Sunday, April 1, 2012

Columbus Ohio Bicentennial

Greetings from Christine and Arnett in April, 2012. The only Bicentennial event that we attended on March 2nd, was a night at the Lincoln Theater, entitled “Beyond the Blackberry Patch.”

Columbus’ Jazz Arts Group had commissioned Beyond the Blackberry Patch with trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, a member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and I must say, my favorite trombonist. He certainly plays the horn with a range of growls, tail-gate slides and power that no one else comes close to. Enuff’ said.

Included in the evening, based on Anna Bishop’s four volume writings, Wycliffe used the cream of Columbus players in his band; Bobby Floyd, keys and B-3, Derek Dicenzo, guitar, bass, Shawn “Thunder” Wallace and Bryan Olshevski, saxes, Reggie Jackson, drums, Mike Wade, trumpet, special guest Aaron Diehl, piano with Tia Rosboro, guest vocalist. The China White Dancers added their specialness to the event and the Milton Ruffin Gospel Chorale sang the finale.

David Meyers and I would like to thank all who voted in the 200Columbus Bicentennial Song Contest. We were not among the winners, however, that’s OK, because Elijah’s Wooden Book brought woodcarver Elijah Pierce back to life. Thank you to This Week ColumbusKevin Parks, who gave our song two pages in the March 1st edition.

During this month I received the proof and the cover of Ohio Jazz: A History of Jazz in the Buckeye State. David Meyers, author of the recent best selling Lazarus book that Christine did the forward for, is quarterbacking another publication on jazz and has included Candy Watkins, Jim Loeffler and yours truly as contributors. I just finished sending in some corrections.

Ohio Jazz is quite a scholarly effort, involving many jazz and non-jazz musicians, going back into the ragtime era, from Cincinnati publishers and Columbus bandleaders to contemporary players like pianists Kim Pensyl and Bobby Floyd. It is being published by The History Press and let’s hope that it is released by the time summer concert season starts.

For the summer season is a new compact disc release; Arnett Howard: Music Is The Art Of Life. It is a collection of sixteen original songs, with photography by Larry Hamill.

April 15th is income tax day, so let’s get ready for that dreaded time. We are going to New Orleans on May 2nd for the Forty-fourth annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, so this month will just fly by.

For April’s Bicentennial blog, we’re preparing pieces on artists George Bellows, Emerson Burkhart, social and political leader Rev. James Poindexter, an interview with musician Rusty Bryant and journalist Doral Chenoweth, Jr., among others. So, like my hero saxophonist Rahsaan Roland Kirk says, bright moments to you!

Arnett Howard
Photo by George Cowmeadow Bauman

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