Peter Westbrook

Peter Westbrook

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
This was a very interesting evening for a number of reasons. First of all, it was another example of a setting in which jazz and related genres of music can be presented in a way that makes economic sense. The organizers, Transparent Productions, to quote from their website, ( "is a non-profit, volunteer organization that produces creative improvised music concerts in the Washington DC area. Our goal is to bring this wonderful music to DC a

There is no doubt that the Cape May Jazz Festival is a success. Presented twice a year in the charming New Jersey seaside resort of Cape May, the event is entering its twelfth year. The secrets to its success? Great music and great organization; the festival seems to have struck an ideal balance between music and marketing.

Anyone attending this event would have to conclude that the reports of jazz' demise are grossly exaggerated. According to music industry sources, jazz represents

There are still those who hold that the flute does not belong in jazz, or that it is, at best, a marginal jazz instrument. There are, however, many artists working in the genre today who disprove that notion, and Flutology is at the top of the heap. This all-star sextet was formed at Birdland one night in 2002 when jazz flute pioneer Frank Wess heard two flutists in tandem--Holly Hoffman, who was working with Ray Brown's quartet, and Holly's long time friend and fellow young lioness Ali R
I hope James Moody enjoyed his 80th birthday party. He should have it lasted all year! There was a whole series of events, including a week-long celebration at The Blue Note in New York, in March, featuring Moody's group with a slew of guests, an inaugural fund raising concert for the James Moody Jazz Scholarship Endowment at SUNY Purchase in April, and another celebration at The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles with MC Bill Cosby, The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, Nanc
"Once the prevailing popular music of the land, [jazz] has shrunk to a mere 2 percent of the market. Yet this venerable art form refuses to grow old and fade away. And if, as author Gerald Early has said, America's three great contributions to the world are the Constitution, baseball and jazz, then it's time jazz was better known in the land where it was born." So writes Matt Schudel in November's Washington Post Book World. Under these circumstances, any way to successfully present thi