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SJW Faculty, Artist and Alumni News


Keeping up with the faculty, artists & alumni of SJW past & present, as well as items of interest to jazz lovers selected at random.

Julian lage One of our favorite SJW artists Julian Lage will release his first CD as leader in March on the EmArcy label, an imprint of Universal Media Group. Titled Sounding Point, it features a group of young and cosmopolitan players including fellow SJW faculty member (and Jazz Mentor), Peruvian Jorge Roeder on bass, Colombian Tupac Mantilla on drums and Venezuelan Aristides Rivas on cello. Rounding out the ensemble is saxophonist Ben Roseth from Seattle. Featured guests include frequent collaborator and buddy Taylor Eigsti, as well as mandolinist Chris Thile, who is highly regarded as a member of the bluegrass group Nickel Creek. Listen to sample tracks from the CD here. Photo Credit, Scott Chernis.
Natalie Cressman, daughter of vocalist Sandy Cressman and trombonist Jeff Cressman (Sandy is 08/09 SJW vocal faculty and Jeff has played and taught at several Workshops), is proving that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree! Natalie is an able and accomplished trombonist who was recently in Los Angeles, where she was performing at several Grammy related events (including the official Grammy Celebration After-Party) as part of the Grammy Foundation's Jazz Ensembles program. Natalie is one of thirty students chosen to participate after a national competition that offers college scholarships as well as other benefits. An alumni of Stanford Jazz Camp, Natalie also performed at the 2007 Festival with an ensemble featuring Peter Apfelbaum. Natalie attends School of the Arts in San Francisco. (Pictured, L-R: Natalie, Ambrose Akinmusire, Will Bernard, Jeff Cressman and Peter; not pictured, Patrice Blanchard & Deszon X. Claiborne).
Jimmy Cobb Miles Davis' Kind of Blue was recorded in March and April of 1959, making 2009 the 50th Anniversary of its release. To commemorate this landmark achievement, Stanford Lively Arts is presenting a series of events in association with Stanford Jazz Workshop, including a demonstration and discussion on Monday, February 23rd with Jimmy Cobb, the only surviving member of the original ensemble. Previous events included a lecture/demo with Loren Schoenberg, Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and bassist Christian McBride. The series will conclude on April 18 with a concert featuring Cobb and an ensemble led by Jonathan Batiste. Photo, Jimmy Cobb at the 2007 Stanford Jazz Festival; Photo Credit, Scott Chernis. EFLYER
Madeline Eastman Jazz Residency Vocal Program Director Madeline Eastman is mixing her latest recording with the inimitable Kenny Barron and the 50-piece Metropole Orchestra, recorded in Amsterdam. Some of the arrangements are by the Emmy-winning Los Angeles composer Jeff Beal (whose most recent film score can be heard in the Ed Harris/Viggo Mortensen Western, Appaloosa). Madeline will be the featured artist, along with Randy Porter, at SJW's next Education Encounter on April 19 (details TBA). Photo, Madeline Eastman, 2008 Stanford Jazz Festival; Photo Credit, Scott Chernis.

Sixteen-year-old saxophonist & SJW alum Grace Kelly was the guest on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz. Alto player Grace is burning up the internet with news and reviews of her recent recording with the legendary fellow saxophonist (& SJW faculty member) Lee Konitz, Gracefullee. Grace describes how she got to know Lee at the Workshop in 2007, glides through a set of classics including All The Things You Are (and lets on to a penchant for Strayhorn with his tune, Isfahan) and even sings a couple of numbers. Pictured: Lee Konitz with Grace at the 2007 Workshop. Photo Credit, Scott Chernis.

Speaking of recordings, several SJW 2009 returning Faculty have CD's in progress. Matt Wilson has samples from three tracks on his website, pianist Jeb Patton's new disc is called "Big Strides" and Julian Lage will release his first CD as leader in March 2009, "Sounding Point" (details to follow). Pictured, Matt Wilson at the 2007 Stanford Jazz Festival. Photo Credit, Mars Breslow.
Ruth Davies We've been seeing many familiar names in Annual Best of and awards lists too. Bassist Ruth Davies is credited on Elvin Bishop's Grammy-nominated "The Blues Rolls On," selected in the Best Traditional Blues Album category. Ambrose Akinmusire's "Prelude:to Cora" was number three in the Village Voice's list of Best Debut CD's, and Mulgrew Miller played piano on Dave Holland's much lauded "Pass It On" CD. Aaron Parks - who was last at SJW in 2007 with Kurt Rosenwinkel - is getting high marks for his first Blue Note recording, "Invisible Cinema" (see also related mention below). Pictured, Ruth Davies at the 2007 Stanford Jazz Festival's annual Blues Night event. Photo Credit, Scott Chernis.
Another SJW Alum, saxophonist Barclay Moffitt of Pueblo, CO, received Berklee College of Music's Presidential Scholarship, once of six awarded each year. Congratulations to you Barclay!
Donald Harrison We came across a video of Donald Harrison (2009 Workshop faculty) performing with the same young trio who accompanied him during a stop at one of SJW's Education Encounters last year (Victor Gould, piano, Max Moran, bass & Joe Dyson, drums). It's hard to see much given the dim light, but it's fun nonetheless. (Also check out a vintage performance with Donald and Terence Blanchard, probably circa 1987). Pictured, Donald Harrison. Photo Credit, Kiel Scott.
Nicholas Payton Finally, NPR's salute to 70 years of Blue Note is definitely worth a listen. (On tour now in homage to the Anniversary are the Blue Note 7, led by Musical Director Bill Charlap and featuring Nicholas Payton & Ravi Coltrane, among others). Pictured: Nicholas Payton at the 2007 Stanford Jazz Festival, Opening Night. Photo Credit, Scott Chernis.
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