BoMuse News, v15 n5

BoMuse News, vol. 15, no. 5

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.

Follow @BoMuseMusic on Twitter.

1. My Life in San Diego
2. SoCal Jazz Society Awards
3. Community Group to Buy KPLU
4. Sarah Vaughan Stamp Dedicated at NCCU Jazz Festival
5. The Nash Looking for New Director
6. Congratulations
7. Passings
8. The Schedule

1. One never knows just what will happen when embarking on an adventure. In less than a year I have become part of a community and almost too busy with worthwhile activities. Last Saturday I played my first gig with the Manny Cepeda Orchestra. I was introduced to Manny by our late and dear friend Stanley Swann. Stanley and Manny were members of the NATO Jazz Ambassadors, probably in the 1980s. Manny, the “Master Chief,” is a Grammy-nominated timbalero, singer, and song-writer. The orchestra is the largest of his performing groups, and I have started playing baritone sax in this band. While I have had a special place in my heart for Afro-Caribbean music for many years, I have never played in a Salsa band before. It has been a humbling experience, and I have been working hard to get my parts downMCO 042316. Next week we will play in couple of festivals here in San Diego. I order to get up to speed with reading the parts, which are very syncopated, I have been taking an ensemble class at my local community college. I believe I have mentioned this before, but it bares repeating that this the music program at Grossmont College is truly exceptional. How many community colleges have you heard of that have an Afro-Cuban big band as a course!

2. Another part of my busy life hear in Sunny California is my work with the SoCal Jazz Society. I know I  have mentioned this before as well, but as a non-profit that is only four years old, this is an exciting time to be part of this most worthy project.

To quote from our Web-site, “The SoCal Jazz Society is devoted to increasing the enjoyment, understanding and interest in the American art form of Jazz Music by providing in-school classes, master classes and private jazz music education, as well as concerts and the promotion of jazz events in the Southern California region. It is SoCal Jazz Society‘s aim to help students and the public at large have a clearer understanding of what makes improvisational music such a worthwhile study, and to encourage the enjoyment of this art form with increased awareness.”

At its Annual Fundraising Event the SoCal Jazz Society awarded five members of the San Diego Jazz Community for their achievements, as well as their support of jazz education and the jazz community of San Diego County.
Best Jazz Promoter: Brian Ross for expanding the knowledge of American Jazz, especially to younger generations, as well as the public at large, through his excellent work as Programs and Events Manager at University of California San Diego’s The Loft, and other venues; and as Events Coordinator at the Music Box in San Diego.
Best Jazz Artist: trumpet master Derek Cannon, not only for his excellent playing, but for his work as Department Chair and Director of Jazz and Afro-Cuban Studies at Grossmont College, and his mentoring of aspiring young musicians.
Best Jazz DJ: Janine Harty for her excellent work developing the enjoyment of Jazz Music through her weekly radio shows on KSDS and which spotlight Women in Jazz. Her programing of great jazz artists helps increase the public’s knowledge of this great american Art Form.
Best Jazz Educator: Dr. John Reynolds, for his outstanding direction of the Jazz and Orchestral Studies at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, for paving the way for his high school big band to attend “Essentially Ellington” at Jazz At Lincoln Center in New York, and for his work as adjunct professor of Jazz Studies at Grossmont College.
Best Jazz Producer: Kamau Kenyatta for his outstanding work developing the understanding of the language of Jazz Music through the production of jazz albums, and his excellent work increasing the public’s knowledge of american Jazz as an educator at the University of California San Diego.

3. As part of the jazz community at large and a one-time jazz dj, I have been following the events around the sale of KPLU, one of the handful of full-time jazz radio stations. It is owned by Pacific Lutheran University, who have felt it necessary to sell it. Up till now the likely buyer was another listener-supported station in the Seattle WA area. But this would have deprived the area of the broadcasting, both jazz and public affairs, that has made KPLU such a valued station in the area. A committee of supporters was formed to try to buy the station from the university, and keep it on the air as an independent station. It appears that this effort has been successful. Please read more here.

4. The U.S. Postal Service dedicated the newly released Sara Vaughan postage stamp at North Carolina Central University’s 26th Annual Jazz Festival on April 15, 2016.

More about the NCCU Jazz Festival:

5. Jazz In Arizona, which operates the venue they created in honor of master drummer Lewis Nash, known simply as The NASH, is looking for a new managing director. Please help spreading the word. Maybe you know someone who would be a good fit for this job.

6. Congratulations to Herbie Hancock on receiving a Life Time Achievement Award from  the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), the organization that gives the Grammy Awards, among other activities;

and to Henry Threadgill on receiving the Pulitzer prize for music.

7. Passings
*Ethiopian saxophonist Getatchew Mekurya was a major figure in his native country, and collaborated with American musicians.

*Prince Nelson, while not a jazz musician, he did have connections in the jazz community, and as an outstanding musician, had their respect. Much has been written already about his career, so I will just say that it is sad to loose a such gifted musician at a still relatively young age.

8. The Schedule

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 @BoMuseMusic

*Fri, May 6, Manny Cepeda Orchestra, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, San          Diego CA

*Sat, May 7, Manny Cepeda Orch. @ Gator By The Bay, Spanish Landing Park, San         Diego CA

*Thu, May 12, Jazz and Afro-Cuban Ensembles Concert, Cuyamaca College Perfroming         Arts Ctr., El Cajon CA

As always, thank you for supporting live music.

Follow @BoMuseMusic

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BoMuse News, v15 n4

BoMuse News, vol. 15, no. 4

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.

Follow @BoMuseMusic on Twitter.

1. SoCal Jazz Society Fundraiser Event
2. Concert At Cuyamaca College
3. Concern Over Future of WWOZ
4. Bohemian Cavern Closes
5. Reflections on A Trip East
6. Congratulations
7. Passings
8. The Schedule

1. On Sunday, April 24 from 2:00-5:00 PM, The SoCal Jazz Society will present its annual Fundraising Event at the Musicians Association of San Diego Hall, 1717 Morena Boulevard, San Diego CA. The Event will feature a trio led by Grammy Award Winning pianist and producer Kamau Kenyatta, and a host of guest performers including some of the Society’s teachers and Board members. There will also be a silent auction, and of course the proceeds go to support SoCal Jazz Society’s educational work in the San Diego Schools. A donation of $25 is requested for admission, and the proceeds of the door and the auction will help us to continue to bring our program to as many schools as possible. The SoCal Jazz Society is a 501.c3 organization, and all donations are tax deductible.

The SoCal Jazz Society is devoted to increasing the enjoyment, understanding and interest in the American art form of Jazz Music by providing in-school classes, master classes and private jazz music education, as well as concerts and the promotion of jazz events in the Southern California region.

2. On Tuesday, April 12, 7:30 PM, the Grossmont College Afro-Cuban Ensemble, with Special Guest Manny Cepeda, and Grossmont Jazz Band will give a joint concert at the Performing Arts Center of Cuyamaca College, 900 Rancho San Diego Pkwy., in El Cajon, CA. Both bands have been hard at work preparing this evening of music. I’ll be in the sax section of the Afro-Cuban Ensemble, along with some special guests. There is $10.00 admission.

The Afro-Cuban Ensemble will also take part in a Jazz Night at Helix High School, 7323 University Ave, La Mesa, CA, along with the high school and an middle school jazz bands, and Special Guest trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos. Admission is $10.00.

3. We are watching a drama unfold at New Orleans radio station WWOZ. Several long-time staff members have resigned over a variety of issues. While I do not “have a dog in this fight,” I do care very much about the health of jazz radio, and hope this will all be resolved  satisfactorily in the end.

4. Another sad day for live jazz. Last summer we lost Act III, the successor to the Acton Jazz Cafe, in Littleton, MA. Just a few weeks ago Ingrid Croce closed her excellent restaurant and listening room, Croce’s Park West in San Diego. Now the venerable Bohemian Caverns in Washington DC has closed its doors.

5. Congratulations to Christian McBride on his appointment as the Artistic Director for Newport Jazz Festival.

Congratulations to Phillip Griggs. “Just a few weeks ago on the 58th GRAMMY Awards telecast, GRAMMY Foundation Honorary Chair Ryan Seacrest announced the recipient of our 2016 Music Educator Award, Phillip Riggs. Phillip has taught band and choir at various grade levels in North Carolina for the past 27 years. Currently an instructor of music at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, he is a recipient of the Exceptional Contribution in Outreach Award presented annually by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors for his work with music programs throughout North Carolina.” — Neil Portnow, President/CEO, The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation

And if not congratulations exactly, at least some justice for Cecil Taylor in his long-time struggle to regain award money that was stolen from him by a con-artist.

6. My little East Coast tour was a pleasure on several levels. It started with reuniting with my old friend Jim Cameron at the Northampton (MA) Jazz Workshop Tuesday night show and jam session, where we played music of Tadd Dameron. This was our first time playing in their new location, The City Sports Grille. If you are ever in Western Massachusetts on a Tuesday night, don’t miss this long-standing jazz gathering. The guest artists are among the best in our profession (I consider it a great honor to have been included) and the house trio is excellent.

On Good Friday I played in Bob Franke’s Meditations, a cantata for that day. I have performed in this ever since the first performance in 1980, and since I created my part, it is hard to let go of it. Bob is a brilliant song writer and the Cantata is a most powerful piece of music. Thanks to the congregation of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Marblehead, MA, for cherishing this very special musical event.

Sunday I returned to the stage of the Chit Chat Lounge in Haverhill, MA to reunite with the most recent edition of my quartet: Mark Michaels, guitar, John Doherty, bass, and Jody Bregler, drums. We were joined in the second set by cornetist Neil Flewelling, and saxophonist Jim Cameron. It was great playing with all these old friends, and to see the Sunday jazz program I started over a dozen years ago continuing. Thanks to all those who came out to hear us.

Monday I played in a trio with Mark Michaels and bassist Manual Kaufmann at Tres Gatos, a tapas bar in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. The three of us had played there several times before, so this was another reunion. If you should be in Boston, it is worth visiting Tres Gatos not only for the food, but the book and record store in the back.

My tour ended with one more performance in an old haunt, Savinos Restaurant in Belmont, MA. Mark Michaels and I performed there regularly on Thursday nights, and Mark continues to be in the rotation. Thanks to chef/owner Tom Cutrone for supporting jazz with this Thursday night series.

Throughout my visit east I had the great pleasure to catch up with many old friends, a couple of whom I had missed connecting with before my move to San Diego. I was happy to find them in good health and good spirits, and the warmth of their friendship inspires me as I begin a new chapter of my life here in California.

7. Condolences to the families and friends of these members of the Jazz Community:

*John Chilton, historian and trumpeter;

*Nana Vasconcelos, percussionist (even if you cannot read Portuguese, you might enjoy this)

*Ernestine Anderson, vocalist,

*Gato Barbieri, saxophonist.

I would like to mark the passing of two more from the larger musical community:

*Sir George Martin, record producer

*Al McKenney, road and festival manager, and personal friend. I only found out about his passing recently. We had lost touch, but he was there with me at some important moments in my life.

8. The Schedule

If you are in Boston check the listings at Jazz Boston. In San Diego visit the Calendar section at KSDS Jazz88.3.

*Tue April 12, 7:30 PM, Jazz and Afro-Cuban Big Band Concert, Perfroming Arts Center, Cuyamaca College, 900 Rancho San Diego Pkwy., in El Cajon, CA.

*Tue April 19, 7:00 PM, Jazz Night Concert, Featuring Special Guests Gilbert Castellanos and the Grossmont Afro-Cuban Big Bnad, Helix High School, 7323 University Ave, La Mesa, CA

*Sun April 24, 2:00 PM, SoCal Jazz Society Fundraising Concert and Silent Auction, Musicians Association of San Diego Hall, 1717 Morena Boulevard, San Diego CA.

As always, thank you for supporting LIVE MUSIC!

Follow @BoMuseMusic

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BoMuse News, v 15 n 3

BoMuse News, vol. 15, no. 3

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.

Follow @BoMuseMusic on Twitter.

1. East Coast Tour
2. Jazz Grammy Winners
3. My adventures in San Diego
4. Congratulations
5. A plug for a friend
6. The Schedule

1. I will be doing a little Massachusetts tour later this month. It starts in Northampton with the Northampton Jazz Workshop on Tuesday, March 26, 7:30 PM. Jim Cameron and I will be the featured guests, performing a set of Tadd Dameron tunes, several of them never recorded. We will be accompanied by the excellent house trio led by pianist Paul Arslanian. On Friday, March 25 at 8:00 PM, I will take part in Bob Franke’s Good Friday Cantata. I have played in this wonderful musical service in every performance since the first one in 1980. Sunday, March 27, at 6:00 PM, I return to my old haunt the Chit Chat Lounge for a quartet gig with some old friends, including Mark Michaels, guitar and John Doherty, bass; drummer TBA. Mark will join me along with bassist Manuel Kaufman on Monday, March 28, 8:00 PM at Tres Gatos on Jamaica Plain. And finally, Mark and I will play another old haunt, Savinos Restaurant in Belmont on Thursday March 31, 8:00 PM. the addresses for all of these are listed in the Schedule.

I hope to catch up with as many old friends as possible while I am there, and maybe visit a museum or two as well.

2. Here are the Jazz Grammy Winners:

Improvised Jazz Solo: “Cherokee,” Christian McBride,
Jazz Vocal Album: “For One to Love,” Cécile McLorin Salvant,
Jazz Instrumental Album: “Past Present,” John Scofield,
Large Jazz Ensemble Album: “The Thompson Fields,” Maria Schneider Orchestra and Latin Jazz Album: “Made in Brazil,” Eliane Elias.

I think there were a couple of other jazz folks who won in some of the other categories, but I will have to leave it there as time is short. You can check out the complete list of nominees and winners at, if you like.

3. This issue and the next are going to be a bit thin. The main reason for this is my busy musical life here in San Diego. I am now playing baritone sax in three different bands, and subbing in a fourth. Each of these has some really challenging music, so I am practicing every day as much as I can. Add to this, preparations for Tadd Dameron’s Centennial next year, and my volunteer activities with the SoCal Jazz Society and, on occasion, radio station KSDS, and I am leading a pretty active life. There will be concerts in April and May, which will be mentioned in the coming issues.

4. Congratulations to Verve Records on 60 years of jazz releases.

5. I don’t usually do this, but Artie Bakopolus is not only a friend, but he is my successor as director of the Chelmsford Community Jazz ensemble, and an excellent saxophonist. He will be performing with his quintet, AB5, at the Chelmsford Center for the Arts in the Cafe on March 13th starting at 7 pm. Included in the band are Ross Adams on guitar, Dennis Cecere on Keyboards, John Doherty on Bass, Al Stone on Drums along with  Artie, who will be playing Alto sax.

Chelmsford Center for the Arts presents Jazz in the Cafe on a pretty regular basis, and is also the home of the Chelmsford Community Band and Jazz Ensemble, so I am also happy to give them a “shout out.”

6. The Schedule

If you are in Boston check the listings at Jazz Boston. In San Diego visit the Calendar section at Jazz88.3. 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

*Tue. March 22, 7:30  Paul Combs & Jim Cameron Play Tadd Dameron, Northampton         Jazz Workshop, City Sports Grille at Spare Time Northampton, 525 Pleasant St.,         Northampton, MA 413-584-4830

* Fri. March 25, 8:00 Bob Franke’s Good Friday Cantata, St. Andrew’s Episcopal
    Church, 135 Lafayette St, Marblehead, MA

* Sun. March 27, 6:00 Paul Combs Quartet, Chit Chat Lounge, 103 Washington St.,         Haverhill, MA

Mon. March 28, 8:00 Paul Combs Trio, Tres Gatos, 470 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, MA

* Thu. March 31, 8:00 Paul Combs/Mark Michaels Duo, Savinos Restaurant, 449 Common St., Belmont MA

As always, thank you for supporting LIVE MUSIC!

Follow @BoMuseMusic

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BoMuse News, v 15 n 2

BoMuse News, vol. 15, no. 2

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.

Follow @BoMuseMusic on Twitter.

1. SoCal Jazz Society Fund Raiser Party
2. Jazz At Chit Chat
3. Jazz at the Chelmsford Center For The Arts
4. Voting in the Grammys
5. JEN Conference
6. Congratulations
7. Passings
8. The Schedule
1. We had a fine time at the SoCal Jazz Society Fund Raiser Party, Thursday, January 28, at the cozy Shooters Bar, in the Sheraton, La Jolla. We raised some money and had a chance to show off the playing and singing of several of the teachers and Board members. This was a waIMG_1129rm-up for our big event in April, and it enabled us to give a couple more Kindergarten classes this season.

(Left to right in the photo, bassist Grant Clarkson, who graciously donated his fine playing to the cause, pianist John Cain, who also teaches in the program, Mary Angela Talbot, Founder and Executive Director of SoCal Jazz, here singing as well, tenor saxophonist Alison Bowles, also Secretary of the Society, and on trumpet the Society’s President, Mark Nicholson.)

You can also connect with the SoCal Jazz Society on Facebook.

2. Jazz At Chit Chat is back! Of course, there was no music on February 7, Super Bowl Sunday, but the monthly Jam Session took place place on February 14, with Artie Bakopolus as host. Pocket Big Band will be there on the 21st, and drummer Alan Stone brings his 10-piece band, Stoney’s Wicked Din, on the 29th. The Wicked Din play a variety of modern charts from Buddy Rich to Tower of Power. Definitely a fun band.

Jazz At Chit Chat takes place (almost) every Sunday at the Chit Chat Lounge, 103 Washington St., Haverhill, MA, from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM.


3. The Chelmsford Center For The Arts has been presenting Jazz performances since it opened. Now it has become the home for Joan’s Jazz Jam, a Jam session and cable TV show produced by vocalist Joan Watson-Jones. Joan used to present this on fifth Sundays at the Acton Jazz Cafe. Sadly the AJC is no longer, but I am happy to see that Joan’s Jazz Jam continues. Also, coming next month my friend and now the Director of the Chelmsford Community Band Jazz Ensemble, will be performing with his Quintet. That show takes place on March 13.


4. Well, I did have time to vote in the final round of the Grammys, at least in the Jazz categories. It is always a challenge as all the nominees are both excellent and unique; and it does take some time to vote correctly, because one has to listen to several albums, perhaps more than once, if a decision is hard to reach. I wish I had had time for the “top of the ticket” categories of Song of the Year, Album of the Year, etc. Sometimes there are some surprises there, like the year when Esperanza Spalding won over Justin Bieber, or Herbie Hancock won for his take on the work of Joni Mitchell.

Ben Ratliff’s recent article in the New York Times sums up part of what I find difficult in voting for the various categories in The Grammys, especially the “Best Instrumental Solo.” In the case of the solos nominated, I felt that while in all were excellent, there beauty was as much their relation the whole piece, as it was their individual excelence. In addition, other solos within the same performance were of equal quality.

All that being said, I am glad I have the opportunity to voice support for Jazz in this industry poll. It still baffles me to a certain extent, why certain music, jazz, classical, folk  (or Americana as it is called in the industry) is viewed as marginal, when there is so much high quality and creative work being done in those fields by people of all ages. I know the perception is based on sales, but that seems like a chicken or egg kind of thing. If the media only make a fuss of Adele, for instance, or Rihanna, then those folks who are not digging deeper think their music is all that matters.

Well, we just have to stay on it…

I am finishing this as the Grammy ceremony is taking place, but the Jazz awards have not been posted as yet. Since the next issue is due in a couple of weeks (I hope I won’t be so late next time) the winners will be listed in next months Congratulations section.

4. This year’s Jazz Education Network Conference was stimulating, as always. Of particular interest to me were sessions on various aspects of influences of Cuban, Dominican, and Brazilian music. These took me a little deeper into music that I am increasingly involved with. There were also illuminating sessions regarding grant writing, and of course I got to reconnect with several folks, particularly those interested in celebrating Tadd Dameron’s 100th birthday next year.

Last month I also mentioned Larry Reni Thomas who was awarded the Meade Legacy IMG_1124award from the African-American Jazz Caucus. The award is given to a notable historian of Jazz and African-American culture. Mr. Thomas is an educator, author and broadcaster. He also blogs about the Jazz History of the Carolinas.

You can find more photos from the conference, as well as general information about the Jazz Education Network at their Web-site.

I just would like to leave you with this. JEN is working hard to provide a venue for sharing and networking in the Jazz Community and deserves the attention, encouragement and support of all of us who care about this wellspring of American music.

The next Conference will be in New Orleans, January 4-7, 2017.

5. Congratulations to Ron Carter for achieving the World Record for being the Most Recorded Jazz Bassist in History, according to the Guinness World Records. It is good to know that someone is paying attention. We should also say there is good reason why Maestro Carter has earned this distinction.

6. *Pianist Paul Bley had a remarkable career, he played with Bird and Ornette, among many others, and developed a truly unique approach to improvisation. Here is his obituary from the New York Times.

*Natalie Cole, as they say needs no introduction, daughter of Nat Cole, and an accomplished and versatile singer; Ms. Cole’s obituaries from the Los Angeles Times and Tulsa World.

*Maurice White, best known for founding and leading the band Earth Wind And fire, was a jazz drummer from Chicago who played somewhat famously with Ramsey Lewis, and also Jack DeJonette back in the days when DeJonette was working as a pianist. Here is The Guardian’s obituary.

*The outstanding Cuban trumpeter Alfredo “Chocolate” Armenteros died on January 6 of the year. Here are his Wikipedia article and an obituary from Billboard.

*Pianist, Alfredo Valdes, Jr, esteemed Cuban musician has passed. This comes from Arturo Gomez and Janine Sanchez of KUVO, Denver. Unfortunately, I cannot find an obituary, but here is a video of the pianist in the company of the great Israel “Cachao” Lopez in concert at the San Sebastien Festival in Spain a few years ago.

*While his career was mostly noted for his work with the funk band Tower Of Power, trumpeter Mic Gillette was fine jazz player and an educator who is fondly remembered in his community. Obituary from the Mercury News.

7. The Schedule

If you are in Boston check the listings at Jazz Boston. In San Diego visit the Calendar section at Jazz88.3. 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

JAZZ AT CHIT CHAT, Chit Chat Lounge, 103 Washington St. Haverhill, MA
*Sun Feb 14, Monthly Jam Session, Artie Bakopolus, host
*Sun Feb 21, Pocket Big Band
*Sun Feb 28, Stoney’s Wicked Din (10 piece modern jazz band)
*Sun Mar 7, Pocket Big Band

As always, thank you for supporting LIVE MUSIC!

Follow @BoMuseMusic


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BoMuse News, v 15, n 1

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.

Follow @BoMuseMusic on Twitter.

1. Season’s Greetings
2. Jazz at Chit Chat in Limbo
3. 2016 Grammys
4. SoCal Jazz Society
5. Congratulations
6. Passings
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.LincolnHS121715






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 <>. 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 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!

Follow @BoMuseMusic

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Dameronia on All Things Considered

This just in from Tom Vitale:

My Tadd Dameron story ran nationally on NPR’s ALL THINGS CONSIDERED  Saturday, March 9th.  The program comes out of Washington DC between 5 and 6 PM– my story will most likely end the show at 5:50PM.   If you missed it, itis posted at, where anyone can download here.
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Tom Reney on Tadd Dameron and my book

Tom Reney celebrated Tadd’s birthday, February 21 on his radio show and blogged about him for New England Public Radio.

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Paul Combs Quintet Plays Tadd Dameron

Ssaturday, February 23, 8:00
Chelmsford Center for the Arts, 1A North Road, Chelmsford, MA 01824 – 978-250-3780

Tadd Dameron was one of the fathers of “Modern Jazz.” Close friend of and frequent collaborator with Dizzy Gillespie, he was known on the 1940s as the “architect of bop.” His influence extended into the 1950s and 1960s as a mentor of musicians such as Miles Davis and Benny Golson, and a primary influence on composer/arrangers such as Horace Silver, Quincy Jones, Frank Foster, and John LaBarbera, among others. Dameron’s biographer, Paul Combs has assembled a quintet dedicated to presenting Tadd’s music, much of it either unjustly neglected or previously unknown. Of course, the quintet will be playing Dameron’s well-known compositions such as “Good Bait,” “Hot House,” and “Lady Bird,” as well.

Saxophonist Paul Combs is Tadd Dameron’s biographer. His book, Dameronia – the Life and Music of Tadd Dameron, has been published by University of Michigan Press. In his research, he has discovered many previously unknown Dameron compositions, almost all of them more than worthy of addition to the jazz “canon.” The veteran saxophonist has performed in the Boston area for the last thirty years, as well as nationally. He has recorded as both a leader and a sideman.His most recent CD is “Paul Combs’ Pocket Big Band – Live At Chit Chat,” Sea Breeze Jazz SB-3073. []

Saxophonist Jim Cameron has performed internationally at jazz clubs, concerts and at festivals around the world, including London, Tokyo, and Vancouver. Jim can be heard on several CDs from such labels as Brownstone, GM and Sea Breeze. He currently divides his time playing in three big bands, Paul Combs’ Pocket Big Band, a sextet and various smaller jazz ensembles in the New England  area. Hi most recent CD is “Disturbing the Air,” Invisible Music IM-2046

Pianist Don Hemwall established himself in the Boston area late 1970s after studying at Berklee and the New England Conservatory. He currently performs with his own trio and quartet, as well as a solo pianist. He is also a charter member of the Pocket Big band and has worked with Paul Combs in several other of his bands. He can be hard on the “Live At Chit Chat” CD, as well as Paul Combs’ “Be Bop Christmas Card'” BoMuse Transcriptions BTCD 1004. []

Bassist Herman Hampton is an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music where he teaches in the Ensemble Department. A graduate of both the University of Massachusetts Amherst and  Berklee College, he performs extensively in the Boston area not only in jazz, but blues and Latin music, as well. He has performed with Yusef Lateef, Jay McShann, and Archie Shepp. He can be heard on several recordings, including  Philippe Le Jeune’s  “NIght Mist Blues,”  Black & Blue 701.2.

Drummer Stanley Swann is one of the Boston area’s busiest. After 20 years playing drums in various bands in the U.S. Air Force, he quickly established himself on the Boston scene with his virtuosity and versatility. He has been a long time associate of Paul Combs, having recorded two CDs with him. Like others in the band Stanley is also involved in education and is the founder and director of the Lowell Jazz Day Camp. This past fall he toured Russia with Trombonist Ron Wilkins.

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Jazz Historiography Course Update

Hello–the “sign up” link I posted before was wrong–the correct info is at the bottom of this revised email. Also, I got some requests about auditing (taking the course for fun, no homework or grade). I am waiting for answers on this but it does not appear that auditing will be possible.

Finally–and this is IMPORTANT–if enough people sign up for this course, we will put other courses online soon. After four courses you will get a certificate in jazz history, and after 12 you’ll have a Master’s degree! (You may combine online courses with classroom courses, of course, if you live near Newark.)

So if you are interested in signing up for this first course, it will be a good investment towards a certificate or degree!

All the best,

First Online Course of Jazz Historiography now Open for Registration; Starts week of January 22

PLEASE NOTE: The sign-up info on the last announcement was incorrect.
Correct sign-up info is at the bottom of this one. THANKS

With the invaluable help of my former graduate student and protégé Evan Spring, my course Historiography has been prepared to be offered online starting in January, and anyone anywhere can register for the course starting now! Please FORWARD this announcement to any and all who might be interested.

This is the first course from the Jazz History and Research program to be available online. Our own Mike Fitzgerald took an earlier version of this course many years ago – before the MA program, when I taught it at the New Brunswick campus – and he told me it started him on a lifetime of jazz research.

Evan Spring was an editor of the Annual Review of Jazz Studies for seven years, spearheaded the effort to convert it into the “open access” Journal of Jazz Studies, had a WKCR show for 20 years,
and – significantly – already taught the Research Methods portion of Historiography as a full-semester course in my M.A. program for three years.

I have been teaching this course since 1997, and it is a regularly updated distillation of everything I’ve learned about the practice of being a jazz historian. Each class features extensive text, several of my pre-recorded audio lectures, embedded illustrations and music audio, and relevant links. However, it should be clear that Evan will provide the follow-up, interactive teaching role – guiding class discussion, giving and grading assignments, monitoring each student’s research projects, and so on. This is why he is listed as the Instructor, even though I have designed and provided the course content (with Evan’s ample editorial assistance and suggestions). Because Evan has already taught Research Methods very successfully, he clearly has the expertise and dedication necessary to provide individual guidance for each student. Students will also interact extensively in an online class forum.

My blog postings, which can be heard at <>, will give you a rough idea of the look and feel of the course, but please note that the course content will be far more thorough and sophisticated in its presentation, as befits a graduate-level course. And of course if you want academic credits, there is homework to be done–listening, reading, short writing assignments, etc.

The course is an introduction to the critical-thinking approach and multimedia research methods that I have used with graduate students in the Rutgers M.A. program in Jazz History and Research. This course is not a survey of jazz history, and it assumes you already know something about jazz history. It is about the ways jazz history has been written, and how we can “rewrite” jazz history by doing our own research. I like to say, “It’s not about what happened; it’s about what they say happened.”

Students in this class must have basic musical literacy and should know how to notate music (by hand or on the computer). There have been exceptions, however, and if an exception is made for you, please consult your instructor whenever you’re having trouble with musical terms and techniques.

There are three “mini-courses” within this course:

1. Mindset/point of view (classes 1–2). This introduction to the class explores the nature of knowledge, the practice of historiography, and jazz myths that have proliferated over the last century. The first class uses case studies from the Bible and Shakespeare, and the second class explores the evolving practice of writing history, from Herodotus to postmodernism. Both classes delve into “jazz myths” ranging from the origins of jazz to the critical response to John Coltrane.

2. Conducting your own research (classes 3–5). This mini-course provides the practical tools required for jazz historical research, from online research to genealogy to interview technique to music transcription. All of the assignments in this portion of the course will be directed toward research for your final term paper.

3. Intensive listening (classes 6–7). The course concludes with extensive listening to the music of Louis Armstrong, the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Jelly Roll Morton, and other early jazz artists. Students listen on their own time while keeping a listening journal, and transcribing at least 32 bars of music. Classes provide additional context and introduce related recordings.

Porter’s Jazz: A Century of Change (Schirmer, 1997; the Thomson version, 2004, is an exact reprint of the original, so that’s fine too)

There will also be required articles which will be distributed for free.


Essentially you have to fill out a basic (NOT full) application, so you can get a Rutgers I.D. and be on the list of people who can take graduate courses. The only hassle is that you do need to get your undergrad transcript.

ALSO I should mention that they are considering adding more of my grad courses online, in which case this will count towards a four-course Certificate Program in Jazz History, the only such program anywhere!

with your questions!

All the best,

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Interviews Re: Dameronia

Three interviews with me regarding Dameronia – the Life and Music of Tadd Dameron have been made available so far, and there are more in the works. Tune in to WCPN, Cleveland at 10:00 PM this coming Monday to hear Joe Mosbrook’s interview with me. Another is available as a podcast. Jeffrey Siegel has posted this at his Straight No Chaser Web-site. Please note: for some reason there is a long pause between Jeffrey’s introduction and the interview itself. Then, on Saturday January 19, at 4:00 PM, tune in to WICN, Worcester, MA, When I will be Bonnie Johnson’s guest on Colors of Jazz.

Next week I will be interviewed by NPR’s Tom Vitale, and there are other interviews scheduled. Stay Tuned.

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