Lew Shaw

Lew Shaw started writing about music as the publicist for the famous Berkshire Music Barn in the 1960s. He joined the West Coast Rag almost thirty years ago and has been a guiding light to this paper through the two name changes since then as we became The Syncopated Times.  47 of his profiles are collected in Jazz Beat: Notes on Classic Jazz. Volume two, containing profiles from 2013-2016 will be available on Amazon soon. He taps his extensive network of connections and friends throughout the traditional jazz world to bring us his Jazz Jottings column every month.
Richard Simon

Musicians on Their Music

As most of you know, I’ve been writing musician profiles for various publications for the past 35 years. The musicians who were interviewed candidly discussed

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evan-and-scout-by-voon-chew

Jazz Jottings May 2020

As panic over the coronavirus sweeps the globe, much of the focus is on the broader economic effects on businesses or venues that have had

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Barbary Coast Jazz Band on paddleboat

Jazz Jottings February 2020

The Barbary Coast Dixieland Jazz Band holds a special place in Minnesota music history—and not just because its members were inducted into the Minnesota Music

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Evan Arntzen at Cafe Bohemia opening night Joseph A Rosen Forbes

Jazz Jottings January 2020

Longtime pianist-arranger John Sheridan has assumed leadership of the Jim Cullum Jazz Band, which will continue its bi-weekly gigs at San Antonio restaurants as well

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Jazz Jottings March 2019

Jazz Jottings March 2019

In a One Day University lecture, University of Maryland professor of music Anna Celenza identified three musical masterpieces that changed America. Stating that “music does

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Ed Metz, Jr.: Versatility, Great Drive, Swings like Mad!

Jazz Jottings February 2019

It is apparent that the story about bandleader Glenn Miller’s disappearance over the English Channel during World War II has no end. The latest version

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Jazz Jottings December 2018

Jazz Jottings December 2018

It’s a special time for festival goers when they are introduced to a band they haven’t heard before that suddenly gets everyone excited, fills the

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A Jazz Band by Miguel Covarrubias (plate from Blues by W.C. Handy, 2nd Ed., 1926)

The Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural, social, and artistic explosion that took place in Harlem, New York and spanned the 1920s into the mid-1930s. It

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Jazz Jottings October 2018

Jazz Jottings October 2018

Vince Giordano has received the New York Hot Jazz Festival’s first Lifetime Achievement Award. September also marked the fifth anniversary of Vince and his Nighthawks’

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Mike-Vax-on-2013-Tour

Mike Vax on Jazz Education

For more than four decades former Stan Kenton lead-trumpeter Mike Vax has traveled the United States and overseas preaching and playing the Jazz Gospel. So

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Banu Honda May 19 2018

Jazz Jottings July 2018

Clarinetist extraordinaire Ken Peplowski is back performing after six weeks on the DL due to a broken knuckle in his right hand suffered while on

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Peter (tenor sax) and Will Anderson (alto sax)

Jazz Jottings June 2018

For the past four years, Pete and Will Anderson have devoted the month of April to a cross-country tour of concert and school performances. Their

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Old Jazz Band Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai

Jazz Jottings May 2018

Writing about the 60th anniversary of the Queen City Jazz Band got me to wondering where they ranked among the longest continuous-performing trad jazz bands

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Festival Scene in Flux

Festival Scene in Flux

With the continual announcements regarding jazz societies and festivals shutting down, it would appear that the good ship TradJazz is sailing in turbulent waters. But

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On the Levee posed onstage at Mint (2)

Jazz Jottings March 2018

After 32 years of service, John Edward Haase has stepped down as Curator of American Music at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and

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