Presented at the 99th ASALH Convention on September 25, 2014, in Memphis, TN
Another one of those Amazing Musicwomen!
Originally posted on The Choklitfactory:
First off, if you haven’t seen Shutter Island, go see it! Good movie!
Composer Max Ritcher composed a mesmerizing piece of music available on the film’s soundtrack which he combines with the timeless voice of blues, jazz & R&B singer, Dinah Washington (1924 – 1963). The song is very haunting and pairs well with the theme of the movie which is just as haunting. Washington originally recorded This Bitter Earth in 1960 and it was later covered by artists like Aretha Franklin, Deborah Cox and The Satisfactions, before Ritcher used the vocals for this soundtrack.
A couple notes on Dinah. She married eight times, divorced seven times and was rumored to have had an affair with Quincy Jones. Dinah passed away at the age of 39 due to ingesting a mix of prescription drugs. Dinah is well known for her version of the timeless song, Unforgettable. In her 13…
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“Jazz is a marketing ploy that serves an elite few. The elite make all the money while they tell the true artists it’s cool to be broke.”
— Nicholas Payton (from On Why Jazz Isn’t Cool Anymore)
Originally posted on Nicholas Payton:
Charlie Parker died to play this music. Bud Powell died to play this music. After suffering through the worst holocaust in human history, these brilliant Black artists gave the world a gift. This gift was so potent that not only did it help them leverage some modicum of autonomy, but helped other oppressed peoples of the world find themselves. It even freed the souls of those who uprooted them from their homeland of Africa and enslaved them for centuries in a land not theirs. It is through Black music that White America began the process of healing itself.
I didn’t think back in May of 2005 when I was generously quoted in Stanley Crouch’s piece entitled, “The Colossus,” which extolled the virtues of Master Rollins, that I would have to sit up here today and call out the same publication for attempting to besmirch his character. I hesitate to write…
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Freddie Hubbard is an icon! He recorded my tune SWEET RETURN (1983) and put it in his Song Book making me historical (herstorical). I sat at the feet of Miles, Diz, Buhaina, Shepp, Yusef, Rahsaan, McCoy, and Ron Carter, learning all I could about the art of improvisation. I sat with Helen Morgan 3 years before she shot Lee. I AM JAZZ!
I’ve been in conversations with Ella, Betty Carter, Irene Reid, Ruth Brown, Abbey Lincoln, and Dorothy Donegan. I was THERE at the Blue Note, Slugs in the Far East (Village) with Lee Morgan, Buhaina, Miles, Frank Foster, Charles McPherson, Bill Hardman and Joe Lee Wilson, Village Gate, at the Galleon (Bronx), and the Village Vanguard with Lou Donaldson, Dr. Lonnie Smith who recorded my first demo tape with me that got me gigs all over the European continent. Ellington’s bass player Aaron Bell first listened to my tune “Loneliblue” and said the musicians would love playing it.
In Philly, Gerald Price taught me composition and piano, and in New York, Barry Harris was my teacher on piano and vocals. Budd Johnson was my babysitter from 4-8 years old. Milt Hinton (The Judge) was my cousin’s Godfather and he got me my first gig in Berne, Switzerland, at Marion’s Jazz Room, in 1990. I sat on Jay McShann’s lap and asked him to marry me. I proposed marriage to Quincy Jones just before I interview him for my Master’s Thesis, The Cultural Politics of Commercial Jazz, in 1993, which explained why I had to go to Europe (1990-1998) to make a living. In July 2013, I gave my book A History of African American Jazz and Blues to Quincy with the interview I did of him in 1993, 20 years earlier, in the exact same building – Stravinsky Hall, in Montreux, Switzerland [photo].
I AM Jazz!
I am the Chronicler of this music. While everyone else was PLAYING, I was documenting it. I met Quincy Troupe, co-writer of Miles’ biography. I penned lyrics to A NIGHT IN TUNISIA, TUNE UP, BLUE BOSSA, and BESSIE’S BLUES and sang them all over Europe, the East Coast of the USA, and in China and Japan. I Am the female Jazz Messenger, who sang on Jazzmobile with Buhaina, Frank Foster, Frank Wes, George Coleman, and Charles McPherson. The first person to take me on the road was Philly Joe Jones, who took me to Baltimore to perform with Shirley Scott, Arthur Harper (bass), and Sonny Stitt, in 1978. I AM the only woman in the world with a Jazz and Blues Song Book that I submitted to the Guinness Book of Records.
Google me – www.joancartwright.com. But, more importantly, I am the foremost authority on Women in Jazz and Blues and I will not be quieted about the role of women as the Mothers of the Blues and the innovators of Jazz. That’s why, in 2007, I founded www.wijsf.org to promote women musicians, globally! That’s why, since 2008, I’ve interviewed over 200 women composers at www.blogtalkradio.com/musicwoman
That’s why I created the Jazzwomen Directory that features 90 women musicians that most musicians, let alone people, do not know about and I put 40 of them in my book Amazing Musicwomen that I taught over 10,000 students (3-12 grade and college) in the U.S., Switzerland, Sicily, China, and Japan about.
I AM JAZZ!
READ my books:
The Value of a Musician
The value people place upon musicians is equal to the value musicians place upon themselves. That value builds from learning and doing what musicians do – excel on an instrument, compose popular music, and perform concerts as foreground or background to events produced by a variety of entities – memberships, societies, associations, corporations, families, partnerships, and individuals.
Originally posted on Nicholas Payton:
There is no such thing as jazz, and any idea of what that might be is false. It’s impossible to build a tradition upon something that was never a designed to be a true expression of a community. The very existence of jazz is predicated upon a lie, just like racism.
To speak of “jazz tradition” is like to speak of “racial justice.” It’s not possible to have justice within the confines of race because race was specifically designed to subjugate certain people to an underclass so that the “majority” thrives. Injustice is inherently built within the racial construct. There has never be any any tradition within jazz other than to ensure Black cultural expression is depreciated and undervalued.
What’s made clear from the very first recorded jazz, à la The Original Dixieland Jass Band, is that it doesn’t have to adhere to the common standards that makes Black music what…
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Watch FEMME THE MOVIE
Originally posted on MUSE2013:
Yekra is a revolutionary new distribution network for feature films.
Femme “A celebration of women around the world actively transforming and healing our global society. Sharon Stone and leading experts in religion, science, history, politics and entertainment, discuss solutions to the multiple crisis’ we are faced with. Femme focuses on utilizing a feminine approach with nurturing energy to inspire a new hope for the future.”
We need 100 signatures on this petition ASAP
Join our FB page: www.facebook.com/symposiumonwomeninarts