BoMuse News, vol. 14, no. 12 / vol. 15, no. 1
BoMuse News is a monthly newsletter from BoMuse Music. It presents items of interest related to jazz, and advocacy for music education, as well as news of releases from BoMuse Music and the performing activities of Paul Combs. Questions and comments should be sent by visiting “Contact” at Paul Combs’ Web-site.
1. Season’s Greetings
2. Jazz at Chit Chat in Limbo
3. 2016 Grammys
4. SoCal Jazz Society
7. The Schedule
1. Well I have slipped so far behind that I might as well combine these two issues. First, I hope all of you had good Holidays, whatever you might celebrate. When I upgraded my Website I had thought to make the BoMuse News a blog, posted at the site. Now, might be a good time for me to make that change.
Happy New Year,
2. It looks like the Jazz at Chit Chat series I started a dozen or so years ago at the Chit Chat Lounge in Haverhill Massachusetts may be coming to an end. It was always a struggle. First was the location, not exactly a hot-bed of interest in jazz. Second was the fact that being on Sunday evenings it took place at the same time as at least two other jazz series in the same general Northeastern Mass/Southeastern New Hampshire area. Third, especially in the fall, was competition with sporting contests, especially football. We have been told that the series is “on hiatus.” Negotiations regarding the series are on-going.
I want to thank all those who supported the series all these years, both audience and musicians, as well as the several excellent bartenders we had over the years, and the original owners of the Chit Chat. While it is possible that the series will resume after the Super Bowl, we will have to wait and see, and hope for the best. While I could go on to rant about the state of live music, and those that my friend Rocky Rockwood calls “clubonahs,” I prefer to keep a positive attitude. Perhaps there will be good news about the Jazz At series in the future.
3. I am afraid I was MIA in this year’s voting for the Grammy nominations. While dealing with the many details around my move to the West Coast, I neglected to change the address on my NARAS profile, and by the time the ballots were forwarded to me there was not enough time to listen to all the nominees and vote. Here, in place of my own reflections, is a brief article from the Los Angeles Times, my new go-to newspaper. As Joe Lovano said to me one year when he won one of the awards, “it’s a crazy scene.”
4. I have been gushing on to my friends about how wonderful it is that I have stepped into a very full and rewarding life here on the Left Coast. I will report on this happy situation over the next few issues, and spare you my gushing. One of the many bright spots is the invitation I received to join the Board of the SoCal Jazz Society, a fairly new organization dedicated to educating public school children about not only the joy of jazz, but its place in American history and society. While we have programs in only a few schools at this time, we are hard at work looking for the funding to expand our programs to as many of the San Diego Unified School District schools as possible.
For those of you in the San Diego area, we will be having a fundraising party 7:00 pm, Thursday, January 28 at Shooters Bar & Grille, in the Sheraton La Jolla, at 3299 Holiday Court, La Jolla. The event will be hosted by John Cain and Katy Cat, as part of their regular Thursday evening performance, and there will be several guest performers as well. It will also be chance to meet SoCal Jazz Society board members and teachers.
We also have an online fundraising effort at FundRazr. Unfortunately this one went out rather quietly at the beginning of December and got lost in the Holiday shuffle. I am as much to blame for this as anyone else. However, one can still contribute, and every dollar counts towards expanding our program to more schools.
In line with these efforts I was presented with an opportunity to work with young musicians in one of the San Diego High schools. Through my long-time friend Claudia Russell of KSDS, our 24/7 jazz radio station, I met Burton Grant who is the band teacher at Lincoln HS. He invited me to come coach his wind students when I can. I gave them a talk on embouchure and breathing, and will return periodically in the New Year. Here are the choir students and their accompanists at the Holiday concert. The band also performed, and I will have more on these young musicians in future issues.
5. Congratulations to saxophonist, composer/arranger, and educator Bob Mintzer on being appointed Director of the WDR big Band of Koln (Cologne), Germany. WDR is the West German Radio station, and in Germany the government sponsored radio stations take culture very seriously. In the words of the Bach Cantatas Web-site “The WDR Big Band Cologne serves as a group of musical ambassadors, promoting culture to audiences around the world by performing jazz and jazz-related music. Grammy awards in 2006 and 2007 and numerous Grammy nominations over the years reflect the band’s international acclaim, which continually evolves and strengthens.”
Congratulations as well to composer and arranger Vince Mendoza. Mr. Mendoza has a long standing relationship with the WDR Big Band, and has been appointed Composer-In-Residence. Here is the press release from PRNewswire.
Congratulations go out to N.C. Heikin on the release of her documentary The Sound of Redemption on saxophonist Frank Morgan. It has been shown in New York and Los Angeles so far, and may be coming your way.
Congratulations also go out to jazz broadcaster Larry Reni Thomas on receiving the Meade Legacy award from the African-American Jazz Caucus. The award will be given at the Jazz Education Network Conference in Louisville. I will be attending and will have more to say in the next issue.
6. In this space I usually try to honor musicians and others of the jazz community at large who have died recently. Being pressed for time I am going to take advantage of the obituaries published by the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt. As I have mentioned in the past, this is a terrific source of jazz news. If I remember correctly, either someone subscribed me, or the Jazzinstitute folks found me, probably as a result of the release of the Dameron book. In any event, I believe you can subscribe by contacting <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Here are the obituaries from the most recent Jazzinstitut newsletters:
“We learned of the passing of the pianist Norman Kubrin at the age of 73 ( Palm Beach Daily News), the trombonist Howard Jones at the age of 79 ( Clarion-Ledger), the trombonist Rick Davies ( Burlington Free Press), the drummer Rusty Jones at the age of 73 ( Chicago Tribune), the Swedish pianist and organist Kjell Öhman at the age of 72 ( Sveriges Radio – it’s in Swedish, but if you work through it you will see his jazz credits), the trombonist Don Doane at the age of 83 ( Bangor Daily News), the German vibraphonist Manfred Burzlaff at the age of 83 ( Der Tagesspiegel – in German, but you can see who he played with), and the Austrian free-jazz trumpeter Sepp Mitterbauer at the age of 69 ( Die Presse ).”
To these I will add bassoonist Daniel Smith, and pianist Sam Dockery, who passed on Christmas Eve. He was best known for his work with Art Blakey in the 1950s, but remained active in the Philadelphia area into the 1990s and taught at the University of the Arts. Here are a couple of YouTube videos featuring Sam, one from 1999, and one from 1962.
7. The Schedule
While I am still getting settled here, I have no scheduled gigs to list for myself, although some things do come up at the last minute. In a couple of months I will go back East for a visit and I have a couple booked then. Jazz at Wherever is on hiatus, but there is lots of jazz to be heard. If you are in Boston check the listings at Jazz Boston. In San Diego visit the Calendar section at Jazz88.org. If you are on Twitter follow the very hip Ms. Donna M @ElemantsOfJazz who regularly posts live jazz listings from various locations. And if you don’t already, follow me @BoMuseMusic
* Thu, Jan 28, 7:00 PM SoCal Jazz Society Meet & Greet Fundraiser featuring John Cain and Katy Cat with many guest artists, Shooters Bar & Grille, in the Sheraton La Jolla, at 3299 Holiday Court, La Jolla, CA
As always, thank you for supporting LIVE MUSIC!