Jazz

Notable Birthdays For Jazz: October 18th

Esperanza Spaulding

Esperanza Spaulding is a jazz vocalist, bassist, and composer from Portland, Oregon.  She is currently a professor of music at Harvard University.  Spaulding has one four Grammys.  She is the first jazz artist to win in the best new artist category.

Grammy Win

White House Performance

Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis is jazz and classical trumpeter and composer from New Orleans, Louisiana.  He has recorded over eighty albums and has nine Grammys.  He is the only musician to receive a Grammy for both his jazz and classical work.  Marsalis was the first jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music and he received the National Humanities Medal from President Barak Obama in 2015.  He co-founded the Jazz program at Lincoln Center in 1987.  Marsalis is active in jazz education worldwide and was named an international ambassador of goodwill for the United States by the U.N. in 2001.
His youngest brother, Jason Marsalis will be playing in the Lionel Hampton Big Band during the 2020 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow, Idaho.

60 Minutes Interview

Second Line

Jazz History In October

The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson.
Photo Credit: Goldmic90 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 

The Jazz Singer

The Jazz Singer premiered on October 6th, 1927.  The film, starring Al Jolson, tells the story of a second generation Russian American who wants to become a popular jazz singer.   His father wants him to become a cantor in the local synagogue and believes being in show business is sinful.  Jolson’s character must choose between his parents’ Russian-Jewish culture and pursuing his dream.  The film is controversial today because of Jolson’s use of blackface throughout the film.  However, the film is undeniably an important part of American culture because it was the first successful “talking” picture with synchronized dialogue and sound effects.  The success of The Jazz Singer pushed all of the American motion picture studios into “the talkies” and effectively ended the age of silent pictures.

Title Card of The Jazz Singer.
Photo Credit: mumblethesilent on Imugr

The October Revolution In Jazz

The first Free Jazz music festival took place from October 1st to October 4th in 1964.  Organized by musician Bill Dixon, the four day festival had over twenty artists and ensembles performing and discussing their work.  Headliners included Sun Ra, Paul Bley, and Cecil Taylor.  The festival helped introduce the general public to the free jazz style.

Source:  Anderson, Iain. This Is Our Music : Free Jazz, the Sixties, and American Culture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007. Accessed October 8, 2019. ProQuest Ebook Central, p. 122

The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson Movie Still.
Ad for the October Revolution Music Festival.
Photo Credit: Maureen Malloy

Jazz Night 2019!

KJEM poster
Come Join us!

Join KJEM 89.9FM in Pullman at the Gladish Auditorium, April 11th, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

Jazz Night spotlights local to the Palouse groups Jazz Wires and Fatt Jazz.

No ticket or RSVP required! Simply show up, kick back, and relax with this free community concert.

In the meantime, enjoy some KJEM Jazz online right here.

Excited to tell us you’re going to be there? Send a Tweet, a Facebook post, or an email to [email protected]!

Claude Bourbon Spanish Blues (Guitair and Vocals)

Bourbon plays an average of over 100 shows per year throughout the world, mainly the US and Europe and he will be performing at the Dahmen Barn this June. His most recent music contains a mix of folk, western, jazz and blues. Bourbon has played on stage alongside musicians who have been a part of Miles Davis’ group as well as Van Morrison’s group. More information can be found at the link provided below.

A Look Back At The 50th Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival

Photo Credit: The University of Idaho Photo Services
Preston Snyder

The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival is held at the University of Idaho and is a festival inviting student musicians and school jazz bands from around the Pacific Northwest to compete for awards, participate in workshops and clinics put on by professional jazz musicians and experience concerts featuring famous musicians and bands. Started in 1967, this year marked the 50th anniversary of the festival. The University of Idaho made a promotional video commemorating the 50th anniversary:

The Saturday night concert started with the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival Big Band, loud and proud, led by Vern Sielert. Featuring a variety of guests, including Jason Marsalis on Vibraphone, Claudio Roditi on trumpet, and Julia Keefe singing, the band played a variety of songs including a song called 50 and Counting written by Vern and closed with a loud and proud arrangement of Lionel Hampton’s Flying Home featuring Jason Marsalis, in the style of Hampton, and a dancing trumpet section.

The set then transitioned to the best student soloists from the day and each group played their best songs from their set. Then they all came together for a final group performance and one lucky soloist, Max Zhang from Semiahmoo Secondary School in Surrey, British Columbia, was named Outstanding Instrumental Soloist for bass and received a University of Idaho scholarship from Avista Utilities.

After a brief intermission, the stage was reset and, in an outfit far more colorful than the other two performances before her, Esperanza Spaulding took to the stage, had a casual conversation with the audience as she tuned her bass, and then began to play and sing. She was joined by Justin Tyson on drums and Matthew Stevens on guitar. She played a variety of different styles and genres from an Argentinian standard to a mash-up of Humpty Dumpty by Chick Corea and All The Kings Horses by Aretha Franklin because “Those songs just sound like they should go together.” Then Justin left the stage leaving Esperanza and Matthew to play a slow, free version of Have I Stayed Too Long At The Fair. Justin came back and the trio played a loud and engaging Endangered Species. Finally, after asking for some participation, Esperanza Spaulding led a rousing finale of Nina Simone’s Forbidden Fruit. The trio took their bows, the lights came up and as the they walked backstage that was the conclusion of the 50th Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.

For more information about The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival and The University of Idaho visit:

http://www.uidaho.edu/class/jazzfest