World’s music in NYC parks

Caribbean music is big -- and free -- in the city's parks this summer; my City Arts column details some of the best shows. There's also music from Africa, Turkey, Syria, Brazil -- almost everywhere, as well as the good ol' USA. I'm off to teach my NYU class about "World Music," a nebulous concept, so can't report all the dates and places here/now, but check out calendars for Summerstage, River-to-River Festival, Celebrate Brooklyn, the BAM Rhythm & Blues Festival at Brooklyn's Metrotech Center, and any of the other presenters mentioned … [Read more...]

Swing stops: Japanese jazz mag fails

Swing Journal, the magazine promoting American jazz in Japan since the end of WWII, ceases publication with its June issue. According to editor-in-chief Takafumi Mimori, "We will make efforts to revive it somehow," but the monthly publication known for its photography, articles by U.S. as well as Japanese commentators and previously robust support from electronics firms and instrument manufacturers has suffered a serious decline of advertising revenue. … [Read more...]

Hank Jones, reigning jazz pianist, dies, age 91

A moderate modernist with beautiful touch and exquisite taste, Hank Jones was a beacon of  gentle authority, genuine modesty and jazz grace at the keyboard. Oldest brother of the more unruly trumpeter-composer Thad Jones and drummer Elvin Jones, Hank epitomized balance, consistency and flexibility. It was a joy to be in his company, whether listening to him or speaking with him. I was lucky to interview him in tandem with pianist Geri Allen -- generations apart, but both from the Detroit area --  as published in my book Future Jazz, … [Read more...]