In life and on stage with his Gibson Super 400 guitar, Jimmy Ponder was a force of nature because he blew people away. From the Hill District, to Manhattan, to Atlanta and beyond, he epitomized the Pittsburgh jazz guitar legacy. He died Sept. 16 after battling cancer for more than a year. He was 67.
Marian McPartland (AP Photo/File) by Todd Leopold (CNN) — Marian McPartland, the famed jazz pianist and longtime host of NPR’s “Piano Jazz” program, died August…
NORMAN BROWN Michael Jackson has been an inspiration to guitarist Norman Brown. So when friend and musician tenor saxophonist, Kirk Whalum came up with the idea to create an album with trumpeter/flugelhornist Rick Braun and guitarist Norman Brown celebrating Jackson’s invaluable contribution to the music industry, Brown immediately agreed to be a part of the project.
Roger Humphries and RH Factor (Photo by Frank Greenlee) In an effort to provide people of different backgrounds and economic levels to enjoy the arts, Citiparks is offering its three popular summer concert series–“Stars at Riverview Jazz Series,” “Bach, Beethoven and Brunch” and Reservoir of Jazz,” again this year. Each series is sure to whet the appetite of all music lovers in the Pittsburgh area. “These concerts are a great way to provide no-cost access to the arts for families in the City, increase utilization in our parks, and to enhance the quality of life for our residents. We know that everyone cannot afford to go to places like the Opera or the Symphony, so our concerts allow people of all backgrounds and abilities access to the arts,” said Tim Ishman, assistant director Pittsburgh Parks and Recreation.
Atlanta’s Dante’s Down The Hatch will close July 30. Marquee notes jazz club’s closing date. (Courier Photo/Timothy Cox) ATLANTA, GA — When news spread that one of Atlanta’s most nostalgic restaurants was about to shut its doors – forever – lots of talk surrounded the unique ambiance of Dante’s Down The Hatch, a suburban Atlanta tradition for more than 40 years. Less talk noted that the July 30 closing will end the longest-running live-jazz music venue in the nation.
Thursday 11 Harlem QuartetThe Kelly Strayhorn Theater and the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society presents East Liberty LIVE! With the Harlem Quartet at 7:30 p.m. at 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty. The group also appears as part of the PCMS’s Just Summer series. Each member of the quartet is a seasoned solo artist. They have performed at The White House for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. There will also be refreshments provided by Bar Marco. Tickets are $20. For more information, visit http://www.kelly-strayhorn.org.
PAUL SMITH LOS ANGELES (AP) — Paul Smith, a jazz pianist, composer and arranger who worked with such greats as Bing Crosby, Nat “King” Cole and Dizzy Gillespie, has died at 91.
CHRIS MOORE, BROTHER MATT, DEBBIE PARKER AND SLY JOCK AT WAMO REUNION PARTY (Courier Photo/J.L. Martello/File) Earlier this month, when Pittsburghers began discussing the possible return of a jazz radio station to the region, some in the Black community had just one question. Would any of the radio hosts on this new station be Black?
THE SAXAPHONE—Dave Koz, second from left, with friends Richard Elliot, Mindi Abair, and Gerald Albright. Saxophone greats Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Mindi Adair and Richard Elliot are taking listeners back to a time when music was known for its tight horn sections and people like James Brown, Kool and the Gang, Stevie Wonder and Tower of Power ruled the airwaves with their ‘Summer Horns” collaboration album and subsequent tour which is set to hit Robert Morris University’s Sewall Center Arena on July 12.
This CD cover image released by Concord Jazz shows “Except Sometimes,” by Molly Ringwald. (AP Photo/Concord Jazz) by Charles J. Gans NEW YORK (AP) — Molly Ringwald has moved from “The Breakfast Club” to the jazz club. The redheaded actress who describes herself as “your former teen-age crush” in her Twitter bio will always live in her generation’s memories for portraying the angst of high school life as an everyday girl, teen princess and outsider in her iconic 1980s films “Sixteen Candles,” ”The Breakfast Club,” and “Pretty In Pink” with writer-director John Hughes. Now the 45-year-old has taken on a new role as a jazz singer with the release last month of her album “Except Sometimes,” a collection of Great American Songbook and Broadway tunes.