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Three Strikes

One of the important Centennial celebrations this year is for Marian McPartland, born March 20, 1918. She was fearless, determined, talented, and a leader in so many regards. This blog was initially written a few years ago for the New Music Box, my tribute to her influence as a role model for myself and so many others. It is timely to share this one more time as a reminder of the importance of providing role models to our young players as we launch the inaugural Indiana Jazz Girls Days as well as a series of concerts in celebration of Women’s History Month. Enjoy this personal testimonial and tribute to Marian McPartland’s Centennial. read more…

The Number Game

The principles of Western music theory are governed by the well-termpered system of 12 half steps combined in various patterns to form scales and melodies. I like patterns and anything that follows logical sequences – my mind just seems to be wired that way. Mathematics was always my favorite subject  – it was my High School AP class and one of my Undergraduate majors and I never missed a point on tests because once the process was clear the right answer was just a matter of putting the numbers in order. The logic and creative play with numbers also attracted me to the art form jazz. read more…

Stories by the Jazz Piano Masters

January is the month of jazz gatherings: Jazz Education Network Conference – Jazz Congress – Winter Jazz Festival – bringing together thousands of jazz performers, educators, activists, supporters, media and business personnel and so much more. This year I got to participate in all of them  – it was inspiring, exhausting, fun, eye-opening, and by the second conference I actually lost my voice – but the ears were still working fine and I was listening. I soaked in the interactions and conversations of three jazz piano masters: Kenny Barron, Joanne Brackeen, and Harold Mabern. Come along for stories, advice, and memories: read more…

Peace on Earth 2017

Since the release of “Peace on Earth” in 2010 we’ve been presenting an annual Peace on Earth concert for the Bloomington Jazz Fables series. I have to say that this year was probably my favorite so far and we got it on videotape. So for this Blog I’d like to feature some of the musical selections that we performed and provide some background info about each piece/ arrangement and the musicians. Come join us! read more…

The Twelve Months of 2017

It’s that time of the year – reflections and resolutions – everyone is putting out ‘best of’ lists, I’ll go for a ‘highlight of the month’ list before the 2017 calendar gets retired. Thanks for coming along on the 2017 journey – let’s start with January, annual JEN conference in New Orleans!  read more…