Archive for February, 2014

International Jazz Day 2014

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

International Jazz Day is April 30, 2014.

In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. International Jazz Day is chaired and led by Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General, and legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, who serves as a UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. The Institute is the lead nonprofit organization charged with planning, promoting and producing this annual celebration.

International Jazz Day brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about jazz and its roots, future and impact; raise awareness of the need for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding; and reinforce international cooperation and communication. Each year on April 30, this international art form is recognized for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity; eradicating discrimination; promoting freedom of expression; fostering gender equality; and reinforcing the role of youth in enacting social change.

International Jazz Day is the culmination of Jazz Appreciation Month, which draws public attention to jazz and its extraordinary heritage throughout April. In December 2012, the United Nations General Assembly formally welcomed the decision by the UNESCO General Conference to proclaim April 30 as International Jazz Day. The United Nations and UNESCO now both recognize International Jazz Day on their official calendars.

Click here to view the global celebrations.

Congressman Conyers’ New Jazz Bill

Friday, February 7th, 2014

We wanted to  inform you about this new jazz bill being introduced by Congressman Conyers; National Preservation, Education and Promulgation Act. Jazz Forward Coalition, the co-presentor of Jazz Connect with JazzTimes, has been consulting with the congressman’s staff to gather comments from jazz professionals. This bill will be introduced to Congress in late March, coinciding  with JAM.

As the bill is in draft proposal, further language is being solicited, to help understand the needs of the field. This might be a good opportunity for you to weigh- in, particularly in regard to promulgation.

Take a look at the summary below:

The National Preservation, Education and Promulgation Act would establish programs and provide funding to implement the consensus expressed in H. Con. Res. 57 that Jazz is a “national American treasure”
worthy of support.

The proposed Act would establish a National Jazz Preservation Program to be directed and administered by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

The proposed Act would establish a Jazz Education In Elementary and Secondary Schools program to be directed and administered by the Dept.
of Education.

The proposed Act contemplates the establishment of a Promulgation Program to support business and enterprise initiatives in the field of Jazz.

Cong. Conyers seeks comments on the Discussion Draft, especially pertaining to Promulgation, on or before COB February 28, 2014. Submit comments to [email protected].

Cong. Conyers plans to introduce the National Jazz Preservation, Education and Promulgation Act of 2014 during Jazz Appreciation Month (April, 2014).
Please circulate the attached document to your constituencies and personal networks via various kinds of digital platforms and in hard copy format.

We are very lucky to have a member of the house so vested in the long term health of jazz, so let’s give him our support.

Comments should be directed to Mr. Conyer’s staffer [email protected]and are due COB Feb 28, 2014.

2014 Black History Specials

Friday, February 7th, 2014

The Big Red Couch – 5 Decades of Black Music

Saturday, Feb. 8, 15 and 22 from 9-10pm

The Big Red Couch produced and hosted by Peabody Award Winner Jim Luce is a nod to five decades of black music that has shaped popular musical culture all over the world.  Luce mixes tunes like eclectic gemstones by musicians who have had a great impact on music worldwide over the past fifty years.  A music lover himself, he does not go for the low-hanging fruit; he goes deeper into each artist’s discography to create a refreshing retrospective.

Artists heard in this 3-hour special include Joe Henderson, Curtis Mayfield, Duke Ellington, Moacir Santos, John Hicks, Irma Thomas, Earth Wind & Fire, Albert King, Sly & the Family Stone, Jackie McLean, Jimmy Cliff, Arthur Blythe, The Temptations,  Michael Jackson, Dorothy Coates & the Gospel Harmonettes, Luciana Souza, Donny Hathaway, War, Aretha Franklin, Gregory Porter– and more!

The Writ Writer-The Story of Scipio Africanus Jones

Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 8pm

One man’s gallant and courageous effort to fight murder convictions brought against 134 black sharecroppers, 12 of whom were sentenced to die in the electric chair. Very few are aware of what became known as “The Elaine Massacre,” where hundreds of blacks were murdered and five white men were killed. Nor are many aware that Scipio Jones, a black attorney from Little Rock, Arkansas succeeded against all odds, and brought about the reversal of several lower court decisions. His tenacity resulted in the release of all of the imprisoned black sharecroppers; this included the 12 men sentenced to die.

Gil Scott Heron

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

Gil Scott-Heron (born April 1, 1949) is an American poet, musician, and author known primarily for his late 1960s and early 1970s work as a spoken word soul performer and his collaborative work with musician Brian Jackson. His collaborative efforts with Jackson featured a musical fusion of jazz, blues and soul music, as well as lyrical content concerning social and political issues of the time, delivered in both rapping and melismatic vocal styles by Scott-Heron. The music of these albums, most notably Pieces of a Man and Winter in America in the early 1970s, influenced and helped engender later African-American music genres such as hip hop and neo soul. Scott-Heron’s recording work is often associated with black militant activism and has received much critical acclaim for one of his most well-known compositions “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”. On his influence, Allmusic wrote “Scott-Heron’s unique proto-rap style influenced a generation of hip-hop artists”.

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