The Jazzonian
Jazz is Diversity. Jazz is Democracy.

#Wheelchairistocracy

From the demented mind of Rusty Taylor
Jester and Vocalist for jazz band
Southern Standard Time
A Weekly Newsletter
May 7, 2018 C.E.

A jazzonian e-newsletter published weekly unless the author is somehow incapacitated. It details the thriving jazz scene in Columbus, Georgia and the surrounding Chattahoochee Valley, written exclusively by Rusty Taylor, a Mercer alumnus and the quadriplegic jester-singer for the vocal jazz band Southern Standard Time
Points of Interest
in this week's issue

  • Salutations
  • Groovy Upcoming Events
  • This Week at The Loft
  • It's A Quad Thing (You May Not Understand)
  • Lyrics of the Week
  • Video of the Week
  • Valediction
Salutations

Greetings!...

Seems like I unintentionally unnerved some of my friends with my last newsletter so let me set a few things straight. I ain't dying. Well, I ain't in no danger of dying any time soon from any predictable physiological malaise... at least I ain't never heard of anybody's dying from chronic halitosis or silent corporeal gas-emissions that may or may not be muted.

Last week's rhetorical venting exploded into the text of our weekly e-newsletter, but it's expulsive discharge innocently began as an insidious two-year vexation that importunately coerced me to leave the sanctuary of my indifference after I witnessed the disclosure of a vestigial xenophobic disquietude that I refused to believe existed in family members I errantly believed above such petty churlishness. Alas, the realization that people I love dearly embrace such anger against imagined fear still bores into my visceral mien with such jagged inflammation that some of my smaller internal organs are desiccated into the most inconsequential ashes imaginable.

There is hope, however, and it comes from an observable shift in the way contemporary society is responding to decades of being led by fear. The times are a-changing, and I so look forward to our nation's embracing of inclusive diversity and the rejection of coerced anger raging from an ignorant acceptance of charlatanic bravado. I will then delight in expressing excessive laud on Jazz and all the wonderful connotations associated with it.

Of course, as I write, Jeff Sessions is officially ripping families apart. How can anybody be that goddamned callous?

I must stay strong.

Last Saturday, I went to Piccolo's at the Hotel at Auburn University to listen to my friend Taylor Pierce play his guitar. (See photo below.) I didn't know who was joining him on stage, but when I arrived, I met Yair Orphir in the parking lot. Nick Johnson and Eric Ward were also there, and they threw down. It still amazes me that there was no cover charge, 'cause these cats played some serious music that might lead the easily distracted down the road to lascivious yearning. Renowned Auburn artist Terry Rodriguez also showed up, which made the evening flow as easily as the Mississippi at its widest point.

By the way, it has happened. I have previously written how I began using Constant Contact to create this weekly insight into my creative process for an introductory price of $10/month. The cost has now doubled, but the extra coinage is still very affordable, so I will continue to write because more people are reading.

Last week's readership was the largest ever, which is groovy. I usually have around fifty readers per week out of about 135 that read it regularly, but last week's edition has been read by 63 people. I'm hoping that the reason is because I've been steadily adding ambivalent anecdotes concerning the challenges of thirty-two years of paralysis, which I am encouraged to continue, especially with regards to finding wheelchair accessible stages so that I may sing jazz. (BTW, I was received well last week at the Red Light Cafe in Atlanta. One lovely woman told me she enjoyed my baritone timbre.)

This week will be exciting for me. Not only will I participate in the jazz jam at Eighth and Rail in Opelika on Tuesday, but, for the first time ever, I am going to the weekly jam at Brin's Wings in Montgomery this Wednesday. Brin's jam is hosted by Coleman Woodson II, the paternal responsibility of Coleman Woodson III, a pianist I truly adore. I expect the music will make me happy as will the musicians. I am really looking forward to this event.

Manhattan Transfer is coming to Atlanta next month. More info in coming issues. I really dig the harmonies of the vocal quartet, especially when the sing songs by Paul Simon. The Video of the Week is of Manhattan Transfer's singing Paul Simon's song "Me and Julio Down by the School Yard." This week's lyrics are of the same song, so be sure to check 'em out.

So the academic season is winding down, and summer is around the corner. May is the month for the Atlanta Jazz Festival, so I should have some interesting events listed in the section entitled Groovy Upcoming Events. Manhattan Transfer is coming to Atlanta in June, but starting in June, I will write the newsletter once a month. I may return to a weekly schedule once the kids are back at school. They may like to get their names written in this quirky format. Who knows, the readership may increase. TTFN.

Peace Through Music

Abel 2, Inc.

Mission Statement: To enhance the Quality of Life of People with Disabilities and the Under-served by Creating Music and Arts opportunities for Employment and Enjoyment!

Are you a Performing Artist (singer, dancer, musician, actor, comedian, poet, etc.)?
Do you have a disability?  
Do you know anyone who is?  
Abel 2 wants you to promote your talent!

We are in the process of building a database of performing artists with disabilities who reside in the Southeast. Send us the contact name and information on our "Contact Us" page or email us at Abel2Nonprofit@aol.com. Be sure to include your talent, level of experience, head shot, and video of one of your performances. Click on banner for more info.
Bad Joke of the Week

How does one make a million dollars singing jazz?

Start with two million.
Groovy Upcoming Events
  • Friday, May 11 at 8 pm Eastern – Anita Baker is scheduled to perform live in Atlanta. She will hit the stage at the Fabulous Fox Theatre on May 11, 2018. The doors open at 7:00 PM and the show starts at 8:00 PM. Tickets are on sale. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Saturday, May 12-13 starting at 4 pm Eastern – The Neighborhood Jazz Series, which is a part of The Atlanta Jazz Festival 31 Days of Jazz celebration, takes place at various City of Atlanta parks every Saturday and Sunday throughout the month of May leading up to the annual Atlanta Jazz Festival. Each concert is hosted by a different City of Atlanta Councilmember and is family-friendly and FREE to the public. This event is being presented by Councilmember Ivory Lee Young Jr. on Saturday, May 12 at Washington Park from 4 - 8 p.m and in conjunction with Atlanta Beltline's Jamboree and Playday from 2 - 6 p.m., with performances by Latrese Bush and Lil John Roberts and Friends. 
  • Sunday May 13 at 12:30 pm Eastern Coley High Trio will play at Venkman's in Atlanta for their Mimosa Brunch series. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Sunday, May 20 The Hot Club of Atlanta will play at Venkman's in Atlanta starting at 12:30 pm for their Mimosa Brunch series. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Sunday, May 27Trio Deluxe will play at Venkman's in Atlanta starting at 12:30 pm for their Mimosa Brunch series. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Monday, May 28 at 8 pm – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will play at City Winery in Atlanta 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s remarkable arrival onto the music scene. Since it’s formation in the early nineties in Ventura, California, the band has toured virtually nonstop, performing on average over 150 shows a year, and has produced a sizable catalog of recorded music, with sales of over 2 million albums to date. Early on, during their legendary residency at the Derby nightclub in Los Angeles, they reminded the world, in the midst of the grunge era no less, that it was still cool to swing. The band, cofounded by singer Scotty Morris and drummer Kurt Sodergren, was at the forefront of the swing revival of that time, blending a vibrant fusion of the classic American sounds of jazz, swing, and dixieland, with the energy and spirit of contemporary culture. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Friday, June 1 7:00 PM doors / 8:00 PM show ET – An Evening with Leo Kottke at Variety Playhouse in Atlanta. Leo Kottke (born September 11, 1945) is an acoustic guitarist. He is known for a fingerpicking style that draws on blues, jazz, and folk music, and for syncopated, polyphonic melodies. He overcame a series of personal obstacles, including partial loss of hearing and a nearly career-ending bout with tendon damage in his right hand, to emerge as a widely recognized master of his instrument. He currently resides in the Minneapolis area with his family. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Friday, June 1 – 8 pm Eastern – Gregory Porter Tribute To Nat King Cole With Atlanta Symphony Orch at Atlanta Symphony Hall. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Sunday, June 3 – Papamichael featuring Jimmy Haslip, Sonny Emory, and Randy Hoexter will play at the City Winery in Atlanta. I, personally, am only familiar with Randy Hoexter and am a huge fan, so I'm comfortable in predicting that a musician of his esteem garners very reputable musicians. I would bet my home that this gig will be worthy of your time to experience. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Friday, June 15 - 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM. The Wren's Nest. Experiencing Jazz - Jazz, Blues & BBQ. Style. Relax, relate, release, as we open up our 3rd Annual Jazz Matters at The Wren's Nest Concert Series. T. C. Carson, singer/actor, best known for his portrayal of Kyle Barker on the hit sitcom "Living Single" will open up our series, along with performances by The TuTuff Band, The Edwin Williams Experience & Emerging Jazz Artists and more. Tickets Available Online: https://jmatthewrensnest.eventbrite.com. For More Info, call 404-474-1211.
  • Friday, June 22Manhattan Transfer at Atlanta Symphony Hall starting at 7:30 pm Eastern. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Friday, July 20, 2018 - 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM. The Wren's Nest. Experiencing Jazz: With a Little Soul, Funk & A Whole Lotta Jazz. Artist not yet available. Tickets Available Online: https://jmatthewrensnest.eventbrite.com. For More Info, call 404-474-1211.
  • Friday, August 17, 2018 - 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM. The Wren's Nest. Artist not yet available. Tickets Available Online: https://jmatthewrensnest.eventbrite.com. For More Info, call 404-474-1211.
  • Friday, September 21, 2018 - 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM. The Wren's Nest. Artist not yet available. Tickets Available Online: https://jmatthewrensnest.eventbrite.com. For More Info, call 404-474-1211.
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This Week at The Loft
Columbus [GA's] Home For Jazz Music


Sadly, Nick Johnson , Yair Orphir and Tommy Embrich are graduating from Columbus State University, so this will be Impressions' farewell concert with pianist Don Tipton . Fortunately, Yair will be here for about another month, and Nick will be with us until, at least, the spring. This is a very talented group of musicians. Highly recommended. I hope that wherever these cats go, they share their music. If you're near The Loft this Friday, check these guys out. Yair and Tommy are a really special rhythm section that you need to hear. Fo' real.


Peace Through Music

Upcoming schedule:
  • May 4. The Blue Note Quartet with Reggie Sampson.
  • May 11. Impressions farewell concert.
  • May 18. The Messy Cookers from New Orleans.
  • May 25. Tyrone Jackson CD Release Party.
Make Concert Stages Accessible
The next time you go see a live musical group, check out the stage. Does it have a wheelchair ramp leading from the audience to the stage or are their steps? Is there a wheelchair ramp backstage? Is there handicapped parking where the performers load and unload? Chances are that the venue doesn’t provide these accommodations. It’s like this: my biggest challenge as a quadriplegic jazz vocalist is finding accessible stages on which to perform. I was once raised up to a five-foot high stage using a forklift and a wooden palette because the stage was not wheelchair accessible. Fortunately, I didn’t die. Point is that there are
few wheelchair accessible stages; otherwise, I’d sing much more often.

It’s easy to see why this isn’t a mainstream problem: there are few “physically challenged” performers, but that’s merely an excuse encouraged by indifference. We handicapped performers exist and are eager to share our dreams with fans who dig what we do. But why are we unconsciously ignored? That’s easy: Being unable to perform even the most rudimentary acts of daily living is a major downer; the wheelchair, quite frankly, is a symbol of lost hope. Let’s face it; it’s a marketing problem, and this is where you come in to save the day.

Physical handicaps are wrapped in lugubrious imagery, but not every moment of life in a wheelchair is steeped in mournful decay. Believe it or not, I laugh every day… some days more than others, but if life were perfect, I, for one, would take a bite of forbidden fruit to find some excitement from the decay of entropy (the hypothetical tendency for all matter and energy in the universe to evolve toward a state of inert uniformity). What I’m trying so desperately to connote here is the fact that having a physical challenge can, at times, be fun and inspirational. What we need is positive imagery, and here’s where I ask for a favor from you, dear reader, and it has to do with social media, more specifically, using the ubiquitous #hashtag: will you help by coming up with a #hashtag meme that has positive connotations for the handicapped and send it to me. This could be fun. Maybe I can come up with prizes for creative contributions. Regardless, this could be the beginning of a social movement that witnesses an outcry of creative energy by talented people who have difficulty overcoming the obstacles that are hidden from people who can hop out of bed running full tilt. By the way, I’ve come up with a possible #hashtag meme that might work: #FantastAbility. What do you think?

The gauntlet has been dropped. Do you accept the challenge? Please reply to this email with as many suggestions as you want, and challenge your friends as well. Let’s see if we can extend this conversation internationally. (Actually, when you send in your suggestions, include the name of your hometown city. We’ll see how far this request goes.) Let’s make the wheelchair a symbol of fun… or grace… or intelligence… or, dare I say it? Let’s make the wheelchair Sexy!

Jazz Etiquette 

There are few absolutes in life, but this is a definite one: do not stand in front of the bandstand playing air guitar, air trumpet, air bass, or air drums. This activity irritates the musicians. It is disrespectful to both musicians and fellow listeners. It also makes the air player look like... well, there's really no need to spell this one out. Please, save those air moves for the National Air Guitar Championships held annually in Las Vegas.

In today’s society, texting is as ubiquitous as sunshine is to day. Please, do not text while watching live jazz; if you're not into the performance, leave. Along the same line, turn off the cell phone. If you are so important that you cannot miss calls, perhaps you - and everyone else in the audience – would be better served if you did not go to hear live music. If you'd get upset watching somebody else do it then it's wrong for you, too.

Try not to get up and walk out in the middle of a song. It is rude, akin to walking away from someone who is speaking directly to you. Likewise, please refrain from talking during the music. No one came out to hear about your day. More often than not, other audience members came to hear the music.

Most jazz musicians and seasoned listeners will agree that it is acceptable to clap after the solos that each musician takes. However, it is a good idea to keep this applause to an enthusiastic minimum because the next musician usually has already well begun her solo. By the time the claps and cheers fade, the audience has missed a good section of the next solo. Be a good listener. Learn to notice the interaction amongst musicians on stage. An understanding of their communication with each other will help novice listeners, and those not familiar with the song, to learn when the song has ended. Clap, cheer, whistle, or shout, after the last notes of the song are played, not during.

The most important rule of etiquette when it comes to live jazz deals with the type of common sense your grandmother believes you possess: be respectful. Other than that, have fun. Jazz is inclusive and strongly embraces peaceful harmony. It is the type of music that demands active listening to maximize the musical experience to its most positive conclusion. If you have an uncontrollable urge to get aggressively plastered, go listen to a more kitsch musical performance. Hardly anyone there will notice.

Peace Through Music
It's A Quad Thing...
You Might Not Understand

I wrote the following fiction on October 10, 2012:


My First Television Experience
A Fictional Account of What I Perceived

Last Tuesday I had the best emotionally fulfilling yet simultaneously draining day I've had in some time. As you know, last month I volunteered to sing for a small Senior's convention at the Civic Center... to the accompaniment of my laptop because it was during the week and all my musician friends were at work. The program was called SALT (Seniors And Law Together), and it was organized to bring senior citizens together with members of the police, with lawyers, health-care representatives, and other groups that provide services to help or protect our precious elderly citizenry. Pam Hovey hosted the event. At the time, I was unaware that Pam also hosts a locally produced television program entitled Unity with Pam that airs at 6:00 a.m. every Thursday morning on channel 54 WXTX. Anyway, I received a phone call a few weeks back from Pam, and she asked me to sing for her program. She also approved of my bringing in pianist Tom Chadwick to accompany me.

Miss Pam told me that she hosts a local Christian-based television program that would be shooting on location at the Ralston Towers, an aged hotel originally constructed in 1914 that once was the social hub of the city buzzing with roaring men in tails and top hats escorting bustle-padded, pastel-beaming parasol-twirling ingenues whirling in spinning kaleidoscopic, horse-n-carriage-darting elegance, but the hotel is now a retirement facility that is surprisingly more spacious and clean than I had anticipated.

Rolling through Ralston Towers' spacious confines reminded me of Steven King's The Shining , and I was expecting Jack Nicholson to pop out from a door at any moment, shouting “Wendy, I'm home!” If I'd have seen a pair of prepubescent pigment-pale, blond-coiffed, blue-eyed twin girls asking me to come play with them, Miss Pam would've seen nothing but my shoe-soles and elbows after I jumped out of my wheelchair and sprinted to the safety of anywhere else with the celerity of a cheetah on performance-enhancing pharmaceuticals and the alacrity of an alcoholic toward a box of fortified wine. Just saying...

So Miss Pam calls me and asks me to sing a couple songs for her show scheduled to be filmed October 9. Of course, I reply with the affirmative; I'll sing practically anywhere, and, at the time, I thought that I'd be singing for the residents of Ralston Towers in conjunction with Pam's Christian motif. Instead, I sang for Pam's show.

I had no idea Unity With Pam was as involved in the city as the show seems to be from this one-time experience. Pam had many guests, mostly local politicians running for office, but she also had as guest a young woman entrepreneur who owned a baking company, a man with a cowboy hat who told stories not-quite-but-almost like Jerry Clower, and representatives from both major political party's presidential candidates. I was second on the agenda, and I sang Bridge Over Troubled Water followed by Georgia On My Mind . (Again, I thought that I was going to sing to the elderly, and I picked songs accordingly.) I was then followed by about a dozen speakers, each given “four” minutes to speak, but the speakers had to orate in a Christian-like manner whatever that means—old or new testament? From my prospective, it couldn't have been scripted any better, an unintended comedy, a confederacy of dunces.

I am in this comic scenario, obviously, the physically challenged hippie-embracing entertainer trying to broaden his fan base, fighting an up hill battle—not so much the battle of overcoming physical limitations, which are challenging to say the least, but trying to overcome the much more challenging obstacle of bringing live jazz music to the South wherein there currently exists but two recognized ilks of music: Country and Western. I didn't wear my peace-sign patched hippie hat because I was inside (and I didn't want to get dope-slapped from beyond by my late high school coach Nathan E. Rustin, Jr. saying, “Damn, son! Take your hat off in the house.”), but I ate a bowl of ganja-enhanced pinto beans for breakfast.

I do have my doctor's prescription for medicinal marijuana because we've found that one of the better effects of THC is that it ameliorates muscle spasms better than any synthesized drugs. You see, my spasms have been intense lately (the intensity of my spasms, sometimes, seems to be cyclical, but there are too many diurnal stimulating factors in my life (as it is in everybody's life) to exclusively determine what stimulates me to spasm; it'd take a brain with far more mental acuity than mine to unravel the myriad mysteries that lie therein), and I didn't want to cause a pathos-evoking scene with a militantly volatile spasm during the program, shaking uncontrollably in my wheelchair with the aggression of epileptic jumping beans on steroids. So, basically, I was stoned off my ass throughout the entire production, which was really funny to me, and I smiled often because the incumbent district attorney along with the police chief and their political opponents were speaking about cutting down on local drug crimes.

The politicians were stock characters, each smiling ridiculously in an obviously feigned attempt to convey interest in the personal story of whomever they were coddling at the moment. One of the cats running for district attorney eagerly grasped my limp hand, shaking it vigorously as he assured me that he had, many times in the past, seen my motoring around downtown in my wheelchair. I replied, “I am the ubiquitous quad!”

Keep in mind, if you will, that I am stoned off my gourd; additionally, I was a bit nervous, more nervous than I've ever been before any other of my numerous performances, and my mouth was dry as Death Valley. The dude's smile turned into a physiognomy of befuddlement as he replied, “Excuse me?” to which I repeated, determinedly, feeling every syllable smack against my excessively dry mouth, lips, and teeth, slightly struggling to overcome the aridness of my oral cavity, “I am the u-biq-uitous quad!” with slightly too aggressive staccato and a bit louder than I had intended, so I imagine that the emphasis might have easily been misinterpreted as hubris.

The politician fain laughed a feigned mild guffaw that led me to conclude he had no idea the definition of ubiquitous , and I smiled broadly as he turned away. I couldn't help but imagine later in the day screaming at his campaign manager, “Ubiquitous! A real word! Really? That fat-ass crippled actually knew what he was talking about? Probably just learned the word...

And there was Pam Hovey, a young black woman trying to make her mark on the local scene, hosting a Christian show on television, which is, as far as I can surmise through her webpage, directly aligned with her father's ministries.

The funniest thing about the entire event, for me, was the missed opportunities of the many politicians. After the representative for Barack Obama was introduced, he thanked everybody in descending order of importance; he then turned, looking me directly in my eyes, and thanked me for singing. He was the only one who acknowledged my presence, which tickles me beyond... well.

Again, I can imagine after the political drama when each politician was relaxing with constituents, possibly drinking a glass of wine or a long neck beer, each suddenly realizing the missed photographic opportunities with a handicapped citizen as a sign of solidarity with the struggling common man. I am, after all, a political commodity valued just slightly less than a baby for kissing.

Be that as it may, Miss Pam gave me and Tom an opportunity to perform for an audience previously unavailable to us. Tom and I are also doing Pam's Christmas show on Dec. 5, but as I left, Miss Pam exalted my singing with entirely too much encomium, and she vowed to have us back again on her show. I'm not really a religious dude; I think each road to salvation is a singular journey and as such, one should be worried about her own personal road to salvation instead of pointing out someone else's less than stellar idiosyncrasies, but I love singing, and I'm keen on trying to bring live jazz music to the forefront of my hometown's artistic agenda. Where all this will lead remains to be seen, but it excites me more than a Playboy centerfold to a teenage boy.

Peace Through Music


Interesting Blogs and Websites by Interesting People

  • A Blog by Dallas Smith
  • A Blog by Susan E. Mazer
  • Collaborating since 1984, Susan E. Mazer and Dallas Smith create some of the finest contemporary instrumental music available. Our compositions for harp and woodwinds merge the aesthetics of jazz, classical, and world music into an experience that feeds both the intellect and spirit. Extending beyond the boundaries of genre, our unique sound has a richness in melody, rhythm and sonority. Visit their website by clicking here.
  • Now available in more than 750 healthcare facilities in the U.S. and Asia, The C.A.R.E. Channel’s stunning nature video and original instrumental music provide a therapeutic tool for use at the patient bedside, waiting areas, and public spaces in acute care hospitals, residential care facilities, hospice/palliative care units, cancer centers, children’s hospitals, and rehabilitation centers. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • The Rude Pundit - Proudly lowering the level of political discourse.
  • Randy Hoexter is a jazz pianist, composer and educator living in Atlanta. He is currently the Director of Education at the Atlanta Institute of Music. His recent release, “Fromage” Featuring bassist Jimmy Haslip, Drummer Dave Weckl, and the finest of Atlanta jazz musicians has been receiving rave reviews. His previous recording “Radiant” with Mike Stern, Dave Weckl and more, also received critical acclaim. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Jimmy Haslip  World-renowned bassist
  • Sam Skelton  Saxophone/woodwind virtuoso and educator
  • Trey Wright  Gifted guitarist and composer
  • Kit Chatham  Brilliant percussionist and drummer
  • Carl Culpepper Virtuoso guitarist and educator
  • Jazz Evangelist Great jazz blog and reviews.
  • Wonderful freelance writer CandiceDyer
Weekly Area Jams
Eighth and Rail
Every Tuesday 7 - 10 pm CT
The Eighth and Rail in historical downtown Opelika, Alabama is the venue for a wildly groovy weekly jazz jam as hosted by the Jane Drake Jazz Band. It's a cozy celebration of life that has become a buzzing collection of jazz-loving fanatics gathered together in a coterie of peaceful, fun-loving positive energy. I am downright proud as a peacock with enhanced LED-flashing feathers to participate in the jam on a regular basis, and I really love it! Proprietor Mike Patterson makes the wonderful sushi and Miss Tiffany keeps the affable atmosphere at a lovely level of emotive satisfaction. Plus... they serve an awesome cheesecake that'll make you wanna slap yourself so hard as to tell horrific knock-knock jokes to mimes. No lie. We have really talented musicians come in from the bi-state area: Auburn, Montgomery, Tuskegee, Columbus, LaGrange, Fort Valley, et al. The jam begins at 7 pm and ends at 10 pm CT. Hopefully, I'll see you there.

Eighth and Rail
Venkman's Jazz Jam
Every Tuesday starting at 8 pm ET
Venkman's is a nightclub in Atlanta, a venue that Joe Gransden uses for his weekly jazz jam. This is where the Who's Who of the Atlanta Jazz Scene come together to dazzle us mortals. It's free and starts at 8 pm ET. Fo' mo' info, click link below. I've participated in this jam a couple of times, and I love it as well. Joe Gransden always welcomes me with a smile that will melt antarctic glaciers in the middle of winter, which, oddly enough, is during June through August... when it's so hot and humid in middle Georgia that my toenails sweat. Nevertheless, Joe's band often includes keyboardist Kenny Banks (sometimes Kevin Bales), drummer Chris Burroughs and bassist Craig Shaw, and these cats kick it. When I find the transportation, I'm going.

Red Light Cafe Jazz Jam
Every Wed at 8 pm ET

I have not been to the weekly jazz jam at Red Light Cafe, but it is hosted by the Gordon Vernick Quartet, and I am a huge fan of Gordon's, so I'm planning to go soon, and when I do... Ha! I'm very likely to get excited. Fo' mo' info, click here .
Apache Cafe in Atlanta
Every Wed at 9:00 ET

Al Smith's Midtown Jam Session @Apache Cafe!  Contemporary Jazz , Soul, R&B vocalists jam Session. Featuring live band led by keyboardist Al Smith! Vocalists are invited to sign the list and jam with the band, musicians can sit in too... a must attend! Different Dj spinning on the back patio each week! SPECIAL GUEST HOST EVERY WEEK! Doors open at 9pm and list-sign up is at 9pm. Event admission, the day of, at the door, is CASH. Fo' mo' info, click here .
Brin's Wings in Montgomery
Every Wed from 6 to 9:00 CT

Brins Wings in Montgomery presents Coleman Woodson Jr. Jazz Jam from 6-9 CDT. No cover. Fo' mo' info, click here .
La Salle Bleu Piano Bar in Montgomery
Every Wed from 6 to 9:00 CT

Jazz jam La Salle Bleu Piano Bar, 9 until, no cover. Fo' mo' info, click here .
The Suite in Columbus, GA
Every Thursday at 9:00-11:30 ET

Thursday, January 11 from 9-11:30 p, EDT Live Jazz - Big Saxy Thursday, The Chemistry Project Band starting at 9 pm at The Suite Bar and Grill .
Irish Bred Pub in Montgomery
Every Sun at 9:30-12:30 CT

Third Thursday jazz jam session at the Irish Bred Pub Montgomery, 78 Dexter Ave, Montgomery, Alabama 36104, Corner of Dexter Ave and Perry St, 3 blocks from Capitol. Fo' mo' info, click here .
1048 Club in Montgomery
Every Sun at 9:30-12:30 CT

The 1048 Cafe is in Montgomery, AL. The weekly Jazz Jam led by Sam Williams, 9 pm CDT, $5 cover. I don't really know that much about it, but the 1048 has a jazz jam every Sunday from 9ish 'til whenever. Apparently the jam draws some incredible musicians. Fo' mo' info, click here .
The Suite in Columbus, GA
Every Sun from 6:00-11:30 ET

Michael Johnson and the Silent Threat Band plays at The Suite in Columbus, GA from 6-11:30 pm ET at The Suite Bar & Grill, 5300 Sidney Simons Blvd. Fo' mo' info 'bout the band, click here .
Piccolo's Lounge, Auburn

It's not a jam, but the Piccolo lounge offers a comfortable, clubby environment. Leather club chairs, a cozy fireplace and comfy banquettes serve as a relaxing getaway. Enjoy a single malt scotch and relax and unwind from a hectic day or meet friends to hear live jazz every Friday and Saturday night, of non-home football game weekends. Fo' mo' info, click here .
A Little Lunch Music
at Jule Collins Smith Museum, Auburn University
On Thursdays at Noon, make a lunch date with our region’s finest musicians. A Little Lunch Music is an informal, come-and-go performance presented by JCSM and coordinated by musician Patrick McCurry. You can sit in and listen to the entire performance, dine in the Museum Cafe from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. CT, browse the Museum Shop or explore the galleries.
For more info, click here.

  • February 15 - pianist Vadim Sarabryany
  • February 22 - TBA
  • March 01 - guitarist Luther Enloe
  • March 08 - soprano Patty Holley
  • March 15 - no concert - Spring Break
  • March 22 - pianist Lawrence Quinnett
  • March 29 - Wolf and Clover
  • April 05 - soprano Noemi de Silva with pianist Beibeilin
  • April 12 - mezzo-soprano Janet Hopkins
  • April 19 - David Banks Gospel Jazz Experience
  • April 26 - Duo Echo
  • May 03 - TBA
  • May 10 - TBA
  • May17 - euphonium artist Marie Robertson
Lyrics


"Me & Julio Down By The School Yard"

The mama pajama rolled out of bed
And she ran to the police station
When the papa found out he began to shout
And he started the investigation

It's against the law
It was against the law
What the mama saw
It was against the law

The mama looked down and spit on the ground
Everytime my name gets mentioned
The papa said oy if I get that boy
I'm gonna stick him in the house of detention
Well I'm on my way
I don't know where I'm going
I'm on my way I'm taking my time
But I don't know where
Goodbye to Rosie the queen of Corona
See you, me and Julio
Down by the schoolyard
See you, me and Julio
Down by the schoolyard
Me and Julio down by the schoolyard

In a couple of days they come and
Take me away
But the press let the story leak
And when the radical priest
Come to get me released
We was all on the cover of Newsweek
And I'm on my way
I don't know where I'm going
I'm on my way I'm taking my time
But I don't know where
Goodbye to Rosie the queen of Corona
See you, me and Julio
Down by the schoolyard
See you, me and Julio
Down by the schoolyard
See you, me and Julio
Down by the schoolyard
Video of the Week

Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard (Vocal Jazz cover) - New York Voices

Jazz Association of Macon
We Promote Jazz in Macon
and Middle Georgia
Our purpose is to:

Encourage and support creation, presentation, and preservation of jazz music.
Support the creation of new audiences for jazz music.
Provide education and information about jazz.
Encourage young musicians to learn and appreciate jazz.
Develop a network among local and regional jazz advocates.
Increase awareness of jazz events and musicians in our community.

To read their blog, click here .
Area Musicians
Actually, this is a link to a page of my personal website, but it makes it much easier t maintain. It is a dynamic list of area musicians that will, hopefully, be continually updated until I can no longer do it. If you are a musician who is not listed or you are listed but with invalid info, please let me know, and I'll make the appropriate revisions. Thank you, and click here to visit the link.
High Museum of Art: Atlanta Jazz
Live jazz in the Robinson Atrium at the Atlanta High Museum of Art every 3rd Friday of the month. Fo' mo' info, click here .
On-line Radio
  • WCUG 88.5 Cougar Radio - Columbus State University.
  • KUNR 88.7 Reno, Nevada.
  • KNCJ 89.5 Reno, Nevado.
  • Saturday Night Jazz hosted by Scot Marshall and Dallas Smith (Columbus, GA native) - Scot and Dallas bring their rich musical experiences together in "Saturday Night Jazz" to feature music which ranges from the latest releases to jazz classics and occasional recordings by local artists, as well as announcements of upcoming local jazz events in the Reno-Tahoe area. "Saturday Night Jazz" is supported by the Reno Jazz Orchestra and For the Love of Jazz. Dallas' program airs on KUNR (kunr.org) from 10pm-12am PST/1am-3am EST. The 9pm-1pm EST broadcast is on KNCJ (streaming via the kunr.orgwebsite).
  • WCLK 99.1 Atlanta's Jazz Station, Clark Atlanta University.
  • Adore Jazz - Adore Jazz makes listeners relax, feel, think and smile through listening to the finest vocal jazz.
  • WTSU 88.9 Troy State University - Ray Murray's Jazz Radio Show Saturday nights at 10 pm Central Time.
  • WVAS 90.7 Montgomery - Jazz, Blues, News, and views.
Jazz Matters @ The Wren's Project
Preserving a musical culture, tradition & Art Form
 
Jazz Matters , Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that believes Jazz Matters, because music matters.  Jazz is America's only original art form and this national treasure was created by African Americans.

It is our vision to Preserve a Musical Culture, Tradition & Art Form by:
  • educating & developing new audiences;
  • inspiring new Jazz artists; and
  • providing a forum for artists to perform and perfect their craft

Peace Through Music
Valediction

The velvet curtain slowly descends, and the stage lights fade into oblivion as we bring to close another community e-newsletter. It’s going to be a groovy week full of jazz music. Soon, the fiasco that controls contemporary political discourse will explode into nonexistence and the world will watch the embarrassing fall from power of Donald Trump, Putin, Netenyahu, Mitch McConnell, the NRA, the Koch brothers, the Mercer brothers, Fox’s Racist commentary, Sean Hannidy, and Judge Jennine. (I can hope, can’t I?). I will then exclusively write about jazzonian content, or…

I really don’t want George W. Bush to be remembered as an emulous man. Before Trump, he was the worst president in our nation’s history. He and his lackeys preemptively initiated an illegal war, which is premeditated murder, so I may dig up ancients essays that delineate that administration’s ignorance like this entry from my journal dated November 9, 2004:

“You know, it really is painfully funny how myopic our country is, and it's much easier for me now to see how the entire city of Jerusalem could turn against Jesus (fiction or no); how a nation could rally around Hitler; how the majority of our populace, even now, fifty-nine years later, believe that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was necessary; how the KKK can enthusiastically fanaticize about their insipid beliefs; how Enron executives could weasel their employees out of billions; how the Crusades and the Inquisition were even considered positive in any way; how the firebombing of Dresden is pondered with admiration instead of disdain. It's like a prepubescent rich boy smacking his sexagenarian nanny with the impunity of his dad's wealth. No wonder the world hates our country.

“The people of morality are blinded by an imagined relationship with their god. They actually believe that they are in communion with him. (him? I guess god would have to be seen as an incontinent old man! What else could possibly symbolize Christianity? Capitalism? Compassionate conservatism? A man for whom the status quo means that he, a rich man, maintains possession of his ludicrous wealth while a starving child cries in inequitable anger just a scant few miles from his down-quilted king-sized bed? What else could possibly symbolize our nations current path but a doddering edentulous man with a star-spangled top hat and a withered, contracting finger encouraging complete loyalty towards an ideal backed by vitriolic power regardless of whether or not the conflicts that result from the destructive force of power belie the very ideals for which the servants to the people of morality are engaged in fighting. And where is god's feminine counterpart? But I digress... )

It's a symbiotic relationship: the solid worshipers who pray for Islamic destruction get to control the world (or at least its oil) and their god gets an architecturally cathedral masterpiece and live-broadcasted services on cable television on the give-us-ten-dollars-and-we'll-pray-for-you-wretched-sinners network.”

Of course, if Trump were to be arrested today, I may just take a fortnight to recover from the celebration… and even then, after two weeks, the hangover would still be thrumming as incessantly as Lady MacBeth’s soliloquy:

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…

Remember, Manhattan Transfer is coming to Atlanta next month. More details in the future. I hope, dear reader, that you have a really groovy week. 

Peace Through Music


Donate

If you can afford it, and you think this newsletter worthy, please send a $5, $10, or $20 check or money order to:

The Jazzinian FUN’d Drive
962 Washington Road
Hamilton, Georgia 31811

It ain’t that I’m a Luddite, it’s just that I don’t know how to add a donate button that auto-magically-electronically transfers funds into my banking account. Besides, “the man” always seems to have his too-large-to-fail hand reaching out, palm upwards, in anticipation of remuneration he doesn’t deserve, fees he assesses for banking services rendered electronically via a computer application written by an underpaid intern. I guess, in a sense, I am more like Ned Ludd, the English laborer who was supposed to have destroyed weaving machinery around 1779 because he felt that technology would destroy employment for the laborer, except that I won’t physically destroy anything… other than, perhaps, the practice of usury; I merely want the practice of charging interest on loans to die of entropy. So, I reckon that I am a Luddite in that I believe in moderation and that humanity thrives when the mind and body are engaged instead of when one uses her wit to absquatulate with unjustified and excessive wealth, especially when she’s done nothing to earn it.

I currently pay out $20/month to use Constant Contact to publish this weekly newsletter. Well, it’ll be $20/month after the $10/month introductory offer expires… soon. If I could, I’d earn the money by singing, but my options are limited to accessible stages, which are not very common at all, and there aren’t many stages exclusively for jazz. Jazz is only granted a small piece of the pie… but it’s my passion. Seems like my only concert options are The Loft in Columbus, GA and Eighth and Rail in Opelika, AL; although, in Opelika I use a portable ramp to get onstage; one does what one has to do. When I sing at Venkman’s jazz jam, the soundman brings the microphone to my table, but I’d love to be on stage. How else can I perfect my secondary ambition to be a standup comedian. Incidentally, I currently take a sleeping pill because one of the side effects is somnambulation, but I’m still waiting to awaken ambulating.

I also have ambitions to sing onstage with my friend Ted McVay whom I’ve known forty years. We have a unique sound that, I believe, can and will be appreciated by a wider audience. We harmonize really well together, and the songs he writes are creative, witty, poignant, and fun to sing. Once we get a bit o’ steam, we’re bound to be a formidable, creative musical energy, positive, peaceful, loving. I will then, hopefully, make enough dough to overpay the people I need to assist me in acts of daily living. My family has already done so much for me and need a break. Thirty-one years is an awful long burden… thirty-two this April 18. ‘Til then, if you are able to comfortably part ways with a few bucks, I sure could use it.
Social Media Experiment

In an ignorant attempt to exploit social media to expand my personal fan base, I've created this section to list hashtags and other metadata that might auto-magically give more access to the newsletter I write. Hope it works.

#Wheelchairistacracy #SouthernStrategy #QuestForBest #GroovicusMaximus #FantastAbility #WheelChairistotle #SCI #Handicapplication #Impairistotle #MuscoviteMarionette #BlackLivesMatter 
#Wheelcherry #RudePundit #MakeStagesAccessible 

@SSTJazzVocalist @frangelaDuo @JoeGransden @AtlantaMagazine @VenkmansATL @rudepundit @MalcolmNance @EricBoehlert @CharlesPPierce @StephMillerShow @JohnFugelsang @Thom_Hartmann @anniesellick  @TheRealTBone