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ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

2020: The Year in Jazz

Read "2020: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling

The COVID-19 pandemic put the jazz world in a tailspin, just like the world at large, in 2020. And there is plenty of uncertainty going into the new year about what “new normal: might emerge from the darkness. International Jazz Day, like so many other things, became an online virtual event this time around. Pianist Keith ...

NEWS: ADVOCACY

F2F Music Foundation forms partnership with Gilbreath Communications to promote opportunities to aspiring young musicians

F2F Music Foundation forms partnership with Gilbreath Communications to promote opportunities to aspiring young musicians

Can improvisation be taught? According to F2F Music Foundation, the answer is a definite yes. F2F Music Foundation, a Houston area-based non-profit performing arts organization, is teaming up with Gilbreath Communications, Inc., to encourage young people to pursue their full potential musically and academically. Gilbreath will act as F2F’s public relations arm to inform young people ...

MUSICIAN Born:

Josh Sheiman

Josh Sheiman’s musical journey began while living overseas in the Netherlands. He received a guitar at age 12 and was immediately drawn to the instrument. Inspired by guitar legends such as Jimmy Page and Jimmy Hendrix, Josh looked to gain a combination of virtuosity and creativity. Upon moving back to Houston, Josh began studying with John Edward Ross. His interest in improvisation led him to a love and appreciation for jazz. While in high school, he won “Excellence in the Study of Music” award at Episcopal High School as well as the “Duke Ellington” award at the Summer Jazz Workshop. After being accepted to many of the top music schools in the nation, Josh chose to pursue an undergraduate degree in jazz guitar at the University of Miami

Sparky Parker

Sparky Parker is a blues/rock/soul guitarist and vocalist from Houston, Texas with the grit, drive, and talent needed to stand tall in the eternally-competitive Texas music scene. Houston fans knew him as a young blues guitar prodigy but Parker has grown far beyond that kind of simple label. Parker is now a triple threat who writes quality songs, sings with a feeling, and plays with ferocity. His latest release with his power trio The Sparky Parker Band, In The Dark, will see daylight in the Fall of 2019 and those close to Parker feel that the record will break him to a larger, national audience. Parker began playing professionally straight out of high school, cutting his teeth as a frontman with the rock band Bayou Monster and playing guitar in the blues band Mojofromopolis

Sea Rocket Jasmine

Keyboardist Richard Bugbee formed Sea Rocket Jasmine with Dave Halverson, guitarist and founder of Bay Area art-rock band Trance Lucid. Based in Houston, TX and Santa Barbara, CA, Sea Rocket Jasmine is dedicated to recorded instrumental music that goes in new directions while staying rooted in tradition.

Kingwood Big Band

Organized in the fall of 2004, the Kingwood Big Band is a collection of adult musicians sponsored by Lone Star College in Kingwood, Texas and the Kingwood Musical Arts Society. Band members include students, engineers,medical professionals, music educators, and businessmen drawn together by a mutual love of classic big band jazz. Boasting a large repertoire of music made famous by such Big Band era luminaries as Duke Ellington, Harry James, Stan Kenton, Tommy Dorsey, and others, the Kingwood Big Band is gaining regional acclaim for exciting performances and dances. Houston Mayor Bill White and the members of the Houston City Council recently honored the Kingwood Big Band with a declaration designating October 27, 2006 as Kingwood Big Band Day.

The Suffers

The Suffers are Houston's award-winning 8-piece ensemble that have redefined the sound of Gulf Coast Soul. Established in 2011, The Suffers’ lineup was curated by bassist Adam Castaneda and vocalist/keyboardist Pat Kelly, who brought on trumpet player Jon Durbin, trombonist Michael Razo, guitarist Kevin Bernier, percussionist Jose "Chapy" Luna, and drummer/vocalist Nick Zamora filled out the rhythm section, while frontwoman Kam Franklin topped off the group with soaring vocals. The last 2 years have brought the band to new heights, as they played 300+ shows across North America, visited NPR in Washington, DC for a Tiny Desk Concert, made their national television debut on Late Show With David Letterman, and officially released their much anticipated self-titled album followed by performances on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Jimmy Kimmel Live. This year they will embark on their first international tour and spread the sweet sound of Gulf Coast Soul across the Caribbean, Western Europe, and Australia

MUSICIAN Born:

Edward Lewis

There are three relatively well known Ed Lewis trumpeters, but this Eddie Lewis is probably the least well known of them all. He never played with Count Basie. He isn't the Ed Lewis who performs with symphony orchestras. This Eddie Lewis is a humble son of a military family who grew up on army bases across the world. When his father retired from the army, his family settled in the city where he was born, El Paso, Texas. Even though his cultural roots are Pennsylvania Dutch, and he hasn't lived there since the 80's, he still refers to El Paso as his hometown. This is most true for his life as a jazz musician because that's where it all began for him

MUSICIAN Born:

Steve Montgomery

In about 1980, I started to try to think about how to expand what the guitar could do harmonically and with its range (the bar has been set pretty high by all those great piano players out there). The two trend setters at the time (if you include jazz and rock) were Eddie Van Halen and Stanely Jordan, both of whom fretted the guitar with both hands at the same time. I wasn't looking for a rock sound, and I didn't really like the "pingy" tone that Jordan was getting. so what I did was come up with a way to use both hands for chording, which gained greater options for chord voicings, but which didn't sacrifice a nice "round" jazz tone

Raquel Cepeda

Based in Houston, Raquel Cepeda is originally from Venezuela. She has recorded two CDs, "Juegos de Playa" and her solo CD "I'm Confessin’”, and has participated in projects with other artists including the CD “The Fountainhead” byAmerican trumpet player Kenneth Easton (2014) and "Vogue Samba Jazz" by Brazilian pianist Marvio Ciribelli (releasing in summer 2016). Raquel was the winner of the first place of the “Ucevista Voice Festival” in Venezuela in 1995, writes her own original compositions, and has sang with important figures in jazz including legendary American jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis.


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