Jazz Avenues

In September, Cedric Hendricks, Executive producer of the CBCF Jazz Night for the 28th year, spoke of the need to support programs for jazz preservation and education.

Brian Settles

Saxophonist Brian Settles performs with another Duke Ellington School of the Arts alum, Marc Cary, at Bohemian Caverns Nov. 30.

Mark the date to honor Jerry Gordon

"As far as music that I listened to, for inspiration, it mostly was Wes, then later George Benson.  Then I went through phases ... I went through a Grant Green phase for about a year.  Then I got into some of the white players, Barney Kessel, Johnny Smith, for a year, two years.  I always did things in phases.  Then I got out of listening to the guitar completely and started listening to a lot of horn players, I like the alto players.  Then I got into singers at one time, Dinah Washington ..." Jerry Gordon, from "Violet Avenues: A Poetry of Jazz"

The down home, blue collar, honest and forthright sounds of guitarist Jerry Gordon, who has passed on in August to join the ancestors, will be celebrated this month in a special remembrance, at the "Tribute to Jerry Gordon" featuring guitarists Paul Wingo and Rick Whitehead at Westminster Presbyterian Church Friday, Nov. 16.

Wingo, who lives in Olney, studied with noted guitarists Howard Roberts and Joe Pass and others, and played with the Army Blues Band, Zoot Sims, Pepper Adams, Phil Woods, according to his website, paulwingo.com.

Whitehead, recipient of the Washington Area Music Association 2007 award as “Best Jazz Instrumentalist,” was the featured guitar soloist for the U.S. Air Force band Airmen of Note for 22 years, according to his website, rickwhiteheadguitar.com.

Get on the H.R. 2823 bandwagon

One more thing to mention about the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Jazz Night in September was discussion about support needed for H.R. 2823, the National Jazz Preservation and Education Act, the legislation introduced last year in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.), the founder of CBCF jazz activities. As Cedric Hendricks, executive producer of CBCF Jazz Night, said, in contrast to H.R. 57, the landmark Conyers’ resolution honoring jazz as an American treasure, would “actually command some dollars to be spent, on preserving and educating about jazz.”

The H.R. 2823 bill would: create oral and video histories of leading jazz artists, acquire, preserve and interpret artifacts, and conduct exhibitions and other educational activities; encourage the introduction of jazz to our youth … [through] a Jazz Artists in the Schools Program; and create a new Ambassadors of Jazz Program … to send noted American jazz musicians abroad to perform for international audiences … and authorize funding for young musicians and jazz ensembles from secondary schools to be sent abroad on missions of goodwill, education and cultural exchange to perform for diverse audiences.”

So … email, tweet, Facebook or call, your congressperson, now, to support H.R.2823!

InPerson … Ben Williams at The Atlas

The personable and engaging Ben Williams, D.C.’s own prodigy on the bass, came home for a concert at The Atlas Performing Arts Center last month and his band Sound Effect played a sparkling set of entertaining sounds, highlighted by horn man Marcus Strickland on tenor and soprano saxophones.

Williams, always melodic, bluesy and edgy on bass with his traditional as well as hip hop and soul rhythms – the group’s finale that night was a funky, rocking tribute to James Brown – has only embellished the popularity he gained from his Thelonious Monk Institute award last year as top young bassist with a fine CD, “State of Art” and his live performances since then.

That night at the Atlas the band drew consistent and loud applause for the Williams originals, “Home,” and “Dawn of a New Day,” as well as the Woody Shaw tune “Moontrane” and other tunes. Matt Stevens accented the tunes expertly on guitar with John Davis powering things along on drums and Gerald Clayton superlative with his own creative melodies on piano.

Atlas Jazz continues this month with the special production of the William Parker Double Quartet performance Nov. 11 at Bohemian Caverns, and the Joel Harrison String Choir with the music of Paul Motian, back at the Atlas Nov. 28.


November Highlights:Chick Corea, Nov. 10, Sixth and I Historic Synagogue ... Carl Allen Quartet, Nov. 17, Kennedy Center ... Todd Marcus Quartet, Nov. 16-17, Twins Jazz ... Hamiet Bluiett, Nov. 18, Bohemian Caverns ... Odean Pope Trio, Nov. 23, Bohemian Caverns ... Bobby Felder Big Band, Nov. 23, Westminster Presbyterian Church ... Sonny Fortune, Nov. 24, Bohemian Caverns ... The Capital Bones: “A Stan Kenton Christmas,” Nov. 26, Blues Alley ... Delfeayo Marsalis, Nov. 28, The Hamilton ... Jeff Antoniuk, Nov. 30, Twins Jazz ... Danilo Perez, Nov. 30, Kennedy Center ... Marc Cary, Brian Settles, Nov. 30, Bohemian Caverns ...

November Birthdays: Lou Donaldson 1; Phil Woods 2; Arturo Sandoval 6; Hubert Laws 10; Ernestine Anderson 11; Sam Jones 12; Hampton Hayes, Idris Muhammad 13; W.C. Handy 16; Don Cherry 18; Coleman Hawkins 21; Teddy Wilson 24; Paul Desmond, Nat Adderley 25; Randy Brecker 27; Gato Barbieri 28; Billy Strayhorn 29.

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