Letters to the Editor January 2022

– “Academic?” –

To the Editor:

Yes, on the one hand, the thorough Tribute to Donald Ashwander was a bit more than I needed to know. But, I did find links to the Paper Bag Players’ performances, which I found quite charming, and I hope my grandchildren will be able to enjoy their videos.

Red Wood Coast

Also, after The American Rag’s years of off-topic and bizarre ramblings, I congratulate you on becoming a legitimate academic journal, complete with footnotes. This is not to say that ragtime or jazz need such credentials to be considered a valid art form, but we jazzers yearn for it nonetheless.

Keep up the good work.

Rick Campbell, Last Call Reed Player,

Tigard, Oregon

Thank you! I don’t know how many more of those 20000-worders I could even bring myself to run. I did so (and included the footnotes) because I realized the importance of the article. Normally, I run screaming from the idea of extensive endnotes. Thanks to a notable (and I hope temporary) lack of advertising, I was easily able to publish the whole thing.

If the Syncopated Times aims to be an academic journal, I’d better look for somebody with academic credentials to take the helm. Until then, I am deeply flattered that you see me as qualified! – Ed.

– The “Length and Breadth of Jazz” –

To the Editor:

The length and breadth of jazz is served better than any history book in your publication. Your stories present the true snapshot of the times and lives of musicians. I gave a copy to my copyright lawyer whose parents created the Pee Wee Russell Stomp in Martinsville, New Jersey. He believed that jazz had disappeared and was quite surprised at all the activity—so am I.

Vince Troiano

Neshanic Station, New Jersey

Thank you so much for your kind words—and for your subscription renewal! – Ed.

– What about the “Children of Jazz?” –

To the Editor:

The Rio Americano High Jazz “tRio,” composed of Jake Nalangan (piano), Maddy Hill (bass) and Joseph Bly (drums), gets ready to perform in the CapRadio Music studios. Vanessa S. Nelson / Capital Public Radio

I am enjoying my newsletter of The Syncopated Times Newsletter. As I was reading the newsletter, one thing that I noticed, is that there really is nothing dedicated to young uprising jazz musicians. I remember at the Sacramento Jazz Festival, there was a pizza parlor, there was a stage at the shopping mall, and there was a small church in Old Sac all dedicated to the youth. Musicians from other bands would often frequent those three places and if they found a youth that was superb, they would be invited to perform a song with their band at one of their sets.


Also the jazz scholarships for the youth at the jazz camps—a page in your newsletter with all the information would be nice on a frequent basis, to remind parents and the youth to start preparing for those jazz camps! We have to keep jazz alive and motivate our youth or we lose that population. I encourage you to dedicate just one page for the youth—not on a one time basis, but on a continual basis in every issue. Share what kids are doing to be active in the jazz scene! Our “Children of Jazz” need to know we welcome them, encourage them, and to share information of what other “Children of Jazz” musicians are doing—in every issue!

I remember that at one time, there were Youth Jazz Camps on a Cruise Ship and then they would perform at the end of the cruise for their family and guests on the cruise of everything they learned. How fun is that! Youth recognition, information, and fun times to be had by the youth will keep the jazz music alive and motivate our most seasoned musicians to continue to teach them! My Christmas wish and hope is to pick up my Syncopated Times Newsletter and see a page of your newsletter in every issue dedicated to: “The Children Of Jazz” in 2022! Thank you for listening and your consideration!

Linda England


via email

While we do cover what we consider young musicians in every issue, as in those in their 20s and 30s, you are right that we don’t have much about actual kids in jazz or youth instruction. The problem we face is that we don’t write very much of what goes in the paper. We can only run what people send us.


When someone sends us any stories about youth jazz, as they sometimes do covering the Teagarden Jazz Camp, or the successful youth program at Rio Americano high school in Sacramento, or the traditional jazz youth band festival also in Sacramento, or the Sant Andreu Jazz Band from Barcelona (spotlighted in our November 2021 issue), we are excited to run them. All it would take is someone with the time and resources to gather those stories for a column every month similar to Quarter Notes or Jazz Jottings. We don’t pay enough to be able to tell anyone what to write and we are generally overwhelmed with just getting the paper out. If you have particular items in mind to contribute, we would be happy to run them. – Ed.

– The Wrong Scott –

To the Editor:

Just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for the writeup you did on my new book of Snowden transcriptions! Deeply appreciated!!!

Also, I’m not sure if you had a typo in your article or if you simply have better info than what I had assumed…I thought it was Scott Alexander who wrote the initial article about Elmer Snowden in the Red Hot Jazz Archive that I altered and expanded all those years ago, not Scott Anthony as you put in your article…was I incorrect, or is that a typo? I am hoping the former, as I love the idea of having unwittingly partnered with Scott Anthony! Either way, again heartfelt thanks!

Cynthia Sayer

New York City

Ooops. You’re right—looking again at your introductory note, I realize I tagged the wrong Scott. (I must have Scott Anthony on the brain, because we ran a long piece by him a couple of years ago.) This is why I smile when people suggest that we’re becoming a “legitimate academic journal.” – Ed.

Andy Senior is the Publisher of The Syncopated Times and on occasion he still gets out a Radiola! podcast for our listening pleasure.

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