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Ron Scott

Stories by Ron

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Thursdays, Seleno celebrates, Poncho Burns, Newport at 60

Jazz Notes

In the midst of this Harlem gentrification, more venues are opening their doors to live jazz. Every Thursday, the Lenox Saphire (341 Lenox Avenue at 127th Street) brightens with The Phil Young Experience and Friends.

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Abysinnian panel, Blackbyrd at Zinc, Vinx eclectic

Jazz Notes

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.

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Jazzmobile at 50, Locke at Dizzy’s, Bronx Music, Tolliver at Cell

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.

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Remembering Bobby Womack

Jazz Notes

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.”

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Remembering Ruby Dee and Little Jimmy Scott

Jazz Notes

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.

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Miles Way, Vision Festival, Ornette Coleman

Jazz Notes

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).

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Maya Angelou and Elombe Brath Remembered

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.

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Children’s Museum jazz, five piano finalists, Kroon at Abyssinian

Jazz Notes

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.

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Joe Wilder remembered, Dolphy fest

Jazz Notes

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.

Undead Music Festival’s Final Days, Sosa, Adujah, Palmieri

Jazz Notes

There are only two days left to the Undead Music Festival, which is taking place in Brooklyn and the Village.

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Charles Rogers, popular AmNews columnist, publicist, dies

Charles Rogers, a long-time entertainment columnist for this publication, died on April 29 at the Bishop Henry B. Hucles Nursing Home in Brooklyn.

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Jazzmobile Harlem Shrines Festival, Stanley Clarke returns

Jazz Notes

Before Jazzmobile’s outdoor season begins traveling throughout city streets it will swing indoors from May 4-10 celebrating the fourth annual 2014 Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival.

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Sistas’ fundraiser, Savion tap instrument, Dr. Smith swings

Sistas’ Place will hold a fundraiser for jazz on April 24.

The year of Baldwin, Bronx Music Heritage Center

The novels, poems and essays of James Baldwin are stimulating words, sharpened with the truth, that instigate change and promote activism in some form or another. He was a word warrior-activist rallying for a change in society’s thinking.

Smithsonian, Coltrane and Stewart, jam at Ost, Masekela at 75

Jazz Notes

Recently, jazz fans from as far as Florida, Georgia and Connecticut traveled to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., for the formal donation of one of John Coltrane’s saxophones.

Reid Quiet Pride, Birkett at Mist, Iridium, Voza honored

The Jazz Standard was recently sold-out while bassist Rufus Reid was holding court

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Okaru performs, Donald Byrd tribute, Motown at Schomburg

Jazz Notes

Jazz is happening on Sundays at Harlem’s famous Paris Blues!

Haynes Burns at Blue Note, ‘Sinners and Saints’

Anytime Roy Haynes performs, the venue becomes a sold-out happening, but his recent two-day engagement at the Blue Note became even more significant with the appearance of bassist Ron Carter

Nasheet Waits, Chip Shelton, Eddie Gale remake, ‘Jazz Meets Sports’

Nasheet Waits' ongoing group, Equality, featuring Darius Jones, David Virelles and Mark Helias, will perform two shows on Feb. 28 at at the Cornelia Street Cafe in the West Village.

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MAXJAZZ founder Richard McDonnell dies

Richard McDonnell, who started the small independent record label MAXJAZZ in his living room in St. Louis and went on to gain international attention in the jazz world, died on Feb. 8 at St. Louis University Hospital.

Dianne Reeves at Rose Hall, TK Blue at Sista’s, ‘Ramen and Jazz’

Dianne Reeves, a four-time Grammy winner for Best Female Jazz Vocalist who doesn’t perform in New York often enough, will have a two-day engagement in time for that special day for lovers, Feb. 14 and 15.

Abyssinian Jazz Vespers, Sake and Jazz, McFerrin ‘Spirityouall’

With all the new venues in Harlem, jazz seems to be making some new headway in the community where it was once king.

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Avant-garde trumpeter Roy Campbell Jr. dies at 61

Roy Campbell Jr. was known for wearing his baseball caps pulled down and his rigorous trumpet sound

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Amiri Baraka remembered

Amiri Baraka, a riveting force armed with words that scurried the battle fields of life and pierced the curtains of falsehoods with hard-hitting truth, died on Jan. 9 at Beth Israel Medical Center, confirmed his son Ras Baraka, a member of the Newark Municipal Council.

Bassist Dwayne Burno dies at 43

Dwayne Burno, one of the more creative bassists of his generation who explored the full realm of the jazz idiom—a practice that allowed him to handle any musical challenge as a band leader or first call bassist—died on Dec. 28, 2013, in New York.

Wynton’s street cred, Chris Botti

The Wynton Marsalis Septet was a hot holiday ticket in town. Marsalis was playing at Dizzy’s Club Coca–Cola (Jazz at Lincoln Center) for two weeks, including New Year’s Eve.

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Harris at Ginny’s, Jazz Thursdays, Fortune awarded

On Dec. 21, Harris and the Harlem Night Songs Big Band will take the audiences of Ginny’s Supper Club (310 Lenox Ave., 125th and 126th streets) on an adventurous musical journey that stretches to the outer limits of jazz.

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Inventive drummer-composer Chico Hamilton dies at 92

Chico Hamilton, the composer and drummer whose cool melodic sound kept jazz audiences attentive for over six decades, died on Nov. 25. He was 92. Hamilton’s publicist April Thibeault noted that he died of natural causes at his home in New York.

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Melvin Van Peebles at the gallery

Today (Thursday) is your last day to see “eMerge 2.0: Melvin Van Peebles & Artists on the Cusp.”

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Ronald Shannon Jackson, jazz drummer, dies at 73

Ronald Shannon Jackson, one of the most influential avante-garde drummers of the 20th century

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Jazz vocalist Gloria Lynne dies at 83

Jazz vocalist Gloria Lynne dies at 83

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Tommy Johnson’s $37,000 record, Jazz Masters in Harlem III

When early blues heroes are mentioned, the name discussed most often is guitarist-singer Robert Johnson. However, Tommy Johnson (1896-1956), his senior and no relation, was also a great guitarist-singer out of the Mississippi Delta. He influenced many aspiring musicians in Mississippi and around the country, including such artists as Howlin’ Wolf.

Lady Day, Coltrane House Fundraiser

There are two facts regarding Billie Holiday: She is the most controversial singer in the history of jazz; and she remains the best jazz and blues singer to ever walk across a stage. Today, the only way to comprehend the complicated life of America’s greatest female jazz singer is to see “Lady Day,” starring Dee Dee Bridgewater at the Little Schubert Theater (422 W. 42nd St.). As a singer, Bridgewater wastes no time getting into Holiday’s signature songs “Miss Brown to You,” “Them There Eyes” and “All of Me.”

Kroon at Vespers, Ray forever, Rosewoman at Dizzy’s

The Steve Kroon Latin Jazz Sextet, Ray Charles and Michele Rosewoman coming to New York

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Jazz at Dinosaur BBQ, Lovelace Peace Concerts

In Harlem, it seems more restaurants are flirting with jazz on a somewhat regular basis. The Phil Young Experience and “The Jazz Masters in Harlem” were so good last month that they will return to Dinosaur BBQ (300 W. 125th St.) on Sept. 25, 6 p.m.-10 p.m. The first set starts at 7 p.m. in the Bridge Room (second floor).

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Joe Locke at 54 Below, Ahmad Jamal at Rose, Sista’s Place

On Sept. 17, the Joe Locke Group, featuring pianist Ryan Cohan, bassist David Finck, drummer Jaimeo Brown and special guest vocalist Kenny Washington, will hit the stage for one night at 54 Below (254 W. 54th St.).

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Abyssinian jazz, jazzy thespians, Wynton HBO, conduction

The summer is over that quickly. It makes one contemplate relocating to Florida or California for perpetual sunlight, but then what happens to all that music that only New York City can offer?

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South African jazz vocalist Bea Benjamin dies at 76

The death of Sathima Bea Benjamin on Aug. 20 was mourned in both the U.S. and her homeland of South Africa. The 76-year-old vocalist and composer died in Cape Town, South Africa, and was buried there on Aug. 21, according to the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

Memories of Walton, McPartland and Murray

The writing of any obituary is done with a heavy heart, but it becomes an even more heartbreaking task in a case like last week, when four big deal contributors to jazz passed away in a three-day period.

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Butch Morris music, Parker Fest, Bethelhem returns

Since the passing of conductor, musician and arranger Butch Morris in January, there has been a void in the creative domain of free music. Singers, wordsmiths and musicians find joy in his music as they listen to his genius concept of conduction.

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Creative jazz musician and producer George Duke dies at 67

George Duke, the uncomplacent keyboardist, arranger, producer and singer who stayed energized by crossing and mixing the genres of funk, jazz, fusion and R&B, died on Monday, Aug. 5 in Los Angeles. He was 67.

Harlem Week 2013 celebrates

August is the month that Harlem Week kicks into full blast. The 39-year-old event has become New York City’s prime family affair in Harlem. It’s running now through Aug. 24. There are events of interest for everyone, from New York City Economic Development Day, the Children’s Festival, to Senior Citizens Day, the Historic Black College Fair and the Junior Tennis Classic. While Harlem Week is celebrating “Motown the Musical,” this year’s theme is “Living the Dream: Celebrating History in Tribute to the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington,” which will take place on Aug. 28 in Washington, D.C.), and the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, signed on Jan. 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln. It should be noted the Emancipation Proclamation was based on the president’s constitutional authority; it was not a law passed by Congress. The Proclamation did not outlaw slavery and did not make the ex-slaves citizens. The Proclamation made freeing the slaves a goal of the Union war effort and was a step toward outlawing slavery. It was the ratification of the 13th Amendment in December of 1865 that made slavery illegal everywhere in the U.S.

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Ron Carter, Andy McCloud Jam Festival, Jazz on the Hill

Bassist Ron Carter is a jazz musician who uses his improvisational skills to explore the depth of the music.

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Jazz Notes: Multi-instrumentalist and jazz activist Carline Ray dies at 88

Carline Ray, a multi-instrumentalist known primarily for her bass playing and as an outspoken activist for the increased recognition for women in jazz, died on July 18 at the Isabella House Nursing Home in Manhattan, according to a statement from her publicist.

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Art interprets music, ‘Blues People’ in Newark

Persons visiting the “Motown to Def Jam” art exhibit won’t be able to practice their dance steps, but they will see how 49 young artists have interpreted the music of these dynamic record labels through their artistic creativity.

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Jazzmobile Summerfest is rolling; Masekela and Willis

Jazzmobile–it’s that famous flatbed stage that makes live performances so accessible to neighborhoods throughout New York City. For music lovers, seeing the Jazzmobile roll into a neighborhood is the same enjoyment that kids relish when they see the Mister Softee truck rolling up.

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Black Music, Jazz Covers Politics, ‘Blue Monday’

President Jimmy Carter delared June “Black Music Month” in 1979 as a way to pay homage to the many Black musicians who have significantly impacted America and the world with their creative contributions.

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Celebrations of Miles Davis, Vision Festival, 'Blue Monday'

When it comes to creativity, Miles Davis took his music and listeners to higher ground....

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Sekou Sundiata revisited

Words can impress you, spark your mind and bring you to higher ground. Words are...

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