Jazz, blues & beyond in Amman: Pops, Bird, Diz, Lady Day @ UJordan

I spoke on jazz and blues at the University of Jordan, a modern 45,000-student institution, in an event sponsored by the American Embassy while in Amman on family matters a couple weeks ago. About 50 avid students of music, arts and literature and their informed faculty watched videos of Louis Armstrong at age 32 doing "Dinah," Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie playing "Hot House," Billie Holiday with all-stars singing "Fine and Mellow" and Muddy Waters among other immortals from the American Folk Blues Festival, 1962-69, vol. … [Read more...]

Daley bad for Windy City’s music?

Contrary to my paean to Richard M. Daley's support of Chicago's music and arts, Chicago Tribune rock-crit Greg Kot writes of the Mayor's treatment of the local music scene as a "second class citizen." It's true the City has messed with club venues -- Marguerite Horberg of  established the multi-genre Hot House years back and now runs the progressive culture initiative Portoluz regaled me last weekend with tales of fire inspectors evacuating theaters mid-show over petty infractions and other harrassments; Kot reminds us of Chi's … [Read more...]