenwich Village club, Smalls, became home for a new generation of forward-thinking jazz musicians. There he led smaller ensembles and then a big band; Lindner regularly drew sold out crowds on Monday nights at Smalls, earning him an Impulse records debut on Jazz Underground/Live At Smalls, which led to a full-length release on Chick Corea’s Stretch label, Premonition.

He frequently performs in New York and around the world with Claudia Acuña, Meshell Ndegeocello, Baba Isreal, Dafnis Prieto, Omer Avital, Anat Cohen, Luisito Quintero, Malika Zarra, Juancho Herrera, and with his own groups the Ab Aetero, Now vs. Now, Progress Report, the JL-ECTRIK, Big Pump and the Jason Lindner Big Band, now celebrating its 12th year. He has also recorded with (and served as Musical Director for) Lauryn Hill and Amel Larrieux, toured with Roy Haynes, performed with and arranged for Arturo O'Farrill's Grammy-winning Jazz at Lincoln Center Afro-Latin Orchestra, and shared both stage and studio with Chick Corea, Junior Cook, Elvin Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Paquito D’Rivera, Jon Hendricks, James Moody, Graciella (Machito Orchestra), Mark Turner, Lou Donaldson, Jimmy Cobb, Lou Donaldson, The Henry Mancini Orchestra, Mark Turner, Christian McBride, Vernel Fournier, and other artists. Jason Lindner also teaches internationally.

Suphala, one of the most versatile young tabla artists making music today, was raised in the U.S. by Indian parents, and began learning western classical music on the piano at age four, performing at age five, and as a teen transferred her passion to one of the world’s most complex percussion instruments: the tabla. She combines a prodigious technical command of her instrument with a playful sense of experimentation, switching effortlessly between composing, producing and performing

Suphala is a protégé of the great tabla masters Ustad Allarakha and Ustad Zakir Hussain, whose constant inspiration compels her to dedicate herself to the study of Indian classical music while extending the reach of the tabla into a mosaic of musical genres and cultural contexts. Her fluency in a range of musical traditions informs her unique compositions and her highly improvisational performances, as you’ll witness at the Rubin Museum. The three albums she has released to date – Instru Mental (2000), The Now (2005) and Blueprint (2007) – go beyond a particular genre style while referencing such diverse influences as Western classical, Indian classical, jazz, folk and soul.

This pairing will be extraordinary. Don’t miss it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

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

Clawing at the Limits of Cool

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Salim Washington moved to Detroit, Michigan with his family at the age of eight. Early on he was drafted into the neighborhood gang; fortunately, the gang leader happened to play trumpet, which influenced Salim, ironically, to pursue music not gangs.  He began on trumpet, and then studied classical piano. By middle school, Salim was performing in school ensembles and student funk bands. His college years brought him to Harvard, after which he joined the Worlds Experience Orchestra under the leadership of Jamyl Jones, and then the Source of Life Arkestral Revelation (SOLAR) in Boston, touring with them extensively throughout the south. After returning to Detroit, he taught music in prisons and in public schools. He eventually returned to Boston to finish his degree. After completing his doctorate, he headed to New York to begin a professorship at the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music. He has travelled extensively, playing music festivals throughout the US and Canada, Latin America, and Europe. He has also led music workshops for the Northern Ireland Arts Council in Belfast, the Bill Evans conservatory in Paris, and others. Salim Washington is a member of the Jazz Study Group at Columbia University and has participated on various committees and panels in service of jazz, including those convened by the Ford Foundation, the Boston Phoenix, the New England Foundation for the Arts.

In Salim’s collaboration with Farah Jasmine Griffin for the recently-published Clawing at the Limits of Cool, the two scholars chronicle the drama of the musical relationship between Miles Davis and John Coltrane, from their initial historic partnership to the interlude of their breakup, during which each man made tremendous progress toward his personal artistic goals. The book even continues with the last leg of their journey together, a time when the Miles Davis group, featuring John Coltrane, forever changed the landscape of jazz. Washington and Griffin also argue that Davis and Coltrane’s collaborations embodied important ideas about what it meant to be a black artist during the Civil Rights era. By insisting on the legitimate cultural value of their work, Coltrane and Davis challenged dominant images of black musicians as merely entertainers, earning the respect of blacks and whites alike for their accomplishments as artists.

From an idiomatic perspective, the authors also examine the profound implications that the Davis/Coltrane collaboration would have for jazz and African American culture, drawing parallels to the changing standards of African American identity with their public personas and private difficulties.

Find out more about the content and context of this important jazz work, and Salim Washington’s journey in jazz at Jazz for Curious Readers.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
The Joint is Jumpin': Fats Waller: The Composer
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

We focus on the composing genius of Fats Waller as we start a month-long series in his honor. In the American public memory, perhaps because of his filmic images, Fats Waller is known as a smiling, eyebrow raising entertainer who also played piano. Fact is that Waller was one of the best of the New York jazz pianists in the au courant styles of that day—from Stride to Swing. He was also a fabulous organist, having cut his teeth at the open air religious services led by his father, Edward Waller, a Baptist lay preacher. He played piano at his public school and at 15 became organist at the Lincoln Theatre on 135th Street.

His father hoped that Waller would follow a religious calling rather than a music career, but after his mother Adeline Waller died in 1920, he moved in with the family of the pianist Russell B. T. Brooks. Waller soon met James P. Johnson, under whose tutelage he developed as a pianist and through whose influence he came to make piano rolls—starting in 1922 with Got to Cool My Doggies Now. There’s even evidence to support Waller's claims that during his formative years as a pianist he studied with Leopold Godowsky and composition with Carl Bohm at the Juilliard School.

Waller wrote many pop hits – Ain’t Misbehavin’, Honeysuckle Rose, for example – but also explored extended compositions with this London Suite. We’ll look at the breadth of his compositions this evening.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

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

Scotland-born Joe Temperley first achieved prominence in the United Kingdom as a member of Humphrey Lyttelton's band from 1958 to 1965. He toured the United States with the band in 1959, and, in 1965, came to New York City, where he performed and/or recorded with Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Joe Henderson, Duke Pearson, the Jazz Composers’ Orchestra, and the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra and with Clark Terry, among many others. In October 1974 he toured and recorded with The Duke Ellington Orchestra as a replacement for Harry Carney.

Mr. Temperley played in the Broadway show Sophisticated Ladies in the 1980s, and his film soundtrack credits include The Cotton Club, Biloxi Blues, Brighton Beach Memoirs, When Harry Met Sally, and Tune In Tomorrow, composed by Wynton Marsalis. Mr. Temperley is a mentor and a cofounder of the FIFE Youth Jazz Orchestra program in Scotland, which now enrolls 70 young musicians ages 7 to 17 playing in three full-size bands. Mr. Temperley has released several albums as a leader, including Nightingale (1991), Sunbeam and Thundercloud with pianist Dave McKenna (1996), With Every Breath (1998), and Double Duke (1999). He released two new recordings in September 2001. He is an original member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (now JALC Orchestra) and serves on the faculty of the Juilliard Institute for Jazz Studies, which opened in fall 2001. He has served on the Manhattan School of Music faculty since 1992.

Tonight Temperley, known too for his moving feature on Duke’s “A Single Petal of a Rose” with the JALC Orchestra, will discuss his tenure in this world-class jazz big band led by Wynton Marsalis as well as his previous decades of service in the vineyards of jazz.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas
Dominick Farinacci
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
For tickets: RMA Box Office or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

For a soulful listen to the future of jazz now, you can’t miss with young trumpeter Dominick Farinacci, an exemplar of the brass tradition in jazz in full bloom. Last year, after having released six albums as a leader on a Japanese record label, Farinacci debuted with critical acclaim in the U.S., on the Koch label, with “Lovers, Tales, and Dances.”

He's won a variety of awards over the years in the States and in Japan—Farinacci received two Gold Disc awards (Record of the Month) from Swing Journal Magazine in Japan for his recordings of "Say It" and "Besame Mucho," for example. In 2003 he received the International New Star Award in Japan, an honor previously awarded to Diana Krall and Christian McBride, co-director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. In the United States, Dominick was the recipient of the ITG Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Competition in 2003.

At 15, he was "discovered" by Wynton Marsalis in Cleveland, Ohio, Farinacci’s place of birth. Wynton invited Dominick to appear as a featured soloist with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra on a PBS broadcast, "Live from Lincoln Center." While studying with Warren Vache and Wynton Marsalis at the Juilliard School, Dominick was also featured at Lincoln Center on a tribute concert to Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan, "Night of the Cookers." Over the years he has performed and/or recorded with many high-profile jazz artists such as Joe Lovano, Wynton Marsalis, Ira Sullivan, Mulgrew Miller, Carl Allen, Jason Miles, and Joe Labarbera.

Prepare to be dazzled by virtuosity and moved by the emotional weight of this young trumpet lion as he claws at the limits of cool with an intense yet relaxed approach to the jazz trumpet tradition.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
The Joint is Jumpin': Fats Waller: The Pianist
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Over sixty years after his death, the consummate artistry and high-spirited zest for living make pianist/composer Fats Waller one of the most celebrated artists in jazz history. His best-known compositions, such as "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Honeysuckle Rose," "Black and Blue," and "Jitterbug Waltz," long ago entered the canon of American music, as discussed in last week’s Jazz for Curious Listeners class.

Moreover, his skills as a pianist place him in the top tier of those who played the instrument, but this fact has been obscured by his greatness as an entertainer with a widespread following in the United States and Europe.

Tonight we focus on the art of Fats Waller as a pianist: his playing (and his songs) reverberates to this day amongst jazz fans and musicians cognizant of his influence and depth. As a pianist, Waller was the outstanding exponent of the Harlem Stride style of jazz piano, drawing together the innovations of Willie "The Lion" Smith and James P. Johnson into a coherent style.

And taken alone, the fact that he was a major influence on the peerless Art Tatum speaks to the eternal place Fats Waller will maintain among the pantheon of jazz greats. Come hear his piano mastery in all of its splendor at the Visitor’s Center of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
The Joint is Jumpin': Fats Waller: The Organist
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Jazz organ fans of what some call the “modern” age of jazz—from bebop and beyond—often gravitate to Jimmy Smith as the icon of the Hammond B3. But if we go back, through the careers of Wild Bill Davis and Sarah McLawler, preceding Smith, we'd end up at the start of jazz organ: Fats Waller.

The son of a Baptist minister, Waller played church organ even before playing piano. During the silent film era he was a theatre organist in New York. Fats also taught Count Basie how to play the organ and he probably had the first recording featuring an electric Hammond organ.

However, it’s on the pipe organ that Waller made several recordings lost to obscurity that will be resurrected and placed properly in the light of recognition tonight, as we’ll hear rare Waller gems heretofore only recognized by the jazz cognoscenti.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jazz at the Players
Aaron Diehl Trio
7:00pm
Location: The Players
(16 Gramercy Park S. |  get directions)
$20 | Reservations or 212-475-6116

Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as "The most promising discovery that [Wynton] Marsalis has made since Eric Reed," Aaron Diehl's distinctive interpretations of the music of Scott Joplin, "Jelly Roll" Morton, Art Tatum, Duke Ellington, and other masters pay homage to the tradition while establishing his own original voice.

He has performed with the Wynton Marsalis Septet, the JALC Orchestra, The Boston Symphony Orchestra, Hank Jones, Wycliffe Gordon, Wessell Anderson, Benny Golson, NJMH executive director Loren Schoenberg, and has been featured on Marian McPartland’s NPR radio show “Piano Jazz.” His international touring includes major European jazz festivals as well as performances in South America and Asia. “Mozart Jazz,” his first CD as a leader, was released in 2006 on the Pony Canyon label (Japan). Recent performances include the Caramoor Festival and the Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Diehl is a 2007 graduate of the Juilliard School, where his teachers included recent Harlem Speaks guest and NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron, Eric Reed, and Oxana Yablonskaya. His honors include Lincoln Center’s prestigious Martin E. Segal award in 2004, winner of the 2003 Jazz Arts Group Hank Marr Jazz Competition, and Outstanding Soloist at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 2002 Essentially Ellington Competition. Immediately following graduation from high school he toured with the Wynton Marsalis Septet.

Aaron Diehl currently resides in Manhattan where he serves as music director of St. Joseph of the Holy Family Church in Harlem. Check out a master-in-the-making playing live at Jazz at the Players.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

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

His debut recording, Infernal Machines, featuring his 18-piece big band, Secret Society, made Darcy James Argue one of 2009’s most talked-about jazz musicians. He was given a series of features in jazz and non-jazz publications alike, multiple nominations at the 2009 Jazz Journalists Association Awards, and a presence on more than 70 best-of-the year lists, including Best Debut honors in the prestigious Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll.

Formed in 2005, Secret Society evokes an alternate musical history in which the dance orchestras that ruled the Swing Era never went extinct, but remained a popular and vital part of the evolving musical landscape. Adopting a steampunk-inspired attitude towards the traditional big band, Argue refashions this well-worn instrumentation into a cutting-edge ensemble. The band’s first studio recording takes its name from a John Philip Sousa quote about the dangers of music technology.

Secret Society holds the honor of being the first group to be announced for George Wein’s 2010 Newport Jazz Festival.

A native of Vancouver, and former member of the Montreal jazz scene, Argue moved to Brooklyn in 2003 after earning a Master’s Degree in Boston while studying with legendary composer/arranger Bob Brookmeyer. He has also studied with Lee Hyla, Randall Woolf, Maria Schneider and John Hollenbeck. His awards include the BMI Jazz Composers’ Workshop Charlie Parker Composition Prize and the SOCAN/CAJE Phil Nimmons Emerging Composer Award.

Reward yourself by attending this conversation with one of the cutting-edge band leaders in the jazz idiom.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Jazz at the Dwyer
Trinidad meets Jazz with the Etienne Charles Band
7:00 – 11:00pm
Location: The Dwyer Cultural Center
(258 St. Nicholas Avenue at W. 123rd Street)
$20 | More information: info@DwyerCC.org

A new series dedicated to jazz and dancing commences with this Friday evening’s JAZZ AT THE DWYER, held at Harlem’s new and vital community center.

In 2009, Etienne Charles brought a large ensemble to the Riverside Theatre in a National Jazz Museum in Harlem program that featured jazzed up versions of classic Caribbean sounds.

The result was so infectious that audience members leapt from their seats to dance.

Expect more of the same, as Trinidadian Etienne Charles and his company of musicians trumpet this mélange of styles to the grooving satisfaction of your ears and feet.

Born on the island of Trinidad in 1983, Etienne Charles’ musical lineage runs at least four generations deep. Yet perhaps it was his father, Francis, who influenced him most. Francis was a member of Phase II Pan Groove, one of Trinidad’s most progressive steel bands and one that Etienne would later join. Immersed in his father’s vast record collection, and suffused with the sounds of calypso, steel pan, and African Shango drumming, Etienne imbibed many of the influences that make up the colors of his harmonic palette.  An alumnus of the prestigious Juilliard School, Charles has received critical acclaim for his exciting performances, thrilling compositions and a knack for connecting with audiences worldwide.
Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday Panels
Fats Waller's Harlem: Reflection on the 1920s and 30s
12:00 – 4:00pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

As was Fats Waller central to early jazz, Harlem was an epicenter of the music’s development as well as the stomping grounds for much of the growth of Waller’s aesthetic. Today we’ll examine the connection between Waller and Harlem, viewing Harlem from the vantage of Waller’s work, life and times.

Some historical backdrop of Waller’s career in the 20s and 30s will prepare you for this special afternoon, which continues our month-long investigation into the world of Fats Waller:

In October 1922, Waller made his recording debut as a soloist for Okeh with Muscle Shoals Blues and Binningham Blues, and began a series of recordings the same year as accompanist for several blues singers, including Sara Martin, Alberta Hunter, and Maude Mills. In 1923, a collaboration with Clarence Williams led to the publication of Waller's Wild Cat Blues, which Williams recorded with his Blue Five, including Sidney Bechet, that other great early jazz pioneer from New Orleans. Another composition, Squeeze Me, was published the same year; these began to establish Waller's reputation as a composer of material performed and recorded by other artists. 1923 also saw his broadcasting debut for a Newark local station, followed by regular appearances on WHN of New York. Waller continued to broadcast as a singer and soloist throughout his life, including the long-running Fats Waller's Rhythm Club and Moon River (on which he played organ). During the early 1920s, he continued as an organist at the Lincoln and Lafayette theaters in New York.

In 1927, Waller recorded his own composition Whiteman Stomp with Fletcher Henderson’s orchestra, one of the most significant large ensembles during the era of the dance bands. Henderson also made use of other works by Waller, including Crazy 'bout My Baby and Stealing Apples. Waller's other work as a composer with the lyricists Edgar Dowell, J. C. Johnson, Andy Razaf, and Spencer Williams produced such songs as Honeysuckle Rose and Black and Blue. With Razaf he worked on much of the music for the all-black Broadway musical Keep Shufflin' (1928). Their later collaborations for the stage included the shows Load of Coal and Hot Chocolates (which incorporated the song Ain't Misbehavin' as a vehicle first for Cab Calloway and later Louis Armstrong). Waller's Carnegie Hall debut took place on April 27, 1928, where he was a piano soloist in a version of his mentor James P. Johnson's fantasy Yamekraw, for piano and orchestra.

In 1926, Waller began his recording association with Victor, his principal record company for the rest of his life, with the organ solos St. Louis Blues and his own Lenox Avenue Blues. Although he recorded with various groups, his most important contribution to the Harlem stride piano tradition was a series of solo recordings of his own compositions: Handful of Keys, Smashing Thirds, Numb Fumblin', and Valentine Stomp (1929). After sessions with Ted Lewis (1930), Jack Teagarden (1931), and Billy Banks's Rhythmakers (1932), he began in May 1934 the voluminous series of recordings with a small band known as Fats Waller and his Rhythm.

In the mid-1930s, Waller worked on the West Coast with Les Hite's band at Frank Sebastian's New Cotton Club. He also appeared in two films while in Hollywood in 1935, Hooray for Love! and King of Burlesque. For tours and recordings, Waller often led his own big band. This began as an expanded version of the band led by his bass player (Charlie Turner's Arcadians), and in 1935, with most members of the Rhythm it made its first recording. The group's version of I Got Rhythm includes a cutting contest of alternating piano solos by Waller and Hank Duncan.

In 1938, Waller undertook a European tour, recording in London with his Continental Rhythm, as well as making solo pipe-organ recordings for HMV. His second European tour in 1939 was terminated by the outbreak of war, but while in Britain, he recorded his London Suite, an extended series of six related pieces for solo piano: Piccadilly, Chelsea, Soho, Bond Street, Limehouse, and White Chapel. It is Waller's longest composition and represents his aspiration to be a “serious” composer rather than only the author of a string of hit songs.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
The Joint is Jumpin': Fats Waller: Film night
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

This month the National Jazz Museum in Harlem peered deeply into the artistry and legacy of Fats Waller, first as a composer, pianist, organist and then as one of the central figures of jazz in Harlem.

Tonight we’ll end where popular culture begins as regards Waller, with him on film playing music and mugging for the camera as a showman.

You’ll surely leave with a smile as we view clips from Waller’s Hollywood appearances in feature films and soundies, early versions of the music video. Soundies were three-minute musical films, produced in New York, Chicago, and Hollywood between 1940 and 1946, and often included short dance sequences.

Look out especially for the pairing of Waller and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, which captures a moment in jazz history where dance, song and improvisation were joined at the hip.

Consider yourself hip? Then we’ll see you at the Visitor’s Center of the National Jazz Museum . . . with Fats Waller on screen, you’re guaranteed that the joint will be jumping! 

Shy Blakeman To Release LONG DISTANCE MAN

Shy Blakeman, the Texas singer-songwriter with a colorful past and engaging character who was first introduced to audiences during the 2006 season of “Nashville Star,” is scheduled to release his third album LONG DISTANCE MAN today.

Influenced by the eclectic southern mixture representative of The Black Crowes, Waylon Jennings and Ray Charles, Blakeman succeeds in his efforts to break ground on a new sound by melding genres into an album that is equally pleasurable and viably commercial. This new venture allows the listener to go along for a ride with the “Long Distance Man” as he musically meanders through songs that cross the plains of Texas country at “Quarter to Three,” hears the blues and tastes the “Swamp Water Whisky” of Baton Rouge, dances all night in a few of the “So Many Honky Tonks” that decorate the true country landscape, and establishes roots at the Americana homestead that is “Dragon Fly.”

Produced by Ted Russell Kamp (Shooter Jennings) and Executively Produced by Warren Izard, the album also features a bevy of world class players who have graciously lent their time and talent to support the new project. Artists of note include Marc Ford (The Black Crowes), Audley Freed (The Black Crowes, Cry Love, Peter Frampton), Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, Jewel), Kenny Vaughn (Steve Earle, Marty Stuart, Rodney Crowell), Michael Webb (John Fogerty), Jason Sutter (Chris Cornell), Ron Dziubla (Royal Crown Reveue, Ricky Martin), and Gia Ciambotti (Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt).

The rollicking title track was released to radio on February 23, 2010 and early commendations for the album are already rolling in. “I’ve been drowning in a sea of cookie-cutter music. Thank you Shy Blakeman for throwing me a life preserver [with] LONG DISTANCE MAN,” says Kelley Peterson of KHKX/KMCM/KQRX in Odessa, Texas.

Blakeman will be promoting his new album today during a performance at the Kinetic Entertainment "The Early Bird Gets The Music" showcase at Annie’s West, 706 W. 6th St. Austin, Texas. He has also been invited to perform for the CMT Awards after-party in Nashville, Tenn. Scheduled for June 9, 2010, this unofficial wrap-up to the CMA Music Fest activities will be hosted by Cowboy Troy, the 2006 and 2007 co-host of “Nashville Star.”

For more information visit: www.shyblakeman.com

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Events, March, 2010

In March 2010, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem presents public programming that brings jazz fans closer to artists—emerging to living masters—that embody the art form that defines America to itself and to the world.

Our live performance series, Harlem in the Himalayas, features three forward-thinking musical leaders grounded in the lessons of their forebears, yet who are only bound by the limits of their imaginations. Come see the boundless future their music beholds at the Rubin Museum of Art.

Come engage in conversation with Terry Teachout, author of a celebrated new bio of Louis Armstrong, at Jazz for Curious Readers, and find out details on the controversial 2009 Wall Street Journal article in which he lamented the declining audience for jazz.


Harlem Speaks, our flagship series, features recent NEA Jazz Master awardee Kenny Barron and trombonist Dick Griffin, whose career encompasses all from mainstream jazz to the avant-garde.

Art Blakey, the drum master who led one of the premier jazz ensembles of the 20th century, is the sole focus of our month long Jazz for Curious Listeners (JCL) series and a special Saturday panel discussion. Museum co-director Christian McBride will lead two of the free JCL sessions, and will spearhead a tribute to Herbie Hancock at Stanford University in California as well.

Come to listen, learn, engage and swing!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

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

Art Blakey is undoubtedly one of the most influential and beloved percussionists and band leaders in the history of the music called jazz, his signature rolls and bandstand power accentuating the bandstands of countless groups as a sideman, and as leader of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.

The Jazz Messengers was a major incubator for young talent. A list of the band's alumni is a who's who of straight-ahead jazz from the '50s on – Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Johnny Griffin, Jackie McLean, Donald Byrd, Bobby Timmons, Cedar Walton, Benny Golson, Joanne Brackeen, Billy Harper, Valery Ponomarev, Bill Pierce, Branford Marsalis, James Williams, and Chuck Mangione, to name only a few. In the '80s, precocious graduates of Blakey's School for Swing would continue to number among the movers and shakers in jazz, foremost among them trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, who became the most visible symbol of the '80s jazz mainstream; through him, Blakey's swingin’ ideals came to dominate the public's perception of the music. At the time of Blakey's death in 1990, the Messenger aesthetic dominated jazz, and Blakey himself had arguably become the most influential jazz musician of the past 20 years.

Monday, March 8, 2010

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

Terry Teachout is a critic, biographer, blogger, and drama critic of The Wall Street Journal, the music critic of Commentary, and the author of Sightings, a column about the arts in America that appears biweekly in the Saturday Wall Street Journal.

And most significantly for tonight, Mr. Teachout is the author of the acclaimed new biography of the Father of Jazz: Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong.

He blogs at About Last Night along with Chicago-based critic Laura Demanski (who writes under the name "Our Girl in Chicago"), contributes a weekly book-review column and a monthly videoblog to Contentions, the Commentary blog, and has written about the arts for many other magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times and National Review.

Teachout grew up in Sikeston, Missouri. He attended St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland; William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, where he received his B.S. in music journalism; and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He lived in Kansas City from 1975 to 1983, working as a jazz bassist and a music critic for the Kansas City Star. He moved to New York City in 1985, working as an editor at Harper's Magazine (1985-87) and an editorial writer for the New York Daily News (1987-93) and as the News' classical music and dance critic (1993-2000). In 2004 he was appointed by President Bush to the National Council on the Arts, the advisory and review panel of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Teachout is the author of All in the Dances: A Brief Life of George Balanchine (2004, Harcourt), A Terry Teachout Reader (2004, Yale University Press), The Skeptic: A Life of H.L. Mencken (2002, HarperCollins), and City Limits: Memories of a Small-Town Boy (1991, Poseidon Press).

He is the editor of Beyond the Boom: New Voices on American Life, Culture, and Politics (1990, Poseidon, introduction by Tom Wolfe) and Ghosts on the Roof: Selected Journalism of Whittaker Chambers, 1931-1959 (1989, Regnery Gateway). In 1992 he rediscovered the manuscript of A Second Mencken Chrestomathy among H.L. Mencken's private papers and edited it for publication by Alfred A. Knopf (1995). He wrote the forewords to Paul Taylor's Private Domain: An Autobiography (1999, University of Pittsburgh Press), Elaine Dundy's The Dud Avocado (2007, New York Review Books), and William Bailey's William Bailey on Canvas (2007, Betty Cuningham Gallery) and contributed to The Oxford Companion to Jazz (2000, Oxford University Press). He has written liner notes for CDs by Karrin Allyson, Gene Bertoncini, Ruby Braff and Ellis Larkins, Chanticleer, Julia Dollison, Jim Ferguson, Diana Krall, the Lascivious Biddies, Joe Mooney, Marian McPartland, Mike Metheny, Maria Schneider, Nickel Creek, Kendra Shank, Luciana Souza, and the Trio Solisti.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

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

Art Blakey's first musical education came in the form of piano lessons; he was playing professionally as a seventh grader, leading his own commercial band. He switched to drums shortly thereafter, learning to play in the hard-swinging style of Chick Webb and Sid Catlett. In 1942, he played with pianist Mary Lou Williams in New York. He toured the South with Fletcher Henderson's band in 1943-1944. From there, he briefly led a Boston-based big band before joining Billy Eckstine's new group, with which he would remain from 1944-1947. Eckstine's big band was the famous "cradle of modern jazz," and included (at different times) such major figures of the forthcoming bebop revolution as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Charlie Parker. When Eckstine's group disbanded, Blakey started a rehearsal ensemble called the Seventeen Messengers. He also recorded with an octet, the first of his bands to be called the Jazz Messengers.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

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

According to writer Arwulf Arwulf (from whom this bio is adapted), a thorough examination of Kenny Barron's musical accomplishments over a span of 50 years requires a discography of more than 200 pages. That's because in addition to a distinguished career as soloist and leader he has served as one of the most dependable sidemen in all of post-bop mainstream modern jazz. More than 40 albums have appeared under his name, and his presence on literally hundreds of recordings by other musicians paints a panoramic picture of Kenny Barron's lifelong devotion to the music.

Born in Philadelphia, PA, on June 9, 1943, he took on the piano at the age of 12, with a little help from Ray Bryant's sister, known today as the mother of guitarist Kevin Eubanks. Three years later, on the recommendation of his own big brother, saxophonist Bill Barron (1927-1989), he joined Mel Melvin's rhythm & blues band. The aspiring pianist gained more experience while working with drummer Philly Joe Jones, saxophonist Jimmy Heath and multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef in Detroit. Lateef's album The Centaur and the Phoenix (1960) was Kenny Barron's first modern jazz recording project, though not as a performer (Joe Zawinul was the pianist on this date) but as composer and arranger.

His recording debut as an improvising artist took place shortly after he moved to New York in 1961 and cut the first of many albums with his brother, who often aligned himself with two graduates of the Charles Mingus Jazz Workshop, trumpeter Ted Curson and saxophonist Booker Ervin. A session in 1962 found Barron working with trumpeter Dave Burns, one-time member of sax and flute man James Moody's exciting bop orchestra. Moody himself played an important role in Barron's career, first hiring him to perform at the Village Vanguard, then bringing him into Dizzy Gillespie's band. Barron stuck with Diz and Moody until 1966, performing at clubs and festivals on both coasts and touring through France and England.

Kenny Barron's first great year of independent recording activity was 1967. In addition to co-leading a band with trumpeter Jimmy Owens, the pianist made records with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and saxophonists Joe Henderson, Stanley Turrentine, Booker Ervin, and Eric Kloss. Barron seldom recorded with anyone just once. Examples of artists who made many records with Barron during the 1970s are  Moody and Lateef, and bassists Ron Carter and Buster Williams, and others such as Marvin "Hannibal" Peterson. Barron also worked regularly with saxophonists Chico and Von Freeman, John Stubblefield, Nick Brignola, and Stan Getz (with whom he toured extensively during Getz's twilight years). The stylistic range continued to widen as Barron sat in with violinists Michal Urbaniak and John Blake, drummer Elvin Jones, and singing trombonist Ray Anderson.

During the '80s, Kenny Barron played piano in the score for Spike Lee's film Do the Right Thing, appeared on multi-performer tribute albums honoring composers Nino Rota and Thelonious Monk, and became a founding member (with Charlie Rouse, Buster Williams, and Ben Riley) of the definitive Monk legacy band, known as Sphere.

A respected educator who has taught at Rutgers, Juilliard, and the Manhattan School of Music, Kenny Barron continues to create music of exceptionally high quality and substantial depth, something he has done for half a century, whether using the Fender Rhodes electromechanical keyboard, a plugged-in harpsichord, a synthesizer, or his lifelong companion, that fundamental jazz instrument, the piano.

In January 2010 Barron was one of the esteemed recipients of the NEA Jazz Master’s honor, conferring an official recognition of what Barron’s fans have already known for 40 years. Come hear an musical master speak of his life and times in the art of jazz.

Friday, March 12, 2010

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

Jaleel Shaw, alto saxophone
Dwayne Burno, acoustic bass
Otis Brown III, drums

One of the most thrilling young alto saxophonists on the jazz scene, Jaleel Shaw holds down the alto chair in the small ensemble of none other than the great Roy Haynes. Tonight see and hear him as he fronts his own band!

Jaleel Shaw grew up in Philadelphia, PA, where he studied with saxophone instructors Rayburn Wright and Robert Landham. As a teen, Jaleel performed, jammed and sat in at the many clubs in Philadelphia, honing his chops and developing strong relationships with the many great musicians there as well as the musicians that came to Philly from New York City.

Upon graduating from high school, Jaleel received a full tuition scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass, where he attended for four years and earned a dual degree in Music Education and Performance (in 2000). While attending Berklee, Jaleel studied privately with saxophonists Andy Mcghee, Billy Pierce, George Garzone, and Shanon LeClaire.

After graduating from Berklee, Jaleel attended the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where he received his Masters in Jazz Performance in May 2002. During his time at the MSM, Jaleel was recruited by both the Mingus Big Band and Count Basie Orchestra. Jaleel appears on two Grammy Nominated CDs by the Mingus Big Band - "Tonight at Noon" and "I Am Three."

A year after finishing his graduate studies, Jaleel joined Temple University as a part-time private lesson and ensemble instructor, and soon thereafter began giving private saxophone lessons at The New School.

After being in New York for five years, Jaleel's debut CD "Perspective" was released in June 2005 to rave reviews. It was named one of the top 5 debut CDs of 2005 by All About Jazz and the Jazz Journalists Association. In the fall of 2005, Jaleel joined world renown drummer Roy Haynes' Quartet and recorded the Grammy nominated CD "Whereas" with the group for the Dreyfus Label.

In the beginning of 2008, Jaleel launched his own record label (Changu Records), on which he released his second CD – "Optimism." Today Jaleel continues to perform primarily in three groups - The Roy Haynes Quartet, the Mingus Big Band, and his own quartet and quintet.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday Panels
Orgy in Rhythm: An In-Depth Look and Listen to Art Blakey
7:30 – 9:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers served as a traveling finishing school for countless jazz musicians who later led their own groups and became composers and arrangers of note. Today, meet some of the alumni of the Messengers, and see film footage of Blakey in action as a drummer, band leader, and teacher.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Jazz for Curious Listeners
The Big Beat: Art Blakey
ALUMNI REUNION 7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

With Christian McBride

Christian McBride, co-director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, will host alumni of the Blakey band in an evening not to be missed. The spirit of Blakey will be summoned!   

Friday, March 19, 2010

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

Ambrose’s conceptual extension into a new musical language never excludes beauty. As one who listens intently, he values the fertility of a pause, of communication, of tension. Ambrose began conceptualizing early as a musician, theorizing and experimenting as a catalyst for development. He seeks other genres of music to analyze and expose, drawing inspiration from musicians ranging from Bjork to Chopin.

Before he was eighteen, Ambrose had already performed with such famed musicians as Joe Henderson, Joshua Redman, Steve Coleman, and Billy Higgins. After graduating Berkeley High School, he moved to New York to begin a scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music, studying with Vincent Pinzerella from the New York Philharmonic, Dick Oatts, Lew Soloff, and Laurie Frink.

Ambrose is a recent graduate of the Masters program at USC, and also the Monk Institute, where Ambrose’s instructors included Terence Blanchard, Billy Childs and Gary Grant. In the past several years, he has worked with such artists as Jimmy Heath, Jason Moran, Hal Crook, Bob Hurst, Terri Lynne Carrington, Ron Carter, and Wallace Roney, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. So it should come as little or no surprise that Ambrose was the winner of both the 2007 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition and 2007 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners                               
The Big Beat: Art Blakey                                                                                 THE EARLY YEARS: with Fletcher Henderson, Thelonious Monk and Billy Eckstine

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

Art Blakey's first musical education came in the form of piano lessons; he was playing professionally as a seventh grader, leading his own commercial band. He switched to drums shortly thereafter, learning to play in the hard-swinging style of Chick Webb and Sid Catlett. In 1942, he played with pianist Mary Lou Williams in New York. He toured the South with Fletcher Henderson's band in 1943-1944. From there, he briefly led a Boston-based big band before joining Billy Eckstine's new group, with which he would remain from 1944-1947. Eckstine's big band was the famous "cradle of modern jazz," and included (at different times) such major figures of the forthcoming bebop revolution as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Charlie Parker. When Eckstine's group disbanded, Blakey started a rehearsal ensemble called the Seventeen Messengers. He also recorded with an octet, the first of his bands to be called the Jazz Messengers.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

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

In a career spanning over 30 years, Dick Griffin has performed with some of the biggest names in Jazz and Soul, and has appeared with several symphony orchestras as well. A short list of the luminaries Mr. Griffin has worked with includes: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Tito Puente, Art Blakey, Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Isaac Hayes, Dionne Warwick, and Lionel Hampton.

Griffin has developed a highly personalized playing style which he calls "circularphonics," a technique that combines the playing of chords on trombone with circular breathing. The expanded range of sounds Griffin creates through his multiphonic technique at times evokes the spirit of such experimental artists as John Coltrane, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Sun Ra. Never a follower, however, Griffin has developed a unique style on and for the trombone that goes beyond the influence of even those great musicians.

James Richard Griffin was born and reared in Jackson, Mississippi. His first musical influence was a neighbor known simply as Mr. Jesse. At evening time, all the neighborhood children would stop by to hear Mr. Jesse's impromptu blues guitar compositions with lyrics describing the day's events in rhyme. Griffin began studying piano at age 11 and upon entering high school two years later joined the school's marching band where he learned trombone. His professional career began as a teenager, playing piano and trombone in clubs with drummer classmate Freddie Waits. While in high school he also sang in a doo-wop group which was invited to go on the road and perform with Sam Cooke. In junior college, Griffin won several awards for his arranging skills. In 1963, Griffin graduated from Jackson State University and then pursued graduate studies at Indiana University where he received a Masters Degree in Music Education and Trombone.

It was in Chicago, though, where Griffin met avant-garde jazz giant Sun Ra, that his professional career seriously took off. He spent several summers in the mid-1960s playing with Sun Ra's Arkestra. It was during this period that Griffin first met Rahsaan Roland Kirk, who became a close friend. After moving to New York City in 1967, Griffin made his recording debut with Kirk on the album "The Inflated Tear." As a member of the "Vibration Society," Griffin notated and transcribed music for the sightless Kirk. He went on to record several albums with Kirk, including "Prepare Thyself To Deal With A Miracle," "Rahsaan, Rahsaan," "Left & Right," and "Volunteered Slavery." In the early 1970s, Griffin also played in a big band fronted by the great bassist and composer Charles Mingus. During this year-long association, Mingus provided priceless support by encouraging the young trombonist's writing endeavors. Griffin also spent three years in the house band of the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, playing for nearly all the Motown greats, including The Temptations, James Brown and Nancy Wilson.

In 1974, Griffin released his debut album as a leader, "The Eighth Wonder," for Strata-East Records, one of the most successful independent jazz labels of that period. Later, he released "Now Is The Time: The Multiphonic Tribe" for Trident Records. During this period, he also taught music theory and the history of Jazz at Wesleyan University (1975-77) and later at SUNY-Old Westbury (1981-83). In the 1980s, Griffin's career encompassed performances in a wide variety of settings with his own group and with others. As a sideman, Griffin performed with some of the best big band musicians of the time—Benny Bailey, Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, and Slide Hampton—at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. Later in the decade, Griffin toured and recorded with the internationally-renowned ensemble "Ekaya," led by South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim (f/k/a Dollar Brand).

As a composer, Griffin completed the "World Vibration Suite," a work for symphony orchestra premiered by the Brooklyn Philharmonic. In 1986, his third album "A Dream For Rahsaan," was released by Ruby Records to critical acclaim. This inspired him to adapt the album for a symphony orchestra and three saxophones, which was the format he had previously employed for the "World Vibration Suite." During the 1990s, he performed in over a dozen international Jazz festivals, both as a leader and in the bands of such diverse talents as Illinois Jacquet, Sun Ra, Charles Gayle, Hilton Ruiz, and Lionel Hampton. Along with such notable artists as Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Rollins, Griffin appeared in the Heineken Jazz Festival in Rotterdam and, in 1991, he traveled to Canada to headline Ottawa's International Jazz Festival. The German label, Konnex Records, re-released Griffin's first and third albums in 1994 with additional tracks. Griffin then released "All Blues," his fourth album (on Amasaya Records), which features he novel lineup of trombone, organ, guitar, and drums. In addition to the title track by Miles Davis, Griffin performs five originals plus tunes by Ellington, Horace Silver, and Hampton Hawes, paying tribute to the blues environment in which he was nurtured.

One of the most versatile and inventive musicians of today, Griffin has played with symphony orchestras such as The Harlem Philharmonic and The Symphony Of The New World, and has performed in several Broadway shows including "The Wiz," "Me & Bessie," "Raisin," and "Lena" (starring Lena Horne), as well as in the Paris production of "Black & Blue" (starring Linda Hopkins). He has made many television appearances in the U.S. on shows such as "The Today Show", "Soul", "Faces", "The Ed Sullivan Show", and "Like It Is". He also has appeared in the UK on the BBC and on TV programs in Germany, France, and Italy. Finally, he also appeared in the film "The Cotton Club" and performed on the soundtrack for the movie "Gordon's War".

During the past few years, Griffin has performed more extensively with his own group, the Dick Griffin Organ Ensemble, and he also played at the Uncool Jazz Festival in Switzerland with Charles Gayle in 2001. Griffin has also continued to devote his time to his artwork. His abstract paintings and works on paper have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, private and corporate collections in both the U.S. and Europe. Some of his early pieces grace the covers of each of his four CDs.

Tonight you can witness an artist not beholden to genre labels and engage in discussion with him during the audience Q&A portion of the evening.

Friday, March 26, 2010

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

If ever an artist could be called an octopus, Luis Bonilla is it. The California raised, Costa Rican trombonist, composer and arranger has sought out, taken in and mastered an incredible array of musical styles. His success as a sideman with such greats as McCoy Tyner, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Tom Harrell, Freddie Hubbard, Astrud Gilberto, Willie Colon and Toshiko Akiyoshi attests not only to the skill and variety of Bonilla’s talent, but also to a mind restlessly committed to exploring some of the most complex and demanding music of our time.

Yet there is nothing rarefied about the Bonilla experience. He has worked as a studio musician with Tony Bennett, Marc Anthony, La India and Mary J. Blige and understands and exploits the liveliness of pop as well as the rhythmic sway and punch of Latin Jazz. Currently a member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra under Arturo O’Farrill’s direction  (both 2009 Grammy winners) and Dave Douglas’s latest group (Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy), Bonilla is one of those rare artists whose work is always expanding, taking in more and more while remaining singular and focused: “Bonilla may be a trombonist used to handling that big long sliding thing, but when it comes to execution of his ideas, he lets nothing slide” (All About Jazz).

Critics praised his first two albums on the Candid label, Pasos Gigantes (1998) and iEscucha! (2000), acknowledging Bonilla’s ability to give voice to radically different musical sensibilities with an ease and seamlessness that belies the rigor and sophistication of the music. Pasos Gigantes made Jazziz’s top ten Latin list of 1998. Even as early as these first two albums, critics noted Bonilla’s leadership and sophisticated use of tonal colors. As a faculty member at both Temple University and Manhattan School of Music, Bonilla has an intuitive sense in how to bring out the best in those working with him. Listen to any of his albums and you will hear an extraordinary level of trust and inspiration in each band member’s playing. As the critic for All About Jazz noticed, “Bonilla gives his colleagues ample space to breathe, adding momentum to the flow of his compositional ideas.”

His next album, 2007’s Terminal Clarity was a celebration, reflection and aesthetic extension of his years working with Lester Bowie. While retaining the brash harmonic structures of his mentor’s work from Brass Fantasy to his earlier and justly famous work with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Bonilla adds a “contagious exuberance” (Jazzwise magazine) that is at the heart of his artistic vision. Without in any way diminishing Bowie’s audacity, Bonilla manages to balance “the cerebral and the down-and-dirty (Jazz Times), taking “bold steps to merge Latin genres, free jazz and a variety of other influences" (Latin Jazz Corner).

In Bonilla’s latest album, I Talking Now! (2009), he pushes these disjunctions even harder, politely demanding that we feel connections between wildly disparate styles of music. A heady mix of swing, rock, free jazz, funk, movie soundtracks, avant-garde noise and ballads, I Talking Now, for all its musical diversity, speaks with one voice. It is a distinctly American vision, a gentle craziness that suggests that every one and every sound can co-exist if we just keep on taking in more and more. Luis Bonilla is moving in directions that are expanding our notions of jazz and leading us into startling new realms with “remarkable creativity and versatility” (Newsday).

Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Christian McBride/Loren Schoenberg Duo/Informance
at Stanford University's Community School for Music and Arts, Mountain View

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 | 6:00 pm

Community School for Music and Arts, Mountain View

The annual duo concert/lecture by the NJMH’s dynamic directors!
ALSO – SAME NIGHT: Jazz for Curious Listeners
The Big Beat:
Art Blakey  FILM NIGHT

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

Don’t miss this free session with one of the world’s best bass instrumentalists sharing his views on, and selections by, Art Blakey, in this last of a month-long series of events focused on the man affectionately called “Buhaina.”

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A TRIBUTE TO HERBIE HANCOCK: CHRISTIAN McBRIDE AND FRIENDS

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 | 8:00 pm
Stanford University's Dinkelspiel Auditorium

$34–38 (Adult) | $10 (Stanford Student)
$31–35 (Other Student)
$17–19 (Youth Under 18)
In a concert curated by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem (NJMH), museum co-director and bass phenom Christian McBride leads a tribute to the legacy of pioneering jazz composer/keyboardist Herbie Hancock. McBride has long embraced electric jazz, funk, and soul music as a vibrant part of the jazz mainstream. Here, he leads his versatile band through Hancock’s incredible body of work, from his years as a Miles Davis sideman and Blue Note Records solo artist in the 1960s, through his groundbreaking Headhunters fusion project in the ’70s, to his work with pop vocalists and producers in the ’80s and ’90s, and his current interest in young hip hop and techno artists. The concert is the culmination of a season of free public programs on jazz and technology, and a continuation of Lively Arts’ collaboration with NJMH and the Stanford Jazz Workshop, revisiting classic jazz repertoire from a fresh perspective.

***note: the JAZZ AT THE DWYER with Etienne Charles and his Trinidadian Jazz Band will occur on APRIL 23rd, not MARCH 23 as listed on our mailing card.

Prez Fest 2010 March 14, 2010 Celebrating Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers

During his life time, the legendary drummer Art Blakey performed at Saint Peter’s Church, ‘The Jazz Church,” many times. He was well known for his Jazz Messengers “school of jazz” which produced many legendary jazz musicians of today, including Wayne Shorter, Cedar Walton, Terrence Blanchard, Billy Harper, Brian Lynch, Donald Harrison, Reggie Workman, Bobby Watson and many others. All told there were 150 musicians who passed through his “school” over several decades.

For this festival, we are partnering with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, 104 East 126th Street # 2C, New York City which is offering a series of events celebrating the legacy of Art Blakey including Jazz for Curious Listeners on Tuesdays in March from 7 to 8 PM and on Saturday, March 13 from Noon to 4 PM “An In-Depth Look and Listen to Art Blakey” panel.

Prez Fest 2010 Celebrating Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers – March 14, 2010 at Saint Peter’s Church, 619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street, NY, NY.  Program begins at 3 PM and includes panel discussion, drum technique demonstration, jazz vespers and a concert.  $20 suggested ticket donation and $10 students donation with student ID.  http://www.saintpeters.org/ 212 935 2200. Take the “E” train to Lexington Avenue or the “6” to 51st Street. Press contacts: Ike Sturm, 212 935 2200 or Lynne Mueller 917 207 4953.

The Jazz Committee at Saint Peter’s Church / Midtown Arts Commons presents:

Prez Fest 2010 – March 14, 2010

Celebrating Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers

Saint Peter’s Church “The Jazz Church”

619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street, New York City

Tickets Here

Here We Go Magic Play BOULDER At Fox Theater

It's been a big year for Here We Go Magic following the release of their much celebrated self-titled debut (Western Vinyl), and now they have their sights firmly set on 2010 with a new album, a new record label, and an ever expanding sound. Having just signed to Secretly Canadian, the band is targeting Spring of 2010 to release their highly anticipated follow-up to 2009's breakthrough record.

The band have spent much of the year on the road touring with indie giants including Grizzly Bear and are currently supporting The Walkmen before playing Austin City Limits.

Here We Go Magic are also hard at work recording the self-produced sophomore album in a house they've commandeered in upstate New York, and while the first record was the result of Luke Temple getting creative in his bedroom, this release is a fully fledged team effort.

With an eye towards 2010 the band is looking forward to expanding their audience as their unique sound continues to permeate throughout the indie world.

US Tour Dates:

3/13: Rock N Roll Hotel, Washington D.C

3/14: Local 506, Carrboro, NC
4/05: Jefferson Theater, Charlottesville, VA
4/06: Grey Eagle, Asheville, NC 
4/09: The Social, Orlando, FL
4/10: Jax Live, Jacksonville, FL
4/11: Club Downunder,  Tallahassee, FL
4/13: Walters on Washington, Houston, TX
4/14: The Independent, Austin, TX
4/16: The Clubhouse, Phoenix, AZ
4/20: Urban Lounge, Salt Lake
4/21: Fox Theater, Boulder
4/24: High Noon Saloon, Madison, WI
4/25: Metro, Chicago, IL
4/26: Radio Radio, Indianapolis, IN
4/27: Lee's Palace, Toronto, ON
4/28: Petit Campus. Montreal
5/01: Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA

Noise Pop 2010 Announces Full Event Schedule / Festival Starts THIS WEEK!

Just announced additions to the already stellar Noise Pop 2010 lineup include Har Mar Superstar making a special appearance at the Diesel/ Live 105 Happy Hour at Benders on February 23rd, Thao Nguyen will join Mirah on stage at the Swedish American Hall for a first ever collaborative performance, Citay joins Scout Niblett at Cafe du Nord and a second screening of Blood into Wine has been added by popular demand.

 

Ultraviolet Hippopotamus Winter Tour

ULTRAVIOLET HIPPOPOTAMUS is an explosive six-piece jam rock band from Grand Rapids, MI with a rapidly growing fan base all over the MidWest and Colorado, as well as online with thousands of listeners nationwide. Recently described by Recoil Magazine as "one of Michigan's most promising bands," UV HIPPO mixes tight funky jams with new dance beats and strange effects for a killer musical experience. The band performs an eclectic array of composed and improvised original material, dancing between genres of funk, jazz, electronica, reggae, bluegrass, and progressive rock.


The Marquee Magazine " experiencing UV Hippo live, jam band fans are quickly reminded why they fell in love with thegenre’s sound in the first place..."

Detroit Free Press "... music Frank Zappa would be proud of..."

Lansing State Journal "UV Hippo is all the rage these days... and fans all over are hooked."

The word is out, and the band is seeing more and more repeat offenders traveling further distances to develop their MidWest following into a national sensation. With a solid foundation of dedicated fans
leading the way, UV HIPPO is embarking on their Winter 2010 Tour, returning to Pennsylvania and Iowa, performing for the first time in Kentucky and Missouri, spending some time in the MidWest and hitting
Colorado for the third time in nine months. UVH kicks off their Colorado run with back to back shows opening for Garaj Mahal at Hodi's Half Note in Fort Collins and Agave in Avon on February 17th and 18th. This is not the first time these outfits have shared the stage, playing two high energy, insane shows in Kalamazoo and Chicago together at the end 2009. UVH is extremely excited about their time with GM in Colorado, as Fort Collins promises to be a night of true badass-ery!

The Official ULTRAVIOLET HIPPOPOTAMUS Tour Schedule is as follows:

Fri. 1/22 The Winchester Music Hall Cleveland, OH
Sat. 1/23 The Docksider Erie, PA
Thur. 1/28 Bell's Brewery Kalamazoo, MI
Fri. 1/29 The Mad Frog Cincinnati, OH
Fri. 2/5 Mac's Bar Lansing, MI
Fri. 2/12 Cosmic Charlie's Lexington, KY
Sat. 2/13 Kaysan's 5th Down Fort Wayne, IN
Sun. 2/14 Parlor City Pub Cedar Rapids, IA
Tue. 2/16 320 South Breckenridge, CO
Wed. 2/17 Hodi's Half Note w/ Garaj Mahal Fort Collins, CO
Thur. 2/18 Agave w/ Garaj Mahal Avon, CO
Fri. 2/19 Ullr's Winter Park, CO
Sat. 2/20 Winter Park Resort Winter Park, CO
Sun. 2/21 Mountain Sun Brewery Boulder, CO
Mon. 2/22 Sancho's Broken Arrow Denver, CO
Wed. 2/24 Tugboat Steamboat Springs, CO
Thur. 2/25 Tugboat Steamboat Springs, CO
Fri. 2/26 First Street Pub Nederland, CO
Sat. 2/27 Owsley's Golden Road w/ Papadosio Denver, CO
Tue. 3/2 Tres Hombres Carbondale, IL
Wed. 3/3 Gramophone Saint Louis, MO
Thur. 3/4 The Uptowner Charleston, IL
Fri. 3/5 Harrison's Landing Elkhart, IN
Sat. 3/6 Booney's Avon, IN

The Winter 2010 Tour is just the beginning of an ambitious list of new initiatives, long-term goals, and a commitment to responsible touring for UVH this year. After signing with Simon Says Booking Agency and
playing the Rothbury Pre-Party with EOTO in 2009, UV HIPPO is ready for a full plate. In addition to releasing their third full length studio album later in 2010, the band plans on touring both coasts and
everywhere they can in between, including stops on the national festival circuit.

A significant part of the 200-show agenda ULTRAVIOLET HIPPOPOTAMUS has planned for 2010, will be promoting green principles and sustainable touring. An important step in making this goal a reality
is investing in a used diesel shuttle bus and converting the bus to run on veggie oil, obtained through the discarded oil from FastFood joints! Coined, the "Hippopota-bus", this 1995 Ford E-350 Mini-Bus will
greatly reduce tour costs, lessen the band's overall carbon footprint and remove themselves from the global oil crisis. To promote their cause and raise funds, while educating their fans about sustainability,
UVH will launch a new line of organic, recycled clothing and other cool products throughout 2010. All profits from this new green line of clothing will go towards the purchase of the "Hippopota-bus" and
veggie-oil conversion. There will also be a donation jar, a limited edition poster and other sustainable 'Help Hippo Go Green' merchandise available, to support the band's new direction.

Mickey Hart's Heartbeat for Haiti

Mickey Hart's Heartbeat for Haiti Benefit featuring Mickey Hart & Friends with Giovanni Hidalgo, Sikiru Adepoju, and Rebeca Mauleon, Big Head Todd and The Monsters, Brett Dennen and Amos Lee. Proceeds to benefit What If? Foundation and Partners in Health.  A Silent Auction to be hosted by Mountain Girl.

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

6PM VIP Meet and Greet

7PM Doors

8PM Show

$35.00 GA Tickets and Limited $100.00 VIP Meet and Greet Tickets.

About What if?:

Founded in 2000, the What If? Foundation funds food and education programs for children in Haiti.

From the beginning, the What If? Foundation has been in partnership with the St. Clare’s community of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Our success is made possible through the collaborative efforts of members of St. Clare’s, who prepare and serve thousands of food program meals every week, enroll students into school, and run an annual summer camp. This commitment and expertise, combined with the financial resources provided by the What If? Foundation is what makes these desperately needed programs possible.

With this simple formula of local dedication and international support, we’re making a tangible difference in the lives of some of the world’s hungriest children. We welcome you to join us.

About Partners in Health: