Caution: Brief Column Ahead...
This may be one of the shortest columns I've written in fourteen-plus years at All About Jazz. The fact is, not much has happened this month in our little corner of big band jazz, and there is almost nothing to report. About all we can do is look forward to events on the horizon: Jazz Under the Stars here in Albuquerque in June, July and August; the twelfth annual Prescott (AZ) Jazz Summit, also in August; and the next Los Angeles Jazz Institute / Ken Poston event in mid-October. We've heard nothing (to date) about the annual New Mexico Jazz Festival, which is usually held in July. (Okay, we checked online and found that there will be a NMJF, from July 13-29, with Kurt Elling, Sheila Jordan, Jon Hendricks, Dianne Reeves, Regina Carter, Ravi Coltrane, Leni Stern, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Doug Lawrence and others).
The Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra performs twice this summer in Jazz Under the Stars at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History: on Saturday, June 2, with guest artist Matt Catingub, and headlining a Swing Dance Night on Saturday, August 4. A week later, on August 11, Jazz Under the Stars welcomes SuperSax New Mexico and the Charlie Christian Project, both featuring renowned trumpeter Bobby Shew. The Prescott Jazz Summit (August 24-26), directed by trumpeter Mike Vax, is straight-ahead all the way, boasting an all-star lineup that includes trumpeter Carl Saunders, trombonist Scott Whitfield, saxophonists Rusty Higgins and Tony Vacca, guitarist Jack Petersen, pianist Jeff Colella, drummer Gary Hobbs, vocalist Dennis Rowland and others. No pseudo-jazz groups or players in that neighborhood.
The same holds true for October's LAJI event at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott hotel whose title, "Groovin' Hard," embodies perfectly the kind of music on the bill of fare, starting with alumni reunions of bands led by Buddy Rich, Bill Watrous, Maynard Ferguson, Louie Bellson, Gerry Mulligan, Thad Jones / Mel Lewis and Don Ellis, plus the Creative World of Stan Kenton, Gil Evans' Svengali and Patrick Williams' Threshold. Among the musicians who have signed on are Bobby Shew, Don Menza, Ernie Watts, Bob Mintzer, Pete Christlieb, Milcho Leviev, Fred Selden, Ann Patterson, Richard Torres, Peter Erskine, Mike Suter, Mary Fettig, Jim Oatts, Roger Ingram, Bob Summers, Bruce Johnstone, Jay Chattaway and Andy Mackintosh. Also performing will be the Collegiate Neophonic Orchestra of Southern California and the USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra directed by Mintzer. "Groovin' Hard" is set for October 11-14, preceded on October 10 by a bonus event, "The Woody Herman Centennial Celebration," that surely has been sold out by now. Herman alumni slated to take part include Christlieb, Shew, Watrous, Ingram, Oatts, Johnstone, Bill Trujillo, Arno Marsh, Dick Hafer, Larry McKenna, Don Rader, Roger Neumann, Alan Broadbent, Larry Covelli, Jerry Pinter and Ron Stout. For information about "Groovin' Hard," phone 562-200-5477 or vist them at lajazzinstitute.org.
A Word About Clark Terry
Beloved trumpeter Clark Terry, now ninety-one years old and a double amputee (both legs) owing to diabetes, needs help in getting out from under enormous hospital expenses. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to help Clark's cause, it can be done through the Jazz Foundation of America, either by mail or online. The mailing address is Jazz Foundation of America, 322 W. 48th St., New York, NY 10036. Online at jazzfoundation.org. In either case, please indicate (on the memo line of the check or by putting the name "Clark Terry" in the window at the bottom of the Jazz Foundation's donation page) that the money is being sent to help with Clark's expenses. He and wife Gwen would greatly appreciate your help!
And that's it for now. Until next time, keep swingin...'!
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