Tag Archives: arts education

Remembering Tina Marsh

In just two weeks, it will have been three years since Tina Marsh left us.  Even though I never worked with her on her own musical projects, I did hire her for some of mine–and the AJW is much the richer for the experience. Tina had a whole different bag than I work out of–much …

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Remembering Marty Allen and Bill Kirchner

No, not the comedian and the saxophonist.  Those are two different fellows. Marty Allen was a pianist and dear friend who moved to Austin from the Bay Area some seventeen years ago.  A remarkably gifted musician with a highly original approach, Marty worked with many people, and as a soloist, until he died unexpectedly of …

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The Future Is Here! (and it needs to get paid before it leaves)

Yesterday I attended an invite-only roundtable discussion on cultural economic development, featuring author and consultant Louise Stevens.  It was part of the ongoing dialogue on the arts in Austin hosted by the city’s Cultural Arts Division. Ms. Stevens is from out of state, but has been studying the arts scene in Austin and other cities …

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Babes in Bopsiland

One of the things I appreciate about the AJW project is how it encourages the presentation of types of music that may be outside my comfort zone as a player. I mean, we have done Monk, Gershwin, Jobim, Ellington, Rahsaan, etc. Now we’re doing Miles, which is to say four distinct musical movements as we …

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I won’t dance…

Last week, I was in a classroom full of fourth graders playing sax and talking about jazz and Miles Davis, when a young man raised his hand and asked: “Do you have any power moves?” I paused for a moment, which gave him a chance to elaborate: “you know, like sliding across the stage on …

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To Shtick or Not To Shtick

Isn’t that always the question? I could lie and say that the reason we do comedy bits, costumes, signs, singalongs, whatever, in our shows–is solely because we want to make jazz performance kid-friendly.  That is one reason, no doubt.  But the truth is–I enjoy it too. There, I said it.  I’m renouncing the Marsalis Oath …

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Doing, Being, Creating, Becoming

Today I attended a press conference at Austin City Hall that brought together a handful of heavyweights–Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, City Manager Marc Ott, Austin ISD Superintendent Mariah Carstarphen, MindPop Executive Director Brent Hasty, and Darrell Ayers of the Kennedy Center–all assembled to announce that Austin is the seventh and newest partner city in the …

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Growing Up Artistically

I just finished reading Weird City:  A Sense of Place and Creative Resistance in Austin, Texas by Joshua Long (University of Texas Press, 2010).  Found it a somewhat thin but nonetheless engaging account of recent chapters in the ongoing culture war that makes living in Austin a unique experience.  Not a ‘weird’ one, as some …

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How To Do What We Do

From time to time, an email arrives in my inbox from a jazz group in another part of the country interested in starting a school program such as the AJW in their area, and asking for advice.  Like this one: “I would really appreciate any advice that you have about starting a program that focuses …

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DA GONG IN ACTION

One of my favorite seasons in recent memory (because recent memory is all I have left) was the Rahsaan Roland Kirk season, presented in 2008-09.  Partly this was due to the incredible talent we had lined up, including Ron Westray on trombone (more on him to come) and Alex Coke on flute, saxophone, and garden …

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