BoMuse News v16, n1

BoMuse News, vol. 16, no.1

BoMuse News is a monthly newsletter from BoMuse Music. It presents items of interest related to jazz, and advocacy for music education and arts education in general, 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.

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1. Handlery Hotel Happy Hour
2. Tadd Dameron’s Birthday Concert
3. Changes in BoMuse News
4. Arts Education Update
6. Congratulations
7. Geri Allen, Rest In Peace
8. Gigs & Events

1. One of the many joys of living in San Diego is the weekly Jazz Happy Hour at the Handlery Hotel, in Mission Valley. Started two years ago by the highly respected flutist Holly Hofmann, the series has become enormously popular, so popular that it can be difficult to get a seat sometimes. Holly has made a space for local players, and occasional visiting dignitaries. There is no cover, and the refreshments are available at happy hour prices, and the music is always first class. On Friday July 28, I will have the pleasure, and honor, and playing there with pianist Hugo Suarez, and the brilliant bassist Rob Thorsen. Happy hour goes from 5:30 to 7:30 and the Handlery is located at 950 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108.

2. On Tuesday, February 21, we celebrated Tadd Dameron’s 100th birthday with a concert of his music, much of it little-known, at San Diego City College’s Saville Theater, and broadcast/webcast by our 24/7 jazz radio station KSDS, as part of their Jazz Live series. For this concert I was fortunate to be joined by trumpeter Derek Cannon, and, thanks to KSDS General Manager Ken Poston, a rhythm section led by pianist Bill Cunliffe, with Alexander Frank on bass, and Charles Rugierro drums. The concert was very well received and a few of the performances may eventually be on a CD that I hope to produce in the coming months. (Read more.)

3. As you will no doubt have noticed, the publication of BoMuse News has become rather erratic in the last couple of years. My move to San Diego was a big one, and I am still adjusting to my new environment. It is also time to consider trying to make some improvements. Due to circumstances beyond my control, the distribution program I used to use is lost. The newsletter will now be going out via Mail Chimp which should allow for easier incorporation of images and video. As with recent issues, it is also posted on my Web-site, where I have been experimenting with using the blog capabilities of my Web-site to streamline the email component. An announcement, with a link to the blog goes out via my Twitter and Facebook accounts. If you were on the old system and found this issue via one or the other of those means, please contact me so I can add you to the Mail Chimp list. I have found that the social network accounts are not consistently reliable, and it is easy to miss postings.

4. Sadly, SoCal Jazz Society has had to “close up shop.” We just could not raise enough money to be able to continue operation. Still, SoCal Jazz Society was able to bring education about jazz – the music itself and its place in American culture – to many class rooms in the San Diego area. The last closing concert, given at Golden Hill Elementary was a joyous occasion, with several classes getting on stage to perform with a quartet of some of San Diego’s best musicians: Louis Valenzuela, guitar, Ed Kornhauser, keyboard, Mac Leighton, bass, and Matt Smith, drums. Congratulations go to John Brooks for the excellent work he did with his students. While it is unfortunate that SoCal Jazz Society was not able to continue, all who were involved in this noble experiment in jazz education can be proud of all that was accomplished. (Read more.)

5. Congratulation to the 2017 NEA Jazz Masters: Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ira Gitler, Dave Holland, Dick Hyman, and Dr. Lonnie Smith. We are hoping that cooler heads will prevail in the Congress, and that we will be able to announce the 2018 NEA Jazz Masters next year.

Congratulations to all of those honored by the Jazz Journalists Association. First there are the Jazz Heroes. The JJA describes this award as one given to “advocates, altruists, activists, aiders and abettors of jazz who have had significant impact in their local communities. The ‘Jazz Hero’ awards, made annually on the basis of nominations from community members, are presented by their local fans and friends in conjunction with the JJA’s annual Jazz Awards honoring significant achievements in jazz music and journalism.”

There are 25 people in all who received this honor this year. I have had the pleasure of knowing three of them: Fran Morris Rosman, of the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation; San Diego’s own Gilbert Castellanos; and Judith Korey, who was my host at University of the District of Columbia. I will have more to say about her next month.

Second there are the JJA Jazz Awards. There are too many categories to list here, but needless to say all the awardees, and the nominees for that matter, are folks richly deserving of recognition.

6. I used to list obituaries in this space, but I think I will forego this going forward. I always seem to miss somebody more than worthy of acknowledgement, and this information usually makes its way to people generally. That being said, I want to express my sorrow at the passing a few days ago of the great pianist and educator Geri Allen. Her death came as quite a shock to many, because she was only 60, and her illness was not generally known. The range of reactions to her life and work, as well as the lack of what we might call universal recognition of her, have been on my mind, and I will try to get my thoughts on all this “down on paper,” as it were, in the next issue.

Here is her obituary from WBGO, and the one from the New York Times

7. Gigs & Events

If you are in Boston check the listings at Jazz Boston. In San Diego visit the Calendar section at Jazz88.3. And if you don’t already, follow me on Twitter @BoMuseMusic

* Thu. July 6, 13, 20, & 27, 7:30-10:30 PM, Fred Hardy Quartet, Café Bar Europa, 873 Turquoise St., San Diego, CA (this has been a weekly gig, check Events at for confirmation)

* Wed. July 12, & 26, 11:30 AM-1:30 PM, Dene Davidson Trio, Carlsbad Village Faire,
300 Carlsbad Village Dr, Carlsbad, CA (this is planed to be a bi-weekly gig, Starting June 28, check Events at for confirmation)

* Fri. July 28, 5:30-7:30 PM, Paul Combs Trio, Handlery Hotel San Diego
950 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA

As always, thank you for supporting LIVE MUSIC!

Follow @BoMuseMusic

BoMuse News, v16, n1. Item 2, Tadd Dameron’s Birthday Concert continued –

After the concert, I asked Derek if he would like to continue with this project. He agreed and we put together a San Diego rhythm section of drummer Richard Sellers, bassist Rob Thorsen, and pianist Kamau Kenyatta. Since Kamau is often very busy and out of town, Rob suggested the young pianist Hugo Suarez as his potential sub. We will be playing Dizzy’s, the concert series organized by Chuck Perrin, on Friday, September 8, and there will be more about that in the next issue. The plan is to use some of the tracks from February’s concert, and more recorded by this all San Diego band to present a CD of lesser-known and totally unknown music by Tadd Dameron sometime next year. As you may know already, I have collected as much of Dameron’s music as I could find, and there is so much here that deserves to be heard.

In line with this effort, there are plans for concerts of Tadd’s music here in San Diego, up in the Santa Barbara area, and in Washington DC. Earlier this year Tadd’s music was the focus of concerts at the New England Conservatory, and in his birthplace, Cleveland, OH. Saxophonist, music professor, and band leader Kent Engelhardt has been doing a lot to perform Tadd’s music, and Michael Kramer of the U.S. Army Blues jazz orchestra is planning the concert in in Washington DC. Up in Santa Barbara saxophonist and educator Les Rose is working up what he hopes will be a series of concerts featuring quintet, nonet, and big band performances, some including a singer. Here in San Diego the Gaslamp Quarter Jazz Orchestra is considering an all Dameron Concert this fall. I may have some Dameron performances in the San Francisco Bay area, but it is a little early to say more than that.

I have been helping these folks gather the music, and I am happy to say that more of his work is available commercially now thanks to Don Sickler and Second Floor Music, and the DuBoff brothers and eJazzlines.

BoMuse News, v16, n1. Item 4, Arts Education Update continued –

Last year, after I was elected Vice President of the SoCal Jazz Society, a call went out for volunteers to join the Governance Board of San Diego’s Arts Education Resource Organization (AERO). Given my new position and the fact that SoCal JS was a member of AERO, I joined the Governance Board. Since I committed to a three year term, I am continuing to work with AERO, even though I do not have an organizational membership. There is so much that needs to be done in the area of arts education, and activism in this area.

AERO is an interesting organization in that it exists without a budget. We do get some logistical support from the San Diego County Office for Visual and Performing Arts, which hosts our Web-site and shares some of its staff. It is hardly an understatement to say both of these are invaluable. However, the organization was started from within the arts education community in San Diego, and the aim is to be rooted in that community as much as possible, and meetings are held at facilities of the various member organizations that have conference space. The membership is made up of organizations and individuals who provide arts enrichment programs to the County’s schools. Some like the San Diego Opera, are quite large, some are individuals who have a program that they offer to the schools, and many are small to medium organizations like our late-lamented SoCal Jazz Society.

One of the member organizations of AERO, Arts For Learning, San Diego, may be able to help the SoCal artists-in-residence, who brought our program to so many children, continue the work that SoCal Jazz Society began. As they say “watch this space.”