Remembering J. McCarthy ‘Mac’ Miller, Jr.

Born September 14, 1914
Died July 29, 2018

Jazz Pensacola members, especially native Pensacolians, will likely remember our longtime member Mac Miller. He was owner of radio station WCOA for many years and was active in the community. It was only when I read his obituary that I learned that he was involved in building a cable TV station which subsequently became Cox Cable.

Mac was a graduate of the Naval Academy and was a highly decorated Marine fighter pilot in the South Pacific during WWII. He was selected as Don Tristan de Luna 42 as well as being active in many civic organizations.

During his later years, he was a widower and was a resident of Azalea Trace but continued his Jazz Society membership until the end.

Allow me one jazz anecdote here. In 1988, the New Jersey Jazz Society decided to hold a 50th anniversary of the Benny Goodman jazz concert at Carnegie Hall. In learning about it, I contacted Mac and his wife June and Holiday Veal and his wife Mary about this concert. I purchased tickets for Betty and me and the other two couples. Prior to the concert, Mrs. Miller was diagnosed with a malignancy, so that trip was cancelled for them. Also, there were complications which prevented the Veals from traveling. The concert was a sell-out so the Miller tickets were returned and re-sold. Holliday’s brother who was a NYC resident received the Veal’s tickets. At one point during the concert, the announcer asked those to stand who had attended the original, 1938 concert. The gentleman next to me stood—that is, the one who received the Miller’s tickets—and I learned that he was radio broadcaster Edmund Anderson, lyricist for 1940 popular song Flamingo. Anderson reported that he was sitting the box seats with Duke Ellington during the first concert.

Mac’s memorial service will be 12 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, at All Saints Anglican Church in Warrington with graveside service to follow at Barrancas National Cemetery at 1:30 p.m.

Video: June Jazz Gumbo

Please enjoy this video with highlights from the June Jazz Gumbo, June 18 at Phineas Phogg’s, Seville Quarter.

The June Jazz Gumbo at Phineas Phogg’s at Seville Quarter featured a tribute to jazz great Chick Corea, with music by Jack Zoesch on piano, Chuck Schwartz on sax, Sean Peterson on bass and Fred Domulot on drums.

Video by Mike Suchcicki

JazzFest art featured in PNJ look at Pensacola festival posters

Carol Ferony poses with her painting, selected as the image for the 2018 JazzFest poster.

The varied, colorful and eclectic posters celebrating the 35 years of Pensacola JazzFest were featured in a recent Pensacola News Journal article, “Artists festival posters become the face of Pensacola.”

The article, by Mike Roberts, looks at how the posters of various Pensacola festivals over the years, including Pensacola JazzFest, the Pensacola Seafood Festival and the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival, have chronicled the look, temperament and social customs of our city, and includes interviews with several poster artists, including DeFuniak Springs artist Carol Ferony, who produced the art for the 30th and the 35th JazzFests.

Roberts also interviewed Jazz Pensacola co-founder and director emeritus Norman Vickers.

Click here to read the article.

Tributes aplenty at upcoming Jazz Gumbos

Chick Corea. Phoebe Snow. Herbie Hancock. Gerald Albright.

Those are the jazz legends soon to be under the tribute spotlight of our monthly Jazz Gumbos, as announced by president Fred Domulot, who just released the lineups for June, July and August.

(Of course, don’t forget the already-announced tribute to guitarist Grant Green, 6:30 to 9 p.m. Monday, May 21, at Phineas Phogg’s, Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Music will be by The Clint Hall Band, with Clint Hall on guitar, Steve Gilmore on bass, Chris Gardner on keys, and Charles Pagano on drums.)

Chick Corea

June

June’s Jazz Gumbo presents a tribute to the music of composer and pianist Chick Corea. It will be 6:30 to 9 p.m. Monday, June 18, at Phineas Phogg’s.
Music will be by Jack Zoesch on piano, Chuck Schwartz on sax, Sean Peterson on bass and Fred Domulot on drums.
Chick Corea, say our friends at Wikipedia, is American jazz pianist/electric keyboardist and composer. His compositions “Spain”, “500 Miles High”, “La Fiesta” and “Windows”, are considered jazz standards. As a member of Miles Davis’ band in the late 1960s, he participated in the birth of jazz fusion. In the 1970s he formed the fusion band Return to Forever. With Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, and Keith Jarrett, he has been described as one of the major jazz piano voices to emerge in the post-John Coltrane era.
Phoebe Snow

July

For July, our Jazz Gumbo presents a tribute to the music of the legendary Phoebe Snow, 6:30 to 9 p.m. Monday, July 16, at Phineas Phogg’s.
You’ll hear the vocals of Juliette Moore, Cynthia Domulot on keys, Tom Latenser on bass and Fred Domulot on drums.
Phoebe Snow (1950-2011) was an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist, best known for her 1975 song “Poetry Man.” She was described by The New York Times as a “contralto grounded in a bluesy growl and capable of sweeping over four octaves.” (Wikipedia)
Gerald Albright, left; Herbie Hancock

August

Our August Jazz Gumbo presents a tribute to the music of Herbie Hancock and Gerald Albright, 6:30 to 9 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20, at Phineas Phogg’s.
Featured will be Soul Station: Noah Hall on sax, Andrew Conner on trumpet, Aundre Conner on bass, Bryce Lyublanovits on keys and Chase Rogers on drums.
From Wikipedia: Herbert Jeffrey “Herbie” Hancock is an American pianist, keyboardist, bandleader, composer and actor. Starting his career with Donald Byrd, he shortly thereafter joined the Miles Davis Quintet where Hancock helped to redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section and was one of the primary architects of the post-bop sound. In the 1970s, Hancock experimented with jazz fusion, funk, and electro styles.
Gerald Albright is an American jazz saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist. His self-produced music features him on bass guitar, keyboards, flutes, drum programming, and background vocals.
Cost of Jazz Gumbo is $10 each for Jazz Pensacola members and guests, $12 for non-members, free for students with ID and military in uniform. Also, join Jazz Pensacola at this event and admission is free.
Admission includes a cup of seafood gumbo, and you can order from the menu and cash bar. Hold onto your admission tickets for Door Prize drawings. Attendees can also purchase 50/50 tickets for a cash drawing. The winner gets half, and Jazz Pensacola gets half to benefit its music program.

Winners of 2018 Student Jazz Competition announced

A scene from the 2018 Student Jazz Competition.

The live finals of the Eighth Annual Student Jazz Competition took place Thursday, March 15, at Pensacola State College’s Ashmore Fine Arts Auditorium. Audience members were treated to some fine jazz performances by talented finalists accompanied by the Guffman Trio, consisting of Cynthia Domulot on piano, Fred Domulot on drums and Tom Latenser on bass.

The student performers were all winners. Final placements are as follows:

High School Instrumental Division

1. Andrew Tinch – Guitar – A. Crawford Mosley High School
2. Noah Hall – Alto Sax – Booker T. Washington High School
3. Andrew Connor – Trumpet – Booker T. Washington High School
3. Aundre’ Connor – Bass – Booker T. Washington High School
3. Ty Kannegieter – Tenor Sax – Bayside Academy
Note: 3-way tie for third place

Jazz Vocal Division

1. Anastasia Leech – University of West Florida
2. Isabelle Peterson – University of West Florida

College Instrumental Division

1. Troy Harris – Piano – Pensacola State College
2. Jensen Cadenhead – Vibraphone – Northwest Florida State College
3. Mathew Hall – Guitar – Northwest Florida State College

Winners will receive monetary awards, ranging from $100 to $500 to be used to further their jazz/music education.

We thank finals judges Rebecca Barry, Tim Jackson and Bobby van Deusen, all renowned jazz performers and educators, for their role in making some tough choices.

Congratulations to all the competition winners – they speak well for the future of jazz.

Also, a big “Thank You” goes to the following Jazz Education Team Supporters (JETS) for their financial assistance, making the event possible:

  • Avalex Technologies
  • Bob Byrnes
  • John and Myrl Eisinger
  • Paul and Marliese Herrick
  • Horizen Restaurant/Alice Chiang
  • Dave Jenson
  • Dave and Lyndi Kessler
  • Ralph Knowles
  • Tom and Kathy Lyon
  • Knox and Holly Parker
  • Arnold Seligman
  • Tom and Mary Sylte
  • Studer Foundation
  • Carolyn Tokson and Jeff Elliot
  • Dr. F. Norman and Betty Vickers
  • Roger and Kat Villines

Witness the future stars of jazz at Student Competition

Student Jazz Competition winner Jackson Willis performs at a Jazz Pensacola Jazz Gumbo event at Seville Quarter. Since winning the competition, Willis has gone on to become one of the most requested jazz trombonists in the area.

Student jazz musicians from around the area are gathering for Jazz Pensacola’s annual Student Jazz Competition, the live finals of which will be 7 p.m. Thursday, March 15, at the Ashmore Fine Arts Auditorium, Pensacola State College, 1000 College Blvd.

The event is free and open to the public. Come and get an early glimpse at the jazz stars of tomorrow.

Previous competition winner Jackson Willis, for example, has gone on to become one of the most called-upon jazz trombonists in the Gulf Coast area, playing in a wide variety of different settings and ensembles.

“I received my bachelor’s in trombone performance from UWF in 2015 and am currently weighing my options for continued education,” Jackson says. “Speaking of education, I have a studio of 10-15 different private trombone students ranging from beginners to experienced players. I’m committed to being the best player that I can be as well as passing down my knowledge to the upcoming generation.”

“We’re really proud that we’ve been able to put a spotlight on some of these talented, young musicians,” says Fred Domulot, Jazz Pensacola president. “Already we’ve seen them perform at professional gigs around town and at our own Jazz Pensacola events.”

Isabelle Peterson, a Student Competition winner, performs at JazzFest.

Competition winner Isabelle Peterson currently is studying voice at UWF and teaches beginner guitar and ukulele. “I’m on music staff at St. Paul Catholic for guitar and voice,” she says. “I recently was featured at one of Gino Rosaria’s Tuesday Jazz Nights at Seville and did a set of jazz standards, soul, and blues.”

Another winner, Clinton Hall, says he’s currently performing regularly, teaching private music lessons, and recording an original LP. “I’m also researching online degree programs to continue my collegiate education,” he says.

Divisions are: College Instrumental, High School Instrumental and Jazz Vocal, with competitors attending school (including homeschooling) in the greater Pensacola area — Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties and Baldwin County in Alabama. 

Ranging from $100 to $500, awards for first, second and third place in each division are earmarked for music education expenses.

The Student Jazz Competition is made possible by Jazz Pensacola’s JETSJazz Education Team Supporters — folks who have made a tax-deductible donation of $100 or more to help make Jazz Pensacola’s jazz education programs possible.

Since the launch of Jazz Pensacola’s student musician outreach, more than $16,000 in monetary support awards earned by the winners of the competitions went toward jazz camps, school tuition, purchase and repair of musical instruments, and lessons, helping these young musicians continue their development.

For 2018, Jazz Pensacola has set a goal of at least $5,000 in funding. Members of JETS are recognized with special thanks on jazzpensacola.com and in the program for the 2018 Student Jazz Competition.

JETS and/or general fund donations can be made online at jazzpensacola.com. Payment by check can be made at Jazz Pensacola offices (make the check payable to Jazz Pensacola) at 3 West Garden St., Suite 418. Payment by credit card can be made by phoning the office at (850) 433-8382 during office hours, 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. Donations to Jazz Pensacola are considered tax-deductible contributions. Any amount will be greatly appreciated.

For more information, click here.

Clinton Hall performs at the Student Jazz Competition.