Jazz at Lincoln Center ducats, Wynton-Willie dvd giveaways!

Readers of this blog can win 2 tix for JALC’s November 14 shows by Maceo Parker or the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra playing Mary Lou Williams, or autographed Wynton-Willie Nelson Play Ray Charles dvds. But in keeping with the inherent value of these prizes, I’m making the contest creative, not easy.

Online submissions only: If you want to attend either alto saxophonist Parker’s soul-steeped performance in the Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center next weekend, or the Mary Lou Williams Centennial performance of trumpeter Marsalis leading the LCJO and featuring excellent pianists Geri Allen and Geoff Keezer in Rose Hall at JALC, or vie for one of the two copies of the new Wynton Marsalis and Willie Nelson play Ray Charles (with guest Norah Jones), submit via the comments box below something interesting to read, which I’ll post in this space next Saturday. What I have in mind is some sort of poem or very brief narrative concerning/referring to American roots of jazz and its extensions.

My first impulse was to ask for a villanelle, triolet, hiaku or some such rigidly ruled form, but instead let’s go for the vernacular: lyrics for three to five choruses of a 12 bar blues, or a prose poem that works as a blues narrative, 100 to 150 words long. 
The blues lyrics should follow the conventional format: the first line proposes the narrator’s situation (“My girl don’t love me, she treats me awful mean”), the second line repeats the first (or employs slight variation) for emphatic effect, the third line adds to, complicates, sums up and/or resolves the problem (She’s the meanest girl I’ve ever seen”). The lyric ought to be in rhythm that works with 12-bars of 4/4 meter (try reciting what you’ve written to any basic blues recording to see it if fits). The three to five choruses ought to progress to tell a story. 
The prose poem can be less strictly composed, but will be judged, like the lyrics (by my inhouse staff of experts) for originality, moodiness, vivid imagery, compression and, of course, bluesiness. 
First prize

Two tickets, to be messengered to the winner or picked up at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s box office, to either of two November 14 concerts. Maceo Parker is best known for his saxophonics in bands led by James Brown, Ray Charles and George Clinton (he was part of the Horny Horns with tenor saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis and trombonist Fred Wesley; these three still perform together, though I don’t know if they’ll all be at JALC); Wynton, the LCJO, pianists Allen and Keezer will presumably concentrate on the infrequently reprised compositions of Mary Lou Williams, the modernist pianist-composer-arranger born Mary Elfrieda Scruggs, whose career ranged from jamming with McKinney’s Cotton Pickers to concertizing with Cecil Taylor

Two second prizes:

A DVD of Wynton Marsalis and Willie Nelson Play The Music of Ray Charles, autographed by Wynton, recorded live at JALC’s Rose Hall on February 10, 2009 — tunes lincluding “Hallelujah I Love Her So,” “Hit the Road, Jack,” and “Unchain My Heart.” With singer Norah Jones and harmonica player Mickey Raphael, among others. I will mail the dvds to the winners.

DEADLINE (very important!): All submissions must be posted to the comments box below  by midnight EST Wednesday, November 11. Get a hold of your blues, and get started! 


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