Jacksonville: Big City, Big Band, Big Plans
On October 8-11, the Los Angeles Jazz Institute returns with another Ken Poston event, "Artistry in Rhythm: A Stan KentonAlumni Reunion," at the LAX Sheraton Four Points Hotel. The lineup is typically awesome, with performances of Bob Graettinger's "City of Glass," Innovations in Modern Music, Contemporary Concepts directed by Al Porcino, 7.5 on the Richter Scale: Kenton in the 1970s, Rugolomania: The Music of Pete Rugolo, the music of Frank Rosolino played by trombonist Andy Martin, the music of Bill Russo, a tribute to June Christy, the Art of Pepper (Art Pepper, of course), the Bud Brisbois Big Band directed by Bobby Shew, the Shorty Rogers Big Band: Cool and Crazy, the Maynard Ferguson Dream Band directed by Don Menza, Shelly Manne's Men, Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars performing arrangements by Bob Cooper, a presentation of Progressive Jazz, special salutes to Brisbois, Bud Shank, John Park and Anita O'Day, and appearances by the Bill Holman and Mike Vax Big Bands. All that in addition to the usual films, panel discussions and noon poolside concerts by area college ensembles. For information phone 562-985-7065.
In Other News . . .
On July 10, Madavor Media, a Boston-based publishing and trade-show group, acquired Jazz Times magazine, which otherwise would have gone under. Madavor intends to resume publishing JT and its web site, jazztimes.com, immediately. Jazz Times was founded in 1970 as Radio Free Jazz by Washington, DC-based record-store owner Ira Sabin. Even though the All-Music guide called JT "arguably the number-one Jazz magazine in the world," the current economic downturn took its toll, and the magazine was on the verge of going out of business before Madavor Media stepped in. Current editor-in-chief Lee Mergner and managing editor Evan Haga will stay with the magazine to maintain continuity.
Trombonist Steve Wiesthas been named director of the award-winning University of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band, succeeding such legendary directors as Leon Breeden, Gene Hall and Neil Slater. Wiest, who played in the One O'Clock Lab Band when he was a master's student at UNT, returned to the school in 2007 to direct the U-Tubes, a trombone band, and was named interim director of the One O'Clock Lab Band in August 2008. Wiest has recorded two CDs: Excalibur, with his own Midwest-based big band, and Out of the New, a small-group session with UNT jazz faculty members Fred Hamilton, Stefan Karlsson, Lynn Seaton and Ed Soph. John Murphy, who was recently named director of the school's Jazz Studies division, served as chairman of the search committee that recruited Wiest.
On June 1-2, more than 35 leaders from the jazz education community and affiliated groups met in Chicago to launch the Jazz Education Network (JEN), an association whose focus will be on advancing and expanding jazz education, performance opportunities and audiences. The meetings were facilitated by Gene Wenner of Arts & Education Consultants. After two days of dialogue and deliberation, the group agreed enthusiastically to form JEN. Mary Jo Papich was elected president. Other officers are Lou Fischer, vice president; Bruce Silva, treasurer; and Julie Traenkenschuh, secretary.