Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival returns to north central Idaho

John Clayton is artistic director of the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. Courtesy of University of Idaho0222GM_Jazz_web

By Glenn Mosley/Northwest News Network

The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival is back for another year at the University of Idaho in Moscow. Now ten years after the death of its namesake, the festival, like many such celebrations, is challenged by a changing jazz industry.

For many years, Lionel Hampton would simply pick up the phone and get many of his friends and colleagues in jazz to make the wintry trip to north central Idaho to play jazz and talk to students for days at a time.

These days the graying of the jazz community, the artists and aficionadas alike, has changed things, and so, too, has the fact that February isn’t quite the slow month for work that it once was for jazz performers.

Steve Remington, the executive director of the Hampton festival, says artistic director John Clayton and everyone involved with the festival work hard to make and maintain contacts in the industry.

Continue reading “Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival returns to north central Idaho”

NPR feature: The extraordinary career of a man who managed jazz musicians

John Levy. By Tom Pich / NEA

Jazz businessman John Levy died on Friday. His wife, Devra Hall Levy, announced the news on Saturday in a press release available on John Levy’s website, Lushlife. He was nearly 100 years old.

Levy was once a musician of some renown — he played bass with Billie Holiday, Stuff Smith, George Shearing and many others — but he’s primarily remembered for his advocacy. He was named an NEA Jazz Master in 2006 for representing dozens of musicians as a manager, and also produced concerts and recordings.


Continue reading “NPR feature: The extraordinary career of a man who managed jazz musicians”