1. Jazz in July’s first group of artists outside 92Y in 1985. Photo by Steve J. Sherman4 Facts You Didn’t Know About the Maestros of Jazz in July
Our six-concert Jazz in July music festival kicks off on July 22, featuring the music of Hoagy Charmichael, Leonard Bernstein, Miles Davis and the songs that kept Fred Astaire dancing. While the concert series readies to debut its 30th season, the New York Times profiled Jazz in July’s original artistic director Dick Hyman (who created it in 1985) and his successor Bill Charlap. Below are four facts you may not have known about these jazz lovers.
Prior to his creation of Jazz in July, Hyman worked with filmmaker Woody Allen and choreographer Twyla Tharp.
Hyman and Charlap are distant cousins.
Charlap’s father, Mark “Moose” Charlap, is the composer of the Broadway musical Peter Pan.
Charlap is an accomplished artist on Blue Note Records.
Learn more about Jazz in July in the Times. Then get your secure your seats and experience the “hot jazz” for yourself!

    Jazz in July’s first group of artists outside 92Y in 1985. Photo by Steve J. Sherman

    4 Facts You Didn’t Know About the Maestros of Jazz in July

    Our six-concert Jazz in July music festival kicks off on July 22, featuring the music of Hoagy Charmichael, Leonard Bernstein, Miles Davis and the songs that kept Fred Astaire dancing. While the concert series readies to debut its 30th season, the New York Times profiled Jazz in July’s original artistic director Dick Hyman (who created it in 1985) and his successor Bill Charlap. Below are four facts you may not have known about these jazz lovers.

    • Prior to his creation of Jazz in July, Hyman worked with filmmaker Woody Allen and choreographer Twyla Tharp.
    • Hyman and Charlap are distant cousins.
    • Charlap’s father, Mark “Moose” Charlap, is the composer of the Broadway musical Peter Pan.
    • Charlap is an accomplished artist on Blue Note Records.

    Learn more about Jazz in July in the Times. Then get your secure your seats and experience the “hot jazz” for yourself!

  2. Remember when Esperanza Spalding looked radiant at the 2011 Grammy Awards when she won for Best New Artist? Well, she’s won two more Grammys since then and is appearing at our Soul Jazz Festival on Mar 15. Tickets are as low as $20!

    Remember when Esperanza Spalding looked radiant at the 2011 Grammy Awards when she won for Best New Artist? Well, she’s won two more Grammys since then and is appearing at our Soul Jazz Festival on Mar 15. Tickets are as low as $20!

  3. #TuesdayTip: Voice Development by Brian Landrus, Professional Jazz Musician and 92Y School of Music Instructor
I’ve worked for many years on my tone on every instrument I play. How to develop your own expressive voice is achieved by a regimented routine of tone exercises:
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Play each note in your entire range for as long as you possibly can in one breath, or strum. 
Concentrate on your tone quality. What do you enjoy? What do you want to change?
Play the notes through the volume extremes; get as loud and quiet as possible to create the ability to vary your intensity.
Listen to other players on your instrument and try to match their sound.
Record yourself and analyze your tone.
Use effects like vibrato to give your sound personality.
Repeat everyday for 30 minutes.
Brian Landrus’ latest CD Mirage has been named one of the top ten albums of 2013 by Huffington Post. He is also the creative force behind the premier of 92Y’s new Soul Jazz Festival!

    #TuesdayTip: Voice Development by Brian Landrus, Professional Jazz Musician and 92Y School of Music Instructor

    I’ve worked for many years on my tone on every instrument I play. How to develop your own expressive voice is achieved by a regimented routine of tone exercises:

    Read More

  4. Cedar Walton (left) played a two-piano number with Bill Charlap in a Jazz in July concert on July 23, 2008. Photo © Richard Termine/92Y
The world lost two legendary jazz figures last week: Cedar Walton and Marian McPartland. Both were familiar and welcome guests on 92Y’s stage. Today, we honor Cedar Walton, who made several appearances on 92Y’s Jazz in July Festival, beginning with his debut on July 20, 2006.
Born in Dallas, Cedar Walton was one of the great hard bop jazz pianists. He first came to fame as pianist for Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, for whom he composed such classics as “Mosaic,” “Bolivia” and “Ugetsu.” He enjoyed a long association with singer Abbey Lincoln, and he formed his own small groups, working with drummer Billy Higgins and bassist Ron Carter. He also regularly performed in rhythm sections for Milt Jackson, Frank Morgan, and Dexter Gordon and accompanied vocalists Ernestine Anderson and Freddy Cole. In 2010 he was named an NEA Jazz Master.
Jazz in July artistic director Bill Charlap and Mr. Walton were close friends. On January 22, 2010, Mr. Walton was the guest on NPR’s “Piano Jazz” radio show, and Bill filled for regular host Marian McPartland. 92Y asked Bill for his thoughts on his friend’s legacy. He wrote:


Cedar Walton was one of the greatest musicians in jazz history. His sound, his time, the profound melodic line, the depth of his harmonic language—all were part of the individuality and integrity that ensure the name Cedar Walton be remembered as one of the all time great jazz artists. In addition Walton made an important contribution as a major composer. Firm Roots and Ironclad, two of Walton’s many wonderful compositions, perfectly describe his musical aesthetic. 
To know Cedar Walton was to know his brilliance and his humor, which, like his music, had layers of meaning. I feel lucky to have been able to call him my friend and will forever be in awe of his genius.


As will we all.

    Cedar Walton (left) played a two-piano number with Bill Charlap in a Jazz in July concert on July 23, 2008. Photo © Richard Termine/92Y

    The world lost two legendary jazz figures last week: Cedar Walton and Marian McPartland. Both were familiar and welcome guests on 92Y’s stage. Today, we honor Cedar Walton, who made several appearances on 92Y’s Jazz in July Festival, beginning with his debut on July 20, 2006.

    Born in Dallas, Cedar Walton was one of the great hard bop jazz pianists. He first came to fame as pianist for Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, for whom he composed such classics as “Mosaic,” “Bolivia” and “Ugetsu.” He enjoyed a long association with singer Abbey Lincoln, and he formed his own small groups, working with drummer Billy Higgins and bassist Ron Carter. He also regularly performed in rhythm sections for Milt Jackson, Frank Morgan, and Dexter Gordon and accompanied vocalists Ernestine Anderson and Freddy Cole. In 2010 he was named an NEA Jazz Master.

    Jazz in July artistic director Bill Charlap and Mr. Walton were close friends. On January 22, 2010, Mr. Walton was the guest on NPR’s “Piano Jazz” radio show, and Bill filled for regular host Marian McPartland. 92Y asked Bill for his thoughts on his friend’s legacy. He wrote:

    Cedar Walton was one of the greatest musicians in jazz history. His sound, his time, the profound melodic line, the depth of his harmonic language—all were part of the individuality and integrity that ensure the name Cedar Walton be remembered as one of the all time great jazz artists. In addition Walton made an important contribution as a major composer. Firm Roots and Ironclad, two of Walton’s many wonderful compositions, perfectly describe his musical aesthetic. 

    To know Cedar Walton was to know his brilliance and his humor, which, like his music, had layers of meaning. I feel lucky to have been able to call him my friend and will forever be in awe of his genius.

    As will we all.

  5. Benny Goodman and his Orchestra - “Stealin’ Apples” (1939)

    Ken Peplowski is one of jazz’s reigning clarinetists, and he is a regular and popular guest at 92Y’s Jazz in July. He serves as Benny Goodman’s unofficial stand-in for the festival’s finale, “Benny Goodman: Let’s Dance,” so we asked him about the legendary clarinetist.

    What was your first meeting with Benny Goodman?
    The first time was when I was 16. He came to my home town of Cleveland, and my family and I saw him play. Then, I wound up playing in his last full–time working big band in NYC!! Our audition as a big band was frightening—he was a tough bandleader, very demanding in what he wanted, yet very mercurial at the same time.

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  6. The Pink Panther Theme Song, written by Henry Mancini

    Henry Mancini and Johnny Mandel led the generation of songwriters who made their mark in the movies and TV rather than Broadway, and with music infused with jazz. We asked artists from this Wednesday’s “Mancini, Mandel & the Movies” concert if they remembered the first time they heard jazz in the movies and/or on TV:

    Sandy Stewart, vocals
    A 1959 TV special starring Frank Sinatra, Benny Goodman, and Bing Crosby

    Jeremy Pelt, trumpet
    Vince Guaraldi’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

    Steve Davis, trombone
    Floyd Huddleston and Al Rinker’s “Everybody Wants to be a Cat,” from Disney’s The Aristocats.

    Rufus Reid, bass
    Movie: Mandel’s The Sandpiper (“The Shadow of Your Smile”)
    TV: Mancini’s “Peter Gunn”

    Tim Horner, drums
    TV: “Jazz Set” on PBS & the music of West Side Story on Leonard Bernstein’s “Young People’s Concerts
    Film: The audition scene from The Man with the Golden Arm & Duke Ellington’s Anatomy of a Murder

    What’s your first memory of jazz from the movies or TV? Jack Lemmon playing bongos in Bell, Book and Candle? The lit fuse in “Mission: Impossible”? The squad cars in “Hill Street Blues”? Let us know.

  7. When you have as rich and rewarding a career as Johnny Mandel, you’re bound to meet some interesting people along the way—but how you meet them can be surprising.
In 1944, Johnny was hired to play in Henry Jerome’s orchestra. The band’s manager was Leonard Garment, who would become Richard Nixon’s lawyer. He would also be a founder of the National Museum of Jazz in Harlem.
Playing tenor saxophone was a young man who was also studying economics at NYU and trying to decide which career to follow. He was doing a bit of both by playing sax and managing the band’s books—Alan Greenspan, future chairman of the Federal Reserve. “Alan was very bookish and a nice guy. He also did the payroll, so we always got paid on time,” remembers Johnny.
The band was one of the first to play bebop, and it made air checks in the huge Child’s Restaurant under Paramount Theater in Times Square. Those live air checks have survived and have been released on a CD. It’s the only CD to feature Johnny Mandel and Alan Greenspan together.
To learn more about Johnny and Alan playing together, read these NEA and JazzWax (Part 2) interviews.
And for more Mandel, check out Jazz in July’s “Mancini & Mandel at the Movies,” on July 24.

    When you have as rich and rewarding a career as Johnny Mandel, you’re bound to meet some interesting people along the way—but how you meet them can be surprising.

    In 1944, Johnny was hired to play in Henry Jerome’s orchestra. The band’s manager was Leonard Garment, who would become Richard Nixon’s lawyer. He would also be a founder of the National Museum of Jazz in Harlem.

    Playing tenor saxophone was a young man who was also studying economics at NYU and trying to decide which career to follow. He was doing a bit of both by playing sax and managing the band’s books—Alan Greenspan, future chairman of the Federal Reserve. “Alan was very bookish and a nice guy. He also did the payroll, so we always got paid on time,” remembers Johnny.

    The band was one of the first to play bebop, and it made air checks in the huge Child’s Restaurant under Paramount Theater in Times Square. Those live air checks have survived and have been released on a CD. It’s the only CD to feature Johnny Mandel and Alan Greenspan together.

    To learn more about Johnny and Alan playing together, read these NEA and JazzWax (Part 2) interviews.

    And for more Mandel, check out Jazz in July’s “Mancini & Mandel at the Movies,” on July 24.

  8. Origin: from left, Chick Corea, Tim Garland, Steve Wilson, Steve Davis, Avishai Cohen (hidden), Jeff Ballard
A true “musician’s musician,” alto saxophonist Steve Wilson is one of the most prominent figures in the New York jazz scene. From 1998-2001 he was a member of Chick Corea’s groundbreaking band Origin, and last week he spent a morning chatting with WBGO’s Gary Walker. Here are some highlights…
On how did he and Chick first connected: I was working with Avishai Cohen’s band on his first recording—this was around 1998—and Chick was producer, so he was at the studio. Shortly after, he called me and said, “I’m trying this experiment for a sextet, and I’ve written some new music. I have a three-night engagement in Albany.” I had the open dates, so I said sure. Right after the engagement, Chick immediately called us all and said, “I’ve already told my agent to start booking dates for the band.” And that’s how the group Origin got started.
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On Chick the composer: For one thing, Chick knows the history. He knows all the music, all the tunes. He would be in the middle of writing something—he wrote music every day—and he would suddenly say, “You know, I just heard this Duke Ellington thing. Have you ever heard of it?” He was looking forward but in touch with the legacy. He was in creative mode all the time. You never knew what he was going to come up with. We would be flying from one city to another, and when we would get off the plane, he would say, “I have another tune, let’s try it out at sound check.” In these tunes, he would take these turns, and it was always challenging. It was a complete world. It was amazing.
On creativity: Chick is always inspired by different personalities, works of arts, places, people, things. And he never repeats himself—he was always in fifth gear we so were always catching up. He is very inspiring, so he inspires you to go beyond what you know. You never know where inspiration is going to come from, so keep all channels open. Be tuned into different things. There’s so much life rhythm around, and it’s a pet peeve of mine to see people with their iPods and things in sensory deprivation. There’s so much to take in, you have to be open to it. And you don’t have to be a musician to do this. You have to live life in every measure.
Steve Wilson is one of the artists for Jazz in July’s “The Mad Hatter: Music of Chick Corea” on Tuesday, July 23.

    Origin: from left, Chick Corea, Tim Garland, Steve Wilson, Steve Davis, Avishai Cohen (hidden), Jeff Ballard

    A true “musician’s musician,” alto saxophonist Steve Wilson is one of the most prominent figures in the New York jazz scene. From 1998-2001 he was a member of Chick Corea’s groundbreaking band Origin, and last week he spent a morning chatting with WBGO’s Gary Walker. Here are some highlights…

    On how did he and Chick first connected:
    I was working with Avishai Cohen’s band on his first recording—this was around 1998—and Chick was producer, so he was at the studio. Shortly after, he called me and said, “I’m trying this experiment for a sextet, and I’ve written some new music. I have a three-night engagement in Albany.” I had the open dates, so I said sure. Right after the engagement, Chick immediately called us all and said, “I’ve already told my agent to start booking dates for the band.” And that’s how the group Origin got started.

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  9. What exactly is West Coast Jazz? For a demonstration, here is Chet Baker performing Jimmy Van Heusen & Jule Styne’s “Time After Time,” from a 1964 Belgian TV broadcast.

    For an explanation, 92Y’s Jazz in July artistic director Bill Charlap recommends the preface from Jazz West Coast: The Los Angeles Jazz Scene of the 1950s by Robert Gordon:

    In the early 1950s the attention of the jazz world was focused on Los Angeles. Baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan had gained fame (and a spread in Time magazine) by forming a piano-less quartet; his new group was drawing standing-room-only crowds nightly to an intimate club called The Haig. Several miles away in the town of Hermosa Beach, bassist Howard Rumsey and a crew of ex-Kentonites drew equally enthusiastic crowds to an old crew of ex waterfront bar, the Lighthouse Cafe…In this hothouse atmosphere experimentation was rife, and attempts to adapt the instruments and techniques of the concert hall to jazz were tried, sometimes with a fair amount of success…Somebody coined the term “West Coast jazz” to describe the music being produced in California, and the tag stuck…

    If you’re still curious, Jazz in July is devoting an entire concert to West Coast Jazz on July 18. We also have more video clips.

  10. “Hey there cutes, put on your dancin’ boots and come dance with me!”

    That’s the first line from Michael Bublé’s single “Come Dance With Me,” which he performed on Dancing with the Stars this past season. Frank Sinatra originally recorded “Come Dance with Me” in 1959 if you prefer the classic version.

    The songwriter - Jimmy Van Heusen – celebrates his centennial this year, and we’re paying tribute on Wednesday, July 17 as part of our Jazz in July Festival.

    Van Heusen won four Oscars and an Emmy and you probably know his songs, even if you didn’t know he wrote them (hint: if you’ve ever watched “Married, With Children” you know at least one!) Which songs would you like to hear at Jazz in July?