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Stars on the Horizon

Jack Bowers By

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Even before Groovin' Hard, the Los Angeles Jazz Institute's latest foray into the world of contemporary jazz, kicked off its four-day run (October 11-14) at the Marriott LAX Hotel, a letter arrived from LAJI director Ken Poston announcing details of next May's extravaganza, also at the Marriott. The theme is Big Band Spectacular, and the bands who have thus far signed up to take part are the Bill Holman Band, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, the Tom Kubis Band, Bob Curnow's L.A. Big Band, Roger Neumann's Rather Large Band, the Kim Richmond Concert Jazz Orchestra, the Mike Barone Band, the Steve Huffsteter Band, and the L.A. Jazz Orchestra playing the music of Bill Russo. Even though that should be more than enough to satisfy almost any big-band enthusiast, Poston promises that there's more to come. Preceding the event (which runs from May 23-26) is a day-long trip to Las Vegas for a reunion concert by a Las Vegas All-Star Big Band featuring Bobby Shew, Carl Saunders, Santo Savino and others, and a performance by the Tommy Vig Big Band. The "bonus" event is limited to the first one hundred VIP registrants, with transportation and concert tickets included. For information, phone 562-200-5477.

ZootFest, an afternoon celebration of the music of Zoot Sims and Al Cohn, will be held Sunday, October 21, in the Keystone Room at Pennsylvania's East Stroudsburg University with proceeds to benefit jazz education and preservation. Among those scheduled to appear are Phil Woods, Dave Liebman, Bob Dorough, Bill Crow, Joe Cohn, Adam Niewood, Harry Allen, Rossano Sportiello, Joel Forbes, "Sweet" Sweet Sue Terry, Nancy Reed, Rick Chamberlain, Nelson Hill, Marko Marcinko, Sherrie Maricle, Kim Parker and the COTA Festival Orchestra. Yes, it is short notice, but if you'd like information, phone 570-422-3828, e-mail, or go online to

Also on short notice, Berkshires Jazz has announced the lineup for the eighth annual Pittsfield (MA) CityJazz Festival, which runs from October 4-13 at various venues in Pittsfield. Among those set to appear are the Sister City Jazz Ambassadors (Oct. 4 and 5), the Woody Stroebeck Duo and Franz Tokarz Guitar Trio (Oct. 5), the Rob Fisch Quartet, Johnny Pontoon Quintet and Ted Murray Trio (Oct. 6), the Benny Kohn Piano Brunch (Oct. 7) and Andy Wrba and Friends (Oct. 8). Also performing will be the New England Jazz Ensemble with guests Giacomo Gates and Ali Ryerson, trumpeter Adam O'Farrill, and the Jazz Arts Trio led by pianist Frederick Moyer. For details, phone 413-442-7718 or e-mail

The Westchester (NY) Jazz Orchestra has announced its 2012-13 schedule, which actually began last month with "West Side Stories." Other concerts (all starting at 8 p.m.) are set for December 1 ("10th Year Retrospective—Our Greatest Hits"), February 2 ("Top Pops: WJO Covers Dylan, Joni and Sweet Baby James") and April 27 with special guest Paquito D'Rivera. The WJO, led by artistic director Mike Holober, includes in its all-star lineup trumpeters Tony Kadleck, Marvin Stamm, Craig Johnson and Scott Wendholt; saxophonists Jay Brandford, Ralph Lalama, Jason Rigby, David Brandom and David Brandom; trombonists Larry Farrell, Keith O'Quin}, Bruce Eidem and George Flynn; pianist Ted Rosenthal, bassist Harvie S and drummer Andy Watson. For information, phone 914-861-9100, e-mail, or go online to


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