Peter Westbrook

Peter Westbrook

The jazz program has been especially rich at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts this season. As befits a national institution, the center aims to honor jazz masters while also supporting younger musicians and new music. A case in point is the flurry of visitors during the last month.

February 9th, for example, saw bassist/composer Dave Holland bring his new sextet to the Terrace Theater. This ensemble is a mixture of old and new for Holland, with Robin Eubanks a holdover

The Fish Middleton Jazz Scholarship Fund (FMJS) is a non-profit organization that was created in memory of Elmore "Fish" Middleton to continue his vision of the perpetuation of jazz and supporting emerging jazz artists. Its major event is the annual East Coast Jazz Festival that I have reported on in previous years ( This year's event has had to be postponed, however, due to construction at the Doubletree (soon to be Hilton) hotel in Rockvill
As another example of how large scale jazz events can work, The Duke Ellington Jazz Festival enjoyed its second year October 4 - 8 with an even more ambitious program than last year, sponsoring activities that seemed to encompass the whole of the District of Columbia. The more than fifty performances were held in major venues such as the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art, the Inter-American Development Bank, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Duke El
The name Hariprasad Charasia may not be well known to jazz lovers but he is virtually a household name in India and in Indian classical music circles world wide. He is best known as the premier performer on the bansuri, or bamboo flute, but he has also written the scores of several very popular Bollywood movies. He has also collaborated with jazz musicians in a number of Indo-jazz fusion projects, most notably with guitarist John McLaughlin. He has also worked with San Francisco Bay Area
The jazz program at the University of Maryland continued as it began this season with quality, as the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra followed the McCoy Tyner Septet into the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. The difficulty in describing any performance by this award-winning ensemble comes from finding superlatives that haven't already been used. Perhaps the best compliment to pay Ms. Schneider's work and her ensemble is that it shows how far jazz has come and what its potential is becoming.
In the five years since its opening, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland has presented programs that emphasize both diversity and quality, with student recitals alternating with renowned artists in all fields of music, dance and theater. A major component has been their presentations of major jazz artists and the 2006/7 season is no exception, with Maria Schneider's orchestra following hard on the heels of the McCoy Tyner Septet and Stefon Harris
Getting out of Manhattan into the greenery of Connecticut is always refreshing. On this particular weekend in late October the feeling was reinforced by crisp Autumn air, a brilliant display of multi-colored leaves, and a quality jazz performance. In celebration of her birthday, and as a benefit for the local library's new building fund, Connecticut resident, flutist Ali Ryerson, invited guitar legend Gene Bertoncini to town for a duo performance at the Brookfield Theater for the Arts. The resul
It has been a couple of weeks or more since I attended Alice Coltrane's only East coast appearance at the beautiful NJPAC concert hall in Newark, October 22nd. It has taken this time for me to sort out my thoughts on the experience because I came away strangely conflicted ambivalent about both the music and the message that accompanied it. I can't say that I have resolved any of this but I feel I should lay out the various issues and let our readers arrive at their own conclusions.

To begin w

Imani Winds: Valerie Coleman - flutes; Toyin Spellman-Diaz - oboe; Mariam Adam - clarinet & bass clarinet; Jeff Scott - French horn; Monica Ellis - bassoon/soprano saxophone

Jazz lovers would do well to check out Imani Winds. Officially a classical chamber ensemble, they are opening up new areas of expression for this genre, drawing upon jazz and world music traditions. Along with the standard repertoire for the woodwind quintet, which is itself very rich, they have toured with Paquito

As part of the JVC Jazz Festival, Charles Lloyd brought his new project Sangam to Zankel Hall June 22nd for their first New York performance. Judging from the ovation that erupted at the end of the group's stream-of-consciousness performance, Lloyd is once again exhibiting his knack of making abstract music accessible. In this case, he combines his various horns with Eastern and Western percussionists in the persons of Indian tabla maestro Zakir Hussain and his current quartet's drummer Eric Har