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Big Band Report

Bob Brookmeyer: Jack of All Trades, Master of Valves

By Published: February 5, 2012
Clem DeRosa, who began his long career in music as a drummer and played during World War II in one of Glenn Miller
Glenn Miller
Glenn Miller
1904 - 1944
trombone
's Army Air Corps bands, died December 20. He was eighty-seven years old. After the war, DeRosa performed with a number of stars including Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus
1922 - 1979
bass, acoustic
, Marian McPartland, Teo Macero
Teo Macero
Teo Macero
1925 - 2008
producer
, Teddy Wilson
Teddy Wilson
Teddy Wilson
1912 - 1986
piano
, Thad Jones, Ben Webster
Ben Webster
Ben Webster
1909 - 1973
sax, tenor
, Clark Terry, Phil Woods
Phil Woods
Phil Woods
b.1931
sax, alto
, Coleman Hawkins
Coleman Hawkins
Coleman Hawkins
1904 - 1969
sax, tenor
, John LaPorta
John LaPorta
John LaPorta
1920 - 2004
clarinet
, Bobby Hackett
Bobby Hackett
Bobby Hackett
1915 - 1976
trumpet
and others. He was best known, however, as a leading pioneer of jazz education whose professional-sounding student ensembles performed on the Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin television shows. DeRosa, a co-founder and later president of the International Association of Jazz Educators, taught at Columbia University's Teachers College while continuing to perform and later to lead contemporary versions of the Glenn Miller, Jimmy Dorsey
Jimmy Dorsey
Jimmy Dorsey
1904 - 1957
composer/conductor
and Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman
1909 - 1986
clarinet
orchestras. He also worked closely with Stan Kenton
Stan Kenton
Stan Kenton
1911 - 1979
piano
in jazz clinics that were started in the early 1960s. DeRosa was inducted into the IAJE Hall of Fame in 1990, about a decade before he established American Jazz Venues, a non-profit group dedicated to presenting the music to newer and younger audiences, principally through its musical voice, the American Jazz Repertory Orchestra. DeRosa's older son, Richard, is head of jazz composition at the University of North Texas in Denton. He is also survived by his wife, Shirley; a daughter, Dianne, and son, Gary.

Swing Central Jazz

A dozen of the country's top high school jazz bands have been chosen to take part in the seventh annual edition of the Swing Central Jazz band competition and workshop, sponsored by the Savannah (GA) Music Festival. Participating students work with jazz mentors for three days, perform in showcases on Savannah's River Street, play in competition rounds and attend a variety of SMF performances during the event, which takes place March 28-30. The bands also compete for $13,000 in cash awards.

Bands scheduled to take part are the Advanced Jazz Band from Battle Ground (WA) High School; Agoura Hills (CA) High School Studio Jazz Band; Champaign (IL) Central High School Jazz Ensemble and Stage Band; Dillard Center for the Arts Jazz Ensemble (Fort Lauderdale, FL); Hume Fogg Academic High School Jazz Band (Nashville, TN); Leon High School Jazz Ensemble 1 (Tallahassee, FL); Lower Moreland (PA) High School Jazz Ensemble; Mount Si High School Jazz Band 1 (Snoqualmie, WA); Newport High School Jazz 1 (Bellevue, WA); Temple (TX) Highlighters; and Lovett School Jazz Ensemble (Atlanta, GA).

The Swing Central Jazz clinicians are Jim Ketch
Jim Ketch
b.1952
trumpet
, Sean Jones
Sean Jones
Sean Jones
b.1978
trumpet
, Terell Stafford
Terell Stafford
Terell Stafford
b.1966
trumpet
, trumpet; Jeff Clayton
Jeff Clayton
Jeff Clayton
b.1954
saxophone
, Bill Kennedy, Jack Wilkins
Jack Wilkins
Jack Wilkins
b.1944
guitar
, saxophone; Wycliffe Gordon
Wycliffe Gordon
Wycliffe Gordon
b.1967
trombone
, Ron Westray
Ron Westray
Ron Westray

trombone
, Paul McKee, trombone; Dave Stryker
Dave Stryker
Dave Stryker
b.1957
guitar
, guitar; Jason Marsalis
Jason Marsalis
Jason Marsalis
b.1977
drums
, Leon Anderson, Herlin Riley
Herlin Riley
Herlin Riley
b.1957
drums
, drums; Rodney Whitaker
Rodney Whitaker
Rodney Whitaker
b.1968
bass, acoustic
, Rodney Jordan, Jeffry Eckels , bass; Marcus Roberts
Marcus Roberts
Marcus Roberts
b.1963
piano
, Bill E. Peterson, Aaron Diehl
Aaron Diehl
Aaron Diehl

piano
, Kevin Bales, piano.

The three top-scoring bands receive honorariums ($5,000 for first place, $2,500 for second, $1,000 for third) and perform the opening set at the SMF production "Swingin' & Wailin.'" Other bands receive a $500 travel stipend. For information about the Savannah Music Festival, contact Ryan McMaken (ryan@savannahmusicfestival.org) or phone 912-234-3378, ext. 104.

Big Bands Are Still Out There

And you can hear some of the best in the New York area performing on selected Tuesday evenings at the New York City Baha'i Center, 53 E. 11th Street (between University Place and Broadway). General admission is $15, $10 for students. On February 14, the Ben and Frank Perowsky Big Band performs two shows, at 8:00 and 9:30 p.m. For information, phone 212-222-5159.

Another Reminder


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