Out and About: The Super Fans

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

You've seen them around. They're at all the gigs, their attention focused deeply on the bandstand, as much a part of their local jazz scenes as the musicians and venues. They know and love the music, and musicians love them back. These passionate music-goers are The Super Fans, and they are an essential part of the concert experience. "Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force... When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand." (Karl A. Menninger) Each month, AAJ focuses the attention back on one of The Super Fans to find out what it is they love about live jazz. By Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper.

Meet Sal Capozucca

Read "Meet Sal Capozucca" reviewed by Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper

In memory of our good friend and our first Super Fan recipient, Sal Capozucca, who passed away at age 97 on August 4, 2020. This article was first published in June 2016. He came, he saw, he took a picture! Our first Super Fan, 94-year-old Sal Capozucca, has been going out to hear live jazz for more than 80 years, ever since getting hooked by a Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa concert in 1937. You name 'em, he ...

Meet Claiborne Ray

Read "Meet Claiborne Ray" reviewed by Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper

If you were a fan of the New York Times' long running Science Q&A column, you'll recognize the name of our latest Super Fan, who was its author for 31 years. And if you've been a frequenter of New York jazz clubs you'll surely recognize her from her ubiquitous presence on the scene, where she's rarely seen without her signature wide-brimmed topper. A night owl from infancy, according to her ex rodeo queen/classical musician mother, she was destined for a ...

Meet Don Swann

Read "Meet Don Swann" reviewed by Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper

Raised near the Kentucky-Tennessee border, Don Swann grew up hearing church hymns and country songs. But, as with many Super Fans of his generation, radio exposed him to a wider world of music, and he soon developed a passion for R&B and blues (and, along with it, the habit of sneaking into the local roadhouse—a story that alone makes this interview worth reading!). But it was the youngster's passion for jazz, specifically, that played an important role in his stint ...

Meet Mike Black

Read "Meet Mike Black" reviewed by Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper

Mike Black might not be the first Super Fan we discovered on Twitter, but he is surely one the most enthusiastic about, well, everything! Apparently born with a positivity gene, Mike waxes fondly about a Brooklyn childhood steeped in jazz, the current scene in his adopted home, and the wonders of a little thing called the Internet. Embracing jazz and technology with equal enthusiasm, our International Jazz Day Super Fan even turned our desert island disk question on its ear--read ...

Meet Tom Kohn

Read "Meet Tom Kohn" reviewed by Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper

Like many of our Jazz Super Fans, Tom Kohn's passion for music started when he was a teen, with a job in a record store and a penchant for acquiring albums that would impress even the most dedicated adult collectors. He grew up into a music business day job but, after suffering a life-changing event, he decided to make a go of his first love: selling records. At the same time, the Rochester, New York native found what we think ...

Meet Matt Yaple

Read "Meet Matt Yaple" reviewed by Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper

Growing up in a small Midwestern town in a “whites only" county may not seem like the obvious path to jazz fandom. But when AM radio is your childhood companion, piping the likes of Mahalia Jackson, Ray Charles,  and Dinah Washington to you under the bedcovers at night, and Dad is a multi-instrumentalist jazz fan who takes you to the state fair to hear Duke and Ella and Louis, well, all bets are off. You just might find that life ...

OUT AND ABOUT: THE SUPER FANS

Meet Andrew Rothman

Read "Meet Andrew Rothman" reviewed by Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper

Lawyer, audiophile, lifelong arts enthusiast, our newest Super Fan's life plan was to be a classical pianist, until college took him in another direction. But it was two “major epiphanies" (the first time he heard Miles Davis and, later, Bill Evans) that turned him into a jazz Super Fan--such a Super Fan, in fact, that he and his wife, Diane, host a house concert series that since 2004 has been presenting some of the world's top jazz musicians. (Be sure ...


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