YOUR SOURCE OF JAZZ AND MORE IN WASHINGTON DC AND THE WORLD
Washington DC Jazz Network
KANSAS CITY, MO
NOW'S THE TIME!
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August 29, 1920 – March 12, 1955
SATURDAY, AUGUST 27, 2011
Show begins at 8:30pm in the Blue Room
Watson grew up in Bonner Springs, Kansas and Kansas City, Kansas. He attended the University of Miami along with fellow students Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius and Bruce Hornsby. After graduating in 1975, he moved to New York City and joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. The Jazz Messengers, sometimes referred to as the "University of Blakey," served as the ultimate "postgraduate school" for ambitious young players. He performed with the Jazz Messengers from 1977 to 1981, eventually becoming the musical director for the group.
After completing his tenure as a Jazz Messenger, Watson became a much-sought after musician, working along the way with many notable musicians, including: drummers Max Roach and Louis Hayes, fellow saxophonists George Coleman and Branford Marsalis, multi-instrumentalist Sam Rivers and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. In addition to working with a variety of instrumentalists, Watson has served in a supporting role for a number of distinguished and stylistically varied vocalists including: Joe Williams, Dianne Reeves, Lou Rawls, Betty Carter, and Carmen Lundy, and has performed as a sideman with Carlos Santana, George Coleman, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Bob Belden and John Hicks.
Later, in association with bassist Curtis Lundy and drummer Victor Lewis, Watson started the first edition of Horizon, an acoustic quintet modeled after the Jazz Messengers but with its own slightly more modern twist. The group recorded several titles for the Blue Note and Columbia record labels.....read more
Dennis Winslett began his study of the saxophone at the age of 9 in the historic jazz town of Kansas City. His full intense sound and high energy free swinging style of improvisation quickly earned him a reputation as an exciting young player to watch. Upon moving to Chicago to earn a degree in K-12 music education at, Vandercook College of Music, he was soon discovered by legendary saxophonist and AACM co-founder, Fred Anderson, which then led to his long standing Sunday night engagement at Anderson's Velvet Lounge. Winslett is currently a member of Malachi Thompson's Free-Bop Band swapping duties with sax giants Gary Bartz and Billy Harper. He shows his diversity going from Free-bop to recently recording with Ramsey Lewis's contemporary jazz group,Urban Knights.
On his debut recording for his co-founded new label, Black Folk Music, Winslett steps outside of his traditional be-bop roots and takes us on a Soul Journey to his own musical voice. This project was originally to be title, Ancient Folk Music, but was re-titled after another track on the cd, Soul Journey, after Winslett reflected on the year long process of writing and producing a project of all original music. Then negotiating in and out of two non-promising record deals, to pursue starting his own music label. These nine original compositions display his diverse musical style and simple approach to Jazz music. That is to write melodies that everyone can relate to and feel regardless of how rhythmic or harmonically sophisticated, and let the improvisation of the ensemble enlighten the listener to all the artistic and complex possibilities of the composition.
This young saxophonist is one of the most moving and passionate musicians of today, and to look out for in the future.
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Ceremony at the Cemetery
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Fans, journalists and family members gathered around Charlie Parker's grave in Lincoln Cemetery Sunday afternoon for a memorial service.
The highlight of the ceremony was a spirited round of "Now's the Time." Amateur enthusiasts joined some of Kansas City's most notable musicians.
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Kansas City All Star
Sunday, August 28, 2011
The sights and sounds of a uniquely American art form come alive at the American Jazz Museum. The Museum includes interactive exhibits and educational programs as well as the Blue Room, a working jazz club, and the Gem Theater, a modern 500-seat performing arts center.
by: Robert Graham
Located in the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District in Kansas City, this is the place where jazz masters such as Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Big Joe Turner, and hundreds of others defined the sounds of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.
Today, scholars, students, musicians, and fans are drawn here to learn about the legends, honor their legacy, or simply enjoy the best music America has to offer.
Additional Museum Highlights: Celebrating the artistic, historical, and cultural contributions of jazz, the American Jazz Museum includes: Rare photos, album covers, memorabilia, and personal items telling the stories of jazz legends Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Charlie Parker
When Parker was still a child, his family moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where jazz, blues and gospel music were flourishing. His first contact with music came from school, where he played baritone horn with the school’s band. When he was 15, he showed a great interest in music and a love for the alto saxophone. Soon, Parker was playing with local bands until 1935, when he left school to pursue a music career.
From 1935 to 1939, Parker worked in Kansas City with several local jazz and blues bands from which he developed his art. In 1939, Parker visited New York for the first time, and he stayed for nearly a year working as a professional musician and often participating in jam sessions. The New York atmosphere greatly influenced Parker's musical style.
In 1938, Parker joined the band of pianist Jay McShann, with whom he toured around Southwest Chicago and New York. A year later, Parker traveled to Chicago and was a regular performer at a club on 55th street. Parker soon moved to New York. He washed dishes at a local food place where he met guitarist Biddy Fleet, the man who taught him about instrumental harmony. Shortly afterwards, Parker returned to Kansas City to attend his father’s funeral. Once there, he joined Harlan Leonard’s Rockets and stayed for five months. In 1939, Yardbird rejoined McShann and was placed in charge of the reed section. Then, in 1940, Parker made his first recording with the McShann orchestra.
Parker performed in jam sessions at Monroe’s and Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem.
By the end of 1942, he had a regular position with jazz great Earl "Fatha" Hines, and in 1943 he joined Billy Eckstine's popular band. It was during this period, while working with trumpet player and bandmate Dizzy Gillespie and, perhaps not coincidentally, doing no recording because of a musicians union strike, that Parker, Gillespie, and other musicians like pianist Bud Powell and drummer Max Roach began to carve out the signature features of the new jazz style that would come to be known as "bebop".
Though jazz had always been an improvisational style, he and his collaborators, who often met for informal jam sessions at Minton's, an after-hours club in Harlem, took the music's individualistic aspects to new levels, demanding technical excellence of each other that was not typical of even the best swing bands. Perhaps the most defining characteristic of the new style, and the innovation most associated with Charlie Parker, was the expansion of jazz harmony away from basic "triads" to more expanded forms using the upper extensions of chords. Among the best known of his recordings were his own composition "Koko" (the first bebop piece to garner widespread critical attention for its harmonic innovations),
A NIGHT IN TUNISIA[Dizzy Gillespie]
the Dizzy Gillespie piece "A Night in Tunisia" (featuring an alto saxophone break that exemplified Parker's amazing technique), as well as the ballads "Embraceable You" (whose melody was rendered beautifully unrecognizable by Parker's improvisations), "Parker's Mood", and "Lover Man". Though his work was generally held in high regard by jazz aficionados and fellow musicians, with the exception of some conservative bandleaders like Cab Calloway and Eddie Condon, his commercial appeal was limited by the complexity of his work which the average listener had a hard time following.
There he caught the attention of up-and-coming jazz artists like Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. Later that year, Parker broke with McShann and joined
Earl Hines for eight months.
Billy Eckstine was the vocalist in the Earl Father Hines Big Band. Billy had several hits on the charts 'Stormy Monday Blues' and Jelly Jelly. He asked for a raise. Fatha said NO. Eckstine left the band and all the KILLER players followed him because all the ladies loved him and he had a big following. Thus pulling a MUTINY. In 1944, Eckstine formed his own big band and made it a fountainhead for young musicians who would reshape jazz by the end of the decade, including Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Lucky Thompson, Charlie Parker, John Malachi, Fats Navarro, Gene Ammons, Tadd Dameron, Gil Fuller were among the band's arrangers, and Sarah Vaughn, Pearl Bailey, Lena Horne were the singers.
Billy Eckstine band in Pittsburgh in 1944. Luck Thompson, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Billy Eckstine
John Malachi - piano & Tommy Potter - bass
Years later he would give Sarah her name 'SASSY' Sarah Vaughn
and 30 yrs later he would meet a young singer and introduces him on stage as
"Your Majesty" George V Johnson Jr
Malachi says that he and Diz who were roommates on the road. In the middle of the night there would be a knock on the door.
It woudl be 'Bird' wanting to go over some new tunes and arrangements he had just written. They would be up most of the night playing tunes.
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The year 1945 was extremely important for Parker. During that time he led his own group in New York and also worked with Gillespie in several ensembles. In December, Parker and Gillespie took their music to Hollywood on a six-week nightclub tour.
Parker continued to perform in Los Angeles until June 1946, when he suffered a nervous breakdown and was confined at a state hospital.
Also limiting his material success was his growing unreliability precipitated by an increasing dependence on heroin. In 1946, following a crackdown on the narcotics traffic in Los Angeles while he was in residence there, Parker had a psychotic break and was hospitalized in Camarillo State Hospital for six months. Though he would recover from this incident, recording the great piece "Relaxing at Camarillo" to commemorate the period and doing well-regarded work with a classically oriented string section (including a memorable performance of "Just Friends"), impresarios became increasingly reluctant to employ him, and he suffered the dubious distinction of being an unqualified living legend who had difficulty getting work for the bulk of his career and was often reduced to playing on a cheap plastic saxophone, albeit often to great effect. Upon his death in 1955 (which saw a coroner estimate his age at 60 instead of his actual age of 34), his body was interred in Kansas City's segregated Lincoln Cemetery over the objections of Chan Parker who had been living as the saxophonist's wife. His amazing influence over the jazz small groups of the 1940s and 1950s is perhaps best summed up by the title of a piece by Charles Mingus: "If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger, There'd Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats".
After his release in January 1947, Parker returned to New York and formed a quintet that performed some of his most famous tunes.
Kim, Bird and Chan
In New York, she became a friend and patron of many prominent jazz musicians, hosting jam sessions in her hotel suite. She is sometimes referred to as the "bebop baroness" or "jazz baroness" because of her patronage of Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker among others. Following Parker's death in her Stanhope rooms in 1955, Koenigswarter was asked to leave by the hotel management; she re-located to the Bolivar Hotel at 230 Central Park West, a building commemorated in Thelonious Monk's 1956 tune "Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues-are".
She was introduced to Thelonious Monk by jazz pianist/composer Mary Lou Williams in Paris while attending the "Salon du Jazz 1954", and championed his work in the USA, writing the liner notes for his 1962 Columbia album Criss-Cross, and even took criminal responsibility when she and Monk were charged with marijuana possession by the police.
After Monk ended his public performances he retired to Nica's house in Weehawkien, New Jersey and died there in 1982... read more here Wikipedia
THE DEATH OF CHARLIE PARKER
Nica’s notoriety was sealed by the mysterious death of Charles “Bird” Parker in her hotel apartment on March 12th 1955. When the press found out, the story made headlines.
In the end Parker was just burnt out.
He had been suffering from stomach ulcers and cirrhosis of the liver, the continous drug and alcohol
intake literally wore his body out. His excessiveness in all things left a body that the attending doctor
at his death, guessed to be in his mid sixties, he was 35. He was without a doubt, one of the most
influential and talented musicians in music history.
|Event Date/Time:||August 27, 2011 8:30 PM|
Available for Bookings
Elijah Balbed- tenor sax, Zach Brown - bass, and Samir Moualy- guitar
Kush Abadey is an accomplished drummer & bandleader . He currently attends Berklee College of Music and for the past few years the young Abadey performed and toured with Wallace Roney. As a leader has also performed with his band Gyroscope at the Kennedy Center, East Coast and Duke Ellington Jazz Festivals and the Smithsonian Museum among others.
Nasar Abadey - drums