BoMuse News September 2020

BoMuse News, vol. 19, no. 9

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.

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1. Experiment in Streaming
2. This Month’s Videos
3. Arts Education During COVID19
4. Some Thoughts in a Troubled Time
5. Gigs ?

1. In the next few weeks, I hope to start some streaming experiments. I’ll save the specifics for the date when I actually have something to announce. There are still some pieces that have to fall into place that are out of my hands. In the meantime, may I recommend some of the sources for musical comfort in these troubled times. In no particular order:

Dizzy’s here in San Diego is posting a few videos of past concerts. You can sign up for announcements, or go to YouTube to see a Wes Montgomery tribute concert .

I was just alerted, via Facebook, to lovely arrangements of hymns and spirituals for saxophone quartet by the estimable saxophonist and arranger Lance Bryant. You can hear them at his YouTube channel along with some other video creations of his.

The brilliant pianist Jeremy Siskind, with whom I had the pleasure of performing at a Wolfe Gardens house concert, is performing this Thursday, Sept. 4, at 7:00 PDT, with vocalist Christine Gutter. It will be available on the YouTube channel of the Del Mar Foundation.

Many jazz festivals have had to cancel this year due to the virus. However, The Detroit Jazz Festival will be live streamed. It will take place, as in previous years, on the Labor Day Weekend.

The excellent San Diego guitarist Louis Valenzuela has been quite busy streaming on line. Check out his YouTube channel for online shows.

Sherry Williams of the Merc in Temecula is supporting a variety of San Diego musicians’ concerts online. I don’t see announcements on the Merc’s Web-site, but if you would like to get emails from Sherry, get back to me and I will pass your address on to her. I do not feel comfortable just putting her address out there.

As I reported last month, the venues I was scheduled to perform at are either streaming performances, or posting video of past concerts. I have placed that information again under “Gigs?”.

There is a lot more out there, as musicians and their allies put their creative energy to work.

2. On my own YouTube channel I just posted the final two videos from the Dameron Project Quintet concert from February of 2013. In Part 11, I read from the final chapter of my book on Tadd, and make the case for his importance. This was an introduction to Part 12, the last tune on the concert, “A Blue Time,” which Dameron wrote for Blue Mitchell’s Riverside lp Smooth As The Wind. I must apologize for my stumbling in reading my own words, but I do stand by what I say there. The Quintet featured saxophonist Jim Cameron, pianist Don Hemwall, bassist Herman Hampton, and drummer Stanley Swann.

3. While I am no longer active in arts education, outside of my work with the African American Jazz Caucus, I continue to have an interest in this area, as you would expect. I am concerned about arts education for elementary and secondary students as so much is up in the air. I was distressed to find no mention of the crisis at the Arts Education Resource Organization (AERO) San Diego Website, and worse still, a rather blank place holder at the Arts For Learning Website. With the museums unable to open, and their educational programs apparently on hold, I was happy to receive an email from Outside The Lens, one of the member organizations of AERO, which announces their ongoing efforts in the face of the current challenges. You can see their online offerings for young photographers here. The Young Lions Jazz Conservatory did run its Summer program online, but I have not heard about their plans for the fall. I will keep you posted on any arts education news that comes my way.

4. I try to keep the newsletter focused on the topics outlined in the little statement at the top of the page. This does not mean that I keep my head in the sand, hence my opening comments two months ago, after the murder of George Floyd. Sadly, there have been more outrageous incidents. The items written here are my modest effort to try to put something positive out in the world. As Tadd Dameron said, “There is enough ugliness in the world, I’m interested in beauty.” He spoke these words in the wake of the horrific WWII, and the ironies of an America fighting for freedom, while Jim Crow still reigned in several states.

I am a musician who draws inspiration from many sources, but focuses in an art form forged by Black musicians rising from slavery. I cannot remain silent in a time of the presence of such blatant racism as we are experiencing today. Back in the sixties we had the Congress Of Racial Equality, of which I was a youth member. As I recall it, one of its founders, James Farmer gave us a simple motto: “Give a damn!” Please, pay attention, vote, protest, write your officials, and above all give a damn, and try to inspire others to do the same.

5. Gigs
While I have no engagements scheduled in the near future, there are folks finding public spaces where live music can take place safely. One that was brought to my attention is a regular performance in Bird Park, a corner of Balboa Park at the intersection of 28th and Thorne, in San Diego. Organized by Claudia Gomez, and Jeremy Eikam, They have been playing there on Saturdays from 5:30 to 7:30, although they might switch to Friday, so click on their names for the latest info. There is plenty of space for social distancing, and various musicians come and sit in in the second hour, including yours truly, on occasion.

As reported last month, we will definitely be giving our concert at Bird & Beckett Books, in San Francisco, once the virus is off of us. With that being confirmed I can talk with The Back Room, in Berkeley about keeping in touch regarding scheduling. Last time I talked with the folks at The Nash, in Phoenix, and Sherry Williams at The Merc, in Temecula, the were similar indications. In the meantime, please visit these venues on-line, and support them by enjoying their live streams, and archived shows, and giving a donation as you can. Sherry has a regular email blast with information on The Merc’s presentations. I do not see a place at the Web-site for one to subscribe, but if you contact me I will forward your email address to her, so you can receive her mailings.

As always, thank you for supporting LIVE MUSIC! (and the venues that stay committed to it)