Features

Nat Hentoff: Jazz’s Ultimate Commentator

Nat Hentoff: Jazz’s Ultimate Commentator

Nat Hentoff told his readers early on: “I was introduced to jazz, and that’s become a basic concern and passion of mine ever since.” Hentoff’s

The Final Chorus February 2017

Aloha! Rich Conaty

In the history of jazz, people who do not play instruments do as much, in different ways, to sustain the art without getting equal credit.

Postmodern Poetry and Ragtime

Postmodern Poetry and Ragtime

It is significant that T.S. Eliot and Scott Joplin lived in St. Louis at the same time. In fact knowing of Eliot’s fascination with English

Brian Holland: Predestined to Perform

Brian Holland: Predestined to Perform

Brian Holland feels that his career as a professional musician was preordained. His music existence began at the age of 3. Blessed with perfect pitch

The Legacy of Jazz: Embracing Diversity

The Legacy of Jazz: Embracing Diversity

I confess it: I was not raised on jazz. My earliest memories have a soundtrack of fifties and sixties music, and my dance education began

Jeff and Joel's House Party

Jeff and Joel’s House Party

Like the Central Pennsylvania Ragtime and American Music Festival that I reported on last month, Jeff and Joel’s House Party is a small event in

Remembering Dawn Hampton

Remembering Dawn Hampton

The swing and Lindy Hop community lost one of its great leaders when Dawn Hampton passed away September 25, 2016. Dawn, a musician, dancer, writer,

Joey Alexander: Jazz’s Newest Sensation

Joey Alexander: Jazz’s Newest Sensation

You’ve heard about this phenom of the keyboard from Indonesia. You’ve read the lavish praise served up by the pundits of the jazz community and

Ragtimers Celebrate Larry Karp’s Life

Ragtimers Celebrate Larry Karp’s Life

David Reffkin’s email on Tuesday, October 11th brought sad news: “Larry Karp died this morning at a hospital in Seattle…” Though I have read Larry’s

Veronica Swift Swings the Rochester Jazz Fest

Veronica Swift in the Fast Lane

She may be just 22 years of age, but jazz singer Veronica Swift is no novice. The daughter of veteran jazz pianist Hod O’Brien and

The Many Faces of Jazz

The Many Faces of Jazz

When I hear someone tell me, “I don’t care for jazz,” my first response is very direct: “Which kind do you dislike?” Many of my

Svetlana and the Delancey Five

Svetlana and the Delancey Five

Bringing Sophisticated, Cosmopolitan Swing to The Back Room Speakeasy in NYC For the past four years, Svetlana & The Delancey Five have been recreating a

Adventures in Ragtime Guitar

Adventures in Ragtime Guitar

Ragtime guitar, both classic and barrelhouse styles, has been around exactly as long as ragtime piano for exactly the same reasons. Entertainers in bars, sporting

Paolo Alderighi and Stephanie Trick: Broadway and More

Paolo Alderighi: Spreading Joy for Jazz

When asked for his first impression on meeting Stephanie Trick in 2008 at a festival in Switzerland, Paolo Alderighi responded without hesitation, “I was totally

Tuesdays at Mona's

Tuesdays at Mona’s

I’m in the advantageous position of being retired and living not all that far from New York City, that hotbed of trad jazz (and, I

Playing by Ear

Playing by Ear

“A horn is just like the voice. Person have no voice, they can’t sing.” – Edward “Kid” Ory. The question was: “How do you know

Encouragement Does Help!

Encouragement Does Help!

With many thousands of jazz concerts, festivals, and workshops worldwide, the passion for jazz has never been greater. That passion is shared by listeners and

Banu Gibson- By Myself

Banu Gibson: First Lady of the Bayou

The name Banu (pronounced “Bah-new”) means “lady” in Persian. Other sources say the name comes from “Peri-Banu,” a genie-woman mentioned in Arabian Nights. A person

Glenn Crytzer

Glenn Crytzer: Composing the New Classics

One of notable (and somewhat problematic) characteristics of prewar jazz is the finite number of tunes from the era—not that “finite” means “small.” A bandleader

Ida Blue: Brooklyn’s Boss of the Blues

Ida Blue: Brooklyn’s Boss of the Blues

‘Seismic’ blues singer raises the Yerba Buena Stompers to new heights Why does Ida sing the blues? It’s like asking why the moon glows, and

The Agony of De Feet

The Agony of De Feet

Right around the mid 20th century mark, the Buffalo Public School System decided to include, as part of its comprehensive Physical Education Program, a course

Ragtime Resounds in America's Heartland

Ragtime Resounds in America’s Heartland

Once again, as has been tradition for the last 35 years, the melodious strains of Ragtime music reigned across the tiny town of Sedalia, Missouri

Alida Meijers: Cruising to Jazz

Alida Meijers: Cruising to Jazz

When Alida and Pieter Meijers first came to the United States from The Netherlands in 1968, they expected to stay only a year while Pieter

Hot for Teacher

Hot for Teacher

We’ve all experienced that innocent (or maybe not so innocent) crush on a teacher, that one instructor we lusted after while struggling through our academic

Broadway Reshuffles Shuffle Along

Broadway Reshuffles Shuffle Along

When Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle’s Shuffle Along made its Broadway debut in 1921, it ran for an amazing 504 performances and launched the careers

Ken Coulter and Flossie Coulter (photo by Bonnie Colgan)

The Coulters Hit the Road

Long-time festival directors Flossie and Ken Coulter are enjoying the second year of their retirement as year-round residents of Lake Havasu City, Arizona. They are

The Jazz State…Indiana!

The Jazz State…Indiana!

Most jazz lovers know the contributions made through our embrace of ragtime late in the 19th century, as well as the important efforts of New

How's Your Festival Doing?

How’s Your Festival Doing?

Have you noticed the slow trend of the older jazz festivals to add new genres to their lineups, especially the trad fests? Perhaps the closing

cakewalk

A “Cakewalk”?, Hardly!

When we want to undertake a task that may be easily accomplished, we may call it a “cakewalk” or perhaps “a piece of cake.” But

Jewel Brown Shindig

When Jack Ruby Robbed Jewel Brown

Behind the Armstrong Singer’s Dealings with the famed Nightclub Owner and Oswald Killer. Most people associate Jack Ruby with the striptease shows that unfolded nightly

Scott Anthony: the Banjo and the Brush

Scott Anthony: the Banjo and the Brush

Jazz fans know Scott Anthony as the leader and banjoist-guitarist of the Golden Gate Rhythm Machine and a key member of Bob Schultz’s Frisco Jazz

Clint Baker

The Musical Bakers

Clint Baker and Alisa Clancy are the proud parents of 15-year-old twins, Ramona and Riley, who have shown a high degree of musical talent at

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