Celebrating jazz excellence — Awards, honors and privileges

The NEA zeroes out its Jazz Masters program, the Grammys cuts categories so pop best-sellers regain prominence vis a vis less obviously commercial stars, but the Jazz Journalists Association's 15th annual Jazz Awards -- to be held June 11, 2011 with an afternoon gala with all star music at City Winery, NYC, satellite parties hosted by prominent fans and grass roots organizations around the U.S. and streaming live video on the web at www.JJAJazzAwards.org -- hails loud and clear the achievements of the jazz music and media makers. … [Read more...]

Randy Weston, Giant Standing

Pianist, composer, ensemble leader, now autobiographer -- at age 84, Randy Weston is a huge and undiminished presence. Read my column in City Arts New York about how he's just published African Rhythms, his life story, is signing it at Tribecca Performing Arts Center (NYC)  Oct. 30, and leads his 22-piece orchestra at that same venue in a 50th anniversary concert of his 4-part suite Uhuru Afrika, (lyrics by Langston Hughes) on November 13.  howardmandel.com Subscribe by Email or RSS All JBJ posts … [Read more...]

Surprises and stalwarts in an NYC jazz weekend

Five acts, all jazz headliners, in 3 hours at the Jazz Foundation of America's Loft Jazz Party, plus Chicago drummer-composer Mike Reed's thrilling People, Places & Things quartet and alto saxist Darius Jones' trio at Drom in the East Village -- bountiful blues, soul, swing, groove, creativity, tradition, big names and newcomers in NYC on Saturday and Sunday. It's like this all the time in the jazz capital of the universe, but good not to take it for granted. … [Read more...]