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All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Big Band Report

Thumbnail Sketch: The Los Angeles Jazz Institute

By Published: November 3, 2004
Last month , during my adulatory and long-winded account of the All-Star Alumni Tribute to Maynard Ferguson, I mentioned that the event was sponsored by the Los Angeles Jazz Institute. As some may be wondering exactly what that is, here's a concise description.

The Los Angeles Jazz Institute (hereafter LAJI), on the campus of Cal State University in Long Beach, houses and maintains one of the world's largest Jazz archives. All eras and styles are represented, with special emphasis on the documentation and preservation of Jazz in Southern California. Its over-all mission is to preserve, promote and perpetuate the heritage of this important American art form. To help do so, the LAJI has designed a number of programs using the many elements of the archive including concerts, festivals, symposiums, the Los Angeles Oral History Project and the Lighthouse Record Company.

The LAJI archive consists of more than 75,000 sound recordings in all formats, hundreds of hours of unissued recordings including radio broadcasts and concert performances, interviews and oral histories, books, periodicals, photographs, Jazz films and videos, music scores, original artwork and a variety of Jazz memorabilia such as concert programs, handbills, posters, autographs, research files and many "special collections."

One of the Institute's many goals is to provide a place for Jazz artists to place their collections for research and preservation. The archive presently houses a number of collections from well-known artists including Howard Rumsey, Bud Shank, Pete Rugolo, Shorty Rogers, Gerry Mulligan, Art Pepper, Johnny Richards, June Christy, Bob Cooper, Ken Hanna and Dr. Wesley LaViolette. LAJI also houses personal items from the estates of Stan Kenton, Phil Moore, Charlie Barnet and Sid Weiss, and a number of important personal collections including the Sleepy Stein Collection (KNOB Radio), The Jimme Baker Collection (Stars of Jazz / Jazz Scene USA), plus the Donald Dean, Tom Lord, Bob Andrews, John Irwin and Ken Poston Collections.

The LAJI welcomes and encourages donations and bequests. Of special interest are recordings, film and video footage, photographs, and Jazz and big-band related memorabilia. The Institute is a 501 c3 tax-exempt, public benefit corporation, and all donations are tax-deductible. The LAJI also welcomes members whose contributions help assure that the archive and other programs will continue to flourish. Membership dues are $40 annually, $25 for students. All members receive either the special "members only limited edition" Lighthouse All-Stars CD or "West Coast Rarities" as well as advance notice and discount admission to all events. If you'd like to contribute more than the cost of membership, the Institute would be happy to accept whatever amount you choose. All contributions go directly to the maintenance and operation of the LAJI archive.

Here's how to get in touch: Los Angeles Jazz Institute, P.O. Box 8038, Long Beach, CA 90808-0038.

J@LC Inducts Fourteen Into Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame
On September 30, Jazz at Lincoln Center marked the dedication of the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame, named for the late impresario Nesuhi Ertegun, by inducting fourteen legendary Jazz musicians into the Hall. Members of the first class are Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Bix Beiderbecke, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk, Jelly Roll Morton, Charlie Parker, Art Tatum and Lester Young. A 72-member panel of musicians, scholars and educators from seventeen countries was charged with nominating and choosing the most definitive artists in the history of Jazz for inclusion in the Hall's inaugural class of inductees.

The ceremony was held at J@LC's new home, the Frederick P. Rose Hall, which also houses the Jazz Hall of Fame. The audience was welcomed by Nesuhi Ertegun's brother, Ahmet Ertegun, a member of the J@LC Board of Directors, after which introductions were made by Gunther Schuller, Victor Goines and Wynton Marsalis, and the inductees' awards were presented by Wes "Warmdaddy" Anderson, James Carter, Benny Golson, Herbie Hancock, Hank Jones, Abbey Lincoln, Wynton Marsalis, James Moody, Nicholas Payton, Randy Sandke, Clark Terry, Frank Wess, Dr. Michael White and Bob Wilber. The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra's rhythm section (Eric Lewis, piano; Carlos Henriquez, bass; Herlin Riley, drums) performed with vocalist Madeleine Peyroux and trumpeter Ryan Kisor.

"The artists that we honor as the first class of members into the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame gave something wonderful, passionate, inspiring and eternal to the world," said Ahmet Ertegun. "My brother Nesuhi, in whose honor my wife and I named the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame, helped nurture some of these great artists, and I think it is only fitting that we help create a space where people of all ages can come to learn about their contributions to the world of Jazz. The Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame will provide a center where the lives and artistry of the greatest Jazz musicians will be celebrated, and where people will come to learn about Jazz, something to which my brother devoted his life's work."

The Hall of Fame, which is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, made its public debut on October 21.

Also on the J@LC Menu: Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
October was a busy month for Jazz at Lincoln Center, as the doors were opened, also on October 21, to a new Jazz venue, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, also in J@LC's Frederick P. Rose Hall. Dizzy's Club, one of three main performance spaces inside FPRH, is an intimate, 140-set Jazz spot that has space for ensemble performances, educational and other events. Besides its spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline and Central Park, the club offers a Jazz-inspired menu seven days a week to complement performances by outstanding Jazz artists including Bill Charlap, Charles McPherson, Nicholas Payton, Paquito D'Rivera, Tom Harrell, Carla Cook, Monty Alexander, Red Holloway, Clark Terry, George Coleman, Eric Alexander and Harold Mabern. And that's only through November! Those penciled in for December and January include Joey DeFrancesco, David "Fathead" Newman, Marcus Roberts, Jason Marsalis, Cyrus Chestnut, Donald Harrison, Frank Morgan, Eric Reed, Al Foster, Buster Williams, Jeremy Pelt, Seamus Blake, Billy Drummond, Mulgrew Miller, Gary Bartz and Stefon Harris.

The schedule encompasses artist sets ($30 plus minimum) at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. each day of the week and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, as well as an 11 p.m. late-night hang and jam session ($10 plus minimum) Tuesday through Thursday. On Monday nights ($15 plus minimum), up-and-coming and veteran musicians will take part in the Jazz Stars of Tomorrow sets, providing performance opportunities for Jazz ensembles from area colleges including the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, New School and Queens College.

For reservations to Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, phone 212-258-9595 or go online to www.jalc.org .

And This Just In . . .
The fourth annual Equinox Jazz Festival will be held November 13-27 at John Hancock Hall in downtown Boston. Among the headliners: vocalist Madeleine Peyroux, trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, pianist Kirk Lightsey and the Jaco Pastorius Big Band.

Under the festival's new initiative, Jazz for Food, admission to all events is free in exchange for a charitable food donation, which will be used to benefit the Greater Boston Food Bank. There is a $25 admission charge for those who do not make a food donation.

For details about the festival schedule and lineup, and to obtain tickets, visit the Equinox Music Festival web site, www.equinoxmusicfestival.org

And that's it for now. Until next time, keep swingin'!



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