Peter Westbrook

Peter Westbrook

The jazz community is mourning another of its great masters. Legendary trumpeter Freddie Hubbard passed away December 29th in Sherman Oaks, California. Hubbard celebrated his 70th birthday in March with a special appearance at Yoshi's-San Francisco, along with The New Jazz Composers Octet, an ensemble organized by his manager and fellow trumpeter David Weiss. On Nov. 26th, however, Hubbard was admitted to Sherman Oaks Hospital after suffering a heart attack. He remained there until …
By a sad irony, just as the first ever African-American to become president of the United States was being sworn in in Washington DC, one of the legends of African-American music passed away in a Kingston, NY hospital. Saxophonist and flutist David 'Fathead' Newman was best known as a star soloist with the Ray Charles band, but his multi-faceted career was much more than that. His synthesis of styles across the spectrum of black music was unique, combining hard bop, gospel and R&B; the list of a …
Members of the New York jazz community were among those shocked and dismayed by news of a fatal plane accident when they learned that two of their number were among the fatalities in the February 12th crash of Continental Flight 3407. Reed player Gerry Niewood and guitarist Coleman Mellett, en route to a performance with Chuck Mangione and the Buffalo Symphony, were among the 49 people who boarded the flight in Newark, NJ, all of whom perished when the aircraft crashed into a Buffalo house. Reac …
Members of the New York jazz community were among those shocked and dismayed by news of a fatal plane accident when they learned that two of their number were among the fatalities in the February 12th crash of Continental Flight 3407. Reed player Gerry Niewood and guitarist Coleman Mellett, en route to a performance with Chuck Mangione and the Buffalo Symphony, were among the 49 people who boarded the flight in Newark, NJ, all of whom perished when the aircraft crashed into a Buffalo house. Reac …
Jazz has lost one of its greatest unsung heroes. William 'Buddy' Collette, Grammy-nominated woodwind master, bandleader, composer/arranger, political and cultural activist, educator and mentor to two generations of jazz artists died Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He had just turned 89 in August.

It was my pleasure and privilege to meet Buddy on a number of occasions in the process of preparing a chapter about him in my book The Flute in Jazz: Window on World Music …

For some reason, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra always fill me with a profound ambivalence. What they do is always excellent. It is what they leave out that troubles me. So it was March 16th when they appeared at Washington DC's Kennedy Center as part of the Washington Performing Arts Society's 2008/2009 Season.

The concert began, curiously, with arrangements of two nursery rhymes, "Old McDonald Had A Farm" and "Itsy Bitsy Spider." Apparently these were dedicated to

Flutist Ali Ryerson is the epitome of the hard working jazz artist; on a recent two-day visit to the Washington DC area she packed in two club performances, individual lessons with private students and a flute workshop at a local university. It will be her last road trip for some time as she turns her attention to some more long-term projects..

Ryerson's first appearance was in the lounge at the Tabard Inn, a comfortable and informal room near Dupont Circle, where bassist Victor Dvoski

It is easy for a jazz writer to get jaded with the sheer quantity of music he/she is subjected to. Our only hope of salvation is the occasional performance that reaches rare levels of brilliance. So I was especially grateful to hear Luciana Souza and her quartet at the Kennedy Center in May.

Everything seemed to just fall perfectly in place for this performance. It was the last night of a tour to promote Souza's new CD The New Bossa Nova, she was due to fly to Brazil the next day to se

As our capital city, Washington D.C. is home to many events of national importance. This applies to the arts generally -- Washington is home to the National Symphony, the National Theater, The National Gallery, etc -- and is also reflected in the jazz world. A recent flurry of activity saw several jazz masters visiting the area.

April is Jazz Month at the Smithsonian Institution, resulting in a full program of concerts, lectures and symposia, taking place at the Kennedy Center, The

Visitors to London interested in hearing good jazz are greeted by a rich and diverse scene. There are, as in the US, too many good musicians chasing too few gigs, but while this may be bad for musicians it provides many good choices for jazz fans. Tourists tend to gravitate towards Ronnie Scott's club (www.ronniescotts.co.uk) and Pizza Express (www.pizzaexpresslive.co.uk) in the West End. While these are fine venues, Ronnie's has become rather corporate since Scott's