Saturday, September 12, 2009

Jacob's Jazz Blog: 'James P. Johnson Rent Party at Smalls in NY' October 4, 2009

[Victory Stride: The Symphonic Music of James P. Johnson; The Concordia Orchestra; Marin Alsop, Conductor; Music Masters 67140 (1994)]

Jacob's Jazz Blog
By Jacob Teichroew, Guide to Jazz
James P. Johnson, the father of the Harlem school of stride piano, is buried in an unmarked grave in Maspeth, Queens. On October 4th, 2009, Smalls Jazz Club in New York's Greenwich Village will host a 'rent party' to raise money for a monument to the pianist. The event runs from 1:00 to 9:00 pm, and will feature an exhibit from the James P. Johnson archive at the Rutgers Institute for Jazz Studies, a symposium by Johnson scholar Scott Brown, and solo piano performances by Dick Hyman, Ethan Iverson, Ted Rosenthal, Terry Waldo, Mike Lipskin, Ehud Asherie, Conal Fowlkes, Spike Wilner, and Aaron Diehl.

For more information go to [James P. Johnson (1894-1955) was an African American composer and pianist of jazz and classical music who is profiled at Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma wrote the liner notes for the CD "Got the Saint-Louis Blues: Classical Music in the Jazz Age", Clarion CLR907 (2004), which includes a performance of Johnson's "Yamekraw: A Negro Rhapsody" (15:49) by pianist Paul Shaw and the VocalEssence Ensemble conducted by Philip Brunelle. Dr. De Lerma relates that Johnson's music studies with Bruto Giannini were followed by piano lessons from Eubie Blake. He continues: “Toward the end of the 1920s, Johnson began devoting time to the study of orchestration, counterpoint, and harmony.”]

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