Pointing Fingers... And Naming Names
The Jazz Hall of Fame
Jazz at Lincoln Center announced in April the induction of Art Blakey, Lionel Hampton and Clark Terry into the Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame. The three will be honored in a ceremony June 4 at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at JALC in New York City. This year's nominees were chosen by a committee of scholars and musicians and voted on by jazz fans around the world. The committee was comprised of Ed Berger, Bill Charlap, Connie Crothers, Stanley Crouch, Jon Faddis, Vince Giordano, Wynton Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Phil Schaap, Loren Schoenberg and Spike Wilner. Blakey and Hampton will be inducted posthumously; it is unlikely that Terry, who has lost both legs to diabetes, will be able to attend the ceremony. To date, Jazz at Lincoln Center has inducted forty-one members into the NEJHF.
Marking Woody's Centenary
On May 16, the one hundredth anniversary of Woody Herman's birth, the Pecos River Brass Band directed by John C. Smith will present a memorial concert at the Irving (TX) Fine Arts Center with guest trombonist Phil Wilson who has written a suite for Woody that the band will perform. For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or go online to www.pecosriverbrass.com/band
Big-Band Jazz Camps
There's a nice two-page article in the March '13 issue of the Jazz Education Network's JAZZed magazine about bassist Jim Widner's Stan Kenton-style jazz camps, which Widner and his big band have been hosting on college campuses for twenty-five years. Widner, a founding member of JEN, is director of Jazz Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He was a member of the Kenton orchestra when it established the first Stan Kenton Band Clinic in 1967 at Redlands and San Diego State universities in California, and formed his own band in 1988 to carry on Kenton's work with students. To mark the twenty-fifth anniversary, Widner's ensemble has released a new CD, The Beat Goes On.
Recent Big-Band Releases
The Dave Lalama Big Band
The Hofstra Project
If Dave Lalama's name rings a bell, it could be because his brother, Ralph, is a top-rank tenor saxophonist in New York City and longtime member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra who has recorded often with jazz luminaries at home and abroad. While Dave, a composer / pianist, has kept a somewhat lower profile, he hasn't fared poorly either, having performed, recorded and arranged for the likes of Woody Herman, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Woody Shaw, Bobby Watson, Mike Stern and others while carving a niche in academia as associate chair of the Music Department at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, and as a teacher of composing and arranging at the Manhattan School of Music. For his first album as leader of a big band, Lalama chose to honor the many musical and personal relationships that have shaped his professional and personal life by assembling a number of alumni, faculty members and guest artists (including brother Ralph) to produce The Hofstra Project, featuring half a dozen compositions and all arrangements by the leader.