All-Star Concerts highlight International Jazz Day

On Friday, April 27, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock will kick-off the first annual International Jazz Day with a full day of events including live performances, Master Classes, and discussions featuring Marcus Miller, Barbara Hendricks, Hugh Masekela, Dee Dee Bridgewater, plus much more.

The day will conclude in a concert of jazz luminaries including: Herbie Hancock, George Benson, Swan Berger, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Igor Butman, Terri Lyne Carrington, Gerald Clayton, Klaus Doldinger, Dominique Fillon, Antonio Hart, Barbara Hendricks, Nicole Slack Jones, Manu Katché, Eric Lagnini, Bireli Lagrene, Jean Felix Lalanne, Nguyen Le, Lionel Loueke, Michel El Malem, Tania Maria, Hugh Masekela, Marcus Miller, China Moses, Michael Rodriguez, Isphar Sarabski, Ben Williams, and many others. John Beasley will serve as Musical Director.

The concert will be streamed live at and

The inaugural International Jazz Day will be celebrated by millions worldwide on Monday, April 30, and will begin with an all-star sunrise concert in New Orleans’ Congo Square, the birthplace of jazz and culminate with a sunset concert at the United Nations. Presented by UNESCO in partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, International Jazz Day will encourage and highlight intercultural dialogue and understanding through jazz, America’s greatest contribution to the world of music.

Herbie Hancock will be joined in New Orleans by jazz luminaries Terence Blanchard, Ellis Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Kermit Ruffins, Treme Brass Band, and Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts and many more.

The sunrise concert from Congo Square is open to the public and begins at 7am (8am EDT), and will be video streamed live at Jazz Day and Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

Students and schools from around the world are invited to join in the celebration of International Jazz Day and play “Watermelon Man” along with Herbie Hancock live from Congo Square, New Orleans at 8:15am EDT on April 30, 2012. Sheet music and an MP3 is available to download on Performers are encouraged to video record their performances of “Watermelon Man” and upload them to and title them:International Jazz Day – Watermelon Man.

International Jazz Day culminates at the United Nations with an all-star sunset concert. Joining Herbie Hancock are: Tony Bennett, Terence Blanchard, Richard Bona (Cameroon), Dee Dee Bridgewater, Candido, Robert Cray, Eli Degibri (Israel), Jack DeJohnette, Sheila E., Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Heath, Zakir Hussain (India), Chaka Khan, Angelique Kidjo (Benin), Lang Lang (China), Romero Lubambo (Brazil), Shankar Mahadevan (India), Wynton Marsalis, Hugh Masekela (South Africa), Christian McBride, Danilo Pérez, Dianne Reeves, Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Hiromi (Japan), and others. George Duke will serve as Musical Director. Confirmed Co-Hosts include Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Quincy Jones.

The concert at the United Nations General Assembly Hall begins at 7:30pm EDT and will be video streamed live at Jazz Dayand Thelonious Monk Institute of JazzIn addition to viewing the concerts from Paris, New Orleans and New York at created as an informational portal for jazz education resources and the site where musicians can inform and show the world their jazz events and educational activities on April 30th. There are instructions and forms located on the site. After April 30th, hundreds of videos will be on display on


1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (871-880)

Here is another 10 to add to the list.

Remember that there is no ranking system here, and if you don’t see your favorite jazz album yet, it doesn’t mean it won’t show up.

Hopefully these lists will inspire you to seek some of these albums out that perhaps you haven’t heard before, or revisit an old favorite. And as always, we want your thoughts on any or all of these albums. Let’s get started with this week, and in no particular order, albums 871 through 880.

871. 1953-1954 (compilations) – Gene Krupa (Classics, 2007 compilation date, 1953-1954 recording dates) CLICK HERE TO BUY

872. Green Chimneys – Kenny Barron (Criss Cross, 1983) CLICK HERE TO BUY

873. Old Man Time – Milt Hinton (Chiaroscuro, 1990) CLICK HERE TO BUY

874. Blues for Bud – Hampton Hawes (1201 Music, 1968) CLICK HERE TO BUY

875. Live! – Jeff Hamilton (Mons, 1996) CLICK HERE TO BUY

876. Vince Guaraldi at Grace Cathedral – Vince Guaraldi (Fantasy, 1965) CLICK HERE TO BUY

877. Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival – John Handy (Koch Jazz, 1965 recording date, 1996 release date) CLICK HERE TO BUY

878. Sweet Rain – Stan Getz (Verve, 1967) CLICK HERE TO BUY

879. Night Train – Jimmy Forrest (Delmark, 1953) CLICK HERE TO BUY

880. In Recital – Dick Hyman (Reference Recordings, 1998) CLICK HERE TO BUY

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (861-870)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die – The First 750

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die – The First 500

Special edition jazz releases highlight Record Store Day this Saturday

This Saturday, April 21st is Record Store Day, the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists in the United States and in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances. Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, djs spinning records and on and on. Metallica officially kicked off Record Store Day at Rasputin Music in San Francisco on April 19, 2008 and Record Store Day is now celebrated the third Saturday every April.

This year there will be several unique and special edition jazz releases for collectors to look for on Record Store Day. The list includes:

  • Michael Buble/Ray Charles “Georgia On My Mind” split peach-colored 7″ single
  • Marco Benevento “This Is How It Goes” 7″ single
  • Dave Brubeck Octet “Distinctive Rhythm Instrumentals” 10″ red vinyl reissue
  • Branford Marsalis “4 MFs Playin’ Tunes” double-12″ LP
  • Miles Davis “Forever Miles” 12″ compilation LP
  • Bill Evans “Selections from Live at Art D’Lugoff’s” 10″ cobalt blue vinyl
  • Larry Coryell “Spaces” 12″ reissue
  • Esperanza Spalding “Radio Music” 12″ vinyl version
  • Various Artists “Rough Guide: New Orleans” 180 gram 12″ LP

There are some interesting blues releases too, including:

  • Blues Project “Parchman Farm/Bright Lights, Big City” 7″
  • Aretha Franklin/Otis Redding “Respect” split 7″ gold vinyl
  • Mississippi John Hurt “Last Sessions” 12″ reissue
  • Buddy Guy “This Is Buddy Guy” 12″ reissue
  • Skip James “Devil Got My Woman” 12″ reissue

More details can be found at the official Record Store Day website:


KPLU’s Jim Wilke among Jazz Journalists Association award nominees

The Jazz Journalists Association posted their list of finalists for the 2012 Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards last week. Nominees in the first 38 categories were chosen by the votes of the Professional Journalist Members of the Jazz Journalists Association. Nominations were made on the basis of work done in calendar year 2011, with the exception of Lifetime Achievement Awards categories, in which nominations are for a lifetime body of work. Members and others were able to submit their own work for nomination in the Best Liner Notes and Photo of the Year categories. Best Shortform Online Video of the Year nominees were selected by a committee of JJA videographers.

Jim Wilke

Jim Wilke was nominated for the Willis Conover-Marian McPartland Award for Broadcasting. Jim has been on the air for 55 years hosting his jazz radio shows, including Jazz After Hours on Public Radio International (70 stations) since 1984 and Jazz Northwest on KPLU-FM since 1988. He has been a location recordist since 1962 (Ellington, Coltrane, MJQ, Dizzy Gillespie, Horace Silver, etc.) and has conducted many radio interviews. He has been named in the JazzTimes Readers Poll and the JazzTimes Critics Poll and has been nominated for the Conover-McPartland Award in multiple years.

Being nominated for an award named for Willis Conover and Marian McPartland is for me as good as a newsperson’s nomination for an Edward R. Murrow award!” – Jim Wilke, on being nominated for a JJA Award

Jazz After Hours was also named one of the top nationally syndicated jazz shows by the JazzTimes Critics last month.

Winners of the 2012 JJA Jazz Awards in all categories will be determined by the votes of JJA Professional Journalist Members and will be announced during the month of June, leading up to announcement of Lifetime Achievement Awards winners, Musician of the Year, Record of the Year, Male and Female Jazz Vocalists of the Year at a cocktail party to be held at the Blue Note Jazz Club, New York City, on June 20.

A complete list of 2012 JJA Award Nominees can be found here.

One of Louis Armstrong’s final performances (and favorite recipes) to be released this month

Rarely-Heard Recording Includes Original Cookbook of Louis’ Most-Loved Recipes

This release comes from Smithsonian Folkway Recordings.

Jazz icon Louis Armstrong, always the consummate entertainer, turned a 1971 award ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington DC into an impromptu performance ­despite recent poor health.  It was one of his last concerts before he passed away 5 months later. Joined by longtime band-mates Tyree Glenn and Tommy Gwaltney, Armstrong shows no signs of frailty while singing, and to everyone’s surprise, playing trumpet on classics including “Mack the Knife” and “Rocking Chair.”  The recording, originally a limited vinyl release by the National Press Club in 1972, will be available widely for the first time via Smithsonian Folkways Recordings on April 24th as part of the Smithsonian’s celebration of the 11th annual Jazz Appreciation Month.  Armstrong often signed letters “Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours,” which makes for an apt title for the recording especially since his favorite recipes ― everything from Louisiana Caviar to the Sazerac ― are included in the liner notes, as they were in the original pressing.

Listen to “Hello Dolly”

The second half of the album finds Tyree Glenn and his band back at the National Press Club paying tribute to Louis shortly after his passing.

Smithsonian Folkways will make the album available digitally (stream and download) for the first time while offering physical versions in print as on-demand CDs (with digital liner notes) available from

The release will be commemorated with a ceremony and concert on Friday, April 27th, at the National Press Club. The event will begin at 2:30 p.m. and will consist of a press conference featuring officials from Smithsonian Folkways, the National Press Club, and the Louis Armstrong Foundation and a discussion with Q&A with musical experts. A reception will follow with the album played in its entirety.

‘Satchmo at the National Press Club: Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours’

11 tracks, 58 minutes:

1971 Press Club Concert featuring Louis Armstrong

1.         Introductions (When It’s Sleepy Time Down South)

2.         Hello Dolly

3.         Rockin’ Chair

4.         Boy from New Orleans

5.         Mack the Knife

Tribute concert to Louis Armstrong featuring Tyree Glenn and Tommy Gwaltney

6.         Royal Garden Blues

7.         Mood Indigo

8.         A Kiss to Build a Dream On

9.         Love For Sale

10.       It’s Alright with Me

11.       Crazy Rhythm