This weekend in NYC I will have the pleasure of meeting and speaking with a number of talented individuals. This weekend sparks the first real scoop into the dirt of “The Jazz/Poetry Connection”. Here ‘s who is on deck:
George Guida is the co-founder of “Smalls Books”, the publishing company which stems off the Smalls jazz family tree. He studied under Allen Ginsberg, Grace Schulman, Morris Dickstein and Robert Viscusi while at The City University of New York. Along with working with Smalls, Guida also co-founded the Intercollegiate Poetry Slam at the Bowery Poetry Club. His assistance both to the success of my project and the poetry in New York City is immense. Please visit his site here to check out some of his works.
A friend of mine and fellow jazz scholar Alex Rodriguiez turned me on to Sam Sadingursky no more than 2 weeks ago and a great world of jazz/poetry opened up before me. The intellectual and spellbinding music of Sadingursky was a revelation in my work. His music has been noted as “…compelling soundscapes that sit on the intersection of the classical art song and a wide-ranging eclecticism that references jazz, world music, post-minimalism and pop… a self-contained sound world of beguiling combinations of vocalists and mysterious orchestration.” – Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press. His website can be found here.
Jane Omerod will be reading at the Smalls poetry series this upcoming Saturday the 12th. Born on the south coast of England, Jane Ormerod moved from London to New York City in 2004. She originally studied fine art and exhibited widely. Changing to writing, Jane gained a MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. “The cleverness and depth of Jane Ormerod’s presentation, both challenged and mesmerized the audience. Descriptive yet judicious and yet seductive is how I would describe her word choice and its effect on everyone…” – Peter Duhon
I was introduced the sound of Ben Allison upon my last trip to NYC to hear Pinsky read at the Jazz Standard. I strolled into the club and Allison was in an engaging conversation with Pinsky by the bar. Allison was expressing his work with Da Camera of Houston, a residency he did with his band working with middle schoolers on poetry and improvisation music. His eagerness to educate and float on the cloud of improvisation is evident in his various projects and his prolific resume. Jazz Times calls Allison a “visionary composer, adventurous improviser, and strong organizational force on the New York City jazz scene, [and] has emerged as a rising star over the past decade”. Check out his site here.
Geffner and I have never communicated but I hope to ambush him at a reading tonight at Le Poisson Rouge. He his hosting an event entitled “The Inspired Word”. Although he is not directly connected with jazz scene, his word will be wise and great for perspective. Geffner is a Writer/Journalist/Columnist. Awarded for outstanding column and feature writing by APSE (Associated Press Sports Editors) 2005, 2006; won New York Publishers Association’s contest for Distinguished Sports Writing, 2007; included seven times in annual Best American Sports Writing anthology; voted Best Sportswriter in New York City by New York Press, 1990; won first place for profile writing by the Society of Professional Journalists (NJ), 2000; interviewed former President Nixon (twice, about baseball), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (at his home atop a hill in Beverly Hills), Dennis Hopper (during a round of golf in Simi Valley), Forest Whitaker (via cell phone while he was driving around Los Angeles), Derek Jeter (a zillion times by his Yankee locker); written for USA Today, The Associated Press, Details, The Sporting News, Cigar Aficionado, Texas Monthly, Page Six Magazine, FHM, The Writer, and The Village Voice.