All posts by paul

BoMuse News September 2020

BoMuse News, vol. 19, no. 9

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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.

Follow @BoMuseMusic  on Twitter, and Facebook,  and now at All About Jazz.

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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 ?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

BoMuse News, August 2020

BoMuse News, vol. 19, no. 8

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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.

Follow @BoMuseMusic on Twitter, and Facebook, and now at All About Jazz.

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1. Jazz in the COVID Crisis
2. Jazz Week Summit
3. A Recording Session
4. Gigs?

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1. It looks more and more like it will be next spring before we can get back to something that resembles the live music world we knew up until the end of last February. In the meantime folks are looking for ways to keep the music going. In addition to streaming of recordings of past performances, and live streaming, we have, given the good weather, outdoor performances in spaces where people can maintain proper distance. Last Saturday I went over to Bird Park on the far northeast of Balboa Park to enjoy some live music organized by tap-dancing percussionist Claudia Gomez. I even got to sit in, which felt really good after all the cancellations of the past few months. Claudia and Friends plan to be at the park every Saturday from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. There is plenty of space, and you are welcome to bring a beach chair and a picnic, if you like.

A couple of days later I went to hear some music staged by a friend on his front lawn for the pleasure of his neighbors. My friend does this every few weeks featuring different musicians he knows. I’ll be playing at a similar setting up in San Clemente on the front porch of a singer friend of mine. since these sorts of performances are for for the immediate neighbors and invited friends, I cannot publicize them. However, this might inspire you to keep your eyes and ears open for similar happenings, or even to organize something similar.

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2. For something like fifteen years, I have been attending the annual Jazz Summit organized by the publisher of Jazz Week and a group of jazz radio activists. This year the Summit will have to be in the form of a webinar. Even though I have not been a broadcaster for a long time – the last time I was on the air was some time in the 1980s – I have found these conferences to be of great value to me both professionally and personally. The focus of the conference is jazz radio, but since this is an important component of the jazz ecosystem, many of the issues addressed have significance beyond the broadcast/internet realm. These include the ever evolving recorded music industry, and promotional strategies. I recommend attendance to anyone with a professional interest in jazz.

The sessions take place Thursday and Friday, August 13 and 14. You can find more information and a link to register here.

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3. One of the performances canceled last spring was the 40th anniversary performance of Bob Franke’s Good Friday Cantata. I am one of three musicians who has taken part in every performance, save one which took place in Denver. The Cantata is performed at St. Andrew’s Episcopal church in Marblehead, MA. We were to have made recording to mark this milestone, and as it turns out we are. In a couple of days I’ll go to Studio West here in San Diego to add my parts. We used to speak disparagingly of people “phoning in” a performance. Now it is something we do frequently.

More on this as it develops.

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4. Gigs

It seems that after further consideration, the folks at Carlsbad Village Faire have decided that it may not be a good idea for us to resume our Wednesday afternoon performances at this time. While part of me is disappointed, another part of me feels this is wise. After all, two of us in the band are over 70, and one has some health issues. In addition, a lot of the folks hanging out in the courtyard are not being particularly careful regarding mask-wearing and distancing.

Some good news, 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!

Follow @BoMuseMusic on Twitter, and Facebook, and now at All About Jazz.

BoMuse News, July 2020

BoMuse News, vol. 19, no. 7

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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, and Facebook, and now at All About Jazz.

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1. Independence Day Thoughts
2. AAJC
3. Video News – Tadd Dameron
4. Gigs?

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1. While it appears that most people look at the 4th of July as an occasion for jubilation, I usually find it an occasion for reflection. This is not to to say that I have not enjoyed myself on July 4, especially when it has been an opportunity to gather with friends. However, I find our nation and society to be far too complex in both its history and its present state for evoking just one emotion. There are many things that make me happy to have been born an American, but there are also many others that have troubled me, even since childhood.

So far, I have not reacted publicly to the almost pornographic images of the murder of George Floyd. Not because of indifference, but because his inexcusable murder is just (I choke on writing the word ‘just’) one more, in a long, long line of such exercises in excessive, unnecessary, and vile abuses of police power and authority. People are saying that this time something may be changing, and I certainly hope so, but the level of willful ignorance and a seeming incapacity for critical thinking among all too many of our fellow citizens gives me cause for continued concern.

Just to be clear, I am not one to call police in general “pigs.” I have a late family member who worked for the NYC Police Department, and had a wonderful mentor when I was a teen-ager who was a policeman. I have also had unpleasant and unjustified experiences with police officers. If anything good is to come out of these recent unfortunate events, both well publicized, and “under the radar,” it will take diligent and thoughtful action on the part of all people of good will, whether in petitions, at the ballot box, or in attendance at public meetings. The peaceful demonstrations have indeed been powerful, but they are only the beginning. The hard work of bringing about change still lies ahead.

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2. AAJC stands for the African American Jazz Caucus. Rather than try to present the history of this organization, which you can read about here, I will tell you briefly why I am a member, and more importantly news of AAJC’s current activities and plans going forward.

As a jazz musician and educator, I had long been troubled by the disconnect between the art form’s roots and history in the African American experience and history, and my own day to day, gig to gig experience, as well as my experiences in the educational field. Of course, this is a reflection of the larger problems of our society coming to grips with the transgressions and contradictions in its development from colonization to the present day.

While flying to LA, on my way to attend an International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) Conference in Long Beach, I happened to meet Andy Goodrich. I had recently read an article he wrote in the IAJE Journal about the jazz education at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) that existed before the day of degree programs in jazz and jazz education. As fellow historians, we connected right away, and Dr. Goodrich invited me to attend the AAJC session at which he would be presenting his research for his article. I recognized that this organization, dedicated to raising the awareness of African American music educators in the larger jazz education community, and facilitating their networking among themselves, as well as the larger community, was something I wanted to support. I paid for a membership, and the next year, if I remember correctly, a call went out for musicians to play in a big band organized to perform at a closing night social dance. The bari chair was empty, and so I filled it. I have remained a member ever since, and now I am one of the two editors of a recently revitalized newsletter.

The Newsletter is just one part of a big push among the membership to bring AAJC to a new level of effectiveness, that includes development of a database to facilitate communications among members, and efforts to better fund the Caucus and its programs. Please go look at the AAJC Website from time to time to see what is happening there.

In line with the first item in the newsletter, this is one example of the many opportunities for us, regardless of race or ethnicity, to help to move our society forward, and out of the darkness of our nations past transgressions. Whether through your profession and its organizations, your place of worship, or organizations in your neighborhood, please do what ever you can, and as the title of one of Tadd Dameron’s compositions says, “Stay On It.”

We lost Dr. Goodrich in 2008. You can find out more about him and his work in these articles, one from MusicianBio.org, and the other from Nashville Scene.

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3. While it has become something of a guilty pleasure for me, YouTube has also become a useful resource. Friends of mine recently made me aware of a channel full of fascinating interviews with jazz musicians of the second half of the 20th Century: The Leigh Kamman Legacy Project. While I neglected to look more carefully at this when I shared the link to a short interview with Charlie Parker in the June issue, it was a recent posting of an interview with Tadd Dameron, which I had not known existed, that got me to go to the channel and see all the treasures posted there. If you have taken an interest in my research into the life and music of Tadd Dameron, this will give you a chance to hear him speak. I always find that hearing the voice of historical figures helps to bring them to life in my imagination, and I hope this will bring Tadd to life for you, too. This goes for the others in this collection, as well.

One other recent discovery regarding Tadd that was brought to my attention was sitting right under our noses, as it were. My friend Bertrand Uberall, who was my guide at the Library of Congress, asked me about a photo of Earl Hines and band in the William Gottlieb collection at the Library of congress. In this photo you can see Tadd conducting a rehearsal of one of his compositions, “Stay On It.” I love the photo, and can only wish that it got into the book.

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4. Gigs

We are still waiting on word of our return to Wednesday afternoons at Carlsbad Village Faire. Frankly, I am getting the feeling from the news that we may have to wait for an effective vaccine before any kind of live performance environment can return, at least enough of one that will provide adequate opportunities for the many of us who are out of work. When I combine this with my age and the need for some caution in either going after or accepting gigs, I am not ‘holding my breath’ at this point. That being said, I will be delighted if we get to return to the Village Faire.

While it isn’t a public performance, I am happy to report that later this month I will go into the recording studio to add my tracks to the 40th Anniversary recording of Bob Franke’s Meditations, his Good Friday Cantata, which we did not get to perform live due to the COVID19 crisis.

Normally, I list some sources for gig listings. Included are my local jazz radio station and listings provided by a few organizations. Please, if you can, continue to support your local jazz radio stations, and any others you might listen to over the Internet, as well as jazz societies and support organizations.

As always, thank you for supporting LIVE MUSIC, once it can return.

Follow @BoMuseMusic  on Twitter, and Facebook, and now at All About Jazz.

BoMuse News, June 2020 EXTRA

BoMuse News, vol. 19, no. 6 EXTRA

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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.

Follow @BoMuseMusic  on Twitter, and Facebook, and now at All About Jazz.

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1. Cancelation Updates
2. Possible Gigs
3. New Videos

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1. Not surprisingly we have to postpone the concert at The Studio Door. We do have a new date, for The Studio Door, Thursday, November 19. The Dameron Day at Bird & Beckett books proved to be too complicated to pull off. The technology to make it work would have had to be brought in by a third party. This technician was willing to give it a try, and were I living in the San Francisco area, I would too. However, in the end I felt it was too much with the traveling involved. We plan to give the originally planed show when it becomes possible.

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2. The Thursday July 2 show at The Merc in Temecula has not been canceled yet, so we shall see. So Much is still up in the air at this point.

Our return to the Village Faire in Carlsbad is still possible, but there have been some complications there, not related to the virus. Stay tuned.

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3. I just added three new videos all titled Jazz At The Tap. The three tunes recorded are “While We’re Young,” “Weekend,” and “Ce Si Bon.” These videos were shot on Sunday, April 28, 2019, on my annual trip back East. Jazz At The Tap is the continuation of a Sunday evening jazz series I started back around the end of 2002, across the street from The Tap in Haverhill, MA at the Chit Chat Lounge. The recording of the second set that night was an experiment in creating a three camera shoot with stationary cameras. The band was a group of former band mates, all good friends. We had only a bit of rehearsal time before the show, so I give you my apologies for the loose performance and the somewhat primitive quality of the video. What I hope you will appreciate is the warm camaraderie of the evening. Jazz At The Tap is on hiatus as the venue is closed during the COVID19 crisis. We hope that it will resume after the crisis is over.

The three videos are:

Weekend

While We’re Young

and

Ce Si Bon

The Tap is located at 100 Washington Street, Haverhill MA. There is a video about the Pocket Big Band with a bit of the story of Jazz At Chit Chat, elsewhere at my YouTube Chanel

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As always, thank you for supporting LIVE MUSIC (whenever we get to provide it again)!

Follow @BoMuseMusic  on Twitter, and Facebook, and now at All About Jazz.

BoMuse News, June 2020

BoMuse News, vol. 19, no. 6

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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.

Follow @BoMuseMusic  on Twitter, and Facebook, and now at All About Jazz.

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1. More Cancellations
2. Return to Carlsbad
3. Pocket Big Band
4. This Month’s Video, Plus Bird Interview
5. Gigs

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1. It will probably come as no surprise that the gigs I had scheduled for the beginning of June, including my birthday jam session at La Mesa Wine Works, have been canceled. Once things become clearer we can start to play on Sundays at the La Mesa Wine Works. Dizzy’s, where I was going to give a concert of music by Jimmy Heath, is scheduled to resume concerts on June 21 with a Piano Summit. If is is still on I plan to go, with my mask on, of course. I have a couple that have not been canceled at the end of June and beginning of July. See Gigs for details.

For those of you who may receive the Jazz Near You mailings from All About Jazz, I apologize for not removing the recent bookings that have been canceled. I will try to do a better job of staying on top of the Internet programs going forward.

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2. I have been told that we – Dene Davidson, Joey Carano, and I – may return to playing outdoors at the Carlsbad Village Faire soon, although a date has not been set. We are delighted to have the enthusiasm and support of the management there, who indicated that they are eager for our return. I’ll send out an ‘extra’ when the date is set.

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3. For old time’s sake I put a photo of the Pocket Big Band at the top of this newsletter. It’s a little fuzzy but, from left to right: Wayne Mogel, trombone; Jimmy Pastore, trumpet; Paul Marcantonio (back), drums; Bobby Coviello (front), trumpet; your’s truly, alto & soprano sax; Jim Cameron, baritone sax; Mark Gheret, bass; Don Hemwall, piano; and Doug Leaffer, tenor sax. This was the lineup of the band that recorded our Sea Breeze Jazz CD, Live At Chit Chat. We are standing at the bar of the Chit Chat Lounge in Haverhill, MA, our home base, and the location of the recording. Live At Chit Chat is out of print, but you can purchase a copy from me, by writing me at paul @ paulcombs.com (remove the spaces). The CDs are $15 post paid. There is a video about the band at my YouTube channel, Paul Combs – BoMuse.

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4. This month’s video is another from the 2013 concert at the Chelmsford Center For The Arts. We are playing On A Misty Night, on of the eight Dameron tunes that practically every jazz musician knows. It was composed in 1956 and recorded on Tadd’s Prestige lp Mating Call, which featured John Coltrane. As all of us who put video up on You Tube say: please, if you have not already, gives a ‘like’ and subscribe.

This just in on YouTube: a lost interview with Charlie Parker! It’s short but, as we like to say, “Bird Lives!”

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5. Gigs

I had a couple of shows booked in Berkeley and San Francisco. We will have to reschedule the one in Berkeley, and the plan now is for me to present a Dameron Day at Bird & Beckett Books, 653 Chenery St., San Francisco, on Saturday June 20. The store has been streaming music performances during the lock-down. Through out the day I will play DJ on the stream playing music by Dameron, and then in the evening I’ll give an illustrated talk about why he is so Important.

So far the gig at The Studio Door, 3867 Fourth Ave,San Diego, Thursday June 25 at 7:00; is still on for now. This was to be a duo with pianist Melonie Grinnell. Melonie has had to bow out out of concern for family members with health problems. Instead, if we can perform, I will be joined by guitarist Michael Till, and a bassist TBD. On Thursday, July 2, I have a quartet booking at The Merc, in Temecula. If it goes ahead, I will be joined by pianist Jeremy Siskind, bassist Rob Thorsen, and drummer Richard Sellers. We will be playing music of Tadd Dameron, and the plan is for the wonderful Sherry Williams join us in a few of Dameron’s songs. Given all the uncertainty about just how many people will be allowed in any given place, these may have to be rescheduled.

Since the Wednesday afternoon trio gig at Carlsbad Village Faire, 300 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlesbad, is outdoor, we hope to be back there soon, as I said above.

I’ll keep you posted in an ‘extra.’

As always, thank you for supporting LIVE MUSIC!

Follow @BoMuseMusic  on Twitter, and Facebook, and now at All About Jazz.

BoMuse News, May 2020

BoMuse News, vol. 19, no. 5

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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.

Follow @BoMuseMusic on Twitter, Facebook,  at All About Jazz, and now on YouTube

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1. Performance Update
2. Performances Via Internet
3. This Month’s Video
4. Jazz On The Radio

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1. Well, it looks like it will be a while before we get to perform for live audiences. The May 2 gig at The Nash has been postponed to a date that has yet to be determined. I had five booked for June which are now in doubt: June 7 at La Mesa Wine Works, June 13 at Dizzy’s, San Diego, June 19 at the Back Room in Berkeley, June 20 at Bird & Beckett, San Francisco, and June 25 at The Studio Door back here in San Diego. From what we are hearing in the news, these now seem unlikely, although I am still hoping. With all due concern for folks whose lives are at stake, I have to say this crisis really hurts all of us performing artists. No matter how sophisticated our technology, there is no substitute for performers and audience being in the same space.

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2. While I don’t plan any live performances via Internet at this time, various venues are posting recorded performances from their archives and even staging live performances. Some particularly tech-savvy performers are doing the same, as my friend Jeremy Siskind did last month. One of the venues is The Nash, where I was scheduled to perform this Saturday. They are showing videos of some of the best performances from their archive. Another is Bird & Beckett in San Francisco, which is even streaming live performances, when they can. No doubt, you can find others, either from a venue’s archives, or as scheduled live performances.

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3. With all the time staying at home I was able to finish the video based on the talk about Tadd Dameron I gave at the Institute of Jazz Studies last year. It took longer than I expected for a number of reasons, some of them technical – I am still new to video editing, a new skill that many musicians now have to embrace. However, most of the difficulty stemmed from the difference between speaking to an audience in real time, and a video production.

In the end, I broke it down to three segments, 1917-1943, 1944-1949, and 1949-1965. The complete talk went into a technical examination of Dameron’s composing methods, so this biography was a prologue for the purpose of giving context to the music that I was going to discuss. I have called it a Brief Biography, and I hope it will give you the general arc of his life, and a sense of how he fits into the ongoing story of jazz, and American music. If you have not done so already, please subscribe to my channel, Paul Combs – BoMuse. It helps to raise the visibility of the channel, which seems to be helpful in this digital age.

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4. While we cannot get out to hear live music, we still have jazz on the radio and internet. Several years ago, before I moved out here to California, I helped to create a platform for smart phones and touch pads that gives one many of the sources for jazz programming available on the Internet. Almost all radio stations stream on the Internet, and there are Internet only sources as well. The platform is called Jazz Bird, and it is available from either the App Store (Mac) or Google Play (Android). Of course, if you have a local terrestrial jazz station you will be listening to that. Which ever station or stations you are listening to, please, please, donate something to them, since they are almost without exception non-commercial, and listener supported.

As always, thank you for supporting LIVE MUSIC, once this crisis is over!

Follow @BoMuseMusic on Twitter, Facebook,  at All About Jazz, and now on YouTube

BoMuse News April, 2020

BoMuse News, vol. 19, no. 4

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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, and Facebook, and now at All About Jazz.

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1. Surviving Shelter In Place
2.What is jazz anyway?
3. Bob Franke’s meditations
4. Jazz At the Tap
5. This Month’s Video
6. Gigs

Note: a friend sent me the cartoon included with this issue. We do not know who created it but if you should know, please tell me co I can credit it.

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1. For whatever it may be worth, here’s how I am coping with shelter-in-place. I am trying to keep my daily routine, stretching and doing a little free weight exercise when I get up, getting dressed, trying to remember to shave, practicing, working on up-coming concerts, and attending to various things that need my attention. I also try to reach out to a friend or two every day. I hope all of you are well, and weathering the crisis with a minimum of stress.

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2. Recently I watched an interview with Joe Henderson and John Scofield, in which they pondered a question that has faced jazz musicians for decades: what do we mean by “jazz”? In the early 20the Century, the music was known as ragtime and the word jazz referred to the dances one did to the music. In 1917 a band calling itself the Original Dixieland Jass Band (sic) released a record, and the name of the band would suggest that the music was beginning to take the name of the dances in general. Later, in the 1940s many of the musicians associated with the Bop movement did not refer to their music as jazz, feeling that that term referred to the earlier style. Duke Ellington preferred to avoid the word altogether in referring to his music. Later, in the mid 1960s, John Coltrane opined that he did not think the music he was making could still be called jazz.

Indeed, among folks who identify as jazz fans, one can find considerable diversity of opinion as to what they like to listen to, and consider to be jazz. Back in the 1980s I worked with a variety of musicians. At one point I had a band with a more “groove oriented” book, and was met with disappointment from listeners who were used to me playing in a more “straight ahead” style. In a lecture I used to give at libraries and arts centers to introduce new audiences to all this music we call jazz, I said it was like a big house, with lots of rooms, and porches, and even some tents set up in the back yard. I guess the best we can do for a definition is to say jazz is music that can trace its roots, however far back, to ragtime, and what grew out of it.

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3. So, you may ask, why did I start this month’s issue with such a question? Well, we musicians are often interested in, and take part in idioms other than whichever one we are commonly associated with. As in past years at this time, I planned to go back East to visit family and friends and play a couple of gigs, including one that I have been part of for forty years. This is the Good Friday Cantata created by my old friend Bob Franke. Bob is a songwriter best known in the folk music community. I created my parts in the first couple of years, and they have become part of the work as a whole. They are not written down anywhere, and indeed include a couple of improvised solos. If I were not there, someone would have to invent something else to take their place, which would be acceptable, since what I do is at the service of Bob’s overall concept. Still, it touches on the question of whether we should attach any great importance to the names given to styles of music or not; a question that we may never find an answer to.

Unfortunately, due to the concerns about the COVID19 epidemic, this year’s performance has been canceled. Since it is only performed on Good Friday, it cannot be postponed to another date. A recording of the work is in progress, and I’ll have more on that as it develops.

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4. Since the COVID19 situation has become a global crisis, everything else I had planned for my annual trip East has been canceled. One of those was a return, on April 5 to the Sunday evening jazz shows I started in Haverhill, MA in the early 2000s. Originally located at the Chit Chat Lounge – as described in my History of the Pocket Big band – the series has moved across the street to The Tap. The Tap has closed temporarily, and I hope once we are past this crisis, and you are in the area, you will go there and sample their brews made in-house, especially if you can be there on a Sunday evening, and catch one of the jazz shows. The other place I was going to play at was Savinos Grill. I played there on Thursday evenings for several years, and always join my buddy guitarist Mark Michaels for a return appearance when I am in the area. The food is extraordinary, and only moderately expensive. It is a wonderful place to go for a special night out. Jazz is there every Thursday.

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5. I had hoped to have a video on the life of Tadd Dameron ready for this month’s release, but production is held up due to a technical problem. Instead I have posted another segment from the 2013 concert at the Chelmsford Center For The Arts. Our bassist Herman Hampton made this arrangement of Tadd’s Soultrane. It was originally recorded on the Prestige lp Mating Call in 1956, with a quartet that featured John Coltrane, in whose honor Dameron wrote the tune. Jim Cameron and I are playing saxes; pianist Don Hemwall gets the solo, and Stanley Swann is behind the drum kit, unfortunately hidden behind the curtain because of the angel of the camera. The concert took place in February of 2013 at the Chelmsford, MA Center For The Arts.

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6. Gigs

Looking at the reports I have a sinking feeling about the next gig that has not yet been canceled: May 2 at The Nash in Phoenix AZ. The Nash Website says closed until further notice, and the COVID19 reports from Arizona are on the rise. If we should all be lucky enough to have the crisis subside enough by the end of April, I will let you know, but for now, everything is on hold.

Some folks have the technology to do live feed concerts. I am sorry to say that at this time it is not a likelihood for me. My friend Jeremy Siskind just did one last week from his home, and I recommend that you visit his site to sign up for news of his next online concert. I also received word of San Diego Symphony musicians doing the same. You can sign up for email notices from them. Of course, you can poke around the Internet to find live feed concerts from other likely sources, something I have to get around to. I’ll let you know of particular interesting ones in the next issue, as we may well need them by then. My friend Dr. Jazz, of Dr. Jazz Operations, got me thinking about trying to do something like this myself, so I’ll be putting on my thinking cap, and we’ll see what I come up with.

Be well, and as always, thank you for supporting live music in whatever way you can.

Follow @BoMuseMusic  on Twitter, and Facebook, and now at All About Jazz.

 

BoMuse News, March 2020

BoMuse News, vol.19, no. 3

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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, Facebook,  at All About Jazz, and now on YouTube.

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1. Good News Ahead
2. Jazz at La Mesa Wine Works
3. This Month’s Video
4. Gigs

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1. This issue will be on the short side. As most of you, I have to get my tax stuff together, especially since I will be away at the beginning of April. The spring and summer are going to be full of musical adventures, which will be the focus of future issues. So, I invite you to watch for the following newsletters, and thank you for subscribing.

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2. If I recall correctly March marks my second anniversary of playing occasional Sundays at La Mesa Wine Works. The fine folks at Wyatt Oaks Winery and San Pasqual Winery, support musicians of various styles, and have committed to jazz, for the most part, on Sundays from 1:30 to 4:30. Their commitment has been steady regardless of the turn out. Sometimes, like last Sunday when the place was full for drummer Larry Friedman’s birthday, or a couple of weeks earlier, on Super Bowl Sunday, when there were only a couple of folks there. I was just there with pianist Adam Wolff, and drummer Larry Friedman. We warmed the place musically with a selection of standards, and jazz tunes, and I thank those of you who joined us. Even if you were not able to make it, remember that there is good music and fine wine there for your Sunday pleasure. Since it is in the afternoon, children are welcome, too, and they have a delicious locally made soda as well as the wine. La Mesa Wine Works is located at 8167 Center St., in La Mesa.

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3. This month’s video is another from the concert my original Dameron Project Quintet gave at the Chelmsford (MA) Center for the Arts to celebrate the publication of Dameronia – the Life and Music of Tadd Dameron. In this one I read selections form my book describing some of Tadd’s time in Paris; a rehearsal for the Paris International Jazz Festival, and a visit from British guitarist Ivor Maraints to Tadd’s hotel room.

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4. Gigs

As mentioned above:
* LaMesa Wine Works, with Adam Wolff, Sunday March 1, 1:30-4:30; 8167 Center St.
La Mesa CA.
Plus:
* Wednesdays, with Dene Davidson and Joey Carano at Carlsbad Village Faire, Carlsbad Village Dr. and Carlsbad Blvd. (Pacific Coast Highway), Carlsbad, CA.
* Dene and Paul at Witch Creek Winery, Sunday, March 29, 2:00-5:00, Carlsbad Blvd, and Grand Ave., Carlsbad, CA

In San Diego visit the Calendar section at Jazz88.3 and pick up a copy of the Troubadour. If you are in Boston check the listings at Jazz Boston, visit the Facebook page for Jazz at the Tap, the Seacoast Jazz Society Web site, and now in Brookline, the Post Underground, and where ever you are go join All About Jazz so you can receive their Jazz Near You notices.

As always, thank you for supporting LIVE MUSIC!

Follow @BoMuseMusic  on Twitter, Facebook,  at All About Jazz, and now on YouTube.

BoMuse News, February 2020

BoMuse News, vol. 19, 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, Facebook,  at All About Jazz, and now on YouTube.

======================
1. Jazz Grammy Awards
2. This Month’s Video
3. Obituaries
4. Gigs

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1. At a jazz education conference several years ago I – and anyone else who qualified – was encouraged to join the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) so that we could increase the representation for jazz in the organization that awards the Grammys. Most years I do vote, although for various reasons I was not able to set aside the time needed to vote responsibly. You may have read or heard about the recent controversy over the awarding of the most visible of these awards. There is a summery of the controversy in Harper’s Bazaar. As a member of NARAS, I find this all troubling, but do not have enough personal knowledge to voice an opinion here.

That being said, here are the jazz awardees for 2019:

Best Improvised Jazz Solo – Sozinho – Randy Brecker, soloist
Track From: Rocks (Randy Brecker & NDR Big Band – The Hamburg Radio Jazz Orchestra With David Sanborn, Ada Rovatti & Wolfgang Haffner)

Best Jazz Vocal Album – 12 Little Spells Esperanza Spalding

Best Jazz Instrumental Album – Finding Gabriel Brad Mehldau

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album – The Omni-American Book Club Brian Lynch Big Band

Best Latin Jazz Album – Antidote Chick Corea & The Spanish Heart Band

Here a couple more awards that you might find interesting:

Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals – All Night Long, Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier Featuring Jules Buckley, Take 6 & Metropole Orkest)

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling) – Becoming, Michelle Obama

You can find the full list of the Grammys here.

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2. This month’s new video on my YouTube channel features “Dameronia,” another of the tunes recorded by Tadd’s small groups in the late 40s. “Dameronia” was on his first release as a leader in 1947, which were produced by Blue Note. It was one of those recordings that inspired Horace Silver, no doubt because of its sophisticated structure. It is in what we call AABA from, but the melody evolves over the harmonies supporting the ‘A’ sections, and of course there is an an introduction.

This is another of the selections from a concert at the Chelmsford (MA) Center for the Arts that included saxophonist Jim Cameron, pianist Don Hemwall, bassist Herman Hampton, and drummer Stanley Swann. The sound quality is not the best, since there was only one microphone, but this was a special concert and I had initially thought the video was lost. I hope you will enjoy it. As always with YouTube channels, please subscribe. It is not an inconvenience, and helps to make the cannel more visible.

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3. A couple of years ago I stopped running an obituary column in this newsletter. It was a lot to keep up with, and much of that news was available via other sources. However, I would like to acknowledge the lives and achievements of two musicians who left us this last month. The first is Jimmy Heath, whom I recently referred to as a quiet giant. I say that because he was not a house hold name jazz musician, but the quality of his work, both as a musician and an educator, was of the highest order, and his influence will be with us long after his departure. The Wikipedia entry, brief as it is, is a good place to start in learning about Dr. Heath, and of course there is his own Web-site, and the article on his Jazz Griot Award from the African American Jazz Caucus. (I’ll have more on the AAJC in a future newsletter.) Given his significance there are other articles out there that are worth reading.

Drummer and educator Bob Giulotti, was such a positive presence in the Boston area when I lived there, that it came as quite a shock to me when his death was announced, especially since he was a couple of years younger than I. I did not know him well, but we were on a gig together once, and it was a pleasure and a revelation to play with his support. Of course, I heard him on many occasions. As a teacher at Berklee, his influence is extensive.

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4. Gigs
Dene Davidson, Joey Carano and I continue to play at the Carlsbad Village Faire on Wednesday afternoons, with just a slight change in the time, 2:15-4:15, to give Joey time to get to his next gig. The courtyard is being renovated, but we will be up on the balcony near the Dentist’s office. We are grateful to the management for keeping us on Wednesday afternoons. Calrsbad Village faire is located at the intersection of Carlsbad Village Drive and Carlsbad Blvd. (Pacific Coast Highway).

On Sunday, February 9, pianist Kathy Shoemaker will join me at the La Mesa Wine Works. Jazz, and sometimes blues, on Sundays starts at 1:30, and we who play there have had an opportunity to establish a jazz scene there with the support of La Mesa Wine Works. It is a lovey place to catch some music on a Sunday afternoon, and if you find it too early for wine, they also have a delicious locally made soda. Children are welcome in the afternoon as well.

In San Diego visit the Calendar section at Jazz88.3 and pick up a copy of the Troubadour. If you are in Boston check the listings at Jazz Boston, visit the Facebook page for Jazz at the Tap, the Seacoast Jazz Society Web site, and now in Brookline, the Post Underground, and where ever you are go join All About Jazz so you can receive their Jazz Near You notices.

As always, thank you for supporting LIVE MUSIC!

Follow @BoMuseMusic <https://twitter.com/BoMuseMusic> on Twitter, Facebook,  at All About Jazz, and now on YouTube.

BoMuse News Jan. 2020

BoMuse News, vol. 19, 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 <https://twitter.com/BoMuseMusic> on Twitter, Facebook,  at All About Jazz, and now on YouTube.

======================
1. Scott Yanow’s Top 25 CDs for 2019
2. 2020 Events
3. Phoenix
4. JEN Conference
5. Gigs

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1. This Just in, Unknown Dameron made jazz journalist Scott Yanow’s 25 Best of 2019 list. Given the company here, the is quite an honor. As a sample Scott has chosen “Don’t Forget It,” a never before recorded Dameron gem from the early 40s. Once again I must inform you that the drummer on this track is Charles Ruggiero. His name was left off the credits due to sloppy proof reading on my part. My sincere apologies to Charles and everyone.

Here is Scott’s introduction to the list: “2019 was another great year for recorded jazz. Here are the 25 new releases and 20 reissues/historic music CDs that made the biggest impression on me in 2019, listed in alphabetical order by artist. Every one of these recordings is well worth getting. There are hundreds of other worthy releases that could have made this list. No matter how much one tries to listen to every possible jazz recording, it is impossible to hear them all, but I’m doing my best!” – Scott Yanow

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2. Well, things are not quite as gloomy as I thought last month. The jazz business remains as challenging as ever, but looking ahead, I will be performing at various venues out of town in the spring. In April I will make my annual trip east, with at least a couple of gigs in the Boston Area. In May there is a date at The Nash, in Phoenix AZ. At the end of June, just before the official start of summer, I have two dates so far in the San Francisco area. And there is one more Spring date in the works that seems pretty sure. Locally, we continue with Wednesdays at the in Carlsbad, and the occasional Sunday at the La Mesa Wine Works. I do have some schemes in my head for some concerts, but we’ll have to see how they work out.

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3. Speaking of Phoenix, part of the reason this issue is coming out later than usual it a short trip I made there, to visit family and friends, and to coordinate with the musicians who will accompany me on the May 2 gig. While there I spent an afternoon at the wonderful Phoenix Art Museum. To my surprise the special exhibition was one that delighted the car-nut-child in me, a collection of classic and significant racing cars. Since I went there to see paintings, I also spent quality time with their collection of French Impressionist, and early Abstract Expressionist paintings, as well as some of the other exhibits.

The next day I went to the Musical Instrument Museum, a beautiful and fascinating place. I spent the day learning about all the variety of instruments of Europe. Even though you might think I would know these well, I still could not finish the whole exhibit.

If you are visiting Phoenix I recommend these museums highly, along with The Nash; and if you go to The Nash, especially on a Saturday night, stop for some refreshment down the street at Carley’s where bassist Max Beckman, who will be with me on May 2, hosts a late night jam session. I had a great time sitting in there, as well as at A Bite Of Italy up in Sun City earlier with my friends Bob and Margo McKeon.

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4. The next day after returning from Phoenix, I was off to New Orleans for the Jazz Education Network conference. I try to get to

Peggy Stern & PC

this conference every year, although I have missed a couple here and there. I am connected with a couple of related organizations which have meetings at the conference. Of course, there are always sessions of interest to me, as well sessions that have something for me to learn that I didn’t know that I needed to know. Then there is reconnecting with old friends, this year including pianist Peggy Stern, whom I had not seen since we graduated 6th grade, almost 62 years ago!

I had meetings with the African American Jazz Caucus, of which I have been a member for some 15 years or so. I’ll have more to sayabout this organization in another issue. And another with the

Rich Falco, Brent Banulis, & PC, NE Hall of Fame

New England Jazz Hall of Fame, which grew out of the New England Jazz Alliance. NEJA attempted to act as a network or jazz support organizations across New England. We didn’t succeed in this but did establish the Hall of Fame, and we are planning to induct new musicians. More on this as it develops. I also consulted with old friends and new, and caught up with others. All this kept me pretty busy, but there was time to hear some wonderful music.

If you are someone who likes to go to jazz festivals, and would like to support a very worthy cause, there is music to be heard all day long. Even if you are not professionally involved with music education, or performance, you can hear all sorts of jazz that you might not hear otherwise. Find out more here.

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5. Gigs

Weather and the renovations of the plaza where we usually play permitting, I’ll be playing as usual with Dene Davidson in the courtyard of Carlsbad Village Faire on Wednesdays, 2:30-4:30. Looking ahead a bit I’ll be at the La Mesa Wine Works accompanist TBD, Sunday February 9, 1:30-4:30. Click on the links for the details or go to the Events page at my Website. Carlsbad Village Faire is located between Carlsbad Village Dr. and Grand St. at Carlsbad Blvd., in Carlsbad CA, of course.

In San Diego visit the Calendar section at Jazz88.3 and pick up a copy of the Troubadour. If you are in Boston check the listings at Jazz Boston, visit the Facebook page for Jazz at the Tap, the Seacoast Jazz Society Web site, and now in Brookline, the Post Underground, and where ever you are go join All About Jazz so you can receive their Jazz Near You notices.

As always, thank you for supporting LIVE MUSIC!

Follow @BoMuseMusic <https://twitter.com/BoMuseMusic> on Twitter, Facebook,  at All About Jazz, and now on YouTube.