Ella Fitzgerald@100

March is “Women in Jazz Month.” It’s also “Women’s History Month.” As the National Museum of American History notes, Ella Fitzgerald was about intersectionality before the term was coined: Fitzgerald succeeded in the male-dominated field of jazz. By overcoming the odds, breaking barriers, and setting precedents, she paved the way for other women to follow … Continue reading Ella Fitzgerald@100

Club Harlem

Under the proprietorship of Stan Cooper, this West Philly jazz spot was popular in the 1940s and ‘50s. Club Harlem played host to jazz and blues greats such as Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Lionel Hampton, Johnny Hodges, Ella Fitzgerald, Lucky Millender, John Coltrane, Dinah Washington, Bull Moose Jackson, Erskine Hawkins and Nat King Cole. On … Continue reading Club Harlem

Women in Jazz Month 2019

March is Women in Jazz Month, a time to celebrate and recognize the contributions of women to jazz. As a lifelong activist, I want to celebrate women who used music as a platform for social change. Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” is well-known. Ethel Waters’ “Supper Time” is not as well-known. Written by Irving Berlin especially … Continue reading Women in Jazz Month 2019

2018 DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival

Trumpeter Clifford Brown was 25 when he died in a car crash in 1956. His last performance was at Philadelphia’s famed Music City. Although his life was cut short, Brown left an indelible impact. There are 334 versions of Philly native and NEA Jazz Master Benny Golson’s composition, “I Remember Clifford.” Since 1988, his hometown … Continue reading 2018 DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival

Help Get Muddy Waters a Google Doodle

We all have seen Google Doodles. The drawings “celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers, and scientists.” Google accepts suggestions from the public. You can help one of the most celebrated bluesmen, Muddy Waters, get a Google Doodle. American Blues Scene, a popular website, is petitioning Google to create a Muddy Waters … Continue reading Help Get Muddy Waters a Google Doodle

Leonard Bernstein@100

This year marks the centennial birthday of several jazz luminaries, including Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Lena Horne and Thelonious Monk. Philharmonic Laureate Conductor Leonard Bernstein was born on August 25, 1918 but the celebrations are already underway. The worldwide festivities will continue until August 25, 2019. Bernstein had a longstanding appreciation of jazz, blues and … Continue reading Leonard Bernstein@100

African-American Music Appreciation Month 2017

On June 7, 1979, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the month of June “Black Music Month.” Every president since then has recognized the contribution of black musicians to the nation’s cultural heritage. In 2009, President Barack Obama changed the month-long celebration to “African-American Music Appreciation Month.” The tradition continues with President Donald Trump: During June, we … Continue reading African-American Music Appreciation Month 2017

Jazz Appreciation Month 2017

Founded by the National Museum of American History in 2002, April is Jazz Appreciation Month. The Smithsonian kicks off its celebration with a loving tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song.” To find new ways to celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month, visit Smithsonian Jazz.

Jazz 100 Celebrates Four Icons

This year marks the centennial birthdays of Ella Fitzgerald, Mongo Santamaría, Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie. The jazz visionaries will be celebrated on Friday, September 30 at 8:00 p.m. at the Merriam Theater. Anne Ewers, President & CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Art, said in a statement: Philadelphia is a revered jazz city and … Continue reading Jazz 100 Celebrates Four Icons