KUVO’s Mindi McNeil reports that the childhood home of music legend Nina Simone has been named a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The tiny three-room in Tryon, North Carolina is 88-years-old and stands vacant.
Congrats to composer Jihye Lee, who just won the Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize at the 30th annual BMI Jazz Composers Workshop in New York. Judged by Darcy James Argue, Alan Broadbent and Ed Neumeister, the prize recognizes the best new big band works over the past year, and it comes with a $3,000 commission, and a performance of the composition by the BMI / New York Jazz Orchestra.
Science fiction and comic books seem to spawn blockbuster Hollywood fare, but author Ray Bradbury is also the inspiration behind a jazz-rock opera called “The Bradbury Tattoos” coming to Cincinnati this summer. The story is found at www.EJazzNews.com.
The microphone falls silent for Rebecca Parris. The celebrated jazz singer passed away at age 66 after a performance at the Riverway Lobster House on Cape Cod.
Born in Newton, Massachusetts, and considered Boston’s First Lady of Jazz, the once top 40 singer performed with the greats, Count Basie, Buddy Rich, Dizzy Gillespie, and at the festivals – North Sea, Monterey, Oslo. And she was a favorite of other great vocalists, befriending Sarah Vaughan. Carmen McRae traveled with Rebecca Parris cassettes.
She was as much as a motivational speaker as a music educator, overcoming abuse, addictions, and the hard side of the jazz life. Jazz Times’ James Gavin wrote a moving profile in 2003.