Strike Up the (Unsung) Bands
News has been received from Ken Poston that the Los Angeles Jazz Institute must vacate its current headquarters at Cal State University, Long Beach by the end of 2009. The good news is that the LAJI may have another home by then; the bad news is that it will cost around $20,000 to pack and move the archives. Poston has hurriedly put together a fund-raiser for the LAJI, to be held Sunday, December 13, at the Airport Marriott Hotel, 5855 W. Century Blvd. The all-day event will include raffles, silent auctions, door prizes, CD vendors and more. For the "more," Poston has called on some of his friends in the Los Angeles jazz community, most of whom have agreed to perform. There will be continuous music from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. featuring (in part) the Bill Holman Band, Carl Saunders' BeBop Big Band, The Cannonball/Coltrane Project, Tall and Small (tenor Pete Christlieb and trombonist Linda Small), the Steve Huffsteter Big Band, the Gary Urwin Jazz Orchestra featuring Bill Watrous, the Kim Richmond Concert Jazz Orchestra, the Med Flory Big Band featuring SuperSax, Fred Selden playing Art Pepper +11, the Ron King Big Band, the Dave Pell/Med Flory Quintet, the Chuck Flores Octet, singers Pinky Winters and Dewey Erney, the Gerry Gibbs Quartet, plus Ron Eschete, Kurt Reichenbach, Frank Capp, Bob Summers and Ron Stout. How's that for a roster? It rivals what can be seen and heard and many of the LAJI's semi-annual concerts, and those are planned months in advance! The cost is quite reasonable, with two "donation levels"one giving full access to all venues, the other (pricier) option giving priority seating and a full buffet dinner. To reserve a space, phone 562-985-7065. And even if you are unable to be there, the LAJI can still use your help and support. For reservations at the Marriott, phone 800-228-9290; there's a special room rate for those attending the fund-raiser.
On the Horizon
Speaking of the LAJI, don't forget the Spring 2010 Jazz Festival May 27-30, also at the Sheraton LAX Four Points. Performers there will include the Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band and Sextet, Johnny Mandel, the Teddy Charles Tentet, Hal McKusick's Jazz Workshop, the Gil Evans Big Band, Terry Gibbs playing the music of Tiny Kahn, a tribute to Stan Getz by Don Menza, Bob Brookmeyer, the Elliot Lawrence Big Band, a tribute to Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, and the music of Quincy Jones, Manny Albam, John Carisi and Alec Wilder (with more to come). For information, call the number given above.
The annual Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, to be held next February 19-21, 2010 at the Hilton Hotel in Rockville, MD, will feature Mulgrew Miller, Bobby Watson, Terell Stafford, Lewis Nash and a contingent of local musicians. For information, contact Matt Merewitz (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone 215-629-6155.
Savannah, GA, has its own Music Festival, to be held March 31 - April 2, 2010. A highlight of the event is a Swing Central Jazz Band competition and workshop among a dozen invited high school bands from seven states (Alabama, California, Florida, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington). Led by pianist/educator/composer Marcus Roberts, the clinicians of Swing Central include Jeff Clayton, Wycliffe Gordon, Jim Ketch, Marcus Printup, John Clayton, Gerald Clayton, Jason Marsalis, Dave Stryker, Roland Guerin, Ted Nash, Obed Calvaire, Terell Stafford, Leon Anderson, Chris Crenshaw, Rodney Jordan, Bill Peterson and Jack Wilkins. Students work with these jazz artists for three days, perform in showcases along Savannah's River Street, play in competition rounds, and observe a number of SMF performances by other groups. During competition rounds, which are free to the public, each band plays three pre-selected numbers: "Moten Swing," "Stolen Moments" and "Black Bottom Stomp." The top three bands receive prizes of $5,000 for first, $2,500 for second and $1,000 for third place. For information about the festival, contact Ryan McMaken (email@example.com) or phone 912-234-3378, ext. 104.