Music for Surviving the Pandemic

May 30, 2020

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The Cosmos with NGC 7293

May 30, 2020

The Helix Nebula, also known as The Helix or NGC 7293, is a large planetary nebula (PN) located in the constellation of Aquarius. Discovered by Karl Ludwig Harding, probably before 1824, this object is one of the closest to the Earth of all the bright planetary nebulae. The estimated distance is about 215 parsecs or 700 light-years. It is similar in appearance to the Ring Nebula, whose size, age, and physical characteristics are similar to the Dumbbell Nebula, varying only in its relative proximity and the appearance from the equatorial viewing angle. The Helix has often been referred to as the Eye of God on the Internet, since about 2003. Equinox ED120, ATIK314L, Baader Narrowband Filters: Ha, Si, O3, Total Exposure: 8 Hours, Location: Mt Parnon.

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Shake Keane Day

May 30, 2020

Ellsworth McGranahanShakeKeane (30 May 1927, Kingstown, St Vincent, West Indies – 11 November 1997, Oslo, Norway) was a jazz musician and poet. He is best known today for his role as a jazz trumpeter, principally his work as a member of the ground-breaking Joe Harriott Quintet (1959–65).

Born on the Caribbean island of St Vincent into “a humble family that loved books and music”, Keane attended Kingstown Methodist School and St Vincent Grammar School. He was taught to play the trumpet by his father, Charles (who died when Keane was 13), and gave his first public recital at the age of six. When he was 14 years old, Keane led a musical band made up of his brothers. In the 1940s, with his mother Dorcas working to raise six children, the teenager joined one of the island’s leading bands, Ted Lawrence and His Silvertone Orchestra. During his early adulthood in St Vincent, his principal interest was literature, rather than the music for which he would become better known. He had been dubbed “Shakespeare” by his school friends, on account of this love of prose and poetry. This nickname was subsequently shortened to “Shake”, which name he came to use throughout his adult life. He published two books of poetry, L’Oubili (1950) and Ixion (1952), while still in St Vincent.

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Darrell Grant Day

May 30, 2020

May 30th 1962

A pianist, vocalist, composer, and educator, Darrell Grant arrived in Portlandin 1997 with a national reputation. His contributions to the area jazz scene quickly elevated him to prominence based not only on his high level of musicianship but also on the attention and legitimacy he brought to jazz education and performance. Most notable has been his work on the Portland State University (PSU) music faculty, where he helped establish a major in jazz studies, founded the Leroy Vinnegar Jazz Institute, and managed LV’s Uptown, the university’s jazz club (2005-2008).

Grant partnered with the Portland Jazz Festival to bring his production, “The Incredible Journey of Jazz,” to area middle schools, and he set up an annual “Tribute to the Old Cats” concert, where student musicians play with jazz elders. He also produced albums by area musicians. Living and working in Portland has had a profound effect on Grant’s music, as Geoffrey Himes noted in 2000: “Far from smothering Grant’s ambition, . . . the Pacific Northwest seemed to liberate him from the conformist tyranny of Gotham’s retro-bop and allowed him to develop a more personal, more melodic style.”

Raised in Denver, Colorado, Grant studied both classical and jazz piano. He received a bachelor’s degree in applied classical piano from the Eastman School of Music and a master’s degree in jazz from the University of Miami. In New York, beginning in 1986, Grant worked with a number of legendary jazz musicians, including drummers Roy Haynes and Tony Williams and vocalist Betty Carter. Verve-Forecast released his first CD in 1989, and he appeared on Greg Osby’s album, 3-D Lifestyles in 1993.

Grant’s 1994 album, The Black Art, was selected as one of the top ten jazz recordings of the year by the New York Times, and he released The New Bopin 1995 before moving to Portland. He has appeared on the BET program “Jazz Central” and on Marian McPartland’s “Piano Jazz” and “The World” on National Public Radio. His commissioned compositions include the anthem for the 1998 Nike World Masters Games and a Duke Ellington Tribute for the 1999 Mt. Hood Jazz Festival.

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Armando Peraza Day

May 30, 2020

Armando Peraza (May 30, 1924 – April 14, 2014) was a Latin jazz percussionist and a member of the rock band Santana. Peraza played congas, bongos, and timbales.

Born in Lawton Batista, Havana, Cuba in 1924 (although the birth year is uncertain), he was orphaned by age 7 and lived on the streets. When he was twelve, he supported himself by selling vegetables, coaching boxing, playing semi-pro baseball, and becoming a loan shark. His music career began at seventeen when he heard at a baseball game that bandleader Alberto Ruiz was looking for a conga player. Ruiz’s brother was on the same baseball team as Peraza. Despite the absence of experience in music, he practiced and won the audition.

He left Cuba for Mexico in 1948 to tend to his sick friend, conga drummer Mongo Santamaría. They arrived in New York City in 1949. After playing in Machito‘s big band, Peraza was invited by Charlie Parker to participate in a recording session that included Buddy Rich. He recorded with Slim Gaillard in New York in November 1949 in a session that produced “Bongo City”. He toured the U.S. with Gaillard’s band until they reached San Francisco, where Gaillard owned the nightclub Bop City.

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Clora Bryant Day

May 30, 2020

Clora Larea Bryant (May 30, 1927 – August 25, 2019) was an American jazz trumpeter. She was the only female trumpeter to perform with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker and was a member of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm.

Bryant was born in Denison, Texas to Charles and Eulila Bryant, the youngest of three children. Her father was a day laborer and her mother was a homemaker who died when Clora was only 3 years old. As a child, Bryant was a member of the choir in a Baptist church. When her brother Fred joined the military, he left his trumpet, which she learned how to play. In high school she played trumpet in the marching band.

Bryant turned down scholarships from Oberlin Conservatory and Bennett College to attend Prairie View College in Houston starting in 1943, where she was a member of the Prairie View Coeds jazz band. The band toured in Texas and performed at the Apollo Theater in New York City in 1944. Her father got a job in Los Angeles, and she transferred to UCLA in 1945. Bryant heard bebop for the first time on Central Avenue.

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Benny Goodman Day

May 30, 2020

Benjamin David Goodman (May 30, 1909 – June 13, 1986) was an American jazz clarinetist and bandleader known as the “King of Swing”. In the mid-1930s, Goodman led one of the most popular musical groups in the United States. His concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City on January 16, 1938 is described by critic Bruce Eder as “the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz’s ‘coming out’ party to the world of ‘respectable’ music.”

Goodman’s bands started the careers of many jazz musicians. During an era of racial segregation, he led one of the first integrated jazz groups. He performed nearly to the end of his life while exploring an interest in classical music.

Goodman was the ninth of twelve children born to poor Jewish emigrants from the Russian Empire. His father, David Goodman (1873–1926), came to America in 1892 from Warsaw in partitioned Poland and became a tailor. His mother, Dora Grisinsky, (1873–1964), came from Kovno. They met in Baltimore, Maryland, and moved to Chicago before Goodman’s birth. With little income and a large family, they moved to the Maxwell Street neighborhood, an overcrowded slum near railroad yards and factories that was populated by German, Irish, Italian, Polish, Scandinavian, and Jewish immigrants.

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World Music with Nkem Njoku & Ozzobia Sound

May 30, 2020

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Daily Roots with Burning Spear

May 30, 2020

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Music for Surviving the Pandemic

May 29, 2020

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The Cosmos with NGC 3718

May 29, 2020

NGC 3718, also called Arp 214, is a galaxy located approximately 52 million light years from Earth in the constellation Ursa Major. This galaxy has a warped, s-shape. This may be due to gravitational interaction between it and NGC 3729, another spiral galaxy located 150,000 light-years away.

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Wycliffe Gordon Day

May 29, 2020

Professor Wycliffe A. Gordon (born May 29, 1967) is an American jazz trombonist, arranger, composer, band leader, and music educator at the collegiate-conservatory level. Gordon also sings and plays didgeridoo, trumpet, tuba, and piano. His nickname is “Pinecone”.

Gordon was born in Waynesboro, Georgia into a religious and musical background that influenced the early direction of his music. His father, Lucius Gordon (1936–1997), was a church organist at several churches in Burke County, Georgia and a classical pianist and teacher. Gordon took an interest in jazz in 1980 when he was thirteen, while listening to jazz records inherited from his great-aunt. The collection included a five-LP anthology produced by Sony-Columbia. In particular, he was drawn to musicians like Louis Armstrong and the Hot Fives and Hot Sevens

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Kenny Washington Day

May 29, 2020

Kenny Washington (born May 29, 1958) is an American jazz drummer born in Staten Island, New York. His brother is bassist Reggie Washington.

He grew up in the Stapleton Houses and attended P.S. 14. He studied at The High School of Music & Art, graduating in 1976. He has worked with Ronnie Mathews, Lee Konitz, Betty Carter, Johnny Griffin, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, George Cables, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Ahmad Jamal, Sonny Stitt, James Spaulding, Phil Woods, Bill Charlap, Bobby Watson, Curtis Lundy, and Tommy Flanagan.

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Danny Elfman Day

May 29, 2020

Daniel Robert Elfman (born May 29, 1953 LA, CA) is an American composer, singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, and voice actor. He first became well known as the singer-songwriter for the new wave band Oingo Boingo in the early 1980s, and has since garnered international recognition for writing over 100 feature film scores, as well as compositions for television, stage productions, and the concert hall.

Elfman has frequently worked with directors Tim Burton, Sam Raimi, and Gus Van Sant, with notable achievements the scores for 16 Burton-directed films including Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland, and Dumbo; Raimi’s Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, and Oz the Great and Powerful; and Van Sant’s Academy Award-nominated films Good Will Hunting and Milk. He wrote music for all of the Men in Black and Fifty Shades of Grey franchise films, the songs and score for the Burton-produced animated musical The Nightmare Before Christmas, and the themes for the popular television series Desperate Housewives and The Simpsons.

Among his honors are four Oscar nominations, two Emmy Awards, a Grammy, six Saturn Awards for Best Music, the 2002 Richard Kirk Award, the 2015 Disney Legend Award, and the Max Steiner Film Music Achievement Award in 2017.

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Freddie Redd Day

May 29, 2020

Freddie Redd (born May 29, 1928) is an American hard-bop pianist and composer. He is probably best known for writing music to accompany The Connection (1959), a play by Jack Gelber.

Redd was born and grew up in New York City; after losing his father at the age of one, he was raised by his mother, who moved around Harlem, Brooklyn and other neighborhoods. An autodidact, he began playing the piano at a young age and took to studying jazz seriously upon hearing Charlie Parker during his military service in Korea in the mid-1940s.

Upon discharge from the Army in 1949, he worked with drummer Johnny Mills, and then in New York played with Tiny Grimes, Cootie Williams, Oscar Pettiford and the Jive Bombers. In 1954, he was playing with Art Blakey. Redd toured Sweden in 1956 with Ernestine Anderson and Rolf Ericson.

Redd’s greatest success came in the late 1950s when he was invited to compose the music for The Living Theatre‘s New York stage production of The Connection, which was also used in the subsequent 1961 film. In both play and film he performed as an actor and musician. The theater production enjoyed a modest success and the troupe toured the United States and Europe, performing in New York City, London, and Paris. Redd also led a Blue Note album of his music for the play, which featured Jackie McLean on alto sax. Redd’s success in the theater production, however, did not advance his career in the United States, and shortly afterwards he moved to Europe, spending time in Denmark and France.

He returned to the United States in 1974 and resettled on the West Coast; he became a regular on the San Francisco scene and recorded intermittently until 1990. In 2011, he resettled in Baltimore, where he currently resides.

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Carl Story Day

May 29, 2020

Carl Story (May 29, 1916 – March 31, 1995) was an influential bluegrass musician and leader of his band the “Rambling Mountaineers”. He was dubbed “The Father of Bluegrass Gospel Music” by the governor of Oklahoma.

Story was born in Lenoir, North Carolina into a musically inclined family. His father played the fiddle and his mother played the guitar and Story learned to master both fiddle, guitar and clawhammer banjo. In the early 1930s, after winning a fiddle contest, he joined “J. E. Clark and the Lonesome Mountaineers” performing at WLVA in Lynchburg, Virginia. In 1934, he formed the “Rambling Mountaineers” together with banjo player Johnny Whisnant and guitarists Dudley Watson and Ed McMahan. Within a year they played over radio station WHKY in Hickory, North Carolina. It later led to performances at WSPA in Spartanburg, South Carolina and WWNC in Asheville, North Carolina. They recorded for ARC in 1939 and Okeh Records in 1940; however, these recordings were never issued. Story played with Bill Monroe in 1942 as a fiddler – replacing Howdy Forrester who had been drafted – but eventually he was drafted too in October 1943.

After his discharge from the Navy in 1945, he began performing with his “Rambling Mountaineers” on the “Mid-Day Merry-Go-Round” show at WNOX in Knoxville, Tennessee. In 1947, he recorded for the Mercury label. At the recording sessions of 1947, Story temporarily labelled his band the “Melody Four Quartet”. During the 1950s, Carl Story’s “Rambling Mountaineers” performed on the “Farm and Fun Time Show” at WCYB in Bristol, Virginia and on the “Cas Walker Show” over WBIR-TV in Knoxville, Tennessee. His “Mountaineers” also appeared on radio stations WAYS in Charlotte, North Carolina, WEAS in Decatur, Georgia, and WLOS in Asheville, North Carolina. He had a new recording contract on Columbia Records in 1953. Two years later he was back to Mercury Records. In 1957, he switched label to Starday Records where he stayed for eighteen years. In 1960, Story began working as a deejay for WFLW in Monticello, Kentucky. Beginning in the 1960s, and for the next twenty years, Story toured extensively throughout the US and Europe. He signed another recording contract with CMH Records in the mid-1970s. He settled down in Greer, South Carolina working as a deejay over WCKI in Greer.

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Eugene Wright Day

May 29, 2020

Eugene Joseph Wright (born May 29, 1923) is an American jazz bassist who was a member of the Dave Brubeck Quartet.

Wright played with the Lonnie Simmons group and led his own band, the Dukes of Swing, but his biggest opportunity came when he was hired by Brubeck. He has worked with Monty Alexander, Gene Ammons, Count Basie, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Carmen McRae, Buddy DeFranco, Cal Tjader, Kai Winding, Sonny Stitt, Dottie Dodgion, Lee Shaw, and Dorothy Donegan. With the death of Brubeck on December 5, 2012, Wright became the last surviving member of the quartet.

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Flamenco Fridays with Paco de Lucia

May 29, 2020

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Music for Surviving the Pandemic

May 28, 2020

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The Cosmos with W51

May 28, 2020

The giant molecular cloud known as W51 is one of the closest to Earth at a distance of about 17,000 light years. Because of its relative proximity, W51 provides astronomers with an excellent opportunity to study how stars are forming in our Milky Way galaxy. A new composite image of W51 shows the high-energy output from this stellar nursery, where X-rays from Chandra are colored blue. In about 20 hours of Chandra exposure time, over 600 young stars were detected as point-like X-ray sources, and diffuse X-ray emission from interstellar gas with a temperature of a million degrees or more was also observed. Infrared light observed with NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope appears orange and yellow-green and shows cool gas and stars surrounded by disks of cool material. W51 contains multiple clusters of young stars. The Chandra data show that the X-ray sources in the field are found in small clumps, with a clear concentration of more than 100 sources in the central cluster, called G49.5−0.4 (pan over the image to find this source.)

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