Guitarist Luke Polipnick has left town for Omaha. Luke will be missed for his playing and his organizational energy and skill. Luke was a regular at jam sessions, played in many bands including a long running Wednesday gig at the Dragon Fly Lounge with Glacier ((Ben Willis, Geoff Brady), and one of the founders of experimental jazz presenters Surrounded by Reality. What is happening to Surrounded by Reality now that the final founding figure has left town? Audio for the Arts owner, Steve Gotcher is taking it over. The Isthmus has a nice story about that.
Dave Cooper has not been active in the Madison jazz scene lately. That’s too bad because he is one of the midwest’s best jazz trumpeters and was one of the main draws for the New Breed Quintet for many years. Fortunately, he has a blog that helps fans stay connected. Recently, he profiled his father-in-law, Madison Jazz trumpet legend Doc DeHaven and included an mp3 collage of Doc’s recordings in that post. He also took a recent trip to China and his travelogue about that experience is quite interesting.
Howard Landsman was named the 2012 Isthmus Jazz Personality of the Year. Howard prefers to keep a low profile and consequently isn’t well-known by the Madison jazz public, but everyone within jazz presenting circles says the same thing, “no one deserves it more.” I agree totally. Howard was the FORCE behind the Mary Lou Williams centennial Celebration, raising over $150,000 and organizing an amazingly diverse program of activities that engaged the entire community throughout 2010. Over the last few years he has been instrumental in the resurgence of Madison Music Collective and it’s concert series, and has helped Madison Jazz Jam obtain funding for its all-ages jams. Congratulations, Howard!