MONDAY, JULY 6, 2009
Chickenbone Beach Concerts 2009
It used to be that you would catch the jazz in the nightclubs at night, and then see the musicians, bartenders and waiteresses sleeping on the beach in the day. At least that's the way it was in the hey day.
Kentucky Avenue is where the clubs were in Atlantic City, and not far away, on the other side of the boardwalk, was Chickenbone beach was where the musicans were during the day.
With the clubs now gone, and in memory of the Chickenbone Beach heyday, they began this free jazz concert series a decade ago so it should endure into a real Atlantic City tradition.
Held on the boardwalk between Mississippi & Georgia Avenues, in front of Boardwalk Hall at Kennedy Plaza, this year they will hold six free concerts featuring twelve classic acts.
With the opening act beginning at 7 and going to 8 PM, the headliners will perform from 8:30 to 10 PM on select Thursdays beginning July 2 when the Eddie Morgan Trio opens for trombonist Steve Turre, a Mexican-American from the San Francisco Bay area. Steve's played with Ray Charles, the Saturday Night Live band and in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers – The School of Bop. He also plays the shells – The Sanctified Shells – shell choir. Turre has recorded: Lotus Flower (1999 Verve)and In the Spur of the Moment (2000, Telarc). [http://www.steveturre.com/].
On July 9 Dan Fogel opens for legendary Philadelphia jazz man Bootsie Barnes, who we all know from his many appearances at the Cape May Jazz Fest.
Dan was one of the regulars at the Kentucky Avenue nightclubs, beginning as a patron when he snuck in as a kid, and later on as a keyboard player in some of the makeshift bands they would put together for the shows, which ran from 9 pm until the end of the "Breakfast Show" early in the morning when the sun was up. Then it was time to grab some bibs and chicken at Jimmie's take out across the street from the Club Harlem, and hit the beach. Chickenbone Beach.
Danny and Bootsie on the same bill is something. Bootsie comes from the Old School in Philadelphia, where he is the mainstay of a long jazz tradition, and one of the regular members of the Cape May Jazz Fest Sunday afternoon jam sessions when they end each fest in a rousing fashion.
You can get more info about Dan here: [http://www.danfogel.org/]
And Bootsie can be found at: [http://www.bootsiebarnes.com/]
On July 16 – Hassan Abdullah Quintet opens for the First Lady of Jazz Guitar Monnette Sudler, who runs the guitar workshop at the Cape May Fest, encouraging young people to play jazz on the guitar. These two acts will be double dynomyte.
On August 6 the CBB Youth Jazz Ensemble – Camp by IDEA of Camden, New Jersey, my Hometown [http://www.idea-arts.org/], will open for pianist Orrin Evans. Now from Philadelphia by way of Trenton, Evans moved to NY in 1995. A teacher, producer and arranger at the Girard Academy and the Mason Gross School of Arts Rutgers, Orrin has recorded Luvpark; Live in Jackson, Mississipi,(on Imani).
Check them out: [http://www.myspace.com/orrinevans]
On August 13 there's Tony Day Trio and flute and sax queen Tia Fuller, a composer and educator, who graduated Magna Cum Laude in college and got a Masters degree in Jazz Pedagogy and Performance from University of Colorado at Boulder (Summa Cum Laude). She's part of the Bayonce Experience and has recorded Pillar of Strength (2005 Wambui) and Healing Space (2007 Mack Avenue). Tia also plays with the T. S. Monk Septet, and other bands and orchestras (ie Nancy Wilson, Jon Faddis, Rufus Reid, Sean Jones) and gave keynote address at the Jazz Institute of New Jersey – “Journey to Success." The daughter of Denver teachers, she has taught at Stanford, played Duquesne and the Panama Jazz Fest.
On August 20 there's Mysterious Traveler with pianist/composer Helen Sung.
Helen is from Texas, UT Austin, where she teaches San Antonio public school students.
[Helen@helensung.com ] She's recorded Songbird (after Albeniz) and teaches at the Helenistique T. Monk Institute of Jazz at New England Conservatory. With Kennedy Center honors, she is a Chinese classical pianist who switched to jazz while a student at UTAustin.
More on Ms. Helen: [http://www.helensung.com/]
Now that's some lineup of great jazz, and every one of those acts is also involved, somehow, in teaching jazz to young people. Hell, you should get school credit for just going to the show.
And it's at Kennedy Plaza, where you can also take in some real art - a sculpture of President John F. Kennedy, dedicated at the 1964 Democratic National Convention when his brother Bobby delivered a famous eulogy.
I will get more on the sculpture - the artist is from Texas, and unlike the bla, nothing, box memorial for JFK just off Dealey Plaza in Dallas, this bronze JFK bust is a very real and almost moving likeness. I have photos somewhere - and find some links to Bobby's speech, since if we're going to learn something about jazz we might as well learn something about why they call the venue JFK Plaza, right?
If you agree, let me know