Another August, Another Summit
Other groups set to perform include ensembles led by Gary Urwin, Kim Richmond, Terry Gibbs, Pete Christlieb, Clare Fischer, Chris Walden and Jack Sheldon, along with the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, the Buddy Childers Big Band directed by Ron King, the Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra and Collegiate Neophonic Orchestra of Southern California, and all-star groups featuring alumni from the Kenton and Ferguson orchestras. The Bob Florence Limited Edition was scheduled to appear Saturday afternoon but had to cancel owing to Florence's recent illness. College bands performing at poolside include Cal State-Northridge, Cal State-Long Beach, Cal State-Fullerton and Fullerton College. For those who can't get enough, there'll be four vintage films and five panel discussions.
Oh, and there's a VIP package for early-birds, a pre-festival party and concert by a Buddy Rich alumni band featuring Chuck Findley, Charles Owens, Eric Miyashiro and special guest Ed Shaughnessy, directed (we hope) by Bobby Shew who plans to be there if his knees are up to the task. For information, go to lajazzinstitute.org or phone 562-985-7065.
For those further east, the third annual Pittsfield (MA) City Jazz Festival will be held that same weekend, October 4-7. Concert performances are scheduled at venues around the city, while dozens of local restaurants will feature regionally based artists in free performances before (and in some cases after) the concerts.
Drummer Winard Harper's sextet returns from last year's success to perform on opening night, and Harper will also be featured with the Williams College Jazz Ensemble. On October 5, there'll be a Latin Jazz Dance Party with Alex Torres and the Latin Jazz Kings, and a Women in Jazz evening on October 6 will showcase baritone saxophonist Claire Daly's quartet and pianist Peggy Stern's group with guest soloist Grace Kelly, a 15-year-old alto sax prodigy who appeared with Phil Woods at last year's event. The festival wraps up on Sunday, October 7, with a performance by pianist John Medeski and an all-star orchestra comprised of students from Pittsfield high schools directed by Bill Chapman.
For information and / or tickets, go to www.PittsfieldCityJazz.org or contact Ed Bride, 413-442-7718 (JazzPittsfield@aol.com)
Later in October (25-28), Jazz Improv magazine will host its first Jazz Convention and Festival at the New Yorker Hotel and Manhattan Center in NYC. In addition to more than eighty panels and workshops on various aspects of Jazz and the music business, there'll be a stellar lineup of performers including McCoy Tyner's trio, Pat Martino, the Jimmy Heath Big Band, Geri Allen, Wallace Roney, Roy Haynes, Sonny Fortune, the Sun Ra Arkestra and Stanley Clarke Trio. Your web contact is email@example.com. The phone number is 215-885-0670.
RIP, Herb Pomeroy
Jazz lost another shining star August 11 when trumpeter/bandleader/educator Herb Pomeroy died in Gloucester, MA, at age seventy-seven. Having played with a number of jazz giants including Charlie Parker, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton and fellow Bostonian Serge Chaloff, Pomeroy formed his own big band and led it from 1957 through the mid-'60s. The band appeared at Carnegie Hall and the Newport Jazz Festival and backed a number of popular singers including Tony Bennett, Irene Kral and Frank Sinatra. As a teacher, Pomeroy helped found Boston's Jazz Workshop with saxophonist Charlie Mariano, taught for forty-one years at the Berklee School of Music and also at the Lenox School of Music, where he conducted a full orchestra comprised of his students. Following his retirement in 1995, he was given an honorary doctorate from the Berklee school, and in 2004 was named Musician of the Year by the Boston Musicians Association. He was inducted into the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) Hall of Fame in 1996, and a year later was inducted into Down Beat magazine's Jazz Education Hall of Fame. The roster of his students is impressive, and includes Gary Burton, Alan Broadbent, Toshiko Akiyoshi and Miroslav Vitous. To say he'll be greatly missed is an understatement.
And that's it for now. Until next time, keep swingin'!
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