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Heiress' offer could secure Detroit jazz festival's future

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October 26, 2005

BY MARK STRYKER
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

The woman who saved the Detroit International Jazz Festival with a $250,000 donation last spring is ready to make her earlier gift look like chump change.

Here's the rub: Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, which has produced the jazz festival since 1994, would have to give up control of the event.

Gretchen Valade -- a Carhartt clothing heiress and jazz record label owner -- has pledged $10 million to create a new nonprofit foundation dedicated solely to producing the Detroit International Jazz Festival. In one bold stroke, Valade's foundation could finally secure the financial future of Detroit's annual Labor Day weekend jazz festival, one of the city's signature cultural events but one that has struggled mightily in the last five years to make ends meet.

Valade's plan calls for a new foundation that would oversee artistic programming, operations, marketing and fund-raising. A $10-million endowment means that the festival would begin each year with a $500,000 head start in fund-raising, double the amount Music Hall has traditionally received from a title sponsor. ... [MORE]


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Jazz singer and pianist Shirley Horn dies at 71

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By NEKESA MUMBI MOODY
Associated Press

NEW YORK — Shirley Horn, the jazz pianist and vocalist who got her start opening for Miles Davis and became revered as a master interpreter of American standards, has died at the age of 71, her record label said Friday.

Horn died Thursday night in her native Washington, D.C., after a long illness, according to a statement released by Verve Records.

Horn was often compared to Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Carmen McRae, and considered one of the last great jazz vocalists of her era. She told The Associated Press in a 1991 interview she didn't think "there's a category for me. I like to be referred to as a good singer of good songs in good taste" ... [MORE]



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Maureen and all that jazz

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Denbigh’s Maureen Hopkins is a driving force behind the North Wales Jazz Society which is celebrating its 15th anniversary.

THE jazz desert of North Wales no longer exists thanks to the pioneering music work of a Denbigh enthusiast.

For a decade and a half Maureen Hopkins, of Mytton Park, has been one of the driving forces behind the North Wales Jazz Society.

Widely regarded as the umbrella body for jazz in North Wales, the society is this year celebrating its 15th anniversary, with a number of celebratory events scheduled for early in the New Year.

This year the NWJS will host 75 events in a host of venues throughout the region, in the Wrexham, North Wales coast, Anglesey and Gwynedd regions. ... [MORE]


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Jazz benefit concert headed for Blue Note CD

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By Clover Hope Tue Oct 18, 8:27 PM ET

NEW YORK (Billboard) - The November 22 Blue Note release "Higher Ground" will feature highlights from Jazz at Lincoln Center's Hurricane Katrina benefit concert. ...[MORE]



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Lundstrem, Father of Russian Jazz, Dies at 89

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Monday, October 17, 2005. Issue 3275. Page 3.
The Moscow Times


Itar-Tass
Lundstrem conducting in 1997.

Oleg Lundstrem, the father of Russian jazz who kept the music form alive despite Stalinist repression, died Thursday night at his country house near Moscow. He was 89.

The cause of death was not disclosed.

"When you talk about jazz, you immediately think of Lundstrem," said jazz musician Igor Butman, who worked with Lundstrem's band.

President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram of condolence to Lundstrem's family. "[He] left an indelible trace in the history of jazz," former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov said in a telegram posted on Lundstrem's web site, www.lundstrem-jazz.ru.

Lundstrem and his orchestra had been a mainstay of Soviet and Russian jazz, giving more than 10,000 concerts over nearly 50 years.

Lundstrem founded the first Russian jazz orchestra in 1934, a year before American jazz great Count Basie founded his big band. ... [MORE]




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The O.G. of Love; Johnny "Guitar" Watson gets his due with a terrific two disc set

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By John Nova Lomax
Published: Thursday, October 13, 2005

Vishnu ain't got nothin' on Johnny "Guitar" Watson.

It's hard to believe, but in the late 1940s, Lightnin' Hopkins, Johnny Copeland, Joe Hughes, Albert Collins and Little Joe Washington were all living within a few blocks of one another in the Third Ward. And until 1950, there was even a sixth musical great among them, a boogie-woogie pianist's son named Johnny "Guitar" Watson, who moved to Los Angeles when he was 15.

As famous and talented as Hopkins, Copeland and Collins all were, Watson had more influence than all of the rest of them. In fact, you can make a case for Watson's having been one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century. Where most bluesmen had to scuffle to survive through the 1970s disco and funk boom, Watson was just about the only one who not only survived but actually thrived, and he did it all by simply playing the same greasy and funky Third Ward blues riffs amid more updated arrangements. Watson never sold his soul; he just put new beats behind it from time to time. ... [MORE]


A real mother for ya


Artists  Blues  Rhythm and Blues  

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Jazz at Lincoln Center to Salute Wynton Marsalis at Fall Gala

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By Ben Mattison

Jazz at Lincoln Center's annual fall gala will feature a salute to trumpeter and JALC artistic director Wynton Marsalis on the 25th anniversary of his emergence on the jazz scene.

The gala, on November 14 at JALC's Rose Hall, will be hosted by television correspondent Ed Bradley. Performers will include Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, pianist Hank Jones, the Kronos Quartet, saxophonist Joe Lovano, drummer Herlin Riley, and pianist Marcus Roberts. ... [MORE]


Wynton Marsalis


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Played bass with many jazz greats

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(AP) -- Bassist Jack Lesberg, who played with many of the jazz greats of the 1940s and '50s and had a distinguished career in symphonic orchestras, has died. He was 85.

Lesberg died of complications from Alzheimer's disease on Sept. 17, his daughter, Valerie Kaplan, told The New York Times.

A Boston native, Lesberg played violin in area clubs before switching to double bass in the late 1930s. He was a survivor of the Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire, in which 492 people died in 1942. ... [MORE]


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Marsalis and friends take a trip through jazz history

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MUSIC REVIEW
By Bill Beuttler, Globe Correspondent  |  October 10, 2005

Ellis Marsalis
At: Scullers, first set, Friday

Ellis Marsalis is widely known as a great jazz educator. On Friday at Scullers, he showed himself to be a great student of the genre, too, while also demonstrating his underrecognized prowess as a jazz artist.

Sharing the stage with the 71-year-old pianist was a pair of fellow New Orleans ''refugees" and former students, saxophonist Derek Douget and drummer Adonis Rose, with Duke University jazz studies director John Brown on bass. Marsalis opened with a brief piano intro that led into ''Bye Bye Blackbird," the first of several standards making up the set. Douget blew an impressive solo on tenor sax, with Marsalis and Brown following with smart solo turns in that order, Marsalis quoting the telltale phrase of Dizzy Gillespie's ''Salt Peanuts" during his accompaniment of Brown. ... [MORE]




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With the Jazz Funeral's Return, the Spirit of New Orleans Rises

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                                                  Andrea Mohin/The New York Times
The Hot 8 band led revelers through New Orleans on Sunday to honor Austin Leslie, a local chef who died after being evacuated from the storm.

By SHAILA DEWAN

NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 9 - It would not be fair to say the music ever totally evacuated this city of jazz, where even in the darkest hours a lone harmonica player or a busker serenaded the empty balconies. But on Sunday, it began its grand re-entrance, with the first jazz funeral procession since Hurricane Katrina. ... [MORE]


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2005 Sponsors

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The Boogie Woogie and Blues Festival along with its recording and documentation has been made possible with the assistance of:

                         

          Illuminating Concepts







                   



           Color Kinetics Logo                             HIGH END SYSTEMS
                                                                       Special thanks to Frank and Judith Gordon



Zumtobel Staff                          



Sponsors  

Contact the AMRF

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Contact us at:
 
The American Music Research Foundation
30733 West Ten Mile Road
Farmington Hills, MI 48336
Phone:    248-478-2525
TollFree:  866-270-5141
Fax:         248-478-2568
 
Ron Harwood: President & Founder  ronh@illuminatingconcepts.com
Keith Irtenkauf: Sec/Treasurer          keithi@illuminatingconcepts.com
John Penney: Director                         tunesailor@comcast.net
Brandi Stribbell: Director of Development brandis@illuminatingconcepts.com
Ronda Lee:  Associate Producer                rondal@illuminatingconcepts.com
 




Contact AMRF  

2003/2004 AMRF SPONSORS

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Sponsors  

Special Links

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http://atcallahans.com/
Callahan's Music Hall
 
 
WHFR Radio
 
Howling Diablos
 
Howling Diablos
 
Royal Oak Music Theatre
 
http://www.boogiewoogie.com
The Site of all things Boogie Woogie

http://www.michigan-fgs.org/index2.htm
Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society

http://www.flash.net/~dbsblues/
Detroit Blues Society

http://www.mary4music.com/
Mary4Music.com A comprehensive blues and indie music network

http://www.eldarentertainment.com
Booking agency booking nationals & regional artists. Festival, event & party planning
Eldar Entertainment

http://www.thebluehighway.com/intro.html
Blue Highway

http://lcweb.loc.gov/folklife/
Library of Congress Folklife Center

http://www.pbs.org/jazz/
PBS Ken Burns Jazz Site

http://www.rockhall.com/home/default.asp
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

http://www.boogiewoogie.com/TEST/ARTIST/SEELEY/bsmaster.htm
Bob Seeley

http://www.kaeshammer.com/
Michael Kaeshammer

http://www.boogie-woogie.com/home_englisch.html
Axel Zwingenberger

http://www.boogiewoogie.com/TEST/ARTIST/BOOTY/CBmaster.htm
Charlie Booty

http://www.johnnie.com/index.html    OR
http://www.rockhall.com/hof/inductee.asp?id=1147
Johnnie Johnson

http://www.vince-weber.de/
Vince Weber

http://www.pbs.org/jazz/biography/artist_id_mcshann_jay.htm
Jay McShann

http://www.blindpigrecords.com/artists/Mr+B.html
Mark Braun, aka "Mr.B"

http://www.freep.com/news/obituaries/mck21_20010621.htm
Harold McKinney

http://www.arhoolie.com/titles/422.shtml
Big Joe Duskin

http://www.fabulousthunderbirds.com/Index2.cfm
Gene Taylor/Fabulous Thunderbirds
http://www.ColinDavey.com/BoogieWoogie.com
Boogie Woogie Press - Colin Davey, Publisher

http://www.boogiegroove.ch/
Silvan Zingg

http://www.redfordtheatre.com
The Redford Theatre

http://musicdish.com/genome/check.php3
Music Dish Genome Project
searchable directory of music, new media and entertainement websites

http://www.bigcitybluesmag.com
Big City Blues Magazine

http://www.yamaha.com/piano
Yamaha Piano - The Official Piano of the Festival

http://www2.thingstodo.com/states/MI/events/index.htm
Things To Do In Michigan - Thingstodo.com

http://www.dmamusic.org/daviddrazin
David Drazin, jazz, ballet and silent film pianist

http://www.boogiepromotionsholland.nl/
Promoting Boogie Woogie and Blues music in Holland

http://www.bluesidol.com
Blues Idol - Blues Contest

http://www.musicmaker.org
Keeping the Bluest of the Blues Alive

http://pianopresto.com/
Piano music lessons

 


Links  

The Centennial of Meade "Lux" Lewis

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          This year, the American Music Research Foundation celebrates the centennial of one of the biggest names in Boogie history, Meade Anderson "Lux(embourg)" Lewis.  Born on September 3, 1905, Lewis was inspired by legendary Clarence "Pinetop" Smith and Jimmy Yancey.  Lewis shared a friendship with two of Boogie-Woogie's other cornerstone players, Pete Johnson and Albert Ammons.  With Johnson and Ammons, a fellow Chicago taxi driver, Lewis rocked many pianos in the mid-20's.
          In 1927, Lewis recorded his famous "Honky Tonk Train Blues", a classic that would be reproduced by nearly every Boogie player to follow.  The "Honky Tonk Train Blues" has a slow, rhythmic left hand that rests in one place, mimicking the sound of a train chugging along its tracks, while the right hand reproduces a starting whistle, bridge crossings, whistle conversations, and finally the slow descent of the train pulling into a station.
          When Lewis released the solo record two years later, a new name had been found for his style.  Clarence "Pinetop" Smith's 1928 "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie" was the first known coinage of the title "Boogie Woogie."  Smith's song was a faster-paced Boogie than Lewis's, and surpassed it in popularity.
          With the Great Depression came a great decline of Boogie-Woogie's popularity.  Lewis couldn't make enough money playing piano, and fell back onto side jobs to make ends meet.  In 1935, Lewis was found washing cars by the New York record producer and critic John Hammond.  Hammond, inspired by his discovery of the young Billie Holiday and his work with artists like Fletcher Henderson, Bessie Smith and Benny Goodman, was on a mission to bring black music into the limelight.  Hammond was gathering all of the best black American artists he could find to play in his "Spirituals to Swing" concert at Carnegie Hall.
          On December 23, 1938, Meade "Lux" Lewis joined his friends Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson on stage, along with shouter Big Joe Turner, the Count Basie Orchestra, the Bennie Goodman sextet, vocalist Rubie Smith (the recently deceased Bessie's niece), and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, among others.  The concert was an unmitigated success, blowing the minds of the white New Yorkers who came to see Carnegie Hall's first ever presentation of black American music.  The audience went wild for the three Boogie piano players, launching a huge nation-wide Boogie-Woogie craze that would last into the early 50's.
          After the 1938 concert, Lewis, Ammons and Johnson, along with Big Joe Turner, settled into an extended engagement at the Cafe Society in New York, often playing "train wrecks" with two and three pianos at once.  Lewis continued to tour and record into the early 60's, joining sessions sometimes on celeste and harpsichord.  Though Boogie-Woogie fell out of fashion, Lewis held his left-hand chords through the development of jump blues and rock and roll, living proof of his genre's foundational influence on later music.  Lewis died in a fatal car crash in Minnesota on June 7, 1964.

-Contributed by Britt Harwood



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About the AMRF

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The AMRF is a federally registered 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and cultural organization dedicated to the advancement and promotion of all American musical forms. This site is by no means an exhaustive resource on American music, but is designed to give the visitor an introduction to the work of the AMRF and hopefully provide a vehicle for the study and enjoyment of the various forms of music that are collectively thought of as American.

The opinions expressed within this site are those of the contributors and may contain inaccurate information. In addition, much of what is known and communicated about music is by its very nature anecdotal.

Music can be thought of in many interesting ways. Music is art, math, language, mythology, and culture. While the music itself is scientific in its most elemental form, the human culture that creates and surrounds it is quite subjective.

The development and evolution of music in its many forms is arguable which only adds to the mystique surrounding many forms of music, most notably, those that are considered "folk" forms of music.

***OFFICERS***
President and Founder:  Ron Harwood
Vice President:  Shelly Harwood
Secretary/Treasurer:  Keith Irtenkauf

OUR MISSION:  The American Music Research Foundation will collect, film, record, archive, restore, master, edit and distribute material relating to American music--particularly the blues--including, but not limited to, interviews and performances recorded on video, film and audio tape, sheet music, letters and other documents, player piano rolls, 78-, 45-, and 33-rpm records, books, aural histories, photographs and other artifacts; provide funding for the promotion and production of concerts to educate and increase awareness of various musical forms and their historical significance; and collect and disburse funds to provide assistance to elderly and indigent performers with medical and financial emergencies.

If you are interested in becoming a contributor to the website, please contact Ryan Hertz at sentimentalshark@yahoo.com. 



About the American Music Research Foundation  

Thoughts From Charlie Booty

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Sharing an experience can create lifetime bonds between people and most all my close friendships were developed from experiences in and around musical events. The AMRF production, The Motor City Boogie Festival, is one of those exceptional events where fans and performers can become friends by sharing their love of this wonderful music, which is what it is all about.

Piano blues-boogie woogie can mean different things to each of us.  For me, this music is exhilarating, exciting, emotional and inspirational.  It also has tremendous therapeutic power.  On more than one occasion, during stressful and traumatic events of my life, being able to find comfort and peace from regular music sessions has preserved my balance in life.  Of course, such benefit is derived from devotion and dedication to the music.  Even without therapeutic benefit, piano blues-boogie woogie is a great lifetime adventure.  There is a seemingly endless variety of piano styles and ideas that flow from each performer and each player has a different story to tell.

Over roughly 58 years of playing piano, many people have asked me about learning to play blues-boogie piano.  I have shied away from actually doing long-term teaching though I have tried to start newcomers with simple advice and encouraged those who were already on speaking terms with the piano and notes.  One of the first requirements, in my opinion, is a deep, sincere love and appreciation of the music and it is best not to have on blinders that exclude all but one or two styles from the scope of appreciation.  I have met fans who only wanted to learn the industrial strength boogie woogie piano and, while that is all well and good, it is not wise to try to start out at the top of any profession.  I recommend a lot of listening to recordings of as many early pioneers as possible, primarily to get a good feel for the range of expression and ideas that brought all of us together.  Next, and even more important, is to listen to, and watch, live performances at every chance, on a one-on-one basis where possible.  I have learned a lot by being close enough to a piano to see what the player is doing and how certain things that intrigue me are done.  Of course, for any beginning blues-boogie player, the main thing is to start out very simple and work up to more industrial strength boogie as the control, coordination and finger technique develop.  The hardest part, and this is what many beginners try to by-pass, is practice, practice, practice!  Even the pro's have to stay in shape with practice.

With the Motor City Boogie Festival, the AMRF provides a great way for fans to get their yearly "piano blues-boogie fix", as well as inspiring future players, by presenting the best piano blues-woogie players from around the world.      

-Charlie Booty (Boogie Beat, Summer 2003)

 

Charlie Booty has worked diligently to promote boogie woogie to a world-wide audience. He has several full-length CDs produced on his private Piano Joys label.  He also has collaborated on discs with artists like Charlie Castner and Ben Conroy.  Another effort is his “Rent Party Echoes: CD series, featuring freewheeling piano solos and duets recorded at Dallas-Fort Worth piano parties.  It is our pleasure and distinct honor to have had Charlie perform for the past 3 consecutive Boogie Woogie Festivals and to contribute his personal insights for our debut newsletter. – The Editor



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2005 Festival Announcement

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Daimler Chrysler
presents the
7th Annual Motor City Boogie Woogie & Blues Festival

Friday, October 14th   &   Saturday, October 15th 2005
at the Royal Oak Music Theatre

Friday, Oct. 14th - Boogie Woogie Revue
Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne (Canada)
Philippe Lejeune (France)
Michael Kaeshammer (Canada)
Silvan Zing (Switzerland)

Saturday, Oct. 15th - "Gen 2 Blues"
Phantom Blues Band
Bernard Allison (son of Luther Allison)
Kenny Neal (son of Raful Neal)
Tasha Taylor (daughter of "The Wailer" Johnnie Taylor)
With a special guest appearance by Tito Jackson


Produced by the American Music Research Foundation.


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