All That Jazz Month: Phoenix, AZ, November 9-30, 2012
Among the highlights were interviews with saxophonist Vi Redd, trumpeter Clora Bryant and trombonist-composer Melba Liston, who was one of trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie's preferred arrangers. Also cited was pianist Lil Armstrong, Louis Armstrong's second wife who played in the legendary trumpeter's Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings and was a member of King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band.
Footage showed Ina Ray Hutton and Her Melodears, the Ada Leonard Orchestra and the International Sweethearts of Rhythm. Saxophonist Cron, 87, participated in a post-film Q&A session, recounting her experience as the only white musician when the International Sweethearts of Rhythm toured the South; she often stayed on the bus to avoid confrontations. Also speaking were executive producer Michael Greene and Ohno and Ueda from the DIVA Jazz Trio (leader Maricle was playing a concert elsewhere that night).
MIM was founded and funded by Robert J. Ulrich, former CEO and chairman emeritus of Target Corp., of Minneapolis, Minn., a collector of African art and world museum enthusiast. After seeing the Musical Instruments Museum in Brussels, Belgium, Ulrich visualized one in the United States with more interactive elements.
Concerts were staged in the music theater of the 200,000-square-foot building, which has two floors of galleries displaying a collection of nearly 15,000 instruments and associated objects. MI offers both docent-led and self-guided tours using wireless audio guides that interface with the sound track for videos at more than 300 sites in 80,000 square feet. Hidden identifiers are installed at exhibits that cue the audio guides automatically to exactly the right sound-track as the viewer approaches each video screen. Built at a cost of $250 million, MIM also features a recording studio, classroom, café, coffee shop, courtyard and gift shop.
The museum's Artist Gallery includes George Benson's Gibson Johnny Smith model guitar and one of his many Grammy Awards; Carlos Santana's custom Yamaha guitar with inlaid Buddhist motifs; an early Paul Reed Smith (PRS) guitar played by Santana, a precursor to the "Supernatural" guitar, named after his multiple Grammy-winning album; the Steinway piano on which John Lennon composed "Imagine," and the first Steinway piano, built in the 1836 kitchen of Henrich Engelhard Steinweg's home in Seesen, Germany. The Experience Gallery features instruments that can be touched and played.
A previous jazz focus was presented last August in connection with Jazz in AZ (a statewide nonprofit jazz-support organization established in 1977) that featured Arizona musicians performing with the Marty Ashby Trio from the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in Pittsburgh, PA.
The global collections were assembled by five curators who consulted with ethnomusicologists and organologistsmusical instrument expertsunder the supervision of the Musical Instrument Museum (www.mim.org) president Billie (Bill) R. DeWalt.