Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame officers and inductees: (left to right) Vice President Benita Porter Browning, President James Thomson, Secretary Alita Mantels, Gwen Terry (accepting the posthumous award to her husband Clark Terry) and inductee Ted Ludwig.
Four jazz musicians were inducted into the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame last week in a ceremony at the Capitol Hotel’s ballroom. Among them were two early jazz pioneers, Hot Springs’ Junie Cobb, a bandleader and multi-instrumentalist who was part of the Chicago jazz scene in the 1930s and 1940s, and Little Rock’s Alex Hill, a prolific jazz arranger during that same period who collaborated with Fats Waller and composed for the Duke Ellington Orchestra.
Seven-string guitar master Ted Ludwig was the only living musician to be inducted this year. Ludwig, who relocated to Little Rock from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, who was featured in the world premiere of D.J. Sparr’s “Concerto for Jazz Guitar and Orchestra: Katrina” with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in April, performed pieces like “Moonlight in Vermont” with his trio, regular performers at the Capital Bar. Little Rock jazz staple Bob Boyd performed, as well as vocalist Nan Maureen Renaud, and a jazz ensemble featuring Thomas East (vocals, keyboard), Guido Ritchie (trumpet, flugelhorn), Matt Treadway (guitar), Joe Vick (bass), and Brian Brown (drums).
Clark Terry was also inducted, a St. Louis-born trumpeter and flugelhornist whose career spanned nearly 70 years. Terry has the rare distinction of having worked with both the Count Basie and Duke Ellington orchestras (or, as he called it, “The University of Ellingtonia”), as well as Charles Mingus and Thelonious Monk, and who found a surprise hit with his improvised tune “Mumbles,” a variation on the type of comedic bluff Terry was prone to giving Johnny Carson when asked to engage in a game of “Stump the Band” on The Tonight Show. Terry died last February in Pine Bluff, where he’d spent his last several years mentoring young musicians, inspiring the Alan Hicks documentary, “Keep On Keepin’ On.”
Clark Terry, the jazz trumpeter who performed early in his career with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus, and who went on to mentor a generation of jazz musicians from Miles Davis to Dizzy Gillespie (who said that he considered Terry the greatest trumpeter in the world), died last night at his home in Pine Bluff, where he retired in 2006. He was 94. /more/
Wynton Marsalis visited Pine Bluff yesterday to pay a visit to the 93-year-old jazz legend Clark Terry, currently in the hospital (and accepting donations for his medical care). Terry, born in St. Louis and mentored by Louis Armstrong, played in bands with icons like Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Quincy Jones, and was a stated influence on trumpeters like Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie (who considered Terry the greatest jazz trumpeter in the world). /more/
The podcast Design Matters, published by Design Observer, is celebrating its 10th year and they are revisiting some of their best episodes from the last decade. I just finished this week's replay of the interview with the Scottish born illustrator Marion Deuchars. At the end of the wonderful interview, her two young sons are invited into the studio near where they pitch in some of their own thoughts on art and, in particular, drawing in the art books their mother created for children and adults.
by Will Stephenson, Bryan Moats, Kaya Herron and Lindsey Millar
World wide weird duo Rural War Room (Donavan Suitt & Byron Werner) is celebrating 10 years of broadcasting and production here in Little Rock and abroad. RWR Radio on KABF 88.3 FM (10 p.m. Tuesdays or anytime on their website), features the duo alternating records in an effort to surprise one another.
BRASHER: Hello Arkansans, this is the first piece from us, Brasher and Rowe and we are some dudes who work in downtown Little Rock and we eat lunch and just talk about all the exciting things around here.
Hog fans just can't quit blaming the refs for the NCAA men's basketball tournament loss to North Carolina. Now the Arkansas Senate has gotten in on the act, with this resolution introduced by Democratic Sen. Keith Ingram and getting bipartisan co-sponsorship from that brutish and short sandlot roundball player, Republican Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson.
IndieWire breaks news long whispered downtown — a more ambitious successor to the Little Rock Film Festival is in the works, with backing from writer/director Jeff Nichols, a Little Rock native. His "Loving" has won wide acclaim recently.