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January 14, 2017

A glorious weekend in New Orleans – Report from the JEN Conference

New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz, what better place to celebrate 100 years of recorded jazz and the eighth annual gathering of the Jazz Education Network (JEN). Thousands of jazz students, teachers, professionals, supporters, and audiences gathered on Wednesday, January 4 in the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans in anticipation of a glorious weekend of non-stop performances, clinics, research sessions, a large exhibit hall, and of course excursions to the French Quarter and the many entertainment options in the city. (more…)

December 27, 2016

2016 – Only the Good, Not the Ugly

IMG_0269The end of the year is always a time to reflect and set new goals. Usually it is a best of… and worst of… list, but I decided to only go for the good stuff because there is plenty of problems and issues that don’t need to be celebrated. Here is the chronological review  – come along for the ride and please share your memories! (more…)

December 6, 2016

Intro to Jazz History & The Bloomington Jazz Scene

As I often point out in lectures and talks, the arts are an essential part of building communities. People come together with common interests, find a Printcommunal form of expression, exchange ideas, create experiences, and also build economies and business  – for example Bloomington’s own Cardinal Stage Company is showing Oliver at the moment with a host of local actors and children on the stage, sold-out houses every night, lots of dinner and hospitality business along with the shows, and happy audiences getting into the holiday spirit of giving and cherishing memories with loved ones. The story of Indiana Avenue as exemplified by our own David Baker and the group of outstanding jazz musicians that evolved from this nurturing community with plenty of opportunities is another example. (more…)

December 5, 2016

Peace on Earth

CoverThe Christmas decorations went up today and St. Nikolaus brought presents  – the four weeks have arrived where we sing about ‘Peace on Earth’ and good tidings to all. Here is my wish list this year – please share yours too! (more…)

November 22, 2016

Jazz And Everyday Aesthetics

IMG_0480I’m getting ready to return to the US after nearly six weeks in various European cultural centers and about a dozen jam sessions with musicians  from at least that many cultures. The last three weeks, I spent in Reading with several trips to London including two jam sessions at the legendary Ronnie Scott’s. The last week also happened to be the London Jazz Festival and in conjunction with the festival, the European jazz research group hosted the launch of an initiative entitled “Jazz and Everyday Aesthetics” at Westminster College. (more…)