Cab Calloway Home a New Landmark?

Fradley Garner By

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"A bad happening for the jazz community" is how reedsman Dave Liebman described the demise earlier this year of the International Association of Jazz Educators. Why IAJE filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is still being asked, but part of the problem was the return to Toronto for this year's conference. Attendance was little more than half that for meetings in New York and other cities. Some charge that IAJE, which first met in 1973, had gone too far, especially with a stillborn Campaign for Jazz. Liabilities exceeded $1 million. Liebman wrote in his newsletter that he had been at nearly every meeting since 1977, and performed or lectured at many. Dues-paying members, including his wife (Caris Music Services), were "hung out to dry," he said. Liebman's own International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ), now in its 20th year, stays healthy "because it is based on select student-to-student interaction and no outside commercial dealings."

European youth bands have entered the first of what may be the continent's most lucrative annual jazz competition. The prize is 20,000 Euros ($28,900) in a cash-plus-CD-promotion and coaching package. Bands whose members were all born in 1979 or later submit homemade CDs, which are judged using "blind procedures." Final eliminations will be made, and the winner selected, at a public performance in Burghausen during 40th International Jazz Week, March 17-22, 2009. Sponsor is the German interest group Jazz Burghausen e.V. in co-operation with the city of Burghausen.

Hi-de-ho, everybody! Sure you remember Cab Calloway. And maybe you read in the September 14 New York Times that his daughter, Cecilia Lael Calloway, is trying to have her family home at 1040 Knollwood Road, Greenburgh, NY, preserved as a historical landmark. Like the homes of Louis Armstrong in Corona, Queens, Count Basie in Redbank, NJ, and Bix Beiderbecke in Davenport, IA, the 12-room, white colonial Calloway house would be a repository for the bandleader's effects and a place where, says his daughter, "future generations could learn about his music and the music of others that visited here." They were legion. A broader goal: "To sponsor multi-media music and arts programs and projects for underprivileged youth…the school system, the local historical and arts organizations and universities."

Like The Mississippi Rag before it, The Tri-State Skylark Strutter has "gone email." The Strutter is the newsletter of the Tri-State Jazz Society, with coverage of the traditional jazz scene in the Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware area. "We have reduced our costs of printing and mailing" by replacing the paper edition with an email equivalent, the editors announced in the October issue. The money saved has been earmarked "for good bands." More information.

It's Pizzarelli time in the Apple. Bucky Pizzarelli was special guest with The Lionel Hampton Tribute Band at the Iridium, October 29-30. Bucky returned November 2. Other featured guests were the trumpet legend Clark Terry, trombonist Curtis Fuller, saxophonist Red Holloway and saxophonist-flutist Frank Wess. Guitarist Frank Vignola joined them for two nights. Leading the tribute band on vibes was Jason Marsalis. Uptown at Café Carlyle through November 1 were the "wittiest, most musically savvy husband-and-wife team in pop-jazz" (The New York Times), guitarist and vocalist John Pizzarelli and singer Jessica Molaskey.

Web Hit-Of-The-Month:
Listen to New Orleans music and explore jazz origins and traditions at this site.

Thanks to Joan McGinnis of Mission Viejo, CA, for Web research assistance.

Photo Credit

William P. Gottlieb

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