Archive for January, 2008

Please Save the Dates!

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

NAJRI logo

The North Carolina Central University/African American Jazz Caucus Research Institute (NAJRI) would like to invite you to the 2nd Annual NAJRI HBCU Jazz Conference/Festival which will be held April 16 – 19, 2008 on the NCCU campus of NCCU, Durham, North Carolina.The conference will have special meaning as a result of two significant events:

• The 2nd Annual NAJRI HBCU Jazz Conference has been integrated with the 18th Annual NCCU Jazz Festival. The featured artists will be Terence Blanchard and Dee Dee Bridgewater.


• NAJRI will launch its Jazz Hall of Fame with the initial induction of jazz giants who are natives of North Carolina: Max Roach, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Percy Heath, Dr. Billy Taylor, Lou Donaldson, Nina Simone and Tal Farlow. In addition, Jimmy Heath, Albert (Tootie) Heath and the Honorable Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), will also be inducted in recognition of their contributions to jazz.

The four day power-packed conference/festival offers:

• Symposia on issues uniquely affecting HBCU jazz education programs and the African American community
• Development of K – 12 Curricula/Feeder Systems
• Diversity in Jazz Education Teaching Methodologies
• Jazz, the Church and Community
• Vocal and instrumental clinics
• The Role of Jazz Radio, TV, Print Media & the Internet
• Master classes
• Continuing Education Credit workshops
• Welcoming reception
• Nightly jazz concerts
• Photo exhibit of jazz greats
• Nightly jam sessions
• Noted speakers

This conference will be a memorable and exciting event that will enrich the lives of the general public; jazz fans; everyone involved in jazz education; presenters; performers; the media; and business.


Disseminate this information to your staff and colleagues!

Complete details regarding the conference/festival will follow via mail and made available at the following web sites:


Your participation is critical towards preserving jazz as an “American Treasure” to be properly recognized and accorded the institutional status commensurate with its value and importance.


Dr. Larry Ridley
NAJRI Co Director
AAJC Executive Director
[email protected]

Dr. Ira Wiggins
NAJRI Co Director
NCCU Director of Jazz Studies
[email protected]

Jazz Partnership Hits the Ground Running

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

The international reputation of the North Carolina Central University (NCCU) Jazz Studies Program has been embellished by a collaborative partnership with the African American Jazz Caucus (AAJC), a 501c3 affiliate of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE). Together they have created a new University approved Jazz Research Institute which is the first at a Historically Black College/University (HBCU). The title is an acronym, NAJRI which stands for North Carolina Central University (N), African American Jazz Caucus (A), Jazz (J), Research (R), Institute (I). The first major event sponsored by this newly formed NCCU institutional component was the NCCU/AAJC HBCU Jazz Conference/Festival at NCCU, June 20–23, 2007. NCCU Jazz Studies Program Director, Dr. Ira Wiggins and AAJC Executive Director, Dr. Larry Ridley are the Co-Directors of NAJRI.

The opening Conference reception featured a Jazz Photo Exhibit by renowned jazz photographer, Mr. Jim Alexander. Welcoming addresses to the Conference attendees were given by NCCU Provost /Vice Chancellor, Dr. Beverly Jones, NCCU Assistant Vice Chancellor, Dr. Janice Harper and the Honorable Mayor of Durham, Mr. William Bell.

The four-day conference included interdisciplinary workshops, panel discussions, seminars and performances by internationally renowned guest artists: pianist Kenny Barron; trumpeter Jimmy Owens; bassist Larry Ridley and the Jazz Legacy Ensemble featuring pianist Richard Wyands, saxophonist Doug Harris, violinist Krystle Ford, drummer Greg Buford, vocalist Jackie Jones, the American Dance Festival Dancers and special guest saxophonist Ira Wiggins; vocalist Lenora Zenzalai Helm and the Zenzalai Project, featuring saxophonist Antoine Roney and pianist Brandon McCune; the NCCU performer/coordinators- trombonist Robert Trowers and pianist Arnold George.

Some of the renowned speakers and panelists were- Mr. A.B. Spellman, writer and recently retired Deputy Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts; Mr. Cedric Hendricks, Esq., Assistant to Congressman John Conyers, (D-MI); Reverend Ron Myers, M.D., Chairman, National Juneteenth Council; Dr. Willis Kirk, President Emeritus- City College of San Francisco, CA; Professor Bill Fielder, Rutgers University; Dr. Howard Harris, Texas Southern University; Professor James Patterson, Clark Atlanta University; Dr. John Lamkin, University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Dr. Jesse McCarroll, City University of New York; Mr. Cliff Bellamy, Herald Tribune; Dr. Karen Chandler, College of Charleston (SC); Dr. Irene Owens, NCCU Dean of the School of Library and Information Sciences; Ms. Edith Thorpe, WNCU-FM, General Manager; Mr. Katey Assem, NCCU Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement and Mr. Ron Scott, New York Amsterdam News.

The Conference/Festival speakers, panelists and performers have given written testimonials to the quality, substance, need and support for the success of NAJRI’s ongoing programs.
In addition to the Conference/Festival, the partnership was founded to establish the NAJRI Jazz Research Institute Digital Library and the NAJRI Jazz Hall of Fame. Dr. Paula Harrell, Chair of the NCCU Music Department wrote and received a $30,000 Digital Humanities Initiative Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for librarian training. This grant provided an opportunity for Dr. Harrell to take a course, at Cornell University, with music librarian Vernice Faison and library assistants Stephanie Fennell and Yingqi Tang. Cornell is the foremost institution for digital librarianship in the country. The first collection to be established will be comprised of the digital photographs of jazz photographer Jim Alexander of Atlanta, Georgia. This Digital Library ultimately will house photographs, oral histories, sheet and recorded music, as well as other historical documents.

Do You Want More Money?

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

Ed FullbrightBy Ed Fulbright, CPA, PFS

More money is about making smart decisions with what you have and growing your personal worth. One simple way to attract more money is to listen to Mastering Your Money, Saturday mornings on 90.7 FM at 10 a.m., and take action on what you have learned. Considered one of the best bargains in town, there is no fee or on-line membership requirement. It is absolutely free! The lively conversation and information provided can help anyone who is serious about their finances.

Growing what you have depends on your answers to the following ten questions:
1. How much do you earn with passion?
2. Are you a savvy consumer?
3. How much are you saving?
4. How much are you paying in taxes?
5. Are your investments diversified?
6. How stable are your relationships?
7. Are you a savvy homeowner?
8. Do you live within your means?
9. Can you avoid bad habits and horrible mistakes?
10. Finally, what is the return on your investments?

If you have unanswered questions, Mastering Your Money will help you turbo-charge your ride on the Financial Freedom Highway and provide the information you need to get the results you want.

Here’s what’s coming up on Mastering Your Money…

Show Topic


Being The Master Over Your Money Brett Wilder, CFP – Quiet Millionaire Advisor
Author of The Quiet Millionaire
Never Worry About Having A Job Mike Cook – Leadership Development Expert
Author of Thrive
Effective Persuasion Alan Axelrod – Communication Expert
Author of Getting Your Way Every Day: Mastering The Lost Art Of Pure Persuasion
Profitable Real Estate Michael Thomsett – Real Estate Expert
Co-author of Beyond The Bubble:How To Keep The Real Estate Market In Perspective And Profit No Matter What Happens
Getting Out of Debt Lynnette Khalfani – Money Coach and Debt Expert
Author of Zero Debt and The Money Coach’s Guide To Your First Million
Protecting Your Portfolio Paul Merriman – Billion Dollar Money Manager
Author of Live It Up Without Outliving Your Money: 10 Steps To A Perfect Retirement Portfolio

Every show is designed to help you improve or adjust your answers to one or more of the above questions. We want to help you overcome the barriers to your financial success. Email us at [email protected] with your challenges and scenarios so that we can help you move ahead. Remember, Mastering Your Money turbo-charges your ride on the Financial Freedom Highway!

Billie Holiday

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Billie HolidayTough times. Billie Holiday knew about them and sang about them. She had a rough start—her mother, Sadie, was only 13 and her father, Clarence Holiday, was 15.

Sadie Fagan had been thrown out of her house and had moved, alone, from Baltimore to Philadelphia. She gave birth to a daughter, Eleanora, on April 7, 1915, and attempted to raise the girl on her own. Clarence was a musician and eventually went on to play guitar and banjo in Fletcher Henderson’s band. The two married for a very short time when Eleanora was 3 years old, then split up for good.

Sadie and young Eleanora did move back to Baltimore for a while, but their fortunes didn’t improve. Eleanora skipped school a lot, was sexually assaulted at age 11, and was then sent to a Catholic reform school. When she was released two years later, mother and daughter both moved to New York City to try their luck there. They soon discovered that they had no luck at all; Eleanora was again assaulted and soon found herself in all sorts of trouble.

It was the early 1930s: Out of desperation and out of ideas, Eleanora decided to try show business. She auditioned as a dancer for a nightclub and was a rousing failure. Only then did it occur to her to try singing, which met with moderate success. She was able to get by singing for tips in various nightclubs. But then on one particular night, totally broke and facing eviction, Eleanora sang her heart out to the tune “Travelin’ All Alone,” moving everyone to tears. It was then that people discovered that she really could sing, and it didn’t take long for her to be discovered by talent scout and record producer John Hammond.

Billie Holiday
“Eleanora Fagan” wasn’t a catchy enough name, so Eleanora chose to call herself “Billie” after Billie Dove, one of her favorite actresses, and then adopted her dad’s last name.

Billie Holiday’s recording debut was in 1933 with clarinetist Benny Goodman’s band, followed by a collaboration with pianist Teddy Wilson. “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” and “Miss Brown to You” were two of her early hits. Soon she was recording under her own name and was singing and swinging with the best bands around, including Count Basie, Artie Shaw, and Duke Ellington. The early days weren’t always rosy: while performing in Detroit, Billie had to appear in blackface because some felt she wasn’t quite dark enough.

Dubbed “Lady Day” by saxophonist Lester Young (who she in turn nicknamed “Prez,” short for President), Billie Holiday quickly became one of the most popular jazz vocalists of all time. She had a plaintiff sound, a longing that made you listen to the words. She played with the melodies, sometimes reducing songs to three or four notes like a blues guitarist taking a solo. Her emotions were close to the surface—often she took the audience through the wringer right with her.

Two songs that are even now associated with Billie Holiday are “Strange Fruit” and “God Bless the Child.”
A Jewish schoolteacher had written a poem about the horrors of lynching; it had been set to music and was sometimes performed at teachers’ union meetings in the Bronx. Billie was introduced to “Strange Fruit” and the words haunted her. She wanted to record it, but Columbia wasn’t willing to take the chance of having her record such a controversial song. They temporarily suspended her contract, which allowed her to record the song on Milt Graber’s Commodore label.

Billie Holiday
“God Bless the Child” was far less controversial, although the words were critical of people who turn their backs on those in need. Billie only had to examine her own life to write the lyrics.

Trouble continued to trail Billie Holiday around every corner. Drinking and drug problems, relations with the wrong men, arrests, a stint in jail, and the revocation of her NYC cabaret card (which kept her from performing in New York for the last decade of her life), eventually led to a tired soul and failing health.

She lost some of the musicality of her voice but not the tragic, raw emotion that continued to move audiences. Her last public appearance, a benefit concert in New York’s Greenwich Village, was in 1959.She could only make it through two songs. A couple of months later, she was in the hospital for liver and heart disease, and to add insult to injury, was charged with drug possession and handcuffed to her hospital bed. She died at age 44 on July 17, 1959 with 70¢ in the bank.

Today, Billie Holiday is remembered as one of the most sensitive and expressive of vocalists. As noted by one of her fans, no one sang the word “love” like she did—she spent her whole life in search of it and never quite found it.

[Billie Holiday recorded on the Columbia, Commodore, Decca, and Verve labels. In addition to the songs mentioned above, some of her best-known songs are “Fine and Mellow,” “Don’t Explain,” and “Good Mrning, Heartache.”]