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Charlie Ventura

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Tenor man Charlie Ventura was was a prominent fixture on the jazz scene during his era. Born Charles Venturo he was one of thirteen children from a musical family who went on to become a jazz legend, and was named "Number One Tenor Saxophonist" by Down Beat Magazine in 1945. In the summer of 1942, Charlie got a call at his day job at the Philadelphia Navy yard to join Gene Krupa's band. Unwilling to relinquish the security of a paycheck, he turned them down. Then came the second phone call and before long, Charlie was on the road with the band becoming a featured soloist, along with trumpet star, Roy Eldridge and singer Anita O'Day

News: Recording

Charlie Ventura: Adventure With Charlie

Charlie Ventura: Adventure With Charlie

The last time I posted about tenor saxophonist Charlie Ventura was in 2013. As I wrote ruefully back then, the 78-era soloist seems to have disappeared completely from view in today's jazz world, his recordings and contribution sadly forgotten. Throughout Ventura's career, his solos were uniformly high energy, earthy and flawless. He was a swing-era blower ...

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Article: Album Review

Jim Waller Big Band: Bucket List

Read "Bucket List" reviewed by Jack Bowers


One glance at Jim Waller's silver mane is enough to make it clear he is no young lion. In fact, Waller, a veteran composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist who calls San Antonio, Texas, home, is nearing his eighth decade. Even though Waller's career has been long and successful, there was one item on his Bucket List that ...

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Article: Big Band Report

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 1-4

Read "Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 1-4" reviewed by Simon Pilbrow


Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival “Woodchoppers' Ball" Four Points by Sheraton at LAX Los Angeles, CA May 23-27, 2018 Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 The Los Angeles Jazz Institute (LAJI), under Ken Poston, has continued for some thirty years to ...

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Article: History of Jazz

Philadelphia Jazz: A Brief History

Read "Philadelphia Jazz: A Brief History" reviewed by Jack McCarthy


This article was first published at the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia website. Jazz began to emerge as a distinct musical style around the turn of the twentieth century, a merging of two vernacular African American musical styles—ragtime and blues—with elements of popular music. New Orleans, the “cradle of jazz," was the most important city ...

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Article: Profile

Billy Krechmer: A Philadelphia Story

Read "Billy Krechmer: A Philadelphia Story" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci


There is a story told of the last night of an iconic jazz club in Philadelphia in 1966. The bandleader-owner, it was said, had been called away prior to closing. He was unable to return before the end of the last set. Walking back, he watched the crowd filing out. Some, I am told, had tears ...

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News: Obituary

Pianist and Educator Jimmy Amadie Passes Away at Age 76 After Long Battle with Cancer

Pianist and Educator Jimmy Amadie Passes Away at Age 76 After Long Battle with Cancer

Jimmy Amadie, the celebrated jny: Philadelphia pianist and educator known for his contributions in improvisational jazz theory, passed away on December 10, 2013 in Philadelphia, PA. He was 76. His death comes after being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007. Amadie was known not only for his supreme musicality, but also for his unrelenting fighting spirit. ...

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News: Book / Magazine

The First Biography Of Cal Tjader Is Now Available!

The First Biography Of Cal Tjader Is Now Available!

The contributions of this late pioneering jazz vibraphonist—composer, arranger and bandleader Cal Tjader have largely been undervalued. This book is a major corrective. The greater part covers the Grammy winner's 40-year professional life, and his explorations of both Latin and jazz music. His personal life is remembered by those who knew Cal best. The extensive research ...

News: Recording

Charlie Ventura on Baritone

Charlie Ventura on Baritone

Saxophonist Charlie Ventura has gotten a bum rap. For too long he's been thought of as a Coleman Hawkins clone and his vast contributions to jazz and R&B have been overlooked or ignored. His name no longer comes up in jazz circles, and his recordings are rarely heard or praised. I can't think of the last ...

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News: Event

Jazz Walk In Fairmount Park on Sunday, October 13th, Noon-4pm

Jazz Walk In Fairmount Park on Sunday, October 13th, Noon-4pm

Philadelphia Jazz Project presents JAZZ WALK Take a stroll with the PJP in beautiful Fairmount Park around the 
East Park Reservoir starting at 33rd & Diamond Streets or 33rd & Oxford Streets. JAZZ WALK is a FREE event, featuring Jazz Performances, free snacks & water. Wear comfortable shoes or sneakers for walking and if you need ...


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