All jazz, blues, and other music-related posts.

Jazz Calendar (Updated 1/17/2022)

Jan 17, 2022
Paul B. Allen is a Black man with short black hair and a beard. This black-and-white photo shows him in profile with a computer screen in the background that reads "1st Sky Omaha"
Paul B. Allen IV

Paul B. Allen IV runs the Allen Showcase Media Group, building teams for media operations like "Mind and Soul 101.3" and "1st Sky Omaha." Allen comes from a long legacy of entrepreneurship in music, art and media. He also is involved in the recently relaunched Benson Theatre, a multi-million dollar community theater project. He discusses about his wide-ranging career and his vision for Omaha going forward, as well as the important distinction he sees in passion versus ambition.

Every few years, a new jazz artist (or at least new to us) comes along to shake our perception of what the music can entail.

Barry Harris, a pianist who carefully preserved the language of bebop throughout a seven-decade career as a brilliant performer and influential teacher, died Wednesday at Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, N.J. He was 91 and lived in Weehawken, N.J.

Harris had been hospitalized for the last two weeks and died of complications due to Covid, said Kira von Ostenfeld-Suske, who was part of a small support team of friends and students that helped Harris in recent years. Harris would have turned 92 next week and taught his last class, via Zoom, on Nov. 20.

One recent November morning, after months, even years, working apart, a chamber ensemble, jazz trio and more than a dozen opera singers finally have an opportunity to rehearse together, in person, at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams. Director Lileana Blain-Cruz picks up a microphone and acknowledges the Los Angeles-based jazz elder who couldn't make the trip east.

Pat Martino, a jazz guitarist revered for the fluid precision and blistering speed of his playing — both before and after he was forced to relearn the instrument following a mid-career brain aneurysm — died on Monday. He was 77 years old.

A decade ago, jazz icon Tony Bennett and pop superstar Lady Gaga struck up one of the great Odd Couple partnerships in recent music history. Singing together first on his album Duets II, and then on their co- album, Cheek to Cheek, Bennett and Gaga made history on the charts while proving some things never go out of style.

Now, with Love For Sale, Bennett and Gaga are serving up another round but with a poignant twist: It may be Bennet's final album. He's 95, and has been living Alzheimers disease.

Join us Monday October 4th at 1:00 as Mike Jacobs celebrates the 27th anniversary of Blues in the Afternoon. Mike will have music spanning the last 27 yearsincluding new releases and stellar local talent like Hector Anchondo, TheRex Granite Band and more! 

Maha Logo: turquoise background with off-white text reading "Maha Festival"
Maha Festival

Lauren Martin, executive director of the Maha Festival, tells her story and the evolution of Maha.

Dr. Lonnie Smith, an NEA Jazz Master known for his dynamism and wizardry on the Hammond B3 organ, died Tuesday. He was 79 years old.

His death was confirmed on Twitter by Blue Note Records. A spokesperson for the label said the cause of death was pulmonary fibrosis, a form of lung disease.

Music impresario George Wein, who spawned the modern music festival when he helped launch the Newport Jazz and Newport Folk Festivals, has died at the age of 95.

According to a statement from his family, Wein died peacefully in his sleep early Monday morning.

Wein co-founded the Newport Jazz Festival in 1954 and the Newport Folk Festival in 1959. Newport was the first and largest event of its kind in the U.S., setting the standard for outdoor music festivals to come.

The voice of Phil Schaap was as distinctive as the trumpet of Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk's piano, or the sumptuous saxophone harmonies of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, but he didn't didn't make his mark as a musician. Instead, Schaap was one of the leading jazz scholars in America, and the genre's foremost evangelist. He was a radio host, a record producer, a concert programmer, an educator, a reissue producer, an archivist and a researcher, and served many other functions beyond those.

Another piece of New Orleans's rich jazz history has crumbled to the ground.

The building where musical great Louis Armstrong spent much of his childhood is no longer standing after Hurricane Ida battered the city. 427 South Rampart Street was called the Karnofsky Shop, after the family who lived there.

Some of the most esteemed figures in the history of France, including Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Marie Curie, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Simone Veil, are interred in the Panthéon in Paris. And now a new spirit will join them: an entertainer, activist, and agent of the French resistance.

Josephine Baker was born in St. Louis in 1906, began performing in her teens, and moved to Paris.

"I just couldn't stand America, and I was one of the first colored Americans to move to Paris," she told The Guardian in 1974.

John Coltrane's A Love Supreme, recorded near the close of 1964 and released early the following year, inhabits an exalted plane beyond the realm of most other albums, in any musical genre.

Charlie Watts, the unshakeable drummer for The Rolling Stones, died this morning. According to a publicist, he died in a hospital in London, surrounded by family. No cause of death was given. He was 80 years old.