Congratulations to Portland’s American Music Program/Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra, which recently won the prestigious “Essentially Ellington” high school jazz band competition. Led by Portland musician/educator Thara Memory – a local legend who is nationally recognized for being Esperanza Spalding’s former teacher – the band performed Duke Ellington’s “The Tattooed Bride” from memory on the Rose Theater stage at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
“There’s an emotional commitment to playing ‘Tattooed Bride’ from memory. No professional group does that,” Wynton Marsalis said of their peformance. “American Music Program wanted to play that for their band director, Thara Memory. They love him. They wanted him to […] Continue reading »
Yet more evidence demonstrating the influence John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme has had on musicians…This book excerpt from Marcus Baram’s excellent biography, Gil Scott-Heron: Pieces of a Man demonstrates how Coltrane’s legendary recording “inspired Gil with his mercurial independence in the face of criticism” at a time when the creative artist was contemplating his future as a novelist, poet, musician, and […] Continue reading »
Paul Morris is an avid Portland, Oregon record album collector who, in his words, will “share his enthusiasm for the artists who created album covers in the ‘40’s and ‘50’s.” In addition to being a collector of the art, he is a scholar of it. This edition focuses on Everest Records, the last of several new labels that Alex Steinweiss helped launch, […] Continue reading »
“The thing to do is to exploit the meaning of the life you have.”
– Ralph Ellison, 1960 […] Continue reading »
This excerpt from cultural historian Gerald Early’s essay from The Sammy Davis Jr Reader is a provocative reminder of Davis’ important role in breaking down racial barriers, and how the racism he faced led to his rebellion against it that was “couched in terms of seeking the acceptance of whites, but seeking […] Continue reading »