The Mancini Institute: A Beacon of Light
Those are some pretty good reasons to stay home this summer, and even though I'll be in Los Angeles in late May to attend the four-day Mellophonium Moods event hosted by Ken Poston and the L.A. Jazz Institute, that won't interfere with any plans to see and hear the great Jazz that'll make Albuquerque's summer memorable. If you're interested in learning more about the Jazz Workshop, SW Jazz Party or Jazz Under the Stars series, check out the NM Jazz Workshop's web site, www.nmjazz.org, or phone 505-255-9798.
Coming Up This Month . . .
On April 8-9, Chicago's Columbia College will host the Midwest Regional IAJE Conference for Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. The conference will include performances Friday evening by the Chicago Jazz Orchestra under its new director, Jon Faddis; the Ryan Cohan Sextet, and the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble. A Saturday evening concert will include performances by the Intercollegiate All-Star Band with guest Steve Houghton, directed by Rob Parton and Scott Hall; the Orbert Davis Sextet, and the Jazz-String Quintet with saxophonist Jim Gailloreto. Also performing will be groups from the University of Northern Iowa, the University of Illinois, Roosevelt University, the University of Louisville, the University of Central Michigan, Capital University, the University of Akron, Elmhurst College, Cedarville University, and several area high schools. For information, www.colum.edu
Later this month (April 24), the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra presents "Anything Goes: The Music of Cole Porter" at the Indiana History Center Theatre, 450 W. Ohio St. in Indianapolis. Performing with the orchestra, which has become well-known to Jazz fans through its two excellent CDs, Happenstance and Heart & Soul, will be vocalists Everett Greene and Cynthia Lane. For information, www.bwjo.org; for tickets, 317-464-5388.
And in May . . .
Jazz at Lincoln Center has announced the fifteen finalists in its tenth annual Essentially Ellington high-school Jazz band competition and festival, to be held May 14-15 in New York City. More than 6,000 newly transcribed Ellington scores, along with educational materials, were sent this year to more than a thousand high schools in the U.S. and Canada and to American schools in Brazil, Mexico and Switzerland. One hundred-eleven bands entered the competition by submitting a recording of three Ellington songs. Here are the names of the fifteen finalists: Agoura High School, Agoura Hills, CA; William H. Hall High School, West Hartford, CT; New World School of the Arts, Miami, FL; Champaign Central High School, Champaign, IL; Foxboro High School, Foxborough, MA; Medfield High School, Medfield, MA; Wellesley High School, Wellesley, MA; F.H. LaGuardia School of Music & the Performing Arts, NYC; Arts and Communications Magnet Academy, Beaverton, OR; Plano Senior High School, Plano, TX; Mountlake Terrace High School, Mountlake Terrace, WA; Garfield High School, Seattle, WA; Roosevelt High School, Seattle, WA; Shorewood High School, Shoreline, WA; Eau Claire Memorial High School, Eau Claire, WI. Judging the bands is a panel comprised of composer / conductor and Ellington authority David Berger; David Baker, director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra; author, composer and conductor Gunther Schuller; and Jazz at Lincoln Center's artistic director, Wynton Marsalis. Cash awards, which go toward enhancing the schools' Jazz programs, are $1,000 for first place, $750 for second place, and $500 for third place. Two bands each will receive $400 honorable mention awards, while the remaining bands receive $250 each. There are special awards for outstanding soloists and sections. J@LC also awards up to $10,000 in travel stipends to help bands travel to New York City. Tickets for the competition are free and available at the Jazz at Lincoln Center box office, Broadway at 60th St, from Center Charge (212-721-6500) or online at www.jalc.org, as are tickets for the concert and awards ceremony ($20 each) on May 15. For information, contact Scott Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lindsay Brust (email@example.com).
In Closing, a Memo from the Trenches
I'm not often charmed by liner notes in fact, I seldom read them but had to share with you in part what trumpeter Dean Pratt has written as a preface to 16 Men & a Chick Singer Swingin' by the Pratt Brothers Big Band (co-led by Dean and his brother, drummer Michael Pratt), as I think he makes some weighty and incisive points. And I quote: