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Sunday 10/1/2017 Show: Jack DeJohnette

PhotoJack DeJohnette @ New York’s Charlie Parker Jazz Festival | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.

The next show will air on Sunday, October 1, 2017 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This is a broadcast features an interview with drummer, composer, bandleader and pianist Jack DeJohnette.

Born in Chicago in 1942, Jack DeJohnette grew up in a family where music and music appreciation was a high priority. Beginning at age four, he studied classical piano privately and later at the Chicago Conservatory of Music. He added the drums to his repertoire when he joined his high school concert band at age 14.

“As a child, I listened to all kinds of music and I never put them into categories,” he recalls. “I had formal lessons on piano and listened to opera, country and western music, rhythm and blues, swing, jazz, whatever. To me, it was all music and all great. I‟ve kept that integrated feeling about music, all types of music, and just carried it with me. I’ve maintained that belief and feeling in spite of the ongoing trend to try and compartmentalize people and music.”

By the mid-1960s, DeJohnette had entered the Chicago jazz scene – not just as a leader of his own fledgling groups but also as a sideman on both piano and drums. He experimented with rhythm, melody and harmony as part of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians during the group‟s early days, and later drummed alongside Rashied Ali in the John Coltrane Quintet. He garnered international recognition during his tenure with the Charles Lloyd Quartet, one of the first jazz groups to receive crossover attention.

In 1968, DeJohnette joined Miles Davis‟s group just prior to the recording of Bitches Brew, an album that triggered a seismic shift in jazz and permanently changed the direction of the music. Miles later wrote in his autobiography: “Jack DeJohnette gave me a deep groove that I just loved to play over.” DeJohnette stayed with Davis for three years, making important contributions to prominent Davis recordings like Live-Evil and A Tribute to Jack Johnson (both in 1971) and On the Corner (1972).

During this same period, DeJohnette also recorded his first albums as a leader, beginning with The DeJohnette Complex in 1968 on Milestone. He followed up with Have You Heard in 1970, then switched to Prestige, where he released Sorcery in 1974 and Cosmic Chicken in 1975.

The mid 1970s were marked by a series of short-lived groups and projects – many of them leaning toward the experimental side of jazz, including The Gateway Trio (featuring Dave Holland and John Abercrombie), Directions (with Abercrombie and saxophonist Alex Foster), and New Directions (Abercrombie, with Eddie Gomez on bass). Special Edition – which helped launch the careers of little known musicians like David Murray, Arthur Blythe, Chico Freeman, John Purcell and Rufus Reid – remained active into the 1990s, although the project was frequently interrupted by DeJohnette‟s various other collaborative ventures, especially recordings and tours with Keith Jarrett.

DeJohnette has worked extensively with Jarrett as part of a longstanding trio with Gary Peacock. The threesome will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2013.

DeJohnette’s Peace Time won a Grammy in 2009 for Best New Age Album. The album consists of an hour-long, continuous piece of music that eMusic described as “flights of flute, soft hand drumming, and the gently percolating chime of cymbal play, moving the piece along a river of meditative delight.” But the 2009 Grammy is just one many awards that DeJohnette has received over the years, beginning in 1979 with the French Grand Prix Disc and Charles Cros awards. He has figured prominently into readers polls and critics polls conducted by Downbeat and JazzTimes over the past two decades. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of music from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1991, and was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society‟s Hall of Fame in 2010.

(Bio adapted from DeJohnette’s official website.)

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

One of DeJohnette’s latest recording projects is as a member of supergroup Hudson, which is the title of the Motéma release with guitarist John Scofiled, keyboardist John Medeski and bassist Larry Grenadier. DeJohnette and Hudson will be at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall on October 6-7.

Web Extras:

Watch DeJohnette play with guitarist John Scofield and keyboardist Larry Goldings in this 2010 live clip.

Watch DeJohnette play with Miles Davis at the Isle of Wight concert in this 1970 live clip.

Watch DeJohnette play with Charles Lloyd’s quintet in this 1966 live clip.

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

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Sunday 3/19/2017 Show: Nicole Mitchell


Photo: Nicole Mitchell @ 2016 Vision Fest| Joyce Jones/Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND.

The next show will air on Sunday, March 19, 2017 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This broadcast observes Women’s History Month and honors women who solo by recognizing flutist, composer, bandleader and educator Nicole Mitchell.

Nicole Mitchell is a creative flutist, composer, bandleader and educator. As the founder of Black Earth Ensemble, Black Earth Strings, Ice Crystal and Sonic Projections, Mitchell has been repeatedly awarded by DownBeat Critics Poll and the Jazz Journalists Association as “Top Flutist of the Year” for the last four years (2010-2014). Mitchell’s music celebrates African American culture while reaching across genres and integrating new ideas with moments in the legacy of jazz, gospel, experimentalism, pop and African percussion through albums such as Black Unstoppable (Delmark, 2007), Awakening (Delmark, 2011), and Xenogenesis Suite: A Tribute to Octavia Butler (Firehouse 12, 2008), which received commissioning support from Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works.

Mitchell formerly served as the first woman president of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), and has been a member since 1995. In recognition of her impact within the Chicago music and arts education communities, she was named “Chicagoan of the Year” in 2006 by the Chicago Tribune.

Nicole Mitchell is currently a Professor of Music, teaching in “Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology,” (ICIT) a new and expansively-minded graduate program at the University of California, Irvine. In November 2014, ICIT was approved for the unleashing of a new MA/PhD program, which started in fall 2015.

Among the first class of Doris Duke Artists (2012), Mitchell works to raise respect and integrity for the improvised flute, to contribute her innovative voice to the jazz legacy, and to continue the bold and exciting directions that the AACM has charted for decades. With contemporary ensembles of varying instrumentation and size (from solo to orchestra), Mitchell’s mission is to celebrate the power of endless possibility by “creating visionary worlds through music that bridge the familiar and the unknown.” She is endorsed by Powell flutes.

Bio adapted from Mitchell’s website.

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Nicole Mitchell will be at National Sawdust in Brooklyn on March 29 2017 with the premiere of a new composition.

Web Extras:

Watch Mitchell and Black Earth Ensemble play “Meadow Sunlight in the Swinging Fields” in this live performance.

Watch Mitchell play with Myra Melford in this live performance at The Stone

Watch Mitchell’s TedXOrangeCoast presentation on connecting to the source of intelligence.

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 3/6/2015 Show: Amina Claudine Myers

Amina_Claudine_Myers_475px
Photo: Amina Claudine Myers at Vision Festival 20: July 7, 2015| Joyce Jones. All Rights Reserved.
 
The next show will air on Sunday, February 21, 2015 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This broadcast will feature an interview with pianist, organist, vocalist and composer Amina Claudine Myers.
 

 
Amina Claudine Myers was born in Blackwell, Arkansas. She was raised by her great aunt Mrs. Emma Thomas whom she called “mama” and her uncle Buford. This is where her music lessons began, with her uncle teaching her rhythms. She started classical piano study at The Sacred Hearts Catholic School in Morrilton, Ark. before moving to Dallas, Tex in 1949. There she continued studying piano. During her elementary school years she became pianist for a local church, co-led an all female gospel group, participated in plays at Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church and in musical activities in school.
 
Myers moved back to Blackwell in 1957 and finished 11th and 12th grades at L.W. Sullivan High School. She helped form a group with two names “The Gospel Four” and “The Royal Hearts”. This group traveled locally for gospel shows and sang rhythm and blues songs popular during that time. Myers received several college scholarship offers, and chose Philander Smith. She played in the jazz band under the direction of music department head Mr. Whaley during her freshman year.
 
This was her introduction to jazz and learning to play the blues by ear. Myers continued to study classical piano and became student director for the choir. After the choir’s pianist graduated, Myers became the pianist and learned to play the pipe organ. She then toured the midwest as a member of a choir, octet, and quartet all directed by Dr. Carl Harris.
 
In her sophomore year, Gloria Salter got Myers a job playing in The Safari Room, a jazz club on 9th Street, the major strip for night life. She played piano, sang easy jazz standards, and experimented with work from Dakota Statton, Nina Simone and Ella Fitzerald’s “Stompin’ At The Savoy”, which she learned note by note. Myers also took a job playing church organ and later played the organ in a rhythm and blues club for three summers when she stayed with her mother in Louisville, Kentucky.
 
While in college, Myers directed and played for church choirs in and around Louisville KY during summer vacations. After graduating with a B.A. degree in music education, she moved to Chicago to teach and taught music at The G.T. Donoghue Elementary School for six years. She became involved in the music scene and played with The Gerald Donovan (Ajaramu) Trio as organist for several years. Ajaramu introduced Myers to The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and she became a member. There she met Muhal Richard Abrams and other creative musicians and began composing for big band, various ensembles, and formed a “voice choir”.
 
After resigning from teaching, Myers toured as organist with The Gene (Jug) Ammons Quartet for two and a half years and The Sonny Stitt Trio off and on for approximately six months.
 
In 1976, Myers moved to New York City and became involved with the creative musicians who had migrated from Chicago and St. Louis, playing music in the New York lofts. She then taught at the State University of New York for a year and developed a gospel chorus there.
 
Myers began touring Europe with The Lester Bowie Quintet and The NY Organ Ensemble around 1978. This began her European (all of western Europe, Hungary, Turkey and Poland), Japanese, Canadian and U.S. performances of concerts, festivals and clubs as a soloist, with her trio, quartet, sextet and voice choir. This included workshops, seminars and residencies in universities and schools in the U.S. as well as Europe. Myers had the opportunity to perform in Cape Town, South Africa at The North Sea Jazz Festival with saxophonist/composer Archie Shepp and in Accra, Ghana with composer/ vibraphonist Cecilia Smith during their jazz festival.
 
Myers has recorded and toured with many great musicians such as Muhal Richard Abrams, James Blood Ulmer, Bill Laswell, Henry Threadgill, Archie Shepp, and Charlie Haden.
 
Myers premiered her Improvisational Suite For Chorus, Pipe Organ And Percussion (sixteen voices, pipe organ and two percussionists, showcasing operatic voices in an improvisational setting) in N.Y. Other large works include, When The Berries Fell (eight voices, two percussionists, piano and electric organ. An odyssey through the world of music) Focus (a mixed media event with piano, voice, electric bass and slides of Blackwell, Arkansas), Interiors (a chamber orchestra piece with eleven instruments including a string quartet) Balcor and Park People (compositions for big band). A View From The Inside (a one time completely improvised performance of an inside look of the creative mind with a New Orleans chef, a weaving designer, a choreographer, pianist/composer and composer/guitarist/trumpeter and AGA (compositions for violin, cello and piano.)
 
Continued ongoing collaborations include recordings and performances with Sola Lui a wonderful chinese composer, designer and vocalist. This combination of Chinese and African American cultures has performed in Europe and the U.S. Myers has also worked with the exciting choreographer Diane McIntyre to recreate a work by Helen Tamaris titled How Long Brethren (Negro Protest Songs written during the thirties). Myers directed the symphony orchestra and chorus at George Mason University in VA and Western Univ. in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
 
Myers’ works of blues, jazz, gospel and extended forms continues. She also teaches privately, giving lessons in theory, composition, piano, voice, organ, classical piano and assisting clients interested in stage/performances. Myers has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Iridium Club, Birdland and other sites with her groups and with other artists and still continues to perform nationally and internationally.
 
Bio adapted from Myers’ website.
 
This program is engineered, produced, hosted and edited by Joyce Jones.
 
Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.
 
Web Extras
 
Watch Myers in a live 2001 performance of “You Gotta Call Him” with Archie Shepp’s Quartet.
 

 
Watch Myers play with bassist Henry Grimes in a preview of the 2015 Vision Fest.
 

 
Watch Myers lead a trio in a live 2014 performance.
 

 
Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 9/20/2015 Show: AACM at 50

AACM

The next show will air on Sunday, September 20, 2015 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This broadcast will celebrate 50 years of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and will feature interviews with the AACM co-founders Kelan Phil Cohran and Muhal Richard Abrams, AACM member Douglas Ewart, and Janis Lane-Ewart who is a co-curator of a recent art installation at the DuSable Museum in Chicago titled “Free at First: The Audacious Journey of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.”

AACM’s founding fathers pianists Muhal Richard Abrams and Jodie Christian, drummer Steve McCall and trumpeter Phil Cohran had sent out postcards inviting leading Chicago musicians to meet on May 8, 1965, at Mr. Cohran’s South Side home to set the AACM’s course and credo. The AACM has long offered sustenance and support to musicians steeped in Jazz tradition yet unwilling to be confined by it. Through a half-century, the organization has grown from a collective of ambitious Chicago musicians to an engine of creative inspiration and practical outreach that has touched nearly all corners of modern music.

A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and Experimental Music, a 2008 book by trombonist and composer George Lewis, also an important force in the AACM ranks. Mr. Lewis’s book framed the conditions that gave rise to this movement: A legendary South Side jazz and blues scene quickly evaporating; creative ferment demanding a broader jazz aesthetic; a transformation of African-American identity and its representations; and, above all, a dedication to wherever collective purpose and individualized composition might lead gifted musicians in a troubled yet genre-free world.

Well beyond Chicago, the AACM (which includes a New York chapter, formed in the late 1970s by Mr. Abrams and pianist Amina Claudine Myers, among others) holds a singularly celebrated place. Its key members form a roll call of distinguished African-American musicians, with National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Fellowships, MacArthur Foundation grants and prestigious academic appointments: Mr. Abrams, still a formidable creative force at 84, whose early-1960s Experimental Band helped foster the organization; Mr. Lewis, now 62, the Edwin H. Case professor of American music at Columbia University; and, among others, multireedists Anthony Braxton, Joseph Jarman, Henry Threadgill and Mr. Mitchell, and trumpeters Wadada Leo Smith and the late Lester Bowie. These musicians’ individual expressions sound nothing alike, yet their careers trace a shared ascendance.

(Excerpts from Larry Blumenfeld’s Wall Street Journal article titled “At 50, A Musicians’ Group Keeps Growing” – 4/21/15)

Show engineered, produced, hosted, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

AACM’s New York chapter is celebrating their 50th anniversary with talks and performances every Friday night in October starting on the 9th at the Community Church of New York on E 35th St. Full schedule and details are at the AACM New York website.

Web Extras

Watch Douglas Ewart perform live at Vision Festival 14 with Joseph Jarman, poet Amiri Baraka, and others.

Watch Kelan Phil Cohran play the frankiphone in this short live clip.

Watch Muhal Richard Abrams in this live clip with Roscoe Mitchell and George Lewis.

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