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Peter Jurew

NYC-based writer, producer, music hound.

About Me

I am a long-time resident of New York City, and I've also had the pleasure of residing in Boston, Mass, Paris, France, Berkeley, California, and Kenai, Alaska. Joe Farrell's ”Moon Germs” was the album that got me started listening to and learning about jazz music; John Coltrane's “Coltrane” was the first album I owned; and for almost four decades, Phil Schaap on WKCR out of Columbia University has been my jazz ”instructor.” In the '80's I was fortunate to get to know the amazing Art Buhaina Blakey and a killer version of his Jazz Messengers which included the then-young lions Bobby Watson, Bill Pierce, Charles Fambrough, James Williams, and 19-year old Wynton Marsalis. A 1981 interview with Wynton for the Paris (France) FREE VOICE was my first published piece. Since then, I've had a career on the business side of media, including a stint at The New Yorker and several web start-ups, while also writing about culture, food and well-being. Recently I've returned to writing about music, hoping to discover and share artists I love.

My Jazz Story

Published on: 2016-09-10

Jazz is the art form that touches me deeper, in more places, in more ways than just about any other. I was first "exposed" to it in college by a guy named Maurice, who grew up in Harlem, and who used to go around campus with an armful of vinyl records, literally, class to class, dorm to dorm. He always had about six to eight albums with him. Late one night in my dorm room, he asked to put something on the turntable--Joe Farrell's "Moon Germs"--bam! For me the love of jazz started there that night. I guess Maurice was a kind of Pied Piper! After college I continued listening and learning about the music and, when I could afford it, going to see jazz in the clubs. I was fortunate to get to know a few jazz musicians, starting with the amazing Art Blakey and the killer 1980's version of his Jazz Messengers which included 19-year old Wynton Marsalis. Best show I've attended to date may have been catching the Saxophone Colossus, Sonny Rollins, on a great night in the late 70's in Boston. Most memorable jazz "experience" was probably the memorial service for Dizzy Gillespie held at the huge Cathedral of St John The Divine in NYC on a drizzly January day in 1993. The first jazz record I bought was "Coltrane," John Coltrane's 1962 album, which I picked it up for two bucks at a used record bin at a street fair in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Mass - still in mint condition! My advice to new listeners is to find a good radio station or stream, listen with open ears, find (and download) what you like, and go out and hear it live as much as you can. Nothing beats being in the room where the music is being created in "real time," as the saying goes. And there's SO MUCH talent to check out!

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