The Lasting Legacy Of Charlie “Bird” Parker At 100

On Saturday, August 29, the jazz world celebrates the 100th birth date of Charlie “Bird” Parker. The 100th centennial is no ordinary celebration. Parker is a revered figure whose short-lived life carved a lasting stone of innovation in music. His impact continues to influence venerable and budding jazz artists alike more than sixty-five years after […]

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Jazz Legend John “Spider” Martin Honored With Niagara Falls Street Naming

If you travel any time soon to the intersection of Main and Ontario Streets in the city of Niagara Falls, you will find a new street name sign. The new street sign, John “Spider” Martin Way, honors the late jazz musician and legend from Niagara Falls. The intersection is just down the block from where […]

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Bill Crump: A Great Day in Harlem’s “Mystery Man”

The most iconic group photograph in the history of jazz, entitled “A Great Day in Harlem” was taken on August 12, 1958, in front of a brownstone at 17 East 126th St. The photographer was Art Kane who was on assignment from Esquire Magazine. The image was to become the centerpiece of the January 1959 […]

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James Brandon Lewis Voted Rising Star Winner In 2020 Downbeat Critic’s Poll

James Brandon Lewis, since leaving his hometown of Buffalo, has risen in the jazz world as an emerging saxophonist of note. Lewis is usually noted for his ability to reach into the past of influences by Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and Ornette Coleman while crafting a unique improvisational sound that is modern and futuristic. In […]

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Freddy Cole Was “The Tops” For Many Jazz Fans

“Freddy Cole? He’s the tops, mate! The very tops!” When I first learned of the passing of vocalist/pianist Freddy Cole on Sunday at the age of 88, this quote immediately popped into my head, as it did over the past nearly three decades whenever I saw Freddy’s name or heard him sing.  With Cole’s passing, […]

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Ella Fitzgerald Documentary, “Ella: Just One of Those Things,” Is Worth Watching

The 2019 documentary about the life of the iconic Ella Fitzgerald has made its way to the United States and to the WNY region.  Ella: Just One of Those Things is available virtually through an arrangement with The Screening Room and its virtual cinema. The film is directed by Leslie Woodhead and produced by Reggie […]

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Jazz Pianist And Vocalist Freddy Cole Has Died At The Age Of 88

Jazz pianist and vocalist Freddy Cole has died at the age of 88. Born in 1931 in Chicago, he called Atlanta home for the last 48 years. Cole passed on the evening of June 27, 2020. Freddy Cole was the younger brother of his famous sibling, Nat King Cole.  He was the youngest of five children, 12 […]

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The Short and Curious Life of Wade Legge

Imagine with me if you will, an all- time, all- star jazz group made up of internationally known musicians who were either born in Buffalo or spent a great deal of their lives as residents of the Queen City. Now who gets the piano chair? Most casual jazz fans would gravitate towards Al Tinney who […]

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Spyro Gyra Release Video Featuring Medley Of Early Hits

Spyro Gyra has had an amazing 40 plus years run at producing and performing their unique jazz fusion sound. Originating from Congress Street in the West Side of Buffalo in 1977, the band became a worldwide sensation. Their first album, self-entitled, was released in 1977 under the Crosseyed Bear Records label and then picked up […]

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“Universe” Documents Landmark Compositions By Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, And Wallace Roney

In 1966 a landmark suite of orchestral jazz was written for Miles Davis and set to be recorded by The Miles Davis Quintet. That moment would never happen. The quintet broke up and the compositions were lost for 50 years…until they were finally recovered by Miles’ only protégé, Wallace Roney–the one man Miles would trust […]

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