Archive for April, 2008

DPR Prepares for its 39th Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Durham, NC – Durham Parks and Recreation is looking for more than 120 volunteers to help with the Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival. Volunteers can join the celebration and be a part of Durham’s heritage on Saturday May, 17 from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday, May 18 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the Durham Athletic Park. All shifts are three hours.

Individuals and groups are welcome! All volunteers will receive a Bimbé t-shirt. For detailed information visit and click Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival.

Please note the festival hours below:
Saturday, May 17 (1 p.m. – 10 p.m.)
Sunday, May 18 (1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

For more information call Natasha Teasley at 477-9918.

WNCU and Durham Parks and Recreation Dept. Partner for the 39th Bimbe Cultural Festival

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

On Saturday and Sunday, May 17-18, the Durham Parks and Recreation Department will host the 39th Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival at the Durham Athletic Park. The theme of this year’s celebration is “It’s a Family Reunion.” The festival will take place at the Durham Athletic Park on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will feature an eclectic mix of music and dance celebrating African American traditions. There will also be a Bimbé Marketplace for visual artist exhibits and many other vendors. On Sunday, the festival will continue from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a host of jazz and gospel performances.

The International Association of Jazz Educators Files for Bankruptcy

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

Dear IAJE Family,

It is with a great sense of loss that I inform you that despite drastic efforts to cut expenses and raise emergency funds, the IAJE Board has voted to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the Federal Bankruptcy Law. I want to thank profusely those who responded with their generous donations and offers of assistance following my last communication. While over 250 individuals contributed just over $12,000, this, along with the many other efforts and contributions of IAJE staff, Board members, and association partners, was simply not enough to address the accumulated debt of the organization or its urgent need for cash relief.

In the next few days, a Kansas bankruptcy court will appoint a trustee to oversee all ongoing aspects of the association. This includes the ability to examine IAJE’s financial records and mount an independent inquiry into the causes of it’s financial downfall as well as disposing of the remaining assets of the association with proceeds distributed to creditors in accordance with Kansas and Federal law. The board will no longer be involved in operation of the organization and will at some point resign. IAJE as it presently stands will no longer exist.

Approximately a week after filing, all potential creditors of the association will receive notice of the association’s filing from the court. Members who desire additional information regarding the petition, including a complete listing of association assets and liabilities, may retrieve this, as it is a public document, through normal court procedures. Undoubtedly, however, you will have more immediate questions deserving of responses I hope to address in this report.

Since the first communication to the membership outlining this crisis, there has been considerable public speculation as to its causes. As noted in that communication, years of dependence upon the conference as a primary (but unreliable) revenue stream and the launch of a well-intentioned capital campaign (the Campaign for Jazz), which generated a meager response but required considerable expenditures in advance of contributions, drove the association into insolvency. Sadly, the attendance at the conference in Toronto (the lowest in 10 years) exacerbated an already critical situation, depriving the association of the cash-flow needed to continue daily operations as well as the time needed to seek alternative resources.

While ultimately not able to skirt the financial land mines placed in its path, I want to assure you the IAJE Board has acted responsibly, ethically, and with a sense of urgency ever since it was blindsided last fall with the discovery of the extent of the accumulated association debt. Since that time, the board slashed spending, set specific performance targets for the Executive Director, sought outside consultations, and enlisted the services of several past-presidents and strategic association partners in attempts to raise funds – sadly, with minimal success.

It goes without saying, the board you elected is comprised of very accomplished, intelligent, and dedicated educators and professionals who have given generously of their time in service to this association and care about it passionately. Likewise, our entire professional staff, led by Associate Executive Director, Vivian Orndorff, and Executive Producer, Steve Baker, has worked heroically in the face of declining resources to meet the needs of the association and its members. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank both the board and staff for their service. I have been privileged and honored to serve with them. While there may be those who question specific decisions or strategies in efforts to meet this crisis, the dedication and integrity of these individuals should never be in doubt.

As we move forward, one of the most pressing questions is how the operations of individual chapters and affiliated associations will be affected by this filing. Since our chapters are either separate corporate entitles or voluntary associations with their own boards, constitutions and bylaws; IAJE views them as completely independent entities. Ultimately, however, the trustee and the court will make this determination and it is anticipated that the trustee may request certain information from the chapters in this regard.

Sadly, the 2009 IAJE International Conference in Seattle has been cancelled. However, there has been some discussion of mounting a regional conference in its place. At the moment, Lou Fischer, U.S. Board Representative is fielding inquiries: [email protected].

For the time being, the IAJE website will remain up. However, the international offices of IAJE will close their doors at the end of the day on Friday, April 18th. Should there be additional questions you may submit them to [email protected] and every attempt will be made to respond to these as staffing allows.

Today, we, the members of IAJE and the global jazz community, face an extremely important task. For, as we all recognize, the opportunities, impact, and work of this association are too vital to simply disappear. Whether you were first drawn to IAJE for its conference, its magazine or research publications, its student scholarship programs such as Sisters in Jazz or the Clifford Brown/Stan Getz All-Stars, its Teacher Training Institutes, the resources provided through its website or Resource Team, or any one of a number of other offerings; it is clear the mission of IAJE still resonates and its advocacy is needed today more than ever. We must, therefore, look at this as an opportunity to refocus the mission, scope, programs, and vision of IAJE (or whatever succeeds it) to better meet the needs of our members and the jazz community not only today but looking toward the future.

I am, in no way, suggesting the membership turn a blind eye towards the need for an independent inquiry into causes and ultimately assigning responsibility for this situation. I ask you recognize the court appointed trustee, who will have access to all necessary documents and facts, is charged with that task. Our efforts and our passion, should be to collectively rally the community to recognize the importance IAJE has had and continues to have in the life and development of jazz and jazz education – seeking new strategic partnerships, new government structures, and a revitalized mission that embraces current needs.

Already there are efforts to do just that. I know that Mary Jo Papich, who would have begun serving her term as President of IAJE beginning this July, is dedicated to recreating such an association. As many know, Mary Jo has been a tireless advocate for IAJE, serving it long and well. You will, undoubtedly, be hearing from her in the near future. When she does contact you, I urge you to join me in offering her every support and assistance. Of course, others may also seek to fill this void by promoting alternative visions for empowering, serving, and gathering the jazz community. While I generally believe such diversity is quite healthy, I would strongly encourage all such efforts and leaders to attempt to collaborate and seek ways to unite us in spirit and strength.

Finally, I would encourage you to recognize and remember IAJE for all the tremendous good it has done in the past 40 years. Many individuals have contributed along the way, often at considerable personal sacrifice of their time and resources, to establish and advance the work of this association. Much has been achieved that can never be taken away! Therefore, the vision, effort, and shared passion that have fueled the growth of IAJE and its programs should not be forgotten or considered in vain. Rather, the spirit that is IAJE must be rekindled into a new vision for the future.


The IAJE Board – Chuck Owen, President

WNCU Media Sponsor of the 5th Annual Cool Jazz Festival

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

WNCU is a media sponsor and proud supporter of The Orange County Recreation and Parks 5th Annual Cool Jazz Festival on Sat. April 26 at the future New Hope Park in Hillsborough from 9am-7pm. Featured artist include internationally renown jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon, the John Brown Quintet, Michael Bennett Group, Marcus Mitchell & Company, Equinox, Cedar Ridge High School and other local and regional school groups. Join WNCU staff and bring a chair or blanket. This is a free festival with a parking fee. Call 919-245-2660 or

WNCU Thanks Listeners For Making Jewelry Auction A Huge Success

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

WNCU-FM, public radio station 90.7 FM partnered with Hamilton Hill International Designer Jewelry of Durham’s trendy Brightleaf Square shopping district to host its’ newest endeavor, The WNCU Diamonds & Pearls Jewelry Auction and Social Friday, April 11th. This event was a huge success and assisted WNCU with their fundraising efforts during Renaissance XIV. Attendees participated in both a live and silent auction. The proceeds were donated to WNCU, plus a percentage of all sales from the evening. One-hundred percent of all proceeds from the raffle went to the station. Gift certificates in the amounts of $1,000; $500; $250 and $100 were awarded to the lucky listeners.

WNCU Gospel Brunch

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

The next WNCU Sunday Gospel Brunch at the historic Pan Pan Diner located in Northgate Mall is schedule for June 29th. Come join WNCU Hallelujah Praise host “The Ole Chatham County Country Boy” Walter Hatcher for a great meal and foot stompin’, hand clappin’ Gospel music from 10am to 3pm. Gospel recording artist John Thorpe is scheduled to perform. A percentage of all sales will be donated to WNCU.

WNCU Co-Sponsors the Durham Earth Day Festival 2008

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

The Durham Earth Day Festival will be held Saturday, April 19, 2008 from 12 noon to 6 p.m. in the Durham Central Park.The theme for this year’s festival is “It’s Easy Being Green.” The Durham Earth Day Festival 2008 is presented by Keep Durham Beautiful and the City of Durham Parks and Recreation Department. During the month of April, WNCU produced and aired Earth Day public services announcements promoting environmental green tips. WNCU’s news and public affairs director, Kimberley Pierce will broadcast live, interviewing Earth Day Festival organizers and attendees. More information about the festival can be found at:

Larry Ridley Brings an Educator’s Eye to NCCU

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

DURHAM, N.C.–Larry Ridley is a musician and an educator who has partnered with NCCU to preserve the integrity of jazz. Ridley is co-directs the African American Jazz Caucus Research Institute with Ira Wiggins, NCCU’s director of Jazz Studies. The NCCU/AAJC Jazz Research Institute (NAJRI) convenes its jazz conference and festival April 16-19, 2008, on NCCU’s campus in Durham.

To read press release, click here.

Keith Jarrett

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

keithjarrett2.jpgKeith Jarrett was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania on May 8, 1945. He grew up in Allentown with significant exposure to music. In his teens, he learned jazz and quickly became proficient. Following graduation from high school, he moved from Allentown to Boston, Massachusetts, where he attended the Berkley School of Music and played cocktail piano. After about a year in Boston, Jarrett moved to New York City, where he played at the renowned Village Vanguard club.

While in New York, Art Blakley hired him to play with his Jazz Messengers band, and he subsequently became a member of the Charles Lloyd Quartet. The Lloyd quartet’s 1966 album Forest Flower was one of the most successful jazz recordings of the late 1960s. Jarrett also started to record as a leader at this time, in a trio with Charlie Haden and Paul Motian. Jarrett’s first album as a leader, Life Between The Exit Signs (1967), appeared around this time on the Vortex label, to be followed by Restoration Ruin (1968), which is easily the most bizarre entry in the Jarrett catalog. Not only does Jarrett barely touch the piano, he plays all the other instruments on what is essentially a folk-rock album, and even does all the singing. Jarrett soon recorded another trio album with Haden and Motian in 1968 called Somewhere Before, which recorded live for the Atlantic label.keithjarrett4.jpg

When the Charles Lloyd quartet came to an end, Jarrett was asked to join the Miles Davis group after Miles heard Jarrett in a New York City club. First, Jarrett played electric organ and, after Chick Corea left the group, he also played the electric piano. Despite Jarrett’s dislike of amplified music and electric instruments, he stayed on out of his respect for Davis and his wish to work again with Jack DeJohnette. Jarrett can be heard on four of Davis’s albums including At Fillmore, The Cellar Door Sessions – 1970 and Live-Evil, which was largely composed of heavily-edited Cellar Door recordings. The extended sessions from these recordings can be heard on The Complete Cellar Door Sessions. He also plays electric organ in “Honky Tonk” on the Get Up With It album.

From 1971 to 1976, Jarrett added saxophonist Dewey Redman to the existing trio with Haden and Motian. The “American Quartet” was often supplemented by an extra percussionist, such as Danny Johnson, Guilherme Franco, or Airto Moreira, and occasionally by guitarist Sam Brown. The members would also play a variety of instruments. Jarrett was often being heard on soprano saxophone and percussion as well as piano; Redman on musette, a Chinese double-reed instrument; and Motian and Haden on a variety of percussion. Haden also produces a variety of unusual plucked and keithjarrett3.jpgpercussive sounds with his acoustic bass, running it through a wah-wah pedal for one track (“Mortgage On My Soul,” on the album Birth). The group recorded for Atlantic Records, Columbia Records, Impulse Records and ECM.

Jarrett’s compositions and the strong musical identities of the group members gave this group a very distinctive sound. The group’s music was an interesting and exciting amalgam of free jazz, straight-ahead post-bop, gospel music, and exotic Middle-Eastern-sounding improvisations.

Jarrett’s first album for ECM, called Facing You (1971) was a solo piano date recorded in the studio. He has continued to record solo piano albums in the studio intermittently throughout his career, including Staircase (1976), The Moth and the Flame (1981), and The Melody at Night, With You (1999).

In the late 1990s, Jarrett was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and was confined to his home for long periods of time. It was during this period that he recorded The Melody at Night, With You, a solo piano record consisting of jazz standards presented with very little of the reinterpretation in which he usually engages.

By 2000, he had returned to touring, both solo and with the Standards Trio. In May 2005, ECM released Radiance (recorded 2002), a recording of Jarrett’s first solo piano concerts following the CFS diagnosis which had threatened his performing career. In contrast with previous concerts, the 2002 concerts consist of a linked series of shorter improvisations. In 2004, Jarrett was awarded the Léonie Sonning Music Award.

David Newman to Perform at NCCU Jazz Fest

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

fatheadnewman.jpgDURHAM, N.C. – Saxophone player David “Fathead” Newman, also known as the “Texas Tenor,” will perform Saturday, April 19, 2008, at North Carolina Central University. Newman’s performance will take place at 8:00 p.m., in the B.N. Duke Auditorium, as part of the 18th Annual NCCU Jazz Festival and the Second Annual African American Jazz Caucus Research Institute (NAJRI) Conference.

To read press release, click here.