2011

2011 Backbeat Jazzfest Series

The Backbeat Jazzfest Series will present its sixth annual consecutive series of evening concerts from April 29 - May 8, 2011 coinciding with the weeks of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. This series celebrates the music and spirit of New Orleans and showcases internationally renowned bands and the best in local New Orleans music in a manner that encourages collaboration to create those magical musical moments for the audience and performers alike. As in past years, the 2011 Backbeat Jazzfest Series is an evening destination for music lovers across the country craving late night entertainment after a day filled with musical celebration at Jazzfest.

This year the Backbeat Jazzfest Series will feature shows at its usual spots, Blue Nile and Tipitina's French Quarter, plus venues new to the series Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré, 12 Bar, The Temple (also known as the Scottish Rite Temple.) and Tipitina's Uptown.

More Phish Summer Tour Dates Announced

Phish has just announced additional dates to their 2011 Summer Tour, including the band's first-ever concert at the Hollywood Bowl (and their first Los Angeles appearance since 2003), and their first shows in scenic Lake Tahoe. The band will also play in San Francisco at the Outside Land's Music Festival in Golden Gate Park, two consecutive nights at The Gorge in George, WA and a three-night stand at Chicago’s UIC Pavilion.

Phish kicks off their 2011 Summer Tour on Memorial Day weekend, with three consecutive nights (May 27, 28 & 29) at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, NY. Stops along the way include Cleveland, Cincinnati, Mansfield, Darien Lake and more, as well as 2-night runs in Holmdel, Columbia and Alpharetta. The band also plays host to Super Ball IX,their own 3-Day Festival over Fourth of July Weekend in Watkins Glen, NY. The band will not be touring this fall.

A limited number of tickets are available NOW through Phish Tickets' online ticketing system at http://phish.portals.musictoday.com for the recent additions. The ticket request period is currently underway and will end Monday, April 25th at Noon Eastern. Tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning Friday, April 29. For complete ticketing info, please visit www.phish.com/tours.

Included in the ticket price for each specific date, is a free MP3 download of the entire show (a fully mixed soundboard recording), redeemable at LivePhish.com, often within an hour of the band stepping off stage.

The NEW DEAL announces the end of a spectacular 12- year career

The NEW DEAL announces the end of a spectacular 12- year career with a strong run of shows that will wrap up in the fall.

It has been an amazing run for the band and we appreciate the loyal and dedicated tND fanbase across North America and Asia. Our individual lives have taken very different paths with family, living abroad, and other various projects. We have come to a point where the time and commitment that it takes to maintain our band at its best is no longer possible. As a group, we’ve never been known to go halfway, so we have decided to end things with a great run of summer and fall shows that we hope to be the best yet.

Over the next several months, TND will return to the East Coast. The final Summer and Fall 2011 shows will bring us to many of our favorite places in the US and Canada, and we’re looking forward to finishing things off in a big way.

We look forward to each and every one of these very special shows. Our fans have been fantastically devoted and supportive, and we hope to give them a final run of performances that will be truly memorable.

In addition to the summer shows and festivals already announced, we expect to add a few more dates to give as many fans as possible the opportunity to see us play together one last time.

Much love,
Darren, Dan and Jamie

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SHOWS:
May 4 - Richmond, VA - The National w/Sub wSara & Former Champions
May 5 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory - OTT & Sub Swara
May 6 - Baltimore, MD - Sonar OTT & Sub Swara
May 7 - NYC - Terminal 5 - OTT & Sub Swara
June 3 - Ozark,AR - Wakarusa
June 4 - Hunter, NY - Mountain Jam
July 1 - Rothbury, MI - Electric Forest
July 2 - Denver, CO - Red Rocks
Aug 19 - Bartow, WV - Camp Barefoot
Aug 20 - Equinuk, PA - Equifunk Festival

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Events, April 4 - April 10, 2011

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

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Jazz for Curious Readers

Art Taylor: Notes and Tones, a celebration

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

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

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Notes and Tones is one of the most controversial, honest, and insightful books ever written about jazz. As a black musician himself, Arthur Taylor asked his subjects hard questions about the role of black artists in a majority white society. Free to speak their minds, these musicians offer startling insights into their music, their lives, and the creative process itself. Notes and Tones consists of twenty-nine no-holds-barred conversations which drummer Arthur Taylor held with some of the most influential jazz musicians in jazz—including: Thelonious Monk, Erroll Garner, Elvin Jones, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Dexter Gordon.

Arthur Taylor drummed with Coleman Hawkins, Bud Powell, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and dozens of others. He was called ”one of the great drummers to come out of the fertile Harlem bebop scene” (New York Times) and ”one of the best bandleaders living or dead” (Village Voice). His band, Taylor’s Wailers, recorded several albums, and was based in New York City up until Taylor's death in 1995.

We welcome you to join this celebration of a classic of jazz literature.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

It Don't Mean a Thing: Great Jazz Rhythm Sections

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

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

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Count Basie's All American 4

The Count Basie Orchestra's All American rhythm section appropriately initiates our focus this month on great rhythm sections. Basie (piano), Walter Page (bass), Jo Jones (drums), and Freddie Green (guitar) together perfected what, after Louis Armstrong's style modeled it, became known as swing. From the mid-30's to early 40's, the Count Basie Orchestra popularized this feeling, contributing to the period of American history called the Swing Era. These four men blended into a "cohesive whole greater than the sum of its parts," as Loren Schoenberg, Executive Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem put it in The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Jazz.

We invite you to swing on through to our Visitor's Center for this free event in which the sounds of Lester Young and the All American rhythm section will reign once again.

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Harlem Speaks

James Spaulding, flutist/saxophonist

6:30 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

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

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

James Spaulding has established his reputation as a masterful soloist for ensemble performances, and for many years was among the busier sidemen for Blue Note Records. An exceptional saxophonist and flutist, he is one of the many fine artists to come out of the Indianapolis, Indiana area. James is a modernist, with solid roots in classical jazz; his saxophone style is an extension of the Charlie Parker influence, but his overall concept incorporates much of the broad jazz saxophone heritage.

Spaulding's musical training started early, as he came from a musical family in his place of birth Indiana (his father was a professional musician who played the guitar and led his own big band, traveling throughout the country). James began playing a bugle when he was in grade school. He later took up the trumpet and saxophone on his own, and while in high school studied clarinet. He made his professional debut playing around Indianapolis with an R&B group.

From 1954 to 1957, Spaulding was in the army playing in service bands. When he was discharged, he settled in Chicago where he performed in clubs leading his own group, and had a stay with the Sun Ra Orchestra. He also furthered his flute studies there at the Chicago Cosmopolitan School of Music. In 1962, he arrived in New York City, and subsequently was associated with notables such as Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Max Roach and the Ellington Orchestra.

In 1975, he received a bachelor's degree in music from Livingston College in New Jersey where he taught flute as an adjunct professor. James' daughters, Gina and Yvonne Spaulding were on the cover of his very first recording: The Legacy of Duke Ellington, recorded in 1975. Mr. Spaulding's range of performance experiences extends nationally and internationally, from the concert stage to jazz clubs to colleges and street fairs. His original music, a suite entitled "A Song of Courage," was performed by him with full orchestra and choir at the Voorhees Chapel at the Rutgers University campus from funds awarded him by the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been recorded on over 100 recordings.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Special Event: Mingus on Film with Loren Schoenberg

Sunday, April 10, 2011 | 2:00pm

Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University

328 Lomita Drive, Stanford, CA 94305

FREE|for more information: 650-723-4177

Loren Schoenberg, Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, concludes the Remember Mingus series with an afternoon of rare film footage, live concert clips, and lively discussion about Charles Mingus’ music, life and legacy.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Loren Schoenberg with the Gunn School Jazz Band, Music of Jazz Great Charles Mingus

Community School of Music and Arts at Finn Center

230 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View, CA 94040

FREE|for more information: 650-917-6800

Stanford Lively Arts performance offering musical excerpts and conversation with Loren Schoenberg.

Kinky Friedman embarks on "Springtime for Kinky Tour 2011"

This spring, starting April 27th in Kansas City, Missouri, Kinky Friedman, author, musician, politician, and self-proclaimed Governor of the Heart of Texas, will be performing dates throughout the Midwest and East Coast as part of his Springtime for Kinky Tour of 2011. Often returning to places he has not visited in two decades, the Kinkster will appear solo (primarily) and promote his most recent books, What Would Kinky Do? and Heroes of a Texas Childhood. There will be a book signing at each venue.

Buoyed by his Go West Young Kinky Tour last spring and his monster appearance on the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in October, Kinky will take his show to many of his favorite American cities. Playing the songs for which he is best known, such as “They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore” and “Sold American,” reading passages from his books, and carrying on his hilarious running commentary on the state of the union, Kinky, the prodigal son of Texas, will, indeed, return to the scenes of his crimes of years gone by.

Though years have passed since the last full-on Texas Jewboys show, Kinky continues to be associated with that infamous band of his early career, partly because of his long friendship with Bob Dylan (Kinky did, of course, travel with the Rolling Thunder Revue), but mostly because of the band’s total outrageousness and those legendary songs. On the projects list for 2011 is a Willie Nelson CD of Kinky's songs, which will be no less than the third tribute album to Kinky and his work. Willie, who has a new Sony record deal, and who has been swapping stories and playing chess with Kinky for decades, will confirm these tunes as American standards.

Meanwhile, Kinky continues to “spit out books like sunflower seeds,” with a brand new deal to co-write one with old pal Billy Bob Thornton. And he is now being immortalized onstage with a play called Becoming Kinky . . . The World According to Kinky Friedman, written by Ted Swindley, who created the long-running hit Always . . . Patsy Cline, and starring up-and-comer Jesse Dayton.

Kinky may be finished with politics, but politics may not be finished with Kinky.  He continues to be a popular guest on cable news channels, appearing with hosts as diverse as John Seigenthaler and Bill O’Reilly, and his regular contributions to Texas Monthly never fail to take proper shots at the insanity of Texas politics.  He also contributes to such national media as The New York Times and Playboy, more often than not skewing deserving politicians wherever they may be.

And that’s not all in 2011: an Australian tour is on the agenda for June. Kinky will be joined by long-time Brian Wilson collaborator Van Dyke Parks, as the two old friends visit Kinky's second favorite continent. But in the meantime . . .

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Springtime for Kinky Tour 2011

Wed., April 27  KANSAS CITY, MO Knuckleheads
Thurs., April 28  LITTLE ROCK, AR Juanita's
Fri., April 29  ST. LOUIS, MO Off Broadway
Sat., April 30  OKLAHOMA CITY, OK The Blue Door
Sun., May 1  NEWPORT, KY (CINCINNATI, OH) Southgate House
Mon., May 2  NASHVILLE, TN 3rd and Lindsley
Tues., May 3  CLEVELAND, OH Wilbert's
Thurs., May 5  MILWAUKEE, WI Shank Hall
Sat., May 7  BERWYN (CHICAGO), IL Fitzgerald's
Sun., May 8  PHILADELPHIA, PA World Cafe Live
Mon., May 9  NEW YORK, NY Highline Theater
Tues., May 10  ROCHESTER, NY Water Street
Fri., May 13  ALEXANDRIA, VA (WASHINGTON, DC) Birchmere
Sat., May 14  WOODSTOCK, NY Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble

Rex Foundation releases The Wheel - A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia

On Tuesday March 29, 2011 the Rex Foundation will release 12 tracks from The Wheel – A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia. Recorded at The Fillmore in San Francisco, this special live album features some of Garcia’s oldest cohorts playing some of his most well-known songs.

Hosted by the Rex Foundation at the legendary Fillmore Auditorium on December 4, 2010, the benefit concert entitled “The Wheel – A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia” was a historic night. Among the evening’s unique music experiences was the bringing together of Jesse McReynolds, Peter Rowan and David Nelson.

McReynolds, Rowan, and Nelson each shared a deep connection with Garcia dating back to the early 1960s. In 1962, when Jerry Garcia began playing the banjo and exploring bluegrass music, he formed a band called the Hart Valley Drifters with David Nelson on guitar. In 1964, as part of his bluegrass pilgrimage through the American South, Jerry sought out the even-then legendary bluegrass musicians “Jim and Jesse” (McReynolds). Garcia held Jesse’s mandolin playing and music in high esteem for many more years to come. In 1969, as the Grateful Dead released Aoxomoxoa, Jerry was also collaborating with other musical friends. He reconnected with David Nelson and John “Marmaduke” Dawson to form New Riders of the Purple Sage. He formed another bluegrass band, Old and in the Way, with David Grisman, John Kahn, Peter Rowan and Vassar Clements. Coming full circle, in October 2010, McReynolds released Songs of the Grateful DeadA Tribute to Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter, collaborating with none other than David Nelson.

At the December 4th benefit event, the featured artists, along with members of their respective bands, which included Garrett McReynolds, Steve Thomas, Jody Stecher, Keith Little, Paul Knight, Barry Sless, Robin Sylvester, John Molo, Mookie Siegel, and special guest Matt Butler of The Everyone Orchestra, had the exceptional opportunity to play Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter and traditional American roots songs together.

Following the show many people noted that this remarkable music should be made available to those who could not attend, as well as to extend the reach of the benefit to provide additional charitable support to the Rex Foundation. On Tuesday March 29, 2011 this will be the case with downloads and CDs available from nugs.net for all to enjoy. As a special bonus, nugs.net is offering a free album listening party during the week of the release exclusively at nugs.net/wheel.

The Wheel – A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia Track List is as follows:

1. Black Muddy River
2. Ripple
3. Deep Elem Blues
4. Peggy-0
5. Friend of the Devil
6. Alabama Getaway
7. Standing on the Moon
8. Franklin’s Tower
9. Casey Jones
10. Dark Hollow
11. The Wheel
12. Cumberland Blues

The compilation will be available beginning March 29, 2011 in the following formats:
·MP3, FLAC, and Apple Lossless downloads at nugs.net/wheel
·iTunes download
·CD only available at nugs.net/wheel

About Rex Foundation:
Furthering what Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead started 27 years ago, the Rex Foundation endeavors to fund grassroots programs that are often under the radar of larger funding entities, yet work in bold, innovative ways to carry out essential work toward a healthy environment, promotion of the arts, protection of indigenous cultures, assisting others less fortunate, building strong communities, and educating children and adults. The Rex Foundation has distributed $8.6 million in grants to over 1,000 programs across the U.S. and internationally, while also carrying out fundraising initiatives that foster creativity and positive community connections. Visit www.rexfoundation.org for a complete list of grantees and information about current initiatives.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Events, April 2011

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem cordially invites you to our April public programs, which we promise will warm your hearts as much as the weather of spring brings miles of smiles to your face.

Our bi-weekly discussion series first features flutist/saxophonist James Spaulding and then composer Maria Schneider, who will be premiering a large-scale works at Carnegie Hall in May. We continue in the spirit of celebration for our once-a-month Jazz for Curious Readers session, focusing on drummer Art Taylor's classic book of interviews, Notes and Tones.

For live performances, we direct you to The Rubin Museum's cherrywood-lined acoustic performance space, where Fred Hersch will play solo piano, and Scott Robinson will lead a quartet the likes of which you've never seen -  before for Harlem in the Himalayas. The Players Club is yet another beautiful setting for jazz players, which is why we point to this month's show by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Stars!

On the West Coast, at Stanford University, Executive Director Loren Schoenberg will lead a special class of Charles Mingus on film. And right here, at the Visitor's Center of the museum, we feature classes on the role of the rhythm section in jazz, from the 1930's to the 60's, in four Jazz for Curious Listeners sessions as well as our Saturday Panel, in which the Jonathan Batiste Trio will swing for you, and explain it at the same time.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Harlem in the Himalayas

Fred Hersch, solo piano

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 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. 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 May of 2011 will see the premiere of My Coma Dreams for actor/singer, animation/multimedia and mixed ensemble. Hersch is considered to be the most prolific and widely-praised solo jazz pianist of his generation. Palmetto has just released Alone at the Vanguard which documents his second solo engagement at the legendary club.  An early review in All Music Guide calls it "a once-in-a-decade album that will stay with you long after the final track fades out."

Don't miss this opportunity!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Jazz for Curious Readers

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

Notes and Tones is one of the most controversial, honest, and insightful books ever written about jazz. As a black musician himself, Arthur Taylor asked his subjects hard questions about the role of black artists in a majority white society. Free to speak their minds, these musicians offer startling insights into their music, their lives, and the creative process itself. Notes and Tones consists of twenty-nine no-holds-barred conversations which drummer Arthur Taylor held with some of the most influential jazz musicians in jazz—including: Thelonious Monk, Erroll Garner, Elvin Jones, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Dexter Gordon.

Arthur Taylor drummed with Coleman Hawkins, Bud Powell, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and dozens of others. He was called ”one of the great drummers to come out of the fertile Harlem bebop scene” (New York Times) and ”one of the best bandleaders living or dead” (Village Voice). His band, Taylor’s Wailers, recorded several albums, and was based in New York City up until Taylor's death in 1995.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

It Don't Mean a Thing: Great Jazz Rhythm Sections

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

Count Basie's All American 4

The Count Basie Orchestra's All American rhythm section appropriately initiates our focus this month on great rhythm sections. Basie (piano), Walter Page (bass), Jo Jones (drums), and Freddie Green (guitar) together perfected what, after Louis Armstrong's style modeled it, became known as swing. From the mid-30's to early 40's, the Count Basie Orchestra popularized this feeling, contributing to the period of American history called the Swing Era. These four men blended into a "cohesive whole greater than the sum of its parts," as Loren Schoenberg, Executive Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem put it in The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Jazz.

We invite you to swing on through to our Visitor's Center for this free event in which the sounds of Lester Young and the All American rhythm section will reign once again.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Harlem Speaks

James Spaulding, flutist/saxophonist

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

James Spaulding has established his reputation as a masterful soloist for ensemble performances, and for many years was among the busier sidemen for Blue Note Records. An exceptional saxophonist and flutist, he is one of the many fine artists to come out of the Indianapolis, Indiana area. James is a modernist, with solid roots in classical jazz; his saxophone style is an extension of the Charlie Parker influence, but his overall concept incorporates much of the broad jazz saxophone heritage.

Spaulding's musical training started early, as he came from a musical family in his place of birth Indiana (his father was a professional musician who played the guitar and led his own big band, traveling throughout the country). Jamesbegan playing a bugle when he was in grade school. He later took up the trumpet and saxophone on his own, and while in high school studied clarinet. He made his professional debut playing around Indianapolis with an R&B group.

From 1954 to 1957, Spaulding was in the army playing in service bands. When he was discharged, he settled in Chicago where he performed in clubs leading his own group, and had a stay with the Sun Ra Orchestra. He also furthered his flute studies there at the Chicago Cosmopolitan School of Music. In 1962, he arrived in New York City, and subsequently was associated with notables such as Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Max Roach and the Ellington Orchestra.

In 1975, he received a bachelor's degree in music from Livingston College in New Jerseywhere he taught flute as an adjunct professor. James' daughters, Gina and Yvonne Spaulding were on the cover of his very first recording: The Legacy of Duke Ellington, recorded in 1975. Mr. Spaulding's range of performance experiences extends nationally and internationally, from the concert stage to jazz clubs to colleges and street fairs. His original music, a suite entitled "A Song of Courage," was performed by him with full orchestra and choir at the Voorhees Chapel at the RutgersUniversitycampus from funds awarded him by the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been recorded on over 100 recordings.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Special Event: Mingus on Film with Loren Schoenberg

Sunday, April 10, 2011 | 2:00pm
Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University | FREE

Loren Schoenberg, Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, concludes the Remember Mingus series with an afternoon of rare film footage, live concert clips, and lively discussion about Charles Mingus’ music, life and legacy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

It Don't Mean a Thing: Great Jazz Rhythm Sections

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

Duke Jordan/Tommy Potter/Max Roach

After Charlie "Bird" Parker and Dizzy Gillespie parted ways on the bandstand, Bird formed a quintet featuring Miles Davis and Jordan (piano), Potter (bass) and Roach (drums). Although they maintained the swing of their forebears as heard in last week's class, the way they dealt with accents and tempo transformed to perform the style that became known as bebop. Join us to hear the sonic transformation that revolutionized jazz.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jazz at the Players

Melba Joyce and The National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Stars 7:00pm

Location: The Players

(16 Gramercy Park S. | get directions)
$20 | Reservations: reservations@theplayersnyc.org or 212-475-6116

If you've never been to the elegant setting of The Players, we urge you to reserve a seat asap, because the down-home swing of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Stars will make you tap your feet with glee, most happily, and swing your troubles away.

Melba Joyce was born in Dallas, Texas where she grew up under the warm and instructive musical influence of her mother and grand-parents.  Her father, Melvin Moore, a prominent vocalist with the jazz and swing bands of his era (including Dizzy Gillespie, with whom he toured and recorded )was also one of Melba's influences. After her family moved to Los Angeles, Melba was immediately noticed by musicians and soon found herself opening for such renowned artists as Miles Davis, Freddy Hubbard and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles.

Melba tirelessly toured the war-torn fields of Vietnam to entertain the troops at the height of that horrid conflict, an experience that raised her social conscience to new heights.  When Melba returned, she was appointed panelist for the Congressional Black Caucus of Women in Jazz Forum. She produced the first Women in Jazz Festival at Harlem's Schomburg Center for Black Culture; and became a principal in the Day of the Child Series for UNICEF.  With funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, Ms. Joyce produced Jazz For Special People, a musical education series for the handicapped.

In 2008, The Central Park Conservancy presented Melba with a very special recognition through the City of New York for creating and producing The First Women's Jazz Festival. The program, held in Harlem at the park's Dana House, featured  Kunle Abodunde reading of a chapter from his unreleased book.  During Melba's tour assignment in Nigeria as a Jazz Ambassador, Abodunde  attended her performance and being deeply impressed included a chapter in the book describing what he felt about the evening.

Her long and impressive career has spanned three decades in the company of and sharing top billing with such giants of the music world as Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughn, Louis Jordan, Lionel Hampton, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and so many others.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Harlem in the Himalayas

Scott Robinson Quartet

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

Scott Robinson, bass saxophone
JD Parran, basssaxophone
Vinny Golia, bass saxophone
Warren Smith, drums, percussion

A respected performer in all areas of jazz, from traditional to avant-garde, Scott Robinson brings audiences an unusual pairing of three bass saxophones with percussion for this raucous and soulful concert—his encore performance at the Rubin Museum. The recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, Robinson, who is known for his work on unusual and obscure styles of saxophones, has been the winner of a number ofDown Beat Critics Polls and Jazz Journalists Association awards in recent years.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

It Don't Mean a Thing: Great Jazz Rhythm Sections

7:00 – 8:30pm

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

Red Garland/Paul Chambers/Philly Joe Jones

Miles Davis was a key member of the Charlie Parker Quintet, whose rhythm section was the focus of last week's class. This week we'll hear how Davis and other giants came into their own with the solid yet flexible support of one of the most grooving and soulful rhythm sections in the history of the idiom. The mid-50’s classics we'll listen to tonight are never old, but hearing them could make you feel younger. Don't miss it!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Harlem Speaks

Maria Schneider, Composer

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

Maria Schneider’s music has been hailed by critics as “evocative, majestic, magical, heart-stoppingly gorgeous, and beyond categorization.” She and her orchestra became widely known starting in 1994 when they released their debut recording, Evanescence. With that recording, Schneider began to develop a highly personal way of writing for her 17-member collective, tailoring her compositions to distinctly highlight the unique voices of the group. Subsequently, the Maria Schneider Orchestra has performed at festivals and concert halls worldwide. She has received numerous commissions and guest conducting invites, working with more than 85 groups from over 30 countries spanning Europe, South America, Australia, Asia and North America.

Schneider’s music blurs the lines between genres, and as a result, her long list of commissioners has become quite varied. They include the Norrbotten Big Band and Danish Radio Orchestra with Toots Thielemans and Ivan Lins, the Metropole Orchestra in the Netherlands (several works), Orchestra National de Jazz (Recapitulation), Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra (El Viento), Monterey Jazz Festival (Scenes from Childhood, Willow Lake), The American Dance Festival (for dance company, Pilobolus–Dissolution), University of Miami Concert Jazz Band (Three Romances), Jazz at Lincoln Center (Buleria, Soleá y Rumba), Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (Aires de Lando), Peter Sellars’ New Crowned Hope Festival (Vienna’s Mozart Festival–Cerulean Skies), Kronos Quartet (String Quartet No. 1) and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra with soprano, Dawn Upshaw (Carlos Drummond de Andrade Stories), a work that will receive its New York premiere at Carnegie Hall, May 13th, 2011, conducted by Schneider.

Schneider’s most recent work (premiering June 12th, 2011), co-commissioned by the Ojai Festival, The Australian Chamber Orchestra and Cal Performances, will blur boundaries further as it features the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Dawn Upshaw, and two musicians long associated with Schneider’s own orchestra: pianist Frank Kimbrough, and multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson. For this work, she is incorporating poems by poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Ted Kooser, from his book ”Winter Morning Walks.”

Schneider continues to be a pioneer in funding her projects. She recently composed two works for her own orchestra with the involvement of commissioners, not from arts organizations, but directly from her ArtistShare® fan base. "Concert in the Garden" and her orchestra’s latest album, "Sky Blue" (on which Cerulean Skies was recorded) were both named “Jazz Album of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association and the DOWNBEAT Critics Poll.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday Panels

The Beat Goes On: The Jonathan Batiste Trio Demonstrates What The Rhythm Section does

12:00 – 4:00pm

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

This Saturday panel is a perfect complement to and extension of our Jazz for Curious Listener's focus on great rhythm sections. Jonathan Batiste’s Trio will demonstrate how the piano comps, the bass walks and the drums ride the cymbals, yes, but that's only the start. You'll witness, live, how the bass and drums lock-in together creating the basis for the swing; how the trio ebbs and flows and communicates non-verbally to create musical magic. Not only should this class not be missed, it's also a chance to introduce jazz music to those curious about it, but haven't heard it up close and personal enough yet to connect with it. Do them and yourself a favor!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

It Don't Mean a Thing: Great Jazz Rhythm Sections

7:00 – 8:30pm

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

 McCoy Tyner/Jimmy Garrison/Elvin Jones

We started in the 30's with the rhythm section fronted by Count Basie, then moved to the 40's with a foundational group of three, and thereafter transitioned to the 50's. For our last session of this month's Great Jazz Rhythm Sections theme, we land on the doorstep of a classic 60's rhythm section that supported the Great John Coltrane. McCoy's percussive style, with Garrison's booming bass, and Jones' polyrhythmic fire combined to change the course of the music yet again.

Slightly Stoopid Announces Spring Tour Dates

Slightly Stoopid is on tour this spring with dates on both coasts and more than a few stops in between. In addition to headlining gigs at clubs and amphitheaters across the country, Slightly Stoopid will also play a number of high-profile spring festivals including The Hangout Music Festival on May 20 in Gulf Shores, AL; and Hookahville in Thornville, OH on May 29.

First up though, the band will host their annual 4/20 show in their home state of California. Set to take place on Wednesday April 20, 2011 at Los Angeles’ legendary Greek Theatre, Slightly Stoopid’s “420 At The Greek” show will help kick-off the Greek’s 80th anniversary celebration season. Joining Slightly Stoopid for this historic event will be none other than the legendary original Bad Brains and Jamaican dancehall icon Barrington Levy.

When not on the road, Slightly Stoopid has been hunkered down at the band’s headquarters in San Diego, hard at work on their seventh studio album. Just minutes from the surf and fully equipped with a half-pipe skate ramp, video game room and recording studio, it’s the perfect environment to spark the band’s creativity. Collaborating in the studio of late: G. Love, Cypress Hill, Don Carlos, Del the Funky Homosapien, Barrington Levy, Ian Neville, Collie Buddz and more. The album is expected late summer 2011.

Formed in 1995 in San Diego, CA’s Ocean Beach by childhood friends Miles Doughty (guitar, bass, vocals) and Kyle McDonald (guitar, bass, vocals), Slightly Stoopid has become one of the most influential and progressive improvisational musical outfits on the tour circuit. The band has sold over 750,000 albums and now releases all material on Doughty and McDonald’s own record label, Stoopid Records.

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Slightly Stoopid Tour Dates:

Wednesday, April 20 Greek Theatre Los Angeles CA

Wednesday, April 27 Buster's Billiards & Backroom Lexington KY

Thursday, April 28 Valarium Knoxville TN

Friday, April 29 Beale Street Music Festival Memphis TN

Saturday, April 30 Cain's Ballroom Tulsa OK

Sunday, May 1 Liberty Hall Lawrence KS

Wednesday, May 4 Simon Estes Amphitheater Des Moines IA

Thursday, May 5 The Venue in Fargo Fargo ND

Friday, May 6 First Avenue Minneapolis MN

Saturday, May 7 The Pageant St. Louis MO

Friday, May 13 Palladium Ballroom Dallas TX

Saturday, May 14 Verizon Wireless Theater Houston TX

Sunday, May 15 Concrete Street Amphitheater Corpus Christi TX

Friday, May 20 The Hangout Music Festival Gulf Shores AL

Friday, May 27 Summercamp Chillicothe IL

Sunday, May 29 Hookahville Thornville OH

Thursday, September 29 - Monday, October 3 Rombello Cruise Tampa FL

National Jazz Museum in Harlem March 7 - March 13, 2011

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

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National Jazz Museum in Harlem

March 7 - March 13, 2011

Schedule

Monday, March 7, 2011

Jazz for Curious Readers

Ethel Waters: His Eye Is On The Sparrow, a celebration
Host: Father Peter J. O’Brien

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

His Eye Is On The Sparrow is rightfully acclaimed as one of the greatest autobiographies by an American female singer; with the able assistance of noted journalist andbiographer Charles Samuels, Ethel Water's life and career journey is captured there in all of its joy, sorrow, bitterness, forgiveness, and spirit of perseverance no matter what she faced.

Tonight we celebrate the book and remember the bright star that was Ethel Waters.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

FILM SHOW: Sing Me A Swing Song: Great Jazz Vocalists – Ethel Waters

Host: Father Peter J. O’Brien

7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: Maysles Cinema - 343 Lenox Avenue between 127th & 128th Street
DONATION SUGGESTED| For more information: 212-348-8300

Vocalist and actress Ethel Waters (1896-1977) was a key figure in the development of African American culture between the two world wars. She broke barrier after barrier, becoming the first black woman heard on the radio, the first black singer to perform on television, the first African American to perform in an integrated cast on Broadway, and the first black woman to perform in a lead dramatic role on Broadway. As a singer Waters introduced over 50 songs that became hits, including standards of the magnitude of "St. Louis Blues" and "Stormy Weather." Her jazzy yet controlled vocal style influenced a generation of vocalists, black and white, and her career, encompassing stage, song, and screen, flowered several times in comebacks after tumbling to lowpoints.

See Ethel Waters perform on film andearn about the rise and fall and rise again of a great American artist of song, and hear recordings that document the sound and style that made Ethel Waters such an influence.

100 Years of Robert Johnson streets Tuesday, March 1

May 8th, 2011 marks the 100-year anniversary of blues legend Robert Johnson’s birthday. In celebration of the most influential bluesman that ever lived, the Big Head Blues Club – an ad-hoc collaboration featuring Big Head Todd and The Monsters and special guests Hubert Sumlin, Honeyboy Edwards, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm – has been touring coast to coast playing the material of Johnson. The tour, which has been garnering rave reviews, wraps up on March 8, just after the studio album, titled 100 Years of Robert Johnson, hits the streets (March 1, 2011 - Ryko/Big Records).

100 Years of Robert Johnson is a stirring collection featuring 10 potent interpretations of some of the most vital and durable music of the past century. In addition to the above-mentioned artists, 100 Years of Robert Johnson includes performances by blues greats B.B. King and Charlie Musselwhite, as well as keeper of the blues flame Ruthie Foster. The album was recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, and produced by Grammy award winning blues producer Chris Goldsmith (Blind Boys of Alabama), 100 Years of Robert Johnson will be released in early 2011.

For Todd Park Mohr, who founded Big Head Todd and The Monsters with Rob Squires (bass) and Brian Nevin (drums) nearly a quarter-century ago, the project has served to re-introduce him to the iconic music of Johnson, whose songs provided many of the pioneering blues-rock bands—Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Cream, Canned Heat, etc.—with some of their most popular material.


100 Years of Robert Johnson features several inspired takes on Johnson’s best known compositions. For Mohr and Goldsmith, the challenge in recording the tribute was to give new voice to Johnson’s music, to avoid copying the countless cover versions already extant. “In so many of the takes on Robert’s stuff, you don’t get the depth of emotion that’s in the lyrics and in Robert’s voice. That’s one thing that Chris and the band and my voice were able to bring to it. Chris had great ideas about how to represent the stuff, and all the musicians were just so good at what they did, the unique arrangements just came naturally.”

Robert Johnson’s story is the stuff of myth and legend alike, and his music has fascinated blues fans and musicians for more than seven decades. Born in Mississippi in 1911, Johnson recorded only 29 songs, all during the years 1936 and ’37. His unique guitar style and haunting vocal phrasing, and the evocative, often mysterious nature of his lyrics, made him a popular artist during his short time in the spotlight and has continued to intrigue since. A persistent tale that as a young man Johnson sold his soul to the Devil in order to become a more proficient musician has been attached to his biography since his untimely death at age 27—the alleged victim of a poisoning incident at the hands of the jealous husband of a woman with whom Johnson had been flirting.

A hundred years after the birth of its greatest artist, it looks like the blues itself is about to be reborn.

BLUES AT THE CROSSROADS: THE ROBERT JOHNSON CENTENNIAL CONCERTS tour featuring Big Head Todd and The Monsters and special guests David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Hubert Sumlin and Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm is as follows:

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Jan. 28 San Francisco, CA Regency Ballroom
Jan. 29 Costa Mesa, CA Orange County Performing Arts Center
Jan. 30 San Diego, CA (2 shows) Anthology
Jan. 31 Santa Barbara, CA Campbell Hall / UCSB
Feb. 04 Austin, TX Paramount Theatre
Feb. 05 Dallas, TX Lakewood Theatre
Feb. 10 Ann Arbor, MI Hill Auditorium / U of M
Feb. 11 Chicago, IL Orchestra Hall
Feb. 12 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theatre
Feb. 13 Meridian, MS Riley Center / MSU
Feb. 16 Chapel Hill, NC Memorial Hall / UNC Chapel Hill
Feb. 17 New Bethesda, MD The Music Center at Strathmore
Feb. 18 Boston, MA Berklee School of Music
Feb. 24 Ridgefield, CT Ridgefield Playhouse
Feb. 25 Princeton, NJ McCarter Theatre
Feb. 26 Blue Bell, PA Montgomery County Community College
Feb. 27 New Bedford, MA Zeiterion Theater
March 4 Milwaukee, WI Potowatomi Casino

March 5 Omaha, NE Holland Performing Arts Center

March 6 Minneapolis, MN Orchestra Hall

March 8 Urbana, IL Krannert Center – Tyrone Festival Theatre