I currently live in:
I currently live in High Point, North Carolina. High Point is famously the childhood home of jazz saxophonist John Coltrane
, and more recently of American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino.
I joined All About Jazz in:
Why did you decide to contribute to All About Jazz?
I began shooting jazz photography in 2011 as a contributing photographer with the John Coltrane
International Jazz and Blues Festival. For years my focus was on capturing the various artists onstage, while also hosting a radio show at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. During my three-hour shows, I would dedicate an hour to promote jazz music, and to interview artists from all across the country. In 2018, I decided that it was time to dig deeper into my passion for jazz music and the many artists that create the genre. So, the next step was to write about jazz, and have interviews in print.
How do you contribute to All About Jazz?
I am a contributing photographer and writer with All About Jazz.
What is your musical background?
Throughout grade school, and right up to high school I was always part of the school band. I played first clarinet, some soprano saxophone, flute, which are all wind instruments. Growing up, music was a major part of my household. To this day, I own my parents music collection, everything from gospel, soul-jazz, and rhythm and blues.
What was the first record you bought that you would still listen to today?
The first record I bought was a 45 rpm, "Mr. Big Stuff" by Jean Knight recorded in 1971. I played this record so much that it cracked in half. I would still play this record today because of the funky base line, and the soulful beat.
Aside from Jazz, what styles of music do you enjoy?
My favorite music genre is classical because of the calmness and peace that I get from listening to it. I love most styles of music; Afrobeat, Hip Hop, Rhythm and Blues, some Country music as well.
What are you listening to now?
Right now, I am listening to an array of music. Being inside a lot these days due to Covid-19, I tend to listen to a lot of old-school music, of all types.
Which recent five releases would you recommend to readers who share your music taste?
I would recommend the release from Poncho Sanchez Trane's Delight, Carmen Lundy
's release Modern Ancestors
, Marc Cary
's EP, Rise Up, Unite
, Ravi Coltrane
, Imaginary Friends
, and Zara McFarlane
, Songs of an Unknown Tongue
What inspired you to write about jazz?
My inspiration came from years of listening to jazz and being able to interview artists that I have listened to over the years. I am also inspired with other peoples stories of how they started out and the challenges that they faced.
What do you like to do in your free time?
These days we have a lot of free time on our hands due to Covid-19. I enjoy writing poetry, shooting photography, reading books, and cooking. My hobbies consist of painting, coloring, and walking.
What role does jazz music play in your life?
Music has always been the backdrop to my life since growing up. I was turned on to jazz music in the 1970s and for over forty years I have been drawn to the creativeness of the artists. Jazz plays a big role in my life today, a commanding force that cannot be avoided. I receive enjoyment out of listening to jazz, and it soothes my spirit.
How does writing about jazz contribute to the music itself?
I feel that writing about jazz helps to keep the genre present. Over the years we have lost many jazz stations across the country. Interviewing jazz artists provides a passport for the readers to get a glimpse into the lives of their favorite artists. Readers are able to find out about jazz venues in their communities and they gain information about the many jazz festivals that are promoted across the country.
What do you like most about All About Jazz?
What I like most about All About Jazz is having access to the free tracks
What positives have come from your association with All About Jazz?
Since I have been contributing to All About Jazz I have met so many jazz artists and I have received a lot of positive feedback on my articles. Being able to write and display my jazz photography with a large jazz community is such a big positive that I am grateful for.
Vinyl, CD, or Streaming?
Vinyl all the way. I do own lots of CDs but now that I am not at the radio station and I am not doing my radio show on the internet at this time, I have stayed away from CDs. I have even stopped playing them in the car. I do not stream music much at all.
Which article from your Archive is the most memorable and why?
The article Onaje Allan Gumbs, Dare To Dream.
This is the most memorable one for me because Onaje was a friend. Onaje passed this year in April, on my birthday.
What are some of your pet peeves related to jazz
I really cannot think of any pet peeves that I have related to jazz.