Jazz/Poetry Connection: Event In Tallahassee

This upcoming Saturday, Hardbop is proud to bring a new jazz/poetry session to Tallahassee, Florida’s Hi-Fi Jazz Cafe.  This is a follow-up event to the previous Symposium’s presented in April 2009 and April 2010. With the assistance of the FSU Creative Writing and FSU Jazz Department, the jazz/poetry session at Hi-FI will help bridge the gap between the two performance arts  and two academic departments.



At the conclusion of the month I will be presenting my summer research at the Fall 2010 URCAA Symposim. The reception will be held at 6:00pm at the Turnbull Center on Florida State University’s main campus.  The reception will feature all recipients of the MRCE award, myself included, showcasing the research conducted in the form of a meet-and-greet poster session. This session will last about 30min. There are about 20 of us who received this award and all of the projects are noteworthy, humbling and profoundly relevant to our society today. At the conclusion of the rotation portion, their will be individual lectures designated to those who received the URCAA award.

The reception is entirely free and all are encouraged to attend, particularly those who are young scholars at FSU. With the exposure of more research topics and specifically creative research, all fields including the arts will further their individual patronage and continue to progress both inside and outside of academia.

The Jazz/Poetry Connection In NYC : Promo Video

Stay updated through the blog as the interviews will pick up throughout August and September.





Happy July 4th. I can now take a breath, take a drink and digest the meal that was the month of June. New York and I managed to burn a hole in my grant by way of Greyhound, Amtrak, subway, clubs, food, drink. I have managed to cover much mid-Atlantic territory area including that of Philadelphia, D.C, Baltimore and Newark. New York regions covered are Williamsburg, Park Slope and Low East & Lower West Sides and a very sweaty day-tour of Queens.

Performances of Jazz/Poetry Attended: 2, Performances of Jazz Attended: 16+, Poetry Readings Attended: 4

Interviews Recorded: 10+, Speculative Interviewees: 15-20

Venues Attended: Cornelia Street Cafe, Kenny’s Castaways, Sullivan Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, Smalls Jazz Club, The Village Vanguard, The Jazz Standard, Carnegie Hall, The City Winery, The Lovin’ Cup and Prospect Park Summer Stage.

Archival research performed at The Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies in order to obtain periodicals from “Downbeat”, “JAZZ”, “Jazz Monthly”, “Jazz Review” and “Brilliant Corners”. Also, documents on the illusive Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) were obtained.

The two upcoming gentlemen on deck for the project are at the very height of their field and I do no exaggerate when I say that they both contain the very revolutionary attitude that is rare among artists. Frank Carlberg is the first of these incredibly respectable musicians I will speak to on July 5th. On his latest record “The American Dream”, he took  a series of poems composed by Robert Creely and has written a 12 part jazz song-cycle. Carlberg is the pioneer in this concept, which smudges the lead-like conception of the “jazz” idiom. I will speak to him about what’s driving him and how he creates his work but above all, I want to know where he feels poetry’s pace is within jazz music.

Here is a nice quote:

Carlberg does a masterful job blending the music and words, the results sounding so organic. The melodies wrap around the words with ease and the solos never seem obligatory.   His music is melodic, challenging, intelligent, and fiercely original. Many projects that attempt to blend poetry with creative music sound stilted but, over his career, Carlberg has proven that one can take these two art forms and make something quite special”.

-Richard Kamins-Hartford Courant-

David Amram, another pioneer in the world of jazz/poetry will headline the Cornelia Street Cafe on July 5th. Amram is a

AMRAM & CO imagemystical oral history project in multi-faceted glory. He is not only a supremely accomplished jazz improviser on multiple instruments (flute, french horn, etc.) but  is also a distinguished chamber/orchestral composer and conductor. Above all, Amram played in the first jazz-poetry reading in New York City in 1957. He was there at the beginning! The Hatchling! The Reformation! The Connection! I feel as if Amram will lay some heavy load of wisdom to this entire project and what it stands for. He turns 80 years old this November. This day will be most likely be one of the most humbling of my entire summer.

On Amram:

David Amram has composed more than 100 orchestral and chamber music works, written many scores for Broadway theater and film, including the classic scores for the films Splendor in The Grass and The Manchurian Candidate; two operas, including the groundbreaking Holocaust opera The Final Ingredient; and the score for the landmark 1959 documentary Pull My Daisy, narrated by novelist Jack Kerouac.  He is also the author of three books, Vibrations, an autobiography, Offbeat: Collaborating With Kerouac, a memoir, and Upbeat: Nine Lives of a Musical Cat published in the fall of 2007 by Paradigm Publishers.
A pioneer player of jazz French horn, he is also a virtuoso on piano, numerous flutes and whistles, percussion, and dozens of folkloric instruments from 25 countries, as well as an inventive, funny improvisational lyricist.  He has collaborated with Leonard Bernstein, (who chose him as The New York Philharmonic’s first composer-in-residence in 1966), Dizzy Gillespie, Langston Hughes, Dustin Hoffman, Willie Nelson, Thelonious Monk, Odetta, Elia Kazan, Arthur Miller, Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton, Johnny Depp and Tito Puente.

Who’s On Deck For “The Jazz/Poetry Connection” Interview Marathon #1

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:

George Guida

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.

Sam Sadigursky:

Sam Sadigursky

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:

Jane Omerod

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

Ben Allison:

Ben Allison

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.

Michael Geffner

Michael Geffner:

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.

New York’s UnDead Jazz Festival – A Disgustingly Intimidating Line-Up

On June 12th and 13th 2010 boomBOOM Presents and Search & Restore unleash the Undead Jazz Festival on New York City.  Hot off the success of Winter Jazzfest,  these like-minded, ambitious concert presenters have revived the same two-day, many-artist, multi-venue formula.  For two Summer nights, one ticket will give jazz fans access to Le Poisson Rouge, Kenny’s Castaways, and Sullivan Hall — three clubs with distinctly different aesthetics, reputations and histories, and all uniting to celebrate the many identities of jazz being created today in New York City.  As founders/producers of Undead, Brice Rosenbloom and Adam Schatz are on a mission to shake the tired image of jazz as a music of the past, a historical footnote, and worst of all, expensive.  Jazz is a music of the people, and hinged on the exciting force of improvisation.  The music can take on so many vibrant forms, each bringing a listener to a new place of enjoyment, euphoria and overall sonic stimulation.  All of the 30+ groups participating in this festival bring improvisational personality, compositional agenda and unique ideas to the table.  They have been consciously united for these two nights to centralize the jazz adventures that occur on a nightly basis in New York, and bring it all to a climax at three Greenwich Village clubs within one block of each other.  Undead is as much a festival for the fans of jazz’s developing history, as it is for those who have always wanted to know more about the music but do not know where to start.  Whether or not you’ve heard of all or none of the 150+ musicians performing in the Undead Jazz Festival, it doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you’re there to let the music speed your pulse and blow your mind.

I decided to break down how I would map out each day at UnDead this upcoming weekend. Here’s how I would go about making some of the most difficult decisions in my recent life.


Uri Caine

7:40pm – The Uri Caine Ensemble @ Kenny’s Castaways

8:20pm – Dave Douglas & Keystone @ LPR

Ari Hoenig

11:40pm – Ari Hoenig/Tim Lefebvre/Jean-Michel Pilc Trio @ Kenny’s Castaways

12:40am – Fight The Big Bull @ Kenny’s Castaways

2am – Josh Roseman Unit @ Sullivan Hall


7pm – Electric Kulintang @ Sullivan Hall

Steve Coleman

8pm – Steve Coleman and Five Elements @ Sullivan Hall

Ben Allison

9:40pm – Dave King/Tim Berne/Craig Taborn Trio @ Kenny’s Castaways

10pm – Ben Allison Band @ Sullivan Hall

11:40pm – Happy Apple @ Kenny’s Castaways

12:20am – Michael League / John Ellis / Sam Barsh / Ari Hoenig @ LPR

1:20AM – David Weiss and Point of Departure @ LPR

I’ll be in attendance on Sunday so you can count on seeing me at the shows above.

For $25, I don’t know what else to say.

Robert Pinsky To Appear Live @ The Jazz Standard

Robert Pinsky – former Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, acclaimed    translator  of the writings of Czesław Miłosz and Dante Alighieri, and the author of nineteen books – will appear on Tuesday, March 24th at The Jazz Standard. He will be accompanied by  Vijay Iyer (piano), Ben Allison (bass) and Matt Wilson (drums).

“I would be a famous jazz musician today if it weren’t for the single obstacle, deficiency of talent. I switched to words instead.” – Pinsky

“Its one of the many things music and poetry have in common is, you cant do it if you can’t listen” – Pinsky

Robert Pinsky traveled down to my university, Florida State this past November 2009. He performed with a stellar quartet of students two of which were featured in my Jazz/Poetry SYMPOSIUM.  To view this moving event please click here.