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Preview…Pangea Jazz Fest 2015

Before the first jazz records were recorded in 1917, New Orleans musicians were part of a culturally diverse scene, a conglomeration of African American, European, Creole, Afro-Caribbean, Mexican, Brazilian, and many other cultures, religions, and genres. And with ears open to them all, these proto- and early jazz musicians incorporated elements of each in their performances […]

It’s All There: Filmmaker Carol Bash Premieres The Lady Who Swings the Band

On September 22, 2015, after twelve years in production and planning, the New York City premiere of Carol Bash’s documentary, Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band was met with great anticipation at a sold-out Harlem Stage Gatehouse.  The film, which was first premiered in February 2014 at the Los Angeles Pan-African Film Festival, […]

Jazz in the Hollywood Machine: ‘Whiplash’, Insider Anxiety, and Riffing Violence

So the other day I finally watched Whiplash, in part because of the attention the film garnered on the Oscars. And I didn’t hate it. I mean, as a jazz musician, educator, and an empathetic person, there’s a lot to dislike and revile about the plot and particularly about the lightning rod bandleader Terence Fletcher, the […]

Announcing…Sound Breaks – Symposium on Improvisation, Academics, & Social Advocacy

Part of the reason TRoS has seemed quieter this year is because of many, many hours spent with some long term planning that is finely coming to fruition. There are many to thank for their support and hard work thus far, and we’re all excited to publicly share the news about “Sound Breaks”… “Sound Breaks” will take […]

The Side/ways of François Moutin: Around JazzConnect and WJF2013

At the JazzConnect conference and Winter Jazz Fest in Manhattan, of all the well-covered, publicized performances and impromptu sit-ins outed at the last minute through hashtags and re-tweets, one of the most captivating performances flourished in spite of its relative obscurity, bathed in the antiseptic, fluorescent lighting of a non-descript, cookie-cutter, hotel conference room. Amid the blandest setting […]

Fairweather and “Fair Weather” – The Painter as Jazz Musician (Jazz Profiles)

On his blog “Jazz Profiles,” Steven Cerra hypothesizes possible resonances between jazz performance and painting via the late artist Ian Fairweather and Art Farmer’s recording of “Fair Weather.” The post, which can be read in its entirety here, also includes links to Cerra’s related articles on the intersections of visual art and jazz.

“The Black Arts: Making Jazz in the Mainstream” (NPR)

[Patrick Jarenwattananon has written a thoughtful article and attentive summation of jazz and/as black and African American music in 2012, featuring discussions of Robert Glasper, Esperanza Spalding, and Nicholas Payton, among others. -ML/TRoS] Here’s an excerpt: “With momentum behind the likes of Glasper and Spalding, and no shortage of young musicians in their wake, the […]