New NEA Jazz Masters: A classy last class

The National Endowment for the Arts's final designated Jazz Masters are all worthy: drummer Jack DeJohnette, saxophonist Von Freeman, bassist Charlie Haden, singer Sheila Jordan and trumpeter-educator-organizer-gadfly Jimmy Owens have had long and profoundly influential if not broadly celebrated or financially rewarded creative careers. So much the worse that this 30 year program highlighting genuine American artistic heroes has been zeroed out in the 2012 budget, to be replaced by proposed "American Artist of the Years Awards" that … [Read more...]

More on McFerrin, and the voices of New York

I already posted about Bobby McFerrin's Jazz at Lincoln Center performance of VOCAbuLarieS, his uplifting choral suite co-composed by Roger Treece -- but my new column in City Arts-New York goes further, noting other singers giving voice to Thanksgiving and other warm sentiments. And slightly belated happy birthday to Sheila Jordan, who recently celebrated her 82nd year performing at the Jazz Standard. She's a peach, and having her with us is something to be thankful for . . .  hhowardmandel.com Subscribe by Email | Subscribe by … [Read more...]