Tag Archives: Herbie Hancock

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a drum major for justice, was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Legends recognize legends. Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock dedicated his 1969 album, The Prisoner, to Dr. King. In his 2014 memoir Possibilities, Herbie wrote:

It was a concept album focusing on the struggle for civil rights. The Prisoner reflected the beginnings of my new musical directions.

International Jazz Day 2016

All good things must come to an end. Jazz Appreciation Month is going out on a high note. On Saturday, April 30, America’s classical music will be celebrated across the globe, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

International Jazz Day 2016

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said in a statement:

Jazz was born in the U.S. and traveled the world as a music of tolerance, freedom and human dignity. This is why UNESCO created International Jazz Day and we are extremely pleased that in 2016 Washington, DC has been designated the host city for this global celebration, with a unique All Star Concert at the White House, hosted by the President of the United States Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. This event reminds us Jazz is more than music – it is a universal message of peace with rhythm and meaning.

Jazz at the White House - 4.25.16

UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock added:

We are thrilled that President Obama and Michelle Obama are hosting the International Jazz Day All-Star Global Concert at the White House, and are truly grateful for their commitment to jazz and its role in building bridges and uniting people around the world. Over the past five years, the innovation and creativity of Jazz Day has been a beacon of light to millions of people who find common ground and communicate through the values inherent in jazz. On April 30th, people of all ages in all corners of the globe will participate in International Jazz Day. A wide range of momentous events will take place in thousands of neighborhoods – and the streets will be alive with the sounds of peace and freedom.

The all-star global concert will air on ABC-TV at 8pm ET.

The 2nd Fret

Owned and operated by Manny Rubin in the 1960s, the 2nd Fret was located in the heart of the Rittenhouse Square coffeehouse scene. The building is still there.

2nd Fret - Arrow v1

What happened behind the then-red door was magical. Jamil Overton knows. He was there and used to perform at the folk club:

There were poets and folk singers. It was the spot. Jazz was the center of everything that happened there. It was a transition from beatniks to hippies.

Philly’s premier folk club, the 2nd Fret played host to folk singers and jazz artists who went on to greatness. Musicians like Arlo Guthrie, Norman Connors, Alfie Pollit, Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry, and Richie Havens. A former habitué said artists returned to the small club over and over because they wanted to make sure it survived.

Joni Mitchell performed there many times, recording live at the 2nd Fret in 1967. Joni’s legacy includes collaborations with Herbie Hancock and Weather Report whose members included Philly natives Alphonso Johnson and Victor Bailey. This month she will be presented the SFJAZZ Lifetime Achievement Award by Wayne Shorter:

Ms. Mitchell’s extensive collaborations with jazz artists are a hallmark of her far ranging vision and iconic sensibilities. In the final project before his death, bassist Charles Mingus wrote six pieces for Joni Mitchell. Those compositions featuring lyrics by Ms. Mitchell are captured on the 1979 classic Mingus featuring jazz legends Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock (both previous recipients of the SFJAZZ Lifetime Achievement Award). Her work with other groundbreaking artists including Jaco Pastorius, Tom Scott, Tony Williams, Pat Metheny, and Michael Brecker has led to a legacy that transcends pop and jazz music.

2nd Fret - Thank You Joni Mitchell

Joni is recovering from an undisclosed medical condition. For updates, follow #ThankYouJoni on Twitter.