When I was growing up in and around Miami, Florida many took an ole bibilical saying on how " the youth shall lead them'"
into the cultural realm, especially in dance and music. The city was young and exciting to grow up in during the
50s and 60s. Thus when I witnessed the performance of New York City's Mariachi Infante at Pancho Villa Mexican Restaurant,
in Ithaca, New York I was significantly impressed and thus........I am awaiting an email from this group.
National Endowment for the Arts Announces
NEA Jazz Masters
Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center is
dazzling background for announcement
New York, NY -- National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia announced the recipients of the 2008 NEA Jazz
Masters Award tonight at a press conference at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The award is the nation's highest honor in this distinctly American art form. The recipients will receive a $25,000 fellowship,
will appear in an award ceremony and concert on January 11, 2008, and have the opportunity to participate in other NEA-sponsored
promotional and performance activities.
"I am delighted to announce the outstanding artists of the class of 2008," said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. "As jazz grows
in the public's awareness and appreciation, I am encouraged that the NEA Jazz Masters Award has also gained broad recognition
as the artform's highest honor."
This year's announcement is tinged with sadness with the death of renowned pianist and composer Andrew Hill who was notified
of his receipt of the award shortly before his death. His wife, Joanne Robinson Hill, acknowledged the honor on his behalf.
In addition to Andrew Hill, this year's recipients are; Candido Camero (rhythm instrumentalist), Quincy Jones (bandleader),
Tom McIntosh (composer-arranger), and Joe Wilder (solo instrumentalist/trumpet). This year's recipient of the A.B. Spellman
NEA Jazz Master Award for Jazz Advocacy is Gunther Schuller.
In a departure from tradition, the newly named NEA Jazz Masters were in attendance at the announcement ceremony. As always,
they will receive their plaques at the NEA Jazz Masters Awards concert at the annual International Association for Jazz Education
(IAJE) conference in January.
"Because the 2008 conference will be held in Toronto, Canada we knew it would be difficult for many in our large family
of NEA Jazz Masters to make it there to share in the celebration, so we decided to throw a party closer to home as well,"
explained Chairman Gioia. Sixteen previously named NEA Jazz Masters were on hand for the announcement including Frank Wess,
Jimmy Heath, and Randy Weston. Mr. Jones was not able to attend but will be at the NEA Jazz Masters celebration in Toronto,
In addition to celebrating the new honorees, the crowd at the club also enjoyed a set by 2005 NEA Jazz Master George Wein
and the Newport All Stars in celebration of the indefatigable Wein's 82th birthday
Each master artist in the 2008 class has made a unique contribution to jazz.
- Candido Camero is credited with being the first percussionist to bring conga drumming to jazz.
- Andrew Hill spent 40 years composing, performing, recording, and mentoring young musicians. He earned acclaim for his
innovative performances and compositions beginning in the 1960s.
- A renaissance man of music, Quincy Jones is an impresario, conductor, record producer, musical arranger, film composer,
- The unique voice of composer and arranger Tom McIntosh can be heard in the music of Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, and
others as well as in Hollywood movies including Shaft.
- For 17 years, Joe Wilder performed with ABC-TV while building his reputation as a popular soloist and sideman.
- Gunther Schuller is a leader in both the classical and jazz traditions, contributing significant musical compositions
and writings to expand jazz’s horizons.
Profiles of the 2008 NEA Jazz Masters are available on the web site.
Each year since 1982, the Arts Endowment has conferred the NEA Jazz Masters Award on a handful of living legends who have
made major contributions to jazz. With this new class, the award has been given to 100 great figures in American music. Other
NEA Jazz Masters include Count Basie, Art Blakey, Dave Brubeck, Betty Carter, Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, Roy Eldridge,
Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Herbie Hancock, Elvin Jones, Abbey Lincoln, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Cecil
Taylor, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, and Teddy Wilson.
About NEA Jazz Masters: NEA Jazz Masters are selected from nominations submitted by the public. Newly
named NEA Jazz Masters are honored at an awards ceremony and concert and are provided with a one-time fellowship of $25,000.
Only living musicians or jazz advocates may be honored as NEA Jazz Masters.
To help these musicians make further connections with the American people, the Arts Endowment significantly expanded the
program in 2004 and in 2005, establishing the NEA Jazz Masters Initiative. The initiative encompasses the award program itself;
NEA Jazz Moments, a steady stream of performance and interview segments that air on 12 channels of XM Satellite Radio; NEA
Jazz in the Schools, a web-based curriculum developed in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center and generously supported
in its creation by the Verizon Foundation. The Arts Endowment also collaborated with the Verve Music Group on CD and digital
compilations and produced illustrated publications with profiles of all the NEA Jazz Masters.
For more information on NEA Jazz Masters, the public is invited to visit the web site, at www.neajazzmasters.org.
Musical Notes | October 17, 2007
We’re prepping to shoot one of my favorite singers at work today and in a manner of related excitement, was taking
note of some moving musical moments I’ve had in the past 2 weeks:
1. David Byrne at Town Hall: David Byrne is one of those cultural figures and New Yorkers whose name seems
to come up everywhere–not just in the musical sphere, but in the art world, blogging, writing, activism, biking; I hardly think of him just as “that guy from Talking Heads.” I spent June in various parts of California, and one weekend we drove through Big Sur along Highway 1, and through
the fog in Pebble Beach blasting his 1989 Latin dance mambo-inspired album, Rei Momo, which officially became the album of summer after forty-seven subsequent listens while driving around San Francisco. [Watch
Dirty Old Town on youtube.]
Two weekends ago, Byrne hosted the New Yorker event, How New Yorkers Ride Bikes, at Town Hall with a host of other bike-related guests including the Danish urban planner Jan Gehl, the Department of Transportation, and the Young at Heart Chorus, a group of twenty-five or so spirited septuagenarians (and older) from western Massachusetts. My expectation was that Byrne
would be a natural host, having decades worth of stage experience including this old-but-raging performance of Once in a Lifetime.
It turned out that Byrne was charmingly awkward, though still entertaining–not necessarily the natural conversationalist
one might envision him to be based on his writing. But, let’s not discount rockstar factor and stage presence. The show
carried on with supremely entertaining presentations by Gehl (just hired by NYC DOT to help redesign bike-ways) and the choir, a man who broke locks, and much more. The entire audience,
of course, was crossing their fingers that Bryne would actually s-i-n-g, and in the end, he did, to everyone’s
joy. The choir staged a cover of Road to Nowhere, which Bryne claims made him tear up backstage, then he joined them for an arm-swinging heart-wrenching rendition of a song I’ll call “One Fine Day,”
(either a cover or off of his new album?) Either way, kind of like giving a photographer a camera with which to see, or a
painter his brush with which to paint; give David Byrne his singing voice, and out comes something beautiful.
Conclusion: Bikes are great, but David Byrne singing is even better. More see recommendations, and interesting quips
on .......... Musical Notes
USDAN CENTER ANNOUNCES NEW PROGRAMS, OPEN HOUSES FOR SUMMER 2008:
New courses include Art (Or Theater or Dance) Adventure, Vocal Jazz,
SAT and Essay Writing Prep
Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts (www.usdan.com), now celebrating its 40th year as
America’s premier summer arts day camp, is adding several new programs for 2008: an Adventure series, designed to introduce
children who have completed grades 2 to 4 to art, theater or dance. These programs will feature the first-class instruction
for which Usdan is known, but will introduce and expose young children to various skills in each concentration, without having
to major in just one form. Another new program, Vocal Jazz, an addition to Usdan’s acclaimed instrumental Jazz Department;
and SAT and Essay Writing Prep is a program for high school students who are entering their junior or senior years. This program,
which will be an elective minor class for high school students, will also provide evening college admissions workshops for
parents, and has been designed for provide SAT prep within a comprehensive program that will irent families to the college
Usdan has also announced Open House dates for parents and children wishing to visit the campus
and to learn about the 2008 Summer Season. The Open Houses will take place on Sundays, November 4, 2007; January 6, 2008;
March 9, 2008; and on Wednesday February 20, 2008. All Open Houses will be from 11 AM to 2 PM, and each will give prospective
students and their families a chance to tour Usdan’s magnificent 200-acre woodland campus in Huntington, Long Island,
and obtain information from the Usdan Center staff. Those who cannot attend the Open Houses may visit the Center any Monday-Friday
from 9 AM to 5 PM. The Center is at 185 Colonial Springs Road, Wheatley Heights, NY.
Usdan Center for the Creative
and Performing Arts, America's largest summer arts day camp, was formed to introduce young people, ages 6 to 18, to the arts
through performance and study with a professional faculty of artist-teachers. The Center's mission is to provide children
with the arts as a companion for life through great teaching, and the camaraderie of fellow students who share a love the
arts. Usdan offers more than 40 programs in music, dance, theatre, visual arts, chess, video art and computer graphics, creative
writing, and nature and ecology. No audition is required for most Usdan programs, and one-third of the Center's 1,600 students
attend on scholarship. Children commute to Usdan five days a week on air-conditioned buses that leave from most New York metropolitan
area neighborhoods. A special feature of the students' daily program is the Center's series of Festival Concerts, daily educational
performances by distinguished artists, such as the Tokyo String Quartet, the Limon Dance Company, violinist Rachel Lee, and
cast members of current Broadway shows. Although the Center's goal is to encourage arts participation, Usdan's unique program
has also inspired many former students to go on to professional careers. Alumni include actors Natalie Portman, Lisa Gay Hamilton
(featured in Broadway's Gem of the Ocean) and Jordan Leeds (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change), singers Mariah Carey
and Jane Monheit, and members of the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and numerous ballet
companies including Pacific Northwest, Ballet San Jose, American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet.
are in addition, a few selective programs, including the Music Staff Internships, the Summer Ballet Intensive and the Heckscher-Usdan
Student Art Institute. The Institute, open to art students grades 9 to 11, begins at Usdan Center during the summer and continues
with biweekly meetings at the Heckscher Museum of Art through the following May. A newer program is the annual Summer in September,
this year on September 29-30, an intensive weekend of workshops in Essay Writing for SAT’s, Chess, auditioning for music
conservatories, and The Craft of Broadway for aspiring actors.
For more information on all of the above, call the
Center at (212) 772-6060, or (631) 643-7900, or visit www.usdan.com