April is Jazz Appreciation Month. One of the many cool things about the Smithsonian's monthlong celebration has been online. The creators of the LEGENDS OF JAZZ PBS series put together a one-hour web special, hosted by 2007 NEA Jazz Master Ramsey Lewis, that features conversations with and music by NEA jazz royalty - pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi, trombonist Curtis Fuller, singer Jimmy Scott, Basie-veteran Frank Wess, and saxophonist Phil Woods. Nancy Wilson, herself an NEA Jazz Master, talks with Ramsey Lewis about his own half-century career. Find it here.
David Baker presented the 2008 NEA Jazz Master Award to Quincy Jones. Jones gave a Delight-ful acceptance speech. His words came straight from the heart. Give it a listen:
That's how Quincy Jones feels about jazz.
Perhaps you heard his interview with Rhonda Hamilton?
The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra played another Jones original:
NEA Jazz Masters Joe Wilder, Paquito D'Rivera and Candido Camero joined the orchestra onstage for a jam session:
A perfect end to a perfect night, right? I thought so too. But as luck would have it, my perfect night was only beginning...
- Josh Jackson
The NEA Jazz Master Awards evening is one of the main events at IAJE. This year, the concert featured the music of Quincy Jones, one of this year's honorees. NEA Jazz Master David Baker, an alumnus of the Quincy Jones Band back in the day, directed the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra for the duration. Set One included:
More to come. - Josh