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Peter Westbrook

Peter Westbrook

While many regard New York as the jazz capital of the US, few people would think of Flushing Town Hall as part of that picture. Yet through a program developed in co-operation with the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts--a member of the Cultural Institution Group of New York City and an Affiliate Member of the Smithsonian Institution--the team at the town hall presents an array of arts and educational programs at the facility every year that includes some high quality jazz presentations. T
The National Flute Association, founded in 1973, is the largest flute organization in the world. According to its website, (www.nfaonline.org): "It was founded to encourage a higher standard of artistic excellence for the flute, its performers, and its literature. It has more than 5,500 members from more than 50 countries, including leading soloists, orchestral players, college and university professors, adult amateurs, and students of all ages."

The NFA's activities reflect the

With jazz venues closing, or at least struggling, in the D.C. Area, Twins Jazz seems to be thriving. Whatever the formula is--location, food, location, music, location . . . --it seems to work. It is also close to a Metro station so I solved the parking problem by jumping on a train, and enjoyed an evening with flutist Jamie Baum and the cooperative quartet, Timepiece

Jamie Baum's reputation has been growing steadily over the last decade, primarily as a flutist, but also

Like many orchestras, the Baltimore Symphony has learned that interesting programming is one of the keys to survival. To build a successful season the orchestra seeks to intersperse the staple repertoire of Handel, Beethoven and Mendelssohn with more exotic offerings, this year including works by Chinese composer Tan Dun, a Halloween tribute to Frankenstein by HK Gruber, a concert by Ravi and Anoushka Shankar, selections from Star Trek (narrated by Mr. Sulu!), Charlie Chaplin's sco
Now in its twelfth year, the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival continues to showcase some fine women musicians. The evening I caught this year--there were only tickets available for Thursday's performance--also brought into focus some issues that still plague jazz, however. One, ironically, is the continuing gender gap within the music. For the first of the three shows the headline artists presented were certainly women, but they were the only women seen on the stage. The other ten musici
It has been an odd few weeks at the Smithsonian Jazz Café. In spite of a succession of fine performances and packed houses, the management has suddenly decided that the venue is not profitable and announced that it may have to close, possibly as soon as September. It is a puzzling development.

The Café opened six years ago, somewhat incongruously perhaps, in the American Museum of Natural History. With the Café already situated in the building next to the Imax Theater whi

Last year, in a concert review on this site, I wrote "Jazz lovers would do well to check out Imani Winds." Their recent concert performances continue to reinforce this idea. I caught them again recently at the University of Baltimore's Student Center. Again, I should emphasize that this is not a jazz ensemble. It is a classic woodwind quintet performing written music. But their approach, their choice of material, their overall mode of presentation, is going a long way to build bridges bet
As another event to compensate for the postponement of this year's East Coast Jazz Festival, the Fish Middleton Jazz Scholarship Fund (FMJS) organized a President's Day open house in co-operation with the Music Center at Strathmore (www.strathmore.org). A fine arts complex and concert facility located one-half mile outside the Capital Beltway in North Bethesda, Maryland, Strathmore "provides affordable, accessible, multi-disciplinary arts programming in the Mansion at
Dr. Sais Kamalidiin, Assistant Professor of Flute at Howard University and director of the Flutes of Howard University continues to present his ensemble, with a guest artist, in his annual Flute Fete. Since 2001, the event has featured: Yusef Lateef, Sherry Winston, Frank Wess, David "Fathead" Newman, Dave Valentin, and Harold Jones. This year's Fête was rather special, as the guest artist was celebrating a return to performance after a lengthy lay-off.

James Newton remains slig

Having already presented McCoy Tyner's sextet and the Maria Schneider Orchestra, the 2006/7 jazz concert series at the University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Performance Center has focused on a balance between composition and instrumental performance. The Stefon Harris ensemble which appeared February 11th exemplified that balance as well as anyone could. Harris presented sections from recent commissions and his most recent CD, African Tarantella: Dances With Duke. Working with his