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2009: The Year in Jazz

By Published: December 30, 2009
Bluegrass connection - The Preservation Hall Jazz Band in New Orleans forged a creative partnership with Del McCoury's bluegrass band. Ben Jaffe of Preservation Hall told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that McCoury traces many influences on bluegrass music back to New Orleans, and that McCoury's band faces "a lot of the same challenges we do" in terms of honoring their musical tradition while also trying to produce something new. Jaffe brought his tuba and sat in with McCoury's band and at the afternoon all-hands-on-deck finales at the Newport Folk Festival in August.

Folk connection - American icon Pete Seeger, 90, received a standing ovation even before he played a note at his Arena performance at the 52nd Monterey Jazz Festival inv September, then a standing ovation as the curtains opened—and then presented a range of songs from "Midnight Special" to "This Land is your Land." which left the audience in a state of proud admiration. As has often been said—all music is folk music because we're all just folks.

Best surprise moment:

The Vaca High Jazz Ensemble was in the middle of its concert set during the Vacaville Jazz Festival in September when someone from the audience got up with his trumpet "and joined in with the stunned students," according to News 10ABC. Turns out Wynton Marsalis who "was on his way to Monterey when he saw the sign for the jazz festival and decided to check it out.

Final Bars

While there were many losses within the jazz community during 2009, none of them were more tragic than the deaths of guitarist Coleman Mellett and saxophonist Gerry Niewood. The two members of musician Chuck Mangione's band perished aboard a commuter plane that crashed into a suburban Buffalo, N.Y. house on February 12.

Here's the full 2009 list:

Accordionist Mat Mathews.

Banjoist Albert Leet.

Bassists Leanne Butts, Jeff Clyne, Leopoldo Fleming Sr., Leonard Gaskin, Hugh Hopper, Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez, Sirone (Norris Jones), Fred Williams; bassist and writer Whitey Mitchell; bass guitarist and former NBA star Wayman Tisdale; bassist and singer Joe LaCaria.

Clarinetists Charly Hallering and Nick Jerret.

Cornetists Jim Goodwin and Harry Roland.

Drummers Rashied Ali , Vince Bilardo, Louie Bellson, James Bochetta, Buddy Christian, Antonio Luis Alves de Souza, Wilby Fletcher Jr., Tony Hannan, Ricardo "Papin" Abreu Hernandez, Billy James, Eddie Locke, Craig Oakley, Lothar Scharf, John Thomas Smith and Klaus Weiss; drummer and author Jim Chapin; drummer, trumpeter and jazz promoter Bob Anderson.

Guitarists Victor Lewis, Lawrence Lucie, Andy Masters, Coleman Mellett, Fred Rundquist; guitarist and inventor Les Paul; guitarist and cuatrista Edgardo Miranda; guitarist, singer and composer Kenny Rankin; guitarist and singers Snooks Eaglin, Huey Long, John Martyn; guitarist, banjoist and composer Robert Degen .

Organist Lyman Woodard.

Percussionists and bandleaders Gilberto Miguel Calderon ("Joe Cuba") and Manny Oquendo; percussionist, composer and educator Fallecio Jesus Alfonso Miro; percussionist and singer Frank "Pavo" Valerino-Hernandes.

Pianists Eddie Bo, Geoff Clarkson, Muriel Havenstein, Gugge Hedrenius, Eddie Higgins, Artie Jenkins, Hans Otto Jung, Dick Katz, Mike Mancini, Morris Nanton, David Hill Phelps, Terry Jean Pollard, Jarmo Savolainen and Earma Thompson; pianist and vibraphonist Buddy Montgomery; pianists and educators Gunter Horig and Consuela Lee; pianist, writer, and broadcaster Steve Race; pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger Ed Metz Sr.; pianist and arranger Torrie Zito; pianist and conductor Shep Meyers; pianist, bandleader, composer arranger, educator, editor and consultant Hale Smith; pianist and trumpeter Billy Hall Jr.; pianist, composer, author and educator Charlie Banacos.

Saxophonists Ray Beckenstein, Leroy Cooper, Hank Crawford, Jean-Claude Fohrenbach, Carmen Leggio, Joe Maneri, Charlie Mariani, Pee Wee Moore, David "Fathead" Newman, Winston Mankunku Ngozi, Gerry Niewood, Jack Nimitz, Sam (Leroy) Parkins, Bud Shank, Aubrey Simani, Willie "Face" Smith, Ron Stallings, Luther Thomas and Bob Thulman; saxophonist and big band leader Charlie Kennedy; saxophonist, singer, arranger and bandleader Sam Butera; saxophonist, clarinetist, bandleader and composer Gianni Basso; saxophonist and flutist Hart McNee; saxophonist and educator Larry McCrorey; saxophonist, writer and broadcaster Jaap Ludeke.

Singers Julio Barreto Bringas, Juanita Brooks, Chris Connor, Genie Grant, Caridad Hierrezuelo, Judy Kreston, Jillian Omsberry, Nancy Overton and Greta Woodson; singer and saxophonist Henry Butch Stone; singer-songwriter and pianist Blossom Dearie; singer, composer and guitarist Luis "El Terror" Dias; singer and actor Pat Martino; singer and actress Beverly Roberts; singer, actress and educator Anne Brown; singer, actress, songwriter, jazz author and manager Julie Coryell; singer, bandleader and composer Tina Marsh.

Trombonists Joel Helleny, Arch Martin, Bobby Pring and Randy Purcell.

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