Jazz Notes


Jazz Notes: Charles Lloyd at 80, Harlem Stage, Ray Chew, ‘Green Book’

The saxophonist/flutist and composer Charles Lloyd is one of our iconic elders.

Daa’iya El-Sanusi, host of WHCR Radio, dies at 63

Daa’iya El-Sanusi, who hosted one of the most important live radio shows in Harlem that streamed around the world, died Nov. 11 in New York. She was 63.

Sonny Fortune, persevering saxophonist, dies at 79

Sonny Fortune, who played alto saxophone like an erupting volcano, with a flute sound reminiscent of a mysterious night covered by a full moon, died.

Hamiet Bluiett baritone sax virtuoso dies at 78

Hamiet Bluiett, the innovative musician and composer who gave new definition to the relevance of the baritone saxophone, died Oct. 4, at his home in Brooklyn, Ill. He was 78.

Jazz Notes: Johannesburg Joy of Jazz Festival

As Mayor Herman Mashaba of Johannesburg stated, “What better place to have a jazz festival than in the heart of this great city, where music is a part of our life?”

Jerry Gonzalez, Latin jazz genius, dies at 69

Jerry Gonzalez, the Latin jazz innovator, whose multi-instrumental talent effortlessly merged the genres of Afro-Cuban jazz, straight-ahead jazz, salsa and Latin jazz, died around midnight Oct. 1. He was 69.

Jazz Notes: Nat King Cole play, Andy Bey, Carolina Slim

By the end of the 1940s into the 1950s, the smoky tenor-textured voice of Nat King Cole had all the young bobby-sox girls mesmerized. Even my mother loved her some “Nat King Cole.”

Randy Weston, jazz griot, dies at 92

Randy Weston, the Brooklyn native and son of Africa, died peacefully Sept. 1, at his brownstone in Brooklyn. He was 92.

Jazz Notes: Jazzmobile, Harlem Jazz, Sugar Hill, Matana Roberts

What happened? Summer is over already? Not fair. The winter seems to hang on like a hungry alligator, but the summer sun fads into the wintry night like a Billie Holiday blues song.

Homegoing services for Randy Weston, 92

The music world suffered another recent blow with the passing of legendary pianist and composer Randy Weston.

JAZZ NOTES: Ms. Sax, Onaje Gumbs, King of Stage, Persip fundraiser

Camille Thurman was the second place winner of the Sarah Vaughan Vocal Competition, but the rising composer, tenor saxophonist and flutist assured me the brass instrument is her first love.

JAZZ NOTES: Aretha Franklin, definitive rhythm and blues singer, dies at 76

Aretha Franklin, the singer and pianist who, from her musical pulpit, spun her gospel upbringing into a spirited soulful sound, died August 16 at her home in Detroit. She was 76.

Harlem Week, Jazz in the Valley, Nicole Mitchell

Since Harlem Week’s inception as “Harlem Day” in 1974, its metamorphosis has gradually blossomed into Harlem Month, from July 29 through Aug. 25.

Olatuja, Trio Da Paz, Fania, Jefferson Centennial and Harris, Jazz Gallery

The mezzo-soprano keys of Alicia Olatuja’s vocal instrument can easily dissolve into a rich honey flavored texture as she swings into her jazz element.

Umbria Jazz Festival highlights

Covering the Umbria Jazz Festival was somewhat of a surreal experience.