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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! 

Papo Vazquez Pirates Troubadours At the Brooklyn Public

Jazz trombonist Papo Vazquez’s Afro-Caribbean ensemble, Pirates Troubadours, will be hosted by the Brooklyn Public Library at the Dr. S. Stevan Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture on Thursday, April 1 for a free concert from 7 to 8:30 PM.  The Dweck Center’s entrance is located at the Central Library on Eastern Parkway near Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn.  This performance is part of the 11th Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival.  For information call 718.230.2100.

Papo Vazquez Pirates Troubadours are Willie Williams (sax), Zaccai Curtis (piano), Dezron Douglas (bass), Alvester Garnett (drums), Anthony Carrillo (percussion), Richie Flores (percussion).  Mr. Vazquez’s music combines elements of Jazz and Afro-Caribbean rhythms to create his special blend of Latin Jazz.  He is considered by many as one of the pioneers of Afro Puerto Rican Jazz which is a mixture of Bomba, Plena and Jibaro music.  Papo has performed with jazz luminaries such as Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Wayne Shorter, Eddie Palmieri and is an original member of the Fort Apache Band just to name some musical affiliations.

The Brooklyn Public Library serves 2.5 million residents of Brooklyn and the Dweck Center is the borough’s newest public cultural venue.  "Brooklyn has long been home to many of the world's great jazz musicians, and Brooklyn Public Library's Dweck Center is pleased to participate in the Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival and to showcase the borough's creative musical talent." States Jay Kaplan, Director, Programs and Exhibitions Dept., Brooklyn Public Library.  The Dweck seats 189 people and is fully accessible to all.  With an elevated stage, acoustical walls and ceilings panels this center is perfectly suited to host Papo Vazquez Pirates Troubadours.

Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium (CBJC) announces Brooklyn's longest running continuous festival dedicated to Jazz, 11th Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival - "Expressions of Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow". This celebration of an American original art form will take place during Jazz Appreciation Month, March 27 - April 30, 2010 at multiple venues throughout the borough.  For festival information call 718.773.2252 or visit here.   

Martin Sexton tour to hit Bonnaroo

Martin Sexton’s spring and summer tour dates have just been announced and include several highlights: appearances at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Bonnaroo, plus a run of dates supporting Dave Matthews Band.

Starting close to home with a New Haven date on April 15, he will headline such key markets as DC 930 Club, New York Nokia Theatre, Chicago Park West, Los Angeles House of Blues, San Francisco The Fillmore, Vancouver Commodore, Boston House of Blues and more.

The New York Times noted that Sexton “jumps beyond standard fare on the strength of his voice, a blue-eyed soul man’s supple instrument . . . his unpretentious heartiness helps him focus on every soul singer’s goal: to amplify the sound of an ordinary heart.” And Rolling Stone adds, “His outstanding taste in songwriting as well as a soul marinated voice that can easily be compared to the likes of a young Steve Winwood or Van Morrison.”

Sexton exclaims, "It's an exciting year: I've got a brand-new record and a new band. I feel strongly about the songs I'm singing and we look forward to hopping on the bus and spreading it around the world."

Upcoming Tour Dates:

Thurs., April 15  NEW HAVEN, CT Toad’s Place

Fri., April 16  WASHINGTON, DC 9:30 Club

Sat., April 17 BOSTON, MA House of Blues

Sun., April 18 SYRACUSE, NY Wescott Theatre

Tues., April 20 TRAVERSE CITY, MI City Opera House

Wed., April 21 ANN ARBOR, MI The Ark (2 shows)

Thurs., April 22 INDIANAPOLIS, IN The Vogue

Fri., April 23 CHICAGO, IL Park West

Sat., April 24  MADISON, WI Majestic Theatre

Sun., April 25  ST PAUL, MN Fitzgerald Theatre

Wed., April 28  NEW ORLEANS, LA House of Blues

Thurs., April 29 NEW ORLEANS, LA Jazz & Heritage Festival

Fri., April 30  ATLANTA, GA Variety Playhouse

Sat., May 1  NASHVILLE, TN Mercy Lounge

Wed., May 5  PHOENIX, AZ Compound Grill

Thurs., May 6  SAN DIEGO, CA Belly Up

Fri., May 7  SAN FRANCISCO, CA The Fillmore

Sat., May 8   W. HOLLYWOOD, CA House of Blues

Sun., May 9 SACRAMENTO, CA Harlow’s

Tue, May 11 ARCATA, CA Humboldt Brewery

Wed., May 12  EUGENE, OR W.O.W. Hall

Thurs., May 13  VANCOUVER, BC Commodore Ballroom

Fri., May 14 PORTLAND, OR Crystal Ballroom

Sat., May 15 SEATTLE, WA The Showbox

Sun., May 16  SPOKANE, WA Knitting Factory

Tue, May 18 BOISE, ID Knitting Factory

Wed., May 19 SALT LAKE CITY, UT The Depot

Thurs., May 20 DENVER, CO Ogden Theatre

Fri., May 21 KANSAS CITY, MO Crosstown Station

Sat., May 22  ST. LOUIS, MO The Pageant

Sun., May 23  CINCINNATI, OH 20th Century Theatre

Sat., June 5  NEW YORK NY Nokia Theatre

Fri., June 11  MANCHESTER, TN Bonnaroo

Wed., June 23 CLARKSTON, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre;

w/ Dave Matthews Band

Fri., June 25 CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH Blossom Music Center;

w/Dave Matthews Band

Wed. June 30 CAMDEN, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center;

w/Dave Matthews Band

Thurs., July 1 CAMDEN, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center;

w/Dave Matthews Band

1STBANK Center Grand Opening with Furthur March 5 and 6

1STBANK Center, Colorado’s new state-of-the-art entertainment facility will celebrate its Grand Opening on March 5 and 6 with a two-night stand by Furthur featuring Phil Lesh and Bob Weir.

The venue is managed by Colorado entertainment leaders AEG Live Rocky Mountains and Kroenke Sports Enterprises in a joint venture called Peak Entertainment.

Scalable for audience capacities from 3500 to 6500, the Center fills a niche as the state’s premier mid-sized venue, and will change the way patrons currently think about a venue of this size.

Says Peak Entertainment’s Chuck Morris (who is also President and CEO / AEG LIVE Rocky Mountains), “We’ve taken great efforts in designing the 1STBANK Center to combine the very best parts of arena production capabilities with the décor and soul of the world’s great theatres. This is a completely unique design approach for a venue of this size – fans and talent alike are going to want to come here.”



1STBANK Center will host a variety of world-class concerts, as well as family programming, sports events and more. Acts already booked for 2010 include Muse, Carrie Underwood, Daughtry, Sesame Street Live, Jason Aldean, The Denver Roller Dolls, Ultimate Fighting Championship, and more. Visit 1STBANKCenter.com for the most up-to-date calendar of events.

No matter the occasion for visiting, 1STBANK Center’s first priority is the patron experience. Morris explains, “1STBANK Center promises to offer all of what we love most about music and entertainment: quality, creativity, community and fun.”

Toward that effort, Peak Entertainment has made numerous improvements to the facility – improvements that promise to mark 1STBANK Center as the newest addition to an already impressive list of landmark Colorado music venues, such as Red Rocks Amphitheatre, The Paramount Theatre, and the Fox Theatre.

Gone are the white walls, bright lights, and soul-less signage of the typical modern arena. Patrons of the 1STBANK Center will enjoy rich colors, creative textures, and artful touches throughout the venue. At the center of the entertainment experience is a state-of-the-art video screen that hangs over the stage. Measuring 130 feet across, this versatile feature offers limitless ways to transform the venue’s main space.

Spaces throughout the concourse have also been transformed. The upper lounge, open to all guests, is now a premier viewing area with direct sight lines to the stage. Additionally, several previously enclosed bars have been remodeled to be inviting and welcoming gathering spots.

In 2011, 1STBANK Center is scheduled to become home to the highly anticipated Colorado Music Hall of Fame, a non-profit whose mission is to educate and to raise money for the Music School of the University of Colorado. Longtime Colorado rock critic G. Brown will curate the interactive multi-media museum. This permanent institution will honor artists who have created music in and about Colorado. Artists such as John Denver, Joe Walsh, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Firefall, Dan Fogelberg, Poco, The Subdudes, The String Cheese Incident and The Fray are some acts to be honored. Plans are also in the works for historical locations such as Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Caribou Ranch to receive recognition. Celebrations of musical institutions such as Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Etown and KBCO Studio C - highlighting Colorado’s rich and vibrant musical story – will all receive space in the Hall.

Grand Opening weekend show details are as follows:

1STBANK Center Grand Opening
Furthur featuring Phil Lesh and Bob Weir
Friday, March 5 (8pm)
Limited number of tickets still available
Saturday, March 6 (8pm) SOLD OUT
(doors open at 6:30pm both nights)

11450 Broomfield Lane (Broomfield, CO)
Advanced Tickets $49.75 - $55.00 / All Ages Welcome

The Disco Biscuits Announce Pre-Order To End All Pre-Orders

The Disco Biscuits are taking the pre-order game to a whole new level. Everyone and their mother does the signed CD/poster/ticket bundle (which they'll be doing too), but that's not the good stuff.

Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra | Rex Jazz & Blues Bar

Award winning Jazz Composer Chuck Iwanusa's latest composition, entitled "What Do You Want?", will be premiered by the Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra. The fourteen minute piece features tenor saxophonists Quinson Nachoff and Kelly Jefferson. Chuck's compositions have been professionally performed by bands in Western Australia, Kazakhstan, and Switzerland, as well as by numerous college and university ensembles.

Heralded as Canada's "Jazz Big Band of the Year" by The Jazz Report, the Toronto based Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra has toured throughout the world with performances from Moscow to New York City .  The DMJO has recorded six albums for Sackville Records, The Jazz Alliance and The Canadian Music Center, one of which was nominated for a Juno Award.

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Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra
Monday, February 15 9:30PM @ the Rex Jazz & Blues Bar
194 Queen Street West
Toronto, ONT M5V 1Z1
Reservations: 416.598.2475
http://www.therex.ca/

Mimi Fishman Foundation Auction-LIVE!

The first Mimi Fishman Foundation on-line charity auction of the new decade has just launched. The auction features over 30 limited edition posters from Phish’s 2009 tour, including the end of year Miami run and Festival 8. All the posters are signed by each of the members of Phish and in most cases the poster artist as well; Phish famed artist Jim Pollock included. Making the posters extremely rare is the fact the band signed only 5 posters from each show.

The beneficiaries of the auction proceeds include the Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments, a wonderful organization that extends services to visually impaired children ages birth to three as well as their families - as well as the SPCA of Syracuse, an organization which was very close to Mimi’s heart and where she got her cat Valentine.

Visit the charity auction site.

The Disco Biscuits Announce New Release Date for Planet Anthem

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

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

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

 

2/18 @ Ram’s Head Live, Baltimore, MD

2/19 @  Lupos, Providence, RI

2/20 @ Calvin Theatre, Northampton, MA

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

3/17 @ Town Ballroom, Buffalo, NY

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

3/19 @ House of Blues, Boston, MA

3/20 @ Wellmont Theatre, Montclair, NJ

3/26 @ Ultra Music Festival, Miami, FL

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

4/14 @ Charleston Music Hall, Charleston, SC

4/15 @ Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh, NC

4/16 @ The National, Richmond, VA

4/17 @ The National, Richmond, VA

4/18 @ The NorVa, Norfolk, VA

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

4/21 @ The Jefferson Theatre, Charlottesville, VA

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

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

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

4/25 @ Webster Theatre, Hartford, CT

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

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

National Jazz Museum in Harlem February Schedule

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem's February 2010 schedule of events are chock full of choices for all from newcomers to the music to seasoned fans of music.

Three of the brightest emerging stars in jazz will be performing live—pianist Jonathan Batiste in a trio setting for the museum's latest public program, Jazz at the Players; and, on separate evenings, drummer Sunny Jain and bassist Ben Williams at Harlem in the Himalayas. These performances will display three approaches to modern jazz that may portend the future directions of the music!

Todd Bryant Weeks will discuss his work as a writer and author of a well-regarded bio of trumpeter/KC legend Oran "Hot Lips" Page for Jazz for Curious Readers. Veteran trumpeter Lew Soloff is the first guest of the flagship Harlem Speaks series this month, following by Harlem-based dancer and choreographer George Faison.

According to museum board member Dr. Billy Taylor, jazz is America's classical music. So it's no surprise that the jazz idiom touches other art forms such as dance and cinema. This month brings a particular focus on film, as Jazz for Curious Listeners features rarely seen footage and classic instances of Ornette Coleman, Sidney Bechet, Charles Mingus and Billie Holiday. Our monthly Saturday Panel focuses exclusively on the jazz/cinema dynamic. There's also a Special Event in which the Academy Award-nominated documentary, A Great Day in Harlem, will be screened, followed by a discussion with filmmaker Jean Bach.

There's something for everyone, so mark your calendars!

Monday, February 1, 2010

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

Writer, educator and jazz historian Todd Bryant Weeks has taught Jazz History and Introduction to Music at Rutgers University-Newark and with the acclaimed Bard Prison Initiative. He has lectured at the Institute of Jazz Studies in Newark, New Jersey and at the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona, New York. His writing has appeared in The Annual Review of Jazz Studies, Allegro, Uptown Magazine and in liner notes for Rhino/Warner Bros. Weeks also wrote the chapter on jazz in Harlem for the book Forever Harlem: Celebrating America's Most Diverse Community (2007). He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.

But he may become best known for his first book, Luck's In My Corner: The Life and Music of Hot Lips Page, a comprehensive biography of one of the most compelling jazz musicians of the Swing Era, Oran “Hot Lips” Page, perhaps the greatest of the Kansas City trumpeters. Page blew a powerful, growling horn that made him the go-to man on that instrument during Count Basie's earliest days as a leader. Page went on to be a featured soloist with Artie Shaw, a star of New York's 52nd Street, and a pioneer of the burgeoning R&B scene of the 1950s.

Despite his many successes, Page's personal life was fraught with troubles. His father died when his son was eight, and the boy was forced to leave school and go to work to help support his family. Page's second wife, Myrtle, who by all accounts was the love of his life, died suddenly in New York in 1946 at the age of twenty-eight, leaving Hot Lips as the sole parent of their young son, Oran Jr. Throughout the 1940s, he struggled to maintain his audience as the popular style of music changed from Swing to Bebop to Rhythm and Blues. He died suddenly after a mysterious incident in 1954, at age forty-six.

Through interviews, anecdotes and oral histories, author Todd Bryant Weeks pieced together Page's personal story. He contacted dozens of people (many in their eighties and nineties) who knew Page personally, and spent many hours interviewing several of Page's family members, including his son, Oran Page, Jr., who is now a Municipal Judge in Jackson, Mississippi. Weeks was granted access to files, photographs and personal scrapbooks belonging to Page at the Institute of Jazz Studies in Newark, New Jersey. The book includes dozens of unpublished photographs, musical transcriptions and analysis and a complete new discography of Hot Lips Page, who, as a result of Weeks' excellent investigative and journalistic efforts, should no longer be considered unsung.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz on Film: Ornette Coleman/Sidney Bechet
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

Bechet was the first great saxophonist in jazz, Coleman a saxophone revolutionary in the second half of the history of jazz. From New Orleans to free jazz stylings, tonight's event covers a full range of the idiom.

Ornette Coleman --  Rarely does one person change the way we listen to music, but such a man is Ornette Coleman. Since the late 1950s, when he burst on the New York jazz scene with his legendary engagement at the Five Spot, Coleman has been teaching the world new ways of listening to music. His revolutionary musical ideas have been controversial, but today his enormous contribution to modern music is recognized throughout the world.

Coleman was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1930 and taught himself to play the saxophone and read music by the age of 14. One year later he formed his own band. Finding a troublesome existence in Fort Worth surrounded by racial segregation and poverty, he took to the road at age 19. During the 1950s while in Los Angeles, Ornette's musical ideas were too controversial to find frequent public performance possibilities. He did, however, find a core of musicians who took to his musical concepts: trumpeters Don Cherry and Bobby Bradford, drummers Ed Blackwell and Billy Higgins, and bassist Charlie Haden.

In 1958, with the release of his debut album Something Else, it was immediately clear that Coleman had ushered in a new era in jazz history. This music, freed from the prevailing conventions of harmony, rhythm, and melody, often called 'free jazz', transformed the art form. Coleman called this concept Harmolodics. From 1959 through the rest of the 60s, Coleman released more than fifteen critically acclaimed albums on the Atlantic and Blue Note labels, most of which are now recognized as jazz classics. He also began writing string quartets, woodwind quintets, and symphonies based on Harmolodic theory.

In the early 1970s, Ornette traveled throughout Morocco and Nigeria playing with local musicians and interpreting the melodic and rhythmic complexities of their music into this Harmolodic approach. In 1975, seeking the fuller sound of an orchestra for his writing, Coleman constructed a new ensemble entitled Prime Time, which included the doubling of guitars, drums, and bass. Combining elements of ethnic and danceable sounds, this approach is now identified with a full genre of music and musicians. In the next decade, more surprises included trend-setting albums such as Song X with guitarist Pat Metheny, and Virgin Beauty featuring Grateful Dead leader Jerry Garcia.

The 1990s included other large works such as the premier of Architecture in Motion, Ornette's first Harmolodic ballet, as well as work on the soundtracks for the films Naked Lunch and Philadelphia.  With the dawning of the Harmolodic record label under Polygram, Ornette became heavily involved in new recordings including Tone Dialing, Sound Museum, and Colors. In 1997, New York City's Lincoln Center Festival featured the music and the various guises of Ornette over four days, including performances with the New York Philharmonic and Kurt Masur of his symphonic work, Skies of America.

There has been a tremendous outpouring of recognition bestowed upon Coleman for his work, including honorary degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, California Institute of the Arts, and Boston Conservatory, and an honorary doctorate from the New School for Social Research. In 1994, he was a recipient of the distinguished MacArthur Fellowship award, and in 1997, was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2001, Ornette Coleman received the prestigious Praemium Imperiale award from the Japanese government. Ornette won the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his 2006 album, "Sound Grammar", the first jazz work to be bestowed with the honor. In 2008, he was inducted into the Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame. The NEJHF honors legendary musicians whose singular dedication and outstanding contribution to this art shaped the landscape of jazz.

Sidney Bechet -- In 1919 Bechet was discovered by Will Marion Cook, who was about to take his large concert band, the Southern Syncopated Orchestra, to Europe. The orchestra played mainly concert music in fixed arrangements with little improvising, but featured Bechet (who could not read music) in blues specialties. In London the Swiss conductor Ernest Ansermet heard the band, and in an article that has been widely reprinted referred to Bechet as "an extraordinary clarinet virtuoso" and an "artist of genius."

Bechet first discovered the curved soprano saxophone in Chicago; while in London he purchased a straight model and taught himself to play it. It became his primary instrument for the rest of his life, though he continued to play clarinet frequently. The soprano, although difficult to play in tune, has a powerful, commanding voice, and with it Bechet was able to dominate jazz ensembles.

In 1919 Bechet broke away from the Southern Syncopated Orchestra to work in England and France with a small ragtime band led by Benny Peyton; throughout the 1920s he traveled constantly between Europe and the USA, even touring Russia with a jazz band. Crucially, in 1924, he worked for two or three months in New York with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. In 1923 the band had acquired the trumpeter Bubber Miley, a growl specialist under the influence of King Oliver. Miley had awakened Ellington's musicians to the new jazz music, but the band was in a transitional period, still playing much ordinary jazz-flavored popular music. Bechet had by this time acquired a capacity to swing that was matched only by that of Louis Armstrong, and his example led the band further towards jazz. Not long afterwards Bechet opened his own club, the Club Basha, in Harlem, and engaged Johnny Hodges from Boston to play in his band. Hodges was profoundly influenced by Bechet, and from his commanding position in the Ellington orchestra from 1928 he extended this influence widely and deeply.

In 1924 and 1925 Bechet made a group of recordings with Armstrong which were variously issued under the names Clarence Williams's Blue Five and the Red Onion Jazz Babies. These constitute one of the most important bodies of New Orleans jazz, and were influential with musicians of the time. Through the next few years Bechet continued to wander, traveling in Europe and the USA. In the 1930s, as hot dance music lost its popularity to more sentimental styles, Bechet dropped into obscurity, playing when he could find work. He organized the New Orleans Feetwarmers in 1932 with Tommy Ladnier, but largely owing to the group's musical style it was short-lived, and the following year the two men briefly managed a tailor's shop. However, with the New Orleans revival, from about 1939 Bechet was extolled by critics as one of the greatest jazz pioneers and his fortunes improved. He made several recordings, notably several fine titles with the Big Four and a series with Mezz Mezzrow for King Jazz. In 1949 he returned to Europe for the first time in almost 20 years. He was received there with adulation and reverence, and in 1951 he settled permanently in France, where he lived out his final years as a show business star.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners

Jazz on Film: Charles Mingus/Billie Holiday
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

Hearing is one thing – seeing is another. What better to spend an evening that watching these two iconic figures in all of their originality and genius?

Charles Mingus -- One of the most important figures in twentieth century American music, Charles Mingus was a virtuoso bass player, accomplished pianist, bandleader and composer. Born on a military base in Nogales, Arizona in 1922 and raised in Watts, California, his earliest musical influences came from the church—choir and group singing—and from "hearing Duke Ellington over the radio when I was eight years old." He studied double bass and composition in a formally while absorbing vernacular music from the great jazz masters, first-hand. His early professional experience, in the 40's, found him touring with bands like Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory and Lionel Hampton.

Eventually he settled in New York where he played and recorded with the leading musicians of the 1950's—Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Bud Powell, Art Tatum and Duke Ellington himself. One of the few bassists to do so, Mingus quickly developed as a leader of musicians. He was also an accomplished pianist who could have made a career playing that instrument. By the mid-50's he had formed his own publishing and recording companies to protect and document his growing repertoire of original music. He also founded the "Jazz Workshop," a group which enabled young composers to have their new works performed in concert and on recordings.

Mingus soon found himself at the forefront of the avant-garde. His recordings bear witness to the extraordinarily creative body of work that followed. They include: Pithecanthropus Erectus, The Clown, Tijuana Moods, Mingus Dynasty, Mingus Ah Um, The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, Cumbia and Jazz Fusion, Let My Children Hear Music. He recorded over a hundred albums and wrote over three hundred scores.

In 1971 Mingus was awarded the Slee Chair of Music and spent a semester teaching composition at the State University of New York at Buffalo. In the same year his autobiography, Beneath the Underdog, was published by Knopf. In 1972 it appeared in a Bantam paperback and was reissued after his death, in 1980, by Viking/Penguin and again by Pantheon Books, in 1991. In 1972 he also re-signed with Columbia Records. His music was performed frequently by ballet companies, and Alvin Ailey choreographed an hour program called "The Mingus Dances" during a 1972 collaboration with the Robert Joffrey Ballet Company.

From the 1960's until his death in 1979 at age 56, Mingus remained in the forefront of American music. When asked to comment on his accomplishments, Mingus said that his abilities as a bassist were the result of hard work but that his talent for composition came from God.

Billie Holiday -- Billie Holiday, one of the first and greatest of early American jazz singers, was known for her unique and laconic timing, her wistful and brassy vocals, and her troubled personal life. Holiday began singing in Harlem clubs as a teenager, and first recorded (with Benny Goodman) in 1933. She was a sensation at Harlem's famous venue, The Apollo, and sang with the bands of Artie Shaw and Count Basie, among others. Holiday was nicknamed "Lady Day" during this era by saxophonist Lester Young, with whom she often recorded. In the 1940s she began using heroin and opium, and her last years, regretfully, were marked by her decline in health as a result of drink and drugs. Her most famous songs include "God Bless the Child," "Lover Man" and "My Man." She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an early influence in the year 2000.

The films you'll witness tonight display the magic and artistic power of these two masters of jazz. Arrive early to get a good seat!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

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

A consummate fixture on the New York jazz scene, Lew Soloff’s career is filled with a rich history of renowned sessions and world-class collaborations. From the time he eased into the east coast world of trend setting musicians in the mid 1960’s, Soloff’s creative ventures have resulted in a respected body of work that places him in a category of true accomplishment and keeps his elegant and lyrical signatures in constant demand. Soloff is known as a virtuoso with tremendous range and superior technical command, yet he exudes a exquisite taste for quietness and melody. Soloff’s expertise includes trumpet, flugelhorn, harmon mute, plunger mute and he is particularly recognized for his work on piccolo trumpet.

As a leader, Soloff puts his energy into some special projects including The Lew Soloff Quartet and Quintet. Lew Soloff Presents Sunday Jazz At Rhone was a weekly series he started for New York’s trendy lower west side lounge Rhone. The Sunday program included his own groups and surprise special guests. The artist has 8 solo recordings to his credit. "With A Song In My Heart, produced by Todd Barkan and Makoto Kimata, is probably my favorite personal project to date," comments Soloff. “We chose some wonderful songs for this CD and I was able to weave a tranquil spirit throughout the sessions.  My goal was to play the songs simply and beautifully.”  JazzTimes wrote about the release (Sept. 1999): “If this gem by Soloff, a musician at the peak of his maturity and expressiveness, is not one of the best records of the year, we have a surprising few months in store.”

His longtime collaboration with the late Gil Evans resulted in a new relationship with the Bohuslän Big Band in Sweden. The orchestra invited Soloff to perform George Gershwin’s Porgy And Bess, originally arranged by Evans for one of Soloff’s important influences, Miles Davis.  The suite was recorded and filmed live at The Göteborg Concerthouse in 2002. Besides his association with Gil Evans, Soloff considers his work with Ornette Coleman to be particularly pivotal.  In addition to being a featured trumpet soloist on several occasions with Coleman, he was also asked to perform with Coleman and The Kronos Quartet on a commission for trumpet and strings. Soloff was also the lead trumpeter of the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band under the direction of Jon Faddis during its entire tenure and spent six years as first trumpet in the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

Born in Brooklyn, on February 20, 1944, Soloff was raised in Lakewood, New Jersey and started studying piano at an early age. He took up the trumpet when he was 10 and his interest in the instrument surged, thanks to the record collections of his grandfather and uncle. Exposed to artists such as Roy Eldridge and Louis Armstrong as a youngster, Soloff recalls, “there was a scale I remember from Armstrong’s recording ‘I Hope Gabriel Likes My Music.’  He played this run with such finesse and beauty, without any grandstanding–I wanted to play like that.”  Soloff spent several years at Juilliard Preparatory until he entered the Eastman School of Music in 1961. Already a professional musician, he had spent his summers as a teenager playing hotels and country clubs in the Borscht Belt (the Catskill Mountains of New York).  After graduating from Eastman (where he found himself in practice bands with fellow students such as Chuck Mangione), he spent a year in graduate school at Julliard. It was the mid-1960’s and the fertile jazz scene in New York City ignited Soloff’s full-time career.

By 1966, he was performing with Maynard Ferguson and soon became a regular in the Joe Henderson/Kenny Dorham Big Band. That year he also joined the Gil Evans Group, an affiliation he considers his most influential.  “I first met Gil Evans when I was 22 and he became my musical Godfather,” remembers Soloff. It was a creative relationship that lasted until Evans death in 1988. In the large bands of the 1960’s, Soloff received his continuing education, joining groups led by Clark Terry, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri including the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Band.  But it was in the popular groundbreaking group Blood, Sweat and Tears that Soloff’s trumpet solos became an indelible part of American culture.  He was an integral part of the band from 1968 to 1973, racking up 9 Gold records worldwide, a Grammy for “Record of The Year” (1969) and creating those searing horn lines in “Spinning Wheel.”

A respected educator as well, he continues to appear as guest soloist at universities around the country where he utilizes the Gil Evans arrangements that have been an essential element of his repertoire through the years.  He has been on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music for 20 or so years and has been an adjunct faculty member at Julliard and the New School.  “I want to continue developing my own personal artistic ventures,” notes Soloff.  “There are a thousand ideas I have for collaborative efforts. Music can be choreographed or spontaneous and I am most inspired when I have the opportunity to perform in a variety of settings.”

Friday, February 12, 2010

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

From the resounding hall of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway, to the intimate setting of Smalls Jazz Club in New York City, to the massive applause on festival stages in India, Sunny Jain is a highly respected drummer, composer and educator.  Born to Punjabi immigrant parents and raised in Rochester, New York, Sunny has become an Indian-American musical trailblazer.

Sunny leads Red Baraat, a one-of-kind dhol 'n' brass band melding the infectious North Indian rhythm Bhangra with funk, soca, and dramatic improvisatory conducting.  His Sunny Jain Collective has been touted as a leading voice for the new music Indo Jazz (a movement of first-generation South Asians equally steeped in the jazz tradition and the music of their cultural heritage).

In 2002, Sunny was designated a Jazz Ambassador by the U.S. Department of State and The Kennedy Center. He then received the Arts International Award in both 2003 and 2005.  In 2005, Jazz Hot magazine (France) featured Jain in their drummer issue, along with Lewis Nash, Horacio 'El Negro' Hernandez and Winard Harper.  He was noted as a rising star for his fusion of jazz and Indian music.  In 2006, Traps magazine highlighted Sunny as a top New York City world jazz drummer.  Sunny was commissioned in 2006 by Chamber Music America's New Works to compose new music for a project he later named, Taboo. He closed out 2007 with a milestone performance with the famed Sufi-rock group Junoon at the Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo, Norway, playing for Al Gore. In 2008, Sunny was commissioned by the Aaron Copland Fund to record Taboo.

Sunny also plays the indigenous drum of Punjab, dhol, and made his professional debut as dholi playing in the first ever Indian Broadway show, Bombay Dreams (2004).  He has since gone on to perform with Masala Bhangra fitness guru, Sarina Jain (“The Indian Jane Fonda”), jazz legend Dewey Redman with Asha Puthli, and will make his Hollywood debut playing dhol in the movie, Accidental Husband, starring Uma Thurman, Colin Firth, and Isabella Rossellini.

In 2007 Sunny became the first ever artist endorser for India’s largest and oldest musical manufacturer, Bina Music and he exclusively uses Vater drumsticks.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz on Film: Rarities - Pt. 1
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

Spend an evening watching rare film clips of Bill “Bogangles” Robinson, Sid Catlett, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughan, Benny Goodman, Christian McBride/Dave Holland, and others. Heaven!

Friday, February 19, 2010

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

Ben Williams, an acoustic and electric bassist, composer, and educator, is a native of Washington, DC, now living in New York City. He recently received a Master’s degree from the Juilliard School under the instruction of Ben Wolfe. He is a 2007 graduate of Michigan State University where he received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education with an emphasis in jazz studies under the instruction of Rodney Whitaker and Jack Budrow.

On October 11, 2009, Ben won the most prestigious award in the world for aspiring jazz musicians by winning first place at the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He was awarded a $20,000 Scholarship and a recording contract with Concord Records. The competition was judged by such iconic bassists as Ron Carter, Dave Holland and Christian McBride. Since the Monk competition, he debuted his band at the Jazz Gallery in New York, which received a great review in the New York Times by Nate Chinen.

Ben is currently touring with Stefon Harris and Blackout, and is featured on the group’s latest release “Urbanus,” which was recently nominated for a Grammy. He can also be heard on the newly released album by the Marcus Strickland trio entitled “Idiosyncrasies,” and will also be featured on the upcoming release by the Jacky Terrasson trio. He has traveled extensively over several continents with performances in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.

Aside from the recent Monk Competition Award, he won first place in the International Society of Bassists Competition in 2005. He is a two-time winner of the Fish Middleton Jazz Scholarship Awards Competition at the (now defunct) East Coast Jazz Festival, having won second place in 2002 and third place in 2000 when he was ages 15 and 17. He won first place in 1999 in the DC Piano Competition Scholarship Award in the Intermediary category and again first place in the Advanced category in 2000. In 2002 he was a scholarship recipient of the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) at their annual conference in Long Beach, CA; and also in 2002 he was a scholarship recipient of the Duke Ellington Jazz Society Annual Awards of Washington. In 2003 he was a scholarship recipient of the Steans Institute in Chicago. Numerous awards and scholarships were also presented to him during his continuing education at Michigan State University.

Ben started his musical career at age 11 while studying bass under Martha Vance at the Fillmore Arts Center, a DC Public School program. He was introduced to jazz by Fred Foss, the director of the Fillmore Jazz Band. The Thelonious Monk Institute partnered with Fillmore's jazz studies program and provided him with weekly one-on-one jazz bass instructions under DC area jazz musicians like Keter Betts, Steve Novosel, Michael Bowie, Emphriam Wolfolk, James King, and Paul Robinson.

The Monk Institute's mentoring partnership program provided workshops to young students like Ben where he was able to participate. By age 12, Ben had received one-on-one instructions from the great Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and others. Before he entered high school at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts he had already performed at numerous venues throughout the DC metropolitan area such as at the White House, the Vice President's House, the State Department, the Kennedy Center, Congressional Black Caucus, and many others. Following his first two years of jazz studies he decided he would make a "lifetime commitment of learning" for a career in music. He went to the Duke Ellington School prepared for rigorous bass instructions from Ms. Carolyn Kellock along with jazz studies and performance training from Davey Yarborough. He graduated in 2002 with academic honors as well as awarded the First Honors in Instrumental Music.

Ben is honored to have had the opportunity to perform with Wynton Marsalis, Benny Golson, Terence Blanchard, Christian McBride Big Band, Roy Hargrove, Bilal, Mulgrew Miller, Cyrus Chestnut, Steve Wilson, Gretchen Parlato, Hamiet Bluiett, Eric Reed, Sean Jones, Ron Blake, Me’Shell Ndegeocello, Donald Harrison, James Williams, Rodney Jones, and Steve Nelson, to name a few.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners

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

Hosted by Loren Schoenberg, NJMH Executive Director

Another evening of rare film clips – bringing Bessie Smith, Eubie Blake/Noble Sissle, Zora Neale Hurston, Benny Goodman, Art Tatum, Django Reinhardt, Lucky Thompson, Ben Webster, Booker Little, Max Roach, and others back to Harlem.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jazz at the Playershttp://www.theplayersnyc.org/members/
Jonathan Batiste Trio
7:00pm
Location: The Players
(16 Gramercy Park S. | get directions)
$20 | Reservations or 212-475-6116

Jonathan Batiste is part of a culturally rich and significant lineage of musicians and musical families known worldwide: he is the most recent arrival from the Batiste family of New Orleans. At the age of 8, he was already featured singing with his family in Japan. He later performed with them on percussion, and by 12 had found his destiny—the piano. His family has been respected for generations as one of the top in the creation of the city's musical landscapes. These were the roots of his musical beginnings. Since then he has performed, recorded and toured over 30 countries with artists such as Harry Connick Jr., Abbey Lincoln, Jimmy Buffett, Lenny Kravitz, Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, The Batiste Brothers, Alvin Batiste, and currently with Cassandra Wilson and Roy Hargrove. He has three CD releases under his own name, the first released when he was 17 and still studying at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA) High School in New Orleans. Batiste is also a graduate of the Juilliard School in New York City.

His ability to communicate to a wide range of audiences is apparent. He debuted at Carnegie Hall when he was 18 years old, has performed at major music festivals worldwide, and was the youngest featured performer at the 2008 NBA All-Star game alongside other New Orleans' musical icons on his instrument: Dr. John, Allen Tousiannt, Ellis Marsalis, Harry Connick Jr, and the Neville Brothers. He is a young man of poise, character, intelligence, charm, and sophistication, all of which will be clearly in evidence this evening at Jazz at the Players.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

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

Broadway dancer and choreographer George William Faison was born on December 21, 1945 in Washington, D.C. He attended Dunbar High School, where he studied with the Jones-Haywood Capitol Ballet and Carolyn Tate of Howard University. His first performance was with the American Light Opera Company. After graduating from high school, Faison attended Howard University with plans of becoming a dentist. He also worked in theater with the acclaimed African American theater director Owen Dodson.

In 1966, two years after he entered Howard, Faison saw a production of the Alvin Ailey Company. Within one week, he had decided to become a professional dancer and left Howard University to move to New York City. There, he studied at the School of American Ballet, where he took classes with Arthur Mitchell, June Taylor, Claude Thompson, Dudley Williams, Charles Moore and James Truitte, among others. He began his first professional jobs with the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, Connecticut, and continued studying dance with Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited (HARYOU) and Harkness House.

In 1967, Faison auditioned with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, where he would remain for the next three years. In 1970, Faison left the Alvin Ailey dance company to pursue his own career. After a part in the Broadway musical "Purlie," Faison created the George Faison Universal Dance Experience with only $600 dollars. The group's dancers included such notables as Renee Rose, Debbie Allen, Al Perryman and Gary DeLoatch. Faison was the artistic director, choreographer and dancer for the group.

In 1972, Faison made his choreographic debut with Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope on Broadway, which was the start of a series of successful choreography jobs. These included Via Galactica, Tilt and 1974's all-black retelling of The Wizard of Oz entitled The Wiz. The Wiz was a huge success, and helped to launch the careers of singer Stephanie Mills and actor Geoffrey Holder. That year, Faison became the first African American to win a Tony award. The George Faison Universal Dance Experience disbanded the following year, and Faison began focusing on musical theater. He also worked as a choreographer for entertainers like Earth, Wind and Fire, Ashford and Simpson, Dionne Warwick, Patti Labelle and Cameo, among others. 1981 brought the massive critical success of Apollo, Just Like Magic, an off-Broadway production that transitioned him from choreographer to director. In 1997, he directed and choreographed King, a musical performed at President Clinton's inauguration. In 1996, he founded the American Performing Arts Collaborative (A-PAC). Since that time, Faison constructed an arts center called the Faison Firehouse Theater, a project of A-PAC which has committed its resources to Harlem.

Look for insightful discussion of the intersection between jazz music and American dance as well as Faison's plans for productions with jazz as a main theme.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday Panels
Jammin' the Blues: A Look at Jazz and Cinema
Noon - 4PM
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Jazz came to life in the 20th century, as did cinema, and the two have been intertwined ever since their earliest days. Whether it was as a subject, an influence, or the topic itself, jazz and cinema reflect upon each other in myriad ways.

Join us for screening of film, panel discussions, and more. Panelists to include: Herb Boyd, Jonathan Scheuer, Scott DeVeaux and others. Updates at www.jmih.org and in our weekly emails as well.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Special Event
A Great Day in Harlem
1:00 – 3:30pm
Location: New York Historical Society
(170 Central Park West)
FREE | For more information: 212-485-9275

Interview with the filmmaker, Jean Bach by NJMH Executive Director Loren Schoenberg.

Come discover the rich story and hear the engrossing sounds behind the most famous photo in the history of jazz, in which photographer Art Kane coordinated a group photograph of many of the top jazz musicians in NYC in 1958 for Esquire magazine. The documentary features interviews of many of the musicians in the photograph who talk about the day the now iconic photograph was taken, and shows film footage taken that day by Milt Hinton and his wife. The film was nominated in 1995 for an Academy Award for Documentary Feature.

The photo was also a key object in Steven Spielberg's film, The Terminal,  starring Tom Hanks as Viktor Navorski, a character who comes to the United States in search of Benny Golson's autograph, with which he can complete his deceased father's collection of autographs from the musicians pictured in the photo.

The afternoon screening of the documentary of the same title (1994) will be followed by an interview with the filmmaker, Jean Bach by NJMH Executive Director Loren Schoenberg.

Django's 100th Birthday At The Iridium

Dorado Schmitt, legendary gypsy guitarist from France, has been at the center of the Django music resurgence in the US by appearing regularly at the Django Reinhardt NY Festival.  Besides starring at  the festival, he has toured the country with Allstar Bands  promoting the Django Reinhardt style at such  venues as The Kennedy  Center, Disney Hall, Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The SF Festival, Caramoor  and more...to great acclaim.

His highly anticipated return to the US this January will be in a major tour celebrating the 100th Birthday of DJANGO REINHARDT, his idol, with a swing thru NYC at The IRIDIUM on February 1,2,& 3 with a special tribute to the great LES PAUL, Monday, February  1.  Les Paul cited Django as one of his favorite guitarists, was a personal friend, and was instrumental in settling Django's estate and was given a guitar valued at over $500,000.00.

Accompanying DORADO SCHMITT will be SAMSON SCHMITT -  his son, a young Gypsy Guitar star in his own right, MARCEL LOEFFLER - Virtuoso Accordionist,  PIERRE BLANCHARD - Violin master, all from France , accompanied by Veteran Bassist BRIAN TORFF who performed for years with Grappelli.  And, there will be surprises!

*Django's most important and well-known composition NUAGES will be performed by DORADO SCHMITT and Band with renowned Russian Cellist BORISLAV STRULEV, a world-premiere performance of "Nuages" with cello.  A special arrangement for cello has been written by top Pianist/Composer/Arranger ROGER KELLAWAY (who Conducted and Arranged the music for Clint Eastwoods' new film INVICTUS).

Special Guest: Curtis Stigers

If voices, like wines, had noses, Curtis Stigers’ would be dusky oak with hints of Willie Nelson, Harry Nilsson, Ray Charles and Matt Dennis. It’s a voice that’s at once young and old, tender and tough, warm and inviting as a caress, yet sturdy as a firm handshake.  -Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes

Curtis Stigers is at the forefront of a new generation of jazz singers with one of the most distinctive voices in music...Downbeat Magazine named him as one of the jazz genre’s “Rising Male Stars”.  He has toured the world with such renowned pop artists as Elton John, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, and Prince, while collaborating with  jazz greats  Nancy Wilson, George Benson, Herbie Hancock, Randy and Michael Brecker, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Chris Potter, Larry Goldings and Toots Thielmans.   Crossing from Pop to Jazz, he has been  called “one of the best male jazz singers of his generation” by JazzTimes.  Stigers's latest critically acclaimed recording, "Lost In Dreams," on Concord Jazz, was released in September 2009.

Re the music of DJANGO, STIGERS says" I just love the Django recordings.  Something just kills me about it and I can hear myself singing in that sound!"

The Django Allstar tour, celebrating Djano's 100th birthday (which is Jan. 24th), commences with an important concert at the Kennedy Center Jan. 16, onto Minneapolis at the Dakota Jan. 18 & 19,  Yoshis in Oakland Jan. 21-24, Kuumbwa in Santa Cruz Jan. 25, Catalina's in LA Jan. 26,27,28, The Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa Jan 29 & 30, onto NY at the IRIDIUM Feb. 1,2,3, climaxing at the Montreal Jazz Festival Feb., 4,5,6 before heading back to France...Produced by Pat Philips & Ettore Stratta. The pair have also just released their new CD, Dorado Schmitt and The Django Reinhardt NY Festival Allstars "Live at the Kennedy Center" on their own label SP Productions. ..CD will be on sale during the tour.  (for info: patmusic2@aol.com)

DJANGO and GRAPPELLI met in the 30's in France to form The Hot Club  Quintette which took Europe by storm  and went on to become one of  the  most important musical partnerships in European history with a  hot jazz rendition of American pop standards, influenced by Ellington,  Armstrong and the like...Gypsy Jazz is still on the cutting edge and enjoying  enormous success around the world.  Young musicians as well as more  established are digging into Django's music , a torrent of guitar lines  on special string guitars with sounds all their own, easily  recognizable, virtuosic, hot and romantic.

Celebrity musicians and actors admire the music such as Leonardo DiCaprio who's dog is named Django, Sean Penn who starred in Woody Allen's  film "Sweet and Lo Down" about this music, Willie Nelson records it,  Tony Bennett wrote a lyric to Nuages, the most famous Django composition ... and more.

"Feb 1,2,3, is the  Centennial Celebration at one of NY's most important venues..."Historymaking  at THE IRIDIUM'  marking a music and master that continues to fascinate, inspire and bring joy...one  that has endured the test of time...and is still swinging!