"Good Job!" Department: On March 7, George Wein was honored as one of the Museum of African American History's "2008 Living Legends" at the Museum's annual ceremony in Boston. The award celebrated Wein's long run as international jazz impresario as well as pianist and singer.
Trombonist and jazz scholar David Sager was nominated for a Grammy award for his impressive notes to the Archeophone release King Oliver: Off The Record, a 2-CD set collecting all of the Creole Jazz Band's recordings in fine sound (www.archeophone.com). He didn't win the Grammy, but he and wife Natalie got to go to the awards, coming home with a fine bronze medallion.
Jazz at Lincoln Center announced its most recent inductees into the Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame, among them Bessie Smith and Mary Lou Williams, who will receive a video and web installation in November.
Tempus fugit, but in a good way: Bob Wilber turned 80 on March 15. He'll be back in New York when he appears at Jazz at Chautauqua in September.
You Can Depend On Them: David Ostwald's Gully Low Jazz Band / Louis Armstrong Centennial Band faithfully explores both good old good ones and rarities every Wednesday at Birdland. To get on the band's mailing list, you can e-mail David at Ostwald84@aol.com, or, better yet, come hear the band in person from 5:30 - 7:15 p.m. If it's not a Wednesday, there's an engaging piece about David and the band by Sal Nunziato, "Satchmo for A Sawbuck: The Gully Low Jazz Band and Its Almost Secret Residency at Birdland," at a most unexpected online location, www.huffingtonpost.com.
The Ear Regulars (an expandable quartet co-led by Jon-Erik Kellso and Matt Munisteri) plays at The Ear Inn, 326 Spring Street, every Sunday night from 8-11 p.m. (www.earinn.com/www.kellsojazz.com). March regulars included Marc Lopeman and Dan Block on reeds, Howard Johnson on pennywhistle, and Andy Stein on violin and baritone sax. Scott Robinson and Greg Cohen will be joining them for a few Sunday nights in April.
Pianist Bill Dunham's Grove Street Stompers continue their half-century gig at Arthur's Tavern at 57 Grove Street, every Monday from 8-11 p.m. (www.arthurstavernnyc.com).
Les Paul, John Colianni, Lou Pallo, and Nicki Parrott keep the flame lit every Monday night for two sets at 8 and 10 p.m., www.iridiumjazzclub.com).
On Mondays, Dan Levinson leads the Stan Rubin Jazz All Stars from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. at Charley O's Times Square Grill (1611 Broadway, at 49th Street). Call (212) 246-1960 for reservations. Tuesdays, Dan and the Stan Rubin Orchestra salute the clarinet-playing bandleaders of the Swing Era at the Carnegie Club (156 West 56th Street) from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m.
Jazz in the Concert Hall: On March 15 (Bob Wilber's birthday), pianist Aaron Diehl gave a solo concert at the Harlem School of the Arts. Two weeks later (the 28th and 29th), Diehl, Marcus Roberts and Jonathan Batiste joined forces for a JALC rent party, "Jazz Piano: Rags, Strides & Stomps," paying tribute to James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, and Willie "the Lion" Smith.
Clarinet virtuoso Anat Cohen led a band for two concerts at Symphony Space for the Sidney Bechet Society on March 19, with Jon-Erik Kellso, Vincent Gardner, Keith Ingham, Howard Alden, John Burr, and Marion Felder. Check www.sidneybechet.org for information on future events.
The Columbia/Harlem Jazz Project presented "Adoration of the Melody: A Tribute to Ruby Braff," with Warren Vaché, Howard Alden, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Nicki Parrott at St. Paul's Chapel on March 25. For information on future concerts, see www.jazz.columbia.edu.
Duke's Mixtures:Spring is here, so it's time for the Essentially Ellington high school jazz band competition and festival at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Fifteen finalists have been announced, and they will compete from May 15-17, 2008. Tickets to the competition are free, available beginning April 25, at the JALC box office.
Life (and Jazz) Beyond the Five Boroughs: At the start of the month, the New Jersey Jazz Society (www.njjs.org) presented its 39th annual Pee Wee Russell Memorial Stomp, a five-hour extravaganza featuring George Gee's Jump, Jivin' Wailers Orchestra, the Smith Street Society Jazz Band, Barbara Rosene and her Quartet, and Jon-Erik Kellso (with Marc Lopeman, Mark Shane, Joel Forbes, and Rob Garcia) celebrating the 100th birthdays of Henry "Red" Allen, "Hot Lips" Page, and Max Kaminsky.
Dan Levinson's Palomar Quartet, devoted to the repertoire of the Benny Goodman Quartet and featuring vibraphone prodigy Matt Hoffmann, pianist Mark Shane, drummer Kevin Dorn and the sweet singer Molly Ryan, played two concerts. One, presented by the Pennsylvania Jazz Society, was held in Wind Gap, Pa., on March 9 (www.pajazzsociety.org). A week later, the quartet reassembled in Delaware under the aegis of the Tri-State Jazz Society (www.tristatejazz.org).
The Four Deuces, a small hot band led by pianist-singer Michael Bank, gave a concert at the Toms River Library in New Jersey (the other Deuces for that concert were Dan Levinson, Kevin Dorn, and trumpeter Ben Polcer). Check out the band - with Jon-Erik Kellso - on their MySpace page: www.myspace.com/thefourdeuces.
On April 16, the Sonny Costanza Concert Series presents trumpeter Bria Skonberg and multi-instrumentalist (trombone and euphonium, last I heard) Jim Fryer and their Borderline Jazz Band (featuring James Chirillo, Ed Wise, and Christian Sands) at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. For information, call (203) 582-8937.
Eight-Bar Breaks: If you'd like to see a 1969 video clip of Billy Taylor, Duke Ellington, and Willie "the Lion" Smith playing "Perdido" on The David Frost Show (and who wouldn't?), visit Billy Taylor's website: www.billytaylorjazz.net.
Pagin' the Pages: In celebration of "Hot Lips" Page's centenary, Todd Bryant Weeks' Luck's in My Corner: The Life and Music of Hot Lips Page has just been published by Routledge: perceptive, well-researched, and worth the wait.
Please send information to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and check out my jazz blog at http://jazzlives.wordpress.com for more New York jazz news.