Jazz up your new year resolutions
by Francie Scanlon
Jan 05, 2011 | 23928 views | 0 0 comments | 1555 1555 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Brush up on your jazz knowledge wiht NEA masters like Jason Marsalis, himself a 2011 NEA Jazz Master.
Determined to master jazz in 2011 - as a player, audience member, student, advocate - no matter what your age - January offers a sumptuous banquet upon which to feast your jazz appetite.

Monday, Jan. 10 marks the eve of the 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Awards Ceremony & Concert. The Rose Theater at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center at Broadway at 60th Street, will host the 2011 NEA Jazz Masters; they will participate in a panel discussion exploring their careers.

Moderated by A. B. Spellman, the panel starts at 1:00pm in the Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman Studio in the Irene Diamond Education Center, Frederick P. Rose Hall. This event is free to the public on a first come, first served basis. It will also be webcast and can be accessed through arts.gov.

The 2011 NEA Jazz Masters is comprised of formidable flutist Hubert Laws, soaring soprano saxophonist David Liebman, confectionist composer/arranger Johnny Mandel, and the marvelous Marsalis Family-Ellis Marsalis, Jr., Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, and Jason Marsalis - the Studio at Jazz at Lincoln Center is surely the finest place on planet Earth to experience Master Jazz and launch your 2011 jazz resolutions.

Joining the JALC Orchestra will be several of the honorees performing, including Mr. Liebman, Mr. Laws, and the Marsalis Family. The evening also will feature video tributes to each of the 2011 NEA Jazz Masters.

“Jazz at Lincoln Center is honored to once again produce the concert to celebrate the great American Jazz Masters with the National Endowment for the Arts,” said Adrian Ellis, executive director of Jazz at Lincoln. “The 2011 NEA Jazz Masters have made invaluable contributions to America’s first art form and we hope that jazz fans and newcomers alike will join us in celebrating their dedication to its legacy.”

Although the Concert has been sold out, free stand-by tickets will be distributed on January 11, with the line beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Box Office, Broadway at 60th Street, ground floor. Those who do not receive a ticket are invited to watch the concert via simulcast at Frederick P. Rose Hall. A live audio broadcast will be carried through three outlets: Sirius XM Satellite Radio’s Real Jazz Channel 70, WBGO radio on 88.3FM or wbgo.org, and at NPR Music.

The very next evening - Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 6:30p.m. - features a free open house, hosted by Phil Schaap, in the Irene Diamond Education Center.

The Winter Semester of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Swing University will offer a textured understanding and appreciation of jazz through adult education classes for everyone from novice to aficionado. A vast wealth of wisdom and experience is collectively shared by award-winning jazz scholars, historians, and musicians who have witnessed the history first-hand. Visit jalc.org/swingu for more information and to RSVP.

If you are in the 6th, 7th, or 8th grades - Jazz at Lincoln Center will be accepting applications for its Middle School Jazz Academy (MSJA) Class of 2011-12 beginning January 22, 2011. Promising middle school instrumentalists from New York City are eligible to apply and audition for the tuition-free intensive jazz instruction program held throughout the school year.

Each student is awarded a full tuition scholarship, based on application, audition and family interview, to receive intensive jazz instruction throughout the school year. For eligibility requirements and for an application, visit: jalc.org/msja.

Jazz at Lincoln Center will also debut the MSJA Class of 2010-11 in a free showcase on Jan. 22 at 1p.m. in the Irene Diamond Education Center, Frederick P. Rose Hall. No reservations are required as it is on a first come, first served basis.

Of course, if you want to study with a Master himself, 1989 NEA Jazz Master - penultimate pianist Dr. Barry Harris is on hand. In between recent gigs at Flushing Town Hall, he continues to conduct Chorus rehearsals and Workshops in New York.

Dr. Harris recently appeared in prime time on Channel 25, presented by the N.Y.U. School of Jazz with Gary Giddins as moderator. In case you missed that cablecast, you can catch it here.

For those who would prefer to learn by watching a Master at work, catch 2007 Jazz Master Frank Wess at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center Frederick P. Rose Hall from Feb. 1 through Feb. 6, a span that will include Ground Hog Day and the Chinese New Year of the Hare.

The native Missourian, who celebrated his 89th birthday on Jan. 4, suggests that to pursue a Jazz Life one must, “...learn all one can about all kinds of music and even more than that - enjoy good health since if you can’t get to the job it doesn’t matter how good you are.”

Sounds like a solid 2011 jazzy resolution for one and all!

A note to all: On December 28, 2010, Dr. Billy Taylor died of a heart attack in Riverdale, New York. Dr. Taylor, a legendary jazz musician, scholar, educator, and radio/television broadcaster, was 'the' Disciple of Jazz of the Twentieth Century. An 1988 NEA Jazz Master, he served as the Kennedy Center’s Artistic Director for Jazz from 1994 until his death.

The Memorial Service for Dr. Billy Taylor will be at Riverside Church in Manhattan on Monday, January 10, at 6 pm. The church doors will open at 5:30 pm. The service is planned to last about an hour, followed by a private Church reception for family and friends, the latter - by invitation only.
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