We Will Miss Ralph

As you probably know, Ralph Knowles passed away on July 18 at the age of 93. Talk about an avid Jazz Pensacola supporter! He could always be counted on as a hard working volunteer, steadfast financial supporter, enthusiastic attendee at virtually all events, active leader as a Board member and interested advisor in the Sparks group –  Ralph gave his all for Jazz Pensacola for a long time.

When Kat and I moved to Pensacola in 2003, it was Ralph and Janet at the door for our first Jazz Gumbo. They were so friendly and inviting. We were hooked on Jazz Pensacola, and we began a very close friendship with them. We were so sad when Janet passed in 2009, and now Ralph. But hey, 93 is an enviable age to reach, and he led a fantastic life – one to be celebrated as well as missed. 

Ralph was a truly kind and good person, and he loved jazz too. He loved that hot traditional jazz, with a toe-tappin’ beat, and I think he was warming up to that progressive jazz I presented from time to time. You could always find him in the merchandise tent or the VIP tent or around the Gazebo or at the Jazz Jams and Jazz Gumbos or at the college band concerts or wherever Al Martin was playing. Of course, many more good things can be said about him. Just want to say again – we will miss Ralph.

Roger and Kat

Book Review: ‘Jazz Greats Speak’

Jazz Greats Speak;
Interviews with Master Musicians
Roland Baggenaes, Author
Scarecrow Press, Inc.
Pp. 139; paperback
© 2008 by Rowland Baggenaes

There was a sign in the medical library of the hospital in which I practiced; it stated: Any Book Is New Until You’ve Read It. And, that may also apply to this review.

The author Roland Baggenaes is Danish and the interviews of 17 jazz artists were conducted from 1972 through 1987. The interviews were originally published in Coda magazine. Interviews are conversational in style, perceptive and informative. Each interview is preceded with a brief biographical sketch, obviously written later for the book since a number of the interviewees had died in the interim.

The names of most of the interviewees will be familiar to American jazzfans. Less familiar, perhaps is Marie-Ange Martin, a guitarist who grew up in Paris. Pierre Diorge, guitarist-bandleader-composer and clarinetist-saxophonist John Tchicai are both Danish.

The 14 Americans interviewed are Dexter Gordon, Stanley Clarke, Duke Jordan, Jackie McLean, Mary Lou Williams, Howard King, Red Rodney, Marc Levin, Benny Waters, Warne Marsh, Mal Waldron, Ernie Wilkins, Sahib Shihab and Lee Konitz. There also are photos of all 17 interviewees.

This is the kind of book that might best be read one or two interviews at a time and then seek out a recording or two, YouTube or other source. One possible economic drawback is the expense of many of the Scarecrow Press books, which are academic and not mass-market. This is still in print with list price at $51. One may be able to find, however, a lower-priced used copy for significantly less, as I did.

This book will be available for circulation at the Jazz Room of the downtown West Florida Public Library.

Applications for 2017 Jazz Fest sponsors, vendors now available

JazzPensacola currently is seeking sponsors for the 2017 Pensacola JazzFest, to be held April 1-2 in downtown Pensacola.

ehsjazzPensacola JazzFest is a FREE all-jazz festival held in historic Seville Square in downtown Pensacola.

Jazz Pensacola produces the event with assistance from a variety of corporate sponsors and community organizations. The weekend festival, held early each spring, celebrates America’s unique musical art form—jazz. Volunteers work yearlong to present this festival as their annual gift to the community. Jazz Pensacola relies upon individual and corporate donors for their essential support.

We have posted complete details on all levels of sponsorship, as well as an application form in downloadable PDF form. Click here for the form.

Jazz Pensacola also has opened the application process for food and arts & crafts vendors at the 2017 Jazz Fest. A limited number of food vendor spots are available for this popular spring event, and selection is competitive. We strive to avoid duplication of menu items and to offer a variety of food choices for festival attendees.

For complete details on the application processes for both food vendors and arts & crafts vendors, and to download vendor applications, click here.