Bob Ramsdell, long-time member of the MATC bands led by Jeff, sent out this email this morning:
This is to let you all know that Jeff Peronto passed away this morning at 9:12, Tuesday, February 25, 2014.
He fought the good race with a strength that most of us could only wish to have.
He started with the Thursday night band back in 1972 and that it’s still going strong is a tribute to Jeff and now to Jamie.
As many of you know Jeff had metastatic cancer for years. It’s incredible he lived this long. Jeff was one of the most vibrant persons I’ve ever met and his indomitable will to survive was evidence of that. I’ve expected this news for a long time but it still fills me with a deep sadness. Jeff, you will be missed.
Madison Mellophonium Jazz Orchestra is playing a concert at the historic Al. Ringling Theatre in Baraboo as part of a benefit fundraiser for the historic theater and the Sauk County Artists Association.
The “Sweet Seats” benefit event, sponsored by the Sauk County Artists Association and the Al. Ringling Theatre, will be a fun evening of camaraderie, art and live jazz music with the MMJO. The event takes place on Saturday, February 15th at 7:30.
Both live and silent auctions will take place for bidding on community-contributed chairs, which have been custom-designed and beautifully decorated into works of art by local artists. Complimentary light hors d’oeuvres and a beverage are included in the $25 ticket price.
Purchase tickets online
Saturday, Feb 15 at 7:30pm, all seats $25.
The best high school jazz program in the Midwest is arguably right here in Dane County, at Sun Prairie High School, under the direction of Steve Sveum. This coming Sunday, 11/24/13, the school continues its ongoing relationship with the outstanding jazz program from Northern Illinois University (NIU), with a day-long clinic and an evening concert featuring performances by the NIU Jazz Ensemble, guest artist Rodney Whitaker on bass, and the magnificent saxophonist Ronald Carter, director of the NIU jazz program.
The concert will be held at the Sun Prairie High School Performing Arts Center, 888 Grove Street, starting at 7:00 PM. Tickets will be available at the door, costing $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students.
The UW Jazz Orchestra
photo courtesy Michael R. Anderson
The University of Wisconsin Jazz Orchestra is important. It provides a vital training ground for talented students who will take jazz into the future. It gives those students a foundation in one of the genre’s root forms while exposing them to the masters of yesterday and, in some cases, the masters of today. 45 years after its founding the UWJO concluded its season playing increasingly complex music under UW director of jazz studies Johannes Wallmann. Continue reading
The UW Honors Jazz Band plays its first gig under Professor Johannes Wallmann.
Photo courtesy Michael R. Anderson
The UW Honors Jazz Band is the best jazz idea in Madison in 2013. But it isn’t just an idea. These kids can flat-out play. As a veteran “listener” I’ve listened to a lot of good musical ideas. They don’t always work. The UW Honors Jazz Band from the fertile musical mind of Professor Johannes Wallmann proved at its inaugural concert that it is a really great working idea.
The Honors Band was the early May opening act for the UW Jazz Orchestra. I’ll say more about that band’s fine performance next week.
The impressive set list for the Honors Jazz Band included Matt Dennis’ classic Angel Eyes and Thad Jones’ The Farewell plus A Single Sky by Dave Douglas and Samba de Los Gatos from Mike Steinel, a prominent jazz faculty member at the renowned University of North Texas. With a set like this the auditions for the by-invitation-only band must have had a sign reading, “No wimps allowed.”
The band worked together for just three, albeit very long, rehearsals. The players looked very serious, expected from a young group making their initial public appearance. At the same time, the listener felt a sense of swing from the group. These are talented musicians playing more than notes. They seem to have a surprising understanding of the music they are playing. Continue reading
I found a “new” CD called Essential Irakere. Irakere is the Cuban band that had Chucho Valdes, Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Sandoval and Oscar Valdes as founding members in the 1970s. Not too shabby. Essential Irakere is wonderful Afro-Cuban jazz but be warned that the material has been released at various times on various labels in various countries since being recorded circa 1989. Check your collection before buying or downloading.
The album was recorded at a famous London club and named Live at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz House in at least one incarnation. It was Felicidad another time. Now it is Essential Irakere.
Truth be told, there is a lot of other Irakere music that listeners would probably judge “essential.” Nonetheless, the band sounds great, the recording quality is good and the price is cheap: $4.99 when I downloaded it.
Paquito and Arturo were long gone to the States when these tracks were recorded but Chucho wrote and arranged most of this music, Oscar does percussion and vocals and the entire band plays brilliantly. Irakere could play proud and loud rock-influenced Afro-Cuban jazz. On Essential Irakere Chucho Valdes – who last played Madison 12 years ago and is overdue for a return – has the band playing straight ahead jazz with Latin rhythms but no rock overtones. For serious Afro-Cuban jazz fans most Irakere music is essential. Irakere is long gone but Chucho’s son Chuchito, who replaced his father as the band’s leader and pianist, will headline Jazz at Five in late summer. Continue reading