March 3, 2020 Newsletter   #343       
Jazz Bridge Neighborhood Season 2019/2020
Drummer Jim Miller - Millertime
At his concert in Bryn Mawr, PA in 2016. With E.J. Yellen (EWI & tenor sax) and Chris Simonini (keyboard). Audio by Chip Powell.
Jazz in Cheltenham

Join us on Wednesday, March 4 at the Cheltenham Center for the Arts, 439 Ashbourne Road, Cheltenham, PA 19012 with a concert by vocalist, Jeannie Brooks and hosted by vocalist, Wendy Simon.
Vocalist, Jeannie Brooks has been a headliner at the Cape May Jazz Festival for many years. She has also performed in New York Philadelphia, and in Europe. No matter whom she shares a stage with Brooks holds the attention of everyone in the room. Jeannie treats her crowds to all sides of her musical personality. Whether it’s Jazz, gospel, funk, or R&B, her voice is the kind that stays with you and haunts
your dreams .
All of our concerts are - One show: 7:30-9 pm. No advance tickets: $10/$5 for students. Children under 12 are free. Free onsite parking and Free refreshments!
In my Reverie.
 
Sometime in the 1980’s while listening to WJJZ radio here in Philly, I heard the radio host, Harriett Coffey wax poetically about some of the jazz musicians in the area. She often played the music of the Posmontier Brothers, Emily Remler and Reverie.
 
Little did I know who Reverie was. The band played all over the Delaware Valley and according to this article, they were a “jazz fusion” band — a music style that few artists (most notably Weather Report) have fashioned to the critics' and listeners' delight. But this quartet has managed to win the hearts of Jazz critics of such publications as Fine Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Bulletin.
 
The band itself was founded by percussionist Jim Miller and keyboardist Mark Knox shortly after they met in 1972. Miller, who often acts as the band's spokesman, performs the task of emcee, peppering the engagements with an assortment of jazz lore and humor. Knox, a self-taught musician, played in various rock and jazz groups in Indianapolis before joining up with Miller.
 
Also, in the group is bassist Gerald Veasley, who joined Reverie in 1978. An increasingly in-demand performer, Veasley has played with such artists as Odean Pope and Grover Washington, Jr. Sam Freedman of Down Beat said of Veasley's performance with Pope in the 1983 Kool/New York Jazz Festival, "I have never heard anyone . . . play more beautifully and more melodically on the electric bass." Ed Yellen, the saxophonist for Reverie, met Jim and Mark while he was attending Indianapolis' Jordan Conservatory, and joined the band after sitting in with the group at a live performance.”
 
Jim Miller was the consummate musicians, quiet guy who liked to speak through his drumming. But this quiet man with the wonderful sense of humor, was a staunch advocate for fellow musicians with his work with Jazz Bridge. Behind the scenes when not on a bandstand or teaching, he was helping fellow musicians through difficult times and supporting Jazz Bridge’s mission of assisting musicians in crisis.
 
Since its inception, Jim was an integral part of the organization, on the Board of Directors, working to take musicians to and from appointments, visiting elder musicians at home or in some nursing facility or merely supporting the music and the musicians on their gigs or at a jam session. His compassion knew no boundaries.
 
It’s hard to believe that Jim passed away a year ago and he still leaves a void and emptiness we will never be able to fill. Not just here at Jazz Bridge, but in the community in which he worked so hard to support and help. Jim Miller, or “Miller Time,” will always have a very special place in my heart as a very dear friend, comrade in this thing called jazz life and his wit and caring spirit will forever be missed. 






Jazz in Collingswood

Join us on Thursday, March 5 for Conjunto as they pay homage to Cuban music from 7:30 to 9:00 pm at the Collingswood Community Senior Center, 30 West Collings Avenue, Collingswood, NJ 08108 with new host and Jazz Bridge Board Member, Kevin Johnson.

Conjunto Philadelphia is a musical ensemble based in the Philadelphia area performing the music of Pre-Revolutionary Cuba. The group's main aspiration is to maintain the authenticity of the music while performing it in a way that pays homage to Cuba's deep and treasured musical history. Genres include Son, Cha-Cha-Chá and Bolero.

They have performed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Longwood Gardens, Chris' Jazz Café, Penn Museum, James Michener Museum (Doylestown, PA), World Café Live!, Exit Zero Jazz Festival, Ardmore Music Hall, educational presentations, and numerous private events.



















Drexel University partnership

Jazz Bridge is proud to partner with the Drexel University Jazz Orchestra under the direction of trombonist, Brent White on Thursday, March 12 at the Mandell Theater located at 3220 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia PA 19104. This partnership is partially funded by Jazz Bridge and a grant from The Grover Washington, Jr. Protect the Dream Foundation fund of the Philadelphia Foundation.
The Drexel University Jazz Orchestra will be performing the music from songbook composer/arranger David Gibson. David currently teaches at New School University and Columbia University. He is an in-demand trombonist and composer for many
diverse artists in New York City. David will perform with the Jazz Orchestra featuring both legendary and contemporary Jazz compositions.








Jazz Appreciation Month

Jazz Bridge is happy to announce that Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy for the City of Philadelphia will be celebrating 10 years of Jazz Appreciation during the month of April.

To commemorate this anniversary, a new award will be given. The Jeff Duperon Emerging Musician Award will be presented on March 26th in the Mayor’s Reception Room in City Hall at 5:30 pm. The recipient is Isabella Amada, a Central High School Senior who plays the Upright Bass, is the 1st Chair All-City Jazz Orchestra and the Assistant 1st stand in the All-City Orchestra. She plans to continue her education in music at one of the area colleges specializing in Jazz Education and/or Jazz Performance.

WRTI Radio personality and Jazz Bridge past Executive Director, Jeff Duperon passed away last summer and during this retirement years, he spent it in the music community, hosting performances in and around the City in which he embraced after relocating from New Orleans. He also spent time not only behind the microphone, but educating others with his Jazz history presentations at the Young Scholars Charter School. He was a firm believer in education, continuing education and fostering creativity in children in order to help them become enterprising and productive adults. 

One of Jim Miller's many students, drummer Erik Marley, is organizing this tribute to a much loved member of the Philadelphia Jazz Community.

This concert will feature Miller's original compositions with the original musicians on his albums: guitarist DM Hotep, bassist Steve Beskrone, pianist Jim Ridl, Suzanne Cloud (singer and lyricist), and a Reverie reunion with saxophonist EJ Yellen, keyboardist Mark Knox, and Bassist Gerald Veasley. More artists are being added.

The event takes place on Sunday, March 15, from 5-9 PM at the Human Village Brewing COmpany, 148 S. Broadway, Pitman NJ 08071.

To find out more about Jim Miller's life and work, please check out this memorial: https://www.broadstreetreview.com/cross-cultural/remembering-philadelphia-jazz-drummer-composer-and-advocate-jim-miller


What Else is Going On?

CALL FOR BOARD MEMBERS!

Have you been yearning to put your talents to work in the service of a great cause? It's time to ACT on those New Year's Resolutions and pay it forward.  

Jazz Bridge is looking for 3 highly committed individuals with a strong passion for jazz and the Philadelphia-area arts community to join our hard-working Board of Directors. We're especially interested in people with skills and experience in marketing and communications, fund raising, strategic thinking, organization building, or arts advocacy.

If this sounds like YOU, please send an email with your resume to Board President Rhenda Fearrington ( brhendastarr@gmail.com) for consideration by our Nominating Committee. THANK YOU!  


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