Ron Scott writes a weekly column “Jazz Notes” for the Amsterdam News, and contributes to the monthly publications Positive Community and Network Journal.
He is the senior editor of “Forever Harlem,” (Starlight Press L.L.C., 2006), a pictorial history of Harlem from 1896-2006. Most recently he was writer and editor for the Community Works exhibit “Harlem is… Music,” exhibited at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts and the Museum of the City of New York
As a freelance writer Scott has written for the New York Times, Vogue Magazine, the Daily News, Time Out New York, Johnson Publications and ABC Radio.
He is a member of the Jazz Journalists Association, New York Association of Black Journalists (NYABJ), National Writers Union, and a graduate of Florida A&M University, and New York University’s Graduate School of Social Work.
He has lectured at the City University of New York, Howard University and shared his expertise on music panels throughout the United States.
The history and culture of jazz will be given a platform July 24 (tonight) at 7 p.m., when the Abyssinian Jazz Vespers, in association with the 2014 Harlem Music Fest, presents “Post ’50s Jazz, the Artists, the Culture, the Cool.” It will be an informative music perspective on the developmental seeds of “modern jazz” in Harlem featuring a panel of well-versed musicians, including trumpeter, composer and arranger Charles Tolliver; vocalist Eunice Newkirk; pianist and composer Onaje Allan Gumbs; and bassist and composer Mickey Bass.
New York City jazz fans know it’s summer when they notice the birds flapping their wings over Harlem, grooving to the Summerfest Jazzmobile running full steam from July to August.
Bobby Womack, who became a force on the R&B scene for over five decades, couldn’t be called a jazz vocalist, but during his reign, his gravelly, soulful voice surely influenced a host of R&B singers and inspired jazz vocalists along the way. He was acknowledged in the rock world for writing and originally recording the Rolling Stones’ first U.K. No. 1 hit, “It’s All Over Now.”
Upon hearing of Ruby Dee’s death at the age of 91 on June 11, I was saddened. I quietly remembered my mother who loved the actress. “I love me some Ruby Dee,” she would often say.
To celebrate the trumpeter Miles Dewey Davis III’s 88th birthday on May 26, the street where he owned a brownstone (312 W. 77th St.) and lived for many years was named “Miles Davis Way” in his honor (the northwest corner 77th Street and West End Avenue).
The world woke up on May 28 to hear that poet, author and activist Maya Angelou had died quietly in her home in Winston Salem, N.C., at the age of 86. She lived a life that encouraged people to be leaders and not followers, to be independent thinkers who believe in justice and pursuing the truth.
Recently, preschoolers were totally involved in their new activities as they were introduced to jazz through arts and crafts and live music by pianist and composer Jonathan Batiste.
Joe Wilder, the understated trumpeter with the smooth tone, a longtime member of Count Basie’s Orchestra and one of the first African-American musicians to play in the pit bands of Broadway shows, died on May 9. Wilder was 92 years old and a resident of Manhattan for many years.
There are only two days left to the Undead Music Festival, which is taking place in Brooklyn and the Village.
Charles Rogers, a long-time entertainment columnist for this publication, died on April 29 at the Bishop Henry B. Hucles Nursing Home in Brooklyn.