As the weather cools down the Madison jazz scene is heating up. This next week is loaded with great jazz. Let’s take a look at the highlights:
Hanah Jon Taylor
- Cardinal Bar 5:30pm. A few weeks ago the Cardinal began a jazz happy hour every Tues from 5:30 to 8. They’re bringing in great players and this week it’s sax/flute musician Hanah Jon Taylor.
- Cardinal Bar 9pm. The New Breed Jazz Jam is now in its second decade and going strong. Rub shoulders with Madison’s best jazz musicians as they mix it up with developing players and the great New Breed.
- The Fountain 6:30 – 9pm, Gerri DiMaggio, Paul Hastil, Nick Moran. Vocalist Gerri DiMaggio has been charming the Madison area for a long time. This Thursday she’ll feature holiday songs from her most recent recording.
- UW Music Hall, Ninety Miles Project 8pm. Not many tickets remain, this will probably be a sellout. Previewed here.
- Memorial Union Rathskellar 5-7pm, The Composers Quartet. This one is rare; a local jazz band, not a pick-up group, doing all original jazz. See the calendar for details.
- The Majestic 8pm, Meschell Ndegeocello. Previewed here.
- Madison Memorial High School 6pm, Second Annual Madison High School Jazz Festival. This all-day festival wraps up with an evening concert featuring student jazz ensembles from Madison East, La Follette, Memorial and West High Schools and Middleton High School, along with the UW Jazz Orchestra.
Posted in Events
Tagged Gerri DiMaggio, Hanah Jon Taylor, Johannes Wallman, live jazz, Madison jazz, Madison Jazz Jam, Meschell Ndegeocello, Ninety Miles Project, Rob Dz, The Composers Quartet, The New Breed
New Jazz Studies Professor Johannes Wallman is breathing life into the UW School of Music jazz program. Here is a listing of programs for the upcoming school year. These are all listed on the calendar, too.
- Wed, Nov. 28, 2012: UW Jazz Orchestra (Johannes Wallmann, Director), Mills Concert Hall, UW Humanities Building, 8:00 pm, no cover
- Fri, Dec. 7, 2012: UW Jazz Orchestra (Johannes Wallmann, Director), “Behind the Beat” @ the UW Rathskeller, 5:00 pm, no cover
- Thu, Feb. 14, 2013: UW Black Music Ensemble (Richard Davis, Director), Morphy Recital Hall, UW Humanities Building, 8:30 pm, no cover
- Tue, March 5, 2013: Johannes Wallmann Group, UW Faculty Concert Series, Morphy Recital Hall, UW Humanities Building, 8:00 pm, no cover
- Tue, April 9, 2013: UW Blue Note Ensemble & Contemporary Jazz Ensemble (Johannes Wallmann, Director), Morphy Recital Hall, UW Humanities Building, 8:00 pm, no cover
- Thu, April 18, 2013: UW Black Music Ensemble (Richard Davis, Director), Morphy Recital Hall, UW Humanities Building, 8:30 pm, no cover
- Thu, May 2, 2013: UW Jazz Orchestra (Johannes Wallmann, Director), Mills Concert Hall, UW Humanities Building, 8:00 pm, no cover
This weekend I cleaned out the dim passageways behind this blog. Many unfinished posts were strewn about and , no longer pertinent, went to the trash. But like cleaning out the basement or garage I came upon some good stuff worth salvaging.
In this case it is a link to an older but still timely newspaper article in The New York Times about the rising jazz scene in Seattle. The article is important as counterpoint to recent criticism of institutionalized jazz education, and because it underscores the major role of high school and college jazz programs in creating and sustaining a lively jazz scene.
What’s happening in Seattle bodes well for the future of Madison’s own rising jazz scene where high school and college youth are the focus of a variety of Madison jazz programs.
- Plans are in the works for the Madison Metropolitan School District Fine Arts Office to host a Professional Development Day for K-12 teachers, delivered in partnership with the Jazz Institute of Chicago. The goal of this program is to increase the presence of jazz in general music classes and improve the quality of instruction in these classes and in school band programs.
- Madison Jazz Jam, a forum where youth can become involved in jazz, is surging in popularity and packing the Fountain, a new jazz venue on State Street.
- Madison Music Collective is on a roll with its concert series and most of these have an educational component or outreach to youth.
- The new UW Jazz Studies Professor, Johannes Wallmann, appears to have all the skills and energy to build a thriving jazz program at the university, something he did at Cal State East Bay in four years time.
Other ingredients are necessary for a thriving jazz scene, but the Seattle experience shows the importance of a strong base at the high school and college level (here’s that link again – it’s a very well-done NY Times piece). The initiatives outlined above will help build that base and ensure a strong, sustainable future for jazz in Madison.
I wish I had time to write up the highlights each week (help gladly accepted). The Madison jazz scene has really come alive lately! Today I’m making a special effort because the weekend is packed with jazz. For full details about these shows and a complete listing of all the jazz in Madison see the jazz calendar to your left.
5-7 pm: Start your night off with the Alison Margaret Quartet at the UW Memorial Rathskellar. Alison has a clear, polished voice, and a band willing to experiment without getting too far out. This should be an excellent show except for the Rathskellar acoustics. No cover.
8 pm and 10pm: Tia Fuller and her quartet perform two shows at The Sett inside Union South. These shows have rightfully received a lot of press and are free. Arrive early (see comments below). My only concern is the acoustics. I’ve been to the Sett once, to hear a high school battle of the bands. The volume was blistering and the acoustics horrible. I hope the acoustics improve when the volume is more reasonable.
9pm: Last week UW Madison Jazz Studies Professor Johannes Wallmann began a weekly Saturday night gig at the new Madison jazz hotspot, The Fountain, 122 State St. Each week he hosts different players. This week he’s joined by fellow UW School of Music professors Les Thimmig on woodwinds and John Schaffer on bass. Rand Moore is on drums. No cover.
1:30pm: Howard Alden and Andy Brown at the Coliseum Bar. These world-class guitarists will be accompanied by two of the finest rhythm players on Chicago’s jazz scene, bassist Joe Policastro and drummer Bob Rummage.
7:30pm: Bela Fleck and the Marcus Roberts Trio at the Capitol Theater inside the Overture Center. A great venue and two virtuosos from different genres – should be interesting.
Jammers developing their skills at a Madison Jazz Jam session
This Sunday, September 16th is the first Madison Jazz Jam session at its new location, The Fountain, downtown at 122 State Street (back room at the corner of West Dayton and North Carroll – enter from either the State Street or Dayton Street side of the building. ). This session is special for many reasons: it is the second anniversary of Madison Jazz Jam (MJJ), it is the first session at its new larger, central location, and it marks the performance debut of the UW School of Music’s new Jazz Studies Professor, Johannes Wallmann, who’ll be holding down the keyboard chair in the house band.
And now it is easier to keep track of the jam: except for holidays, it will always be at The Fountain from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM the first and third Sunday of every month. Musicians of all ages are invited to jam with the house band, and fans sit back and enjoy live jazz and learning more about it.
MJJ is unique because the first set is geared toward less experienced improvising musicians, and features instructional feedback from one of our fine local jazz educators (this week, it’s saxophonist Anders Svanoe, pinch-hitting for Dan Wallach). As always, the house band is a rotation of Madison’s finest jazz musicians. Anchoring the rhythm section this week is bassist Nick Moran and percussionist Michael Brenneis, both of the New Breed quartet. As my wife Mary said, “It’s going to be a good one!”
For more information see the Madison Jazz Jam website.