Sunday, January 15, 2006

A Tribute to the Masters

The National Endowment for the Arts bestowed its latest round of Jazz Masters awards in New York at the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) convention yesterday (some of you already know that I almost had a chance to attend that convention as a substitute chaperone for one of our college students who made an all-star ensemble, but that didn't work out). Among those honored at a Friday concert during the convention were Chick Corea, Tony Bennett, Ray Barretto, Bob Brookmeyer, Freddie Hubbard, and John Levy (a bassist who was also the first African-American promotional manager).

Each Jazz Master gets a one-time fellowship of $25,000 and has the opportunity to participate in a tour program covering 75 cities and all 50 states. Dallas is not one of the participating communities, but the tour does go through UT-Austin. A list of previous winners is here.

Oh, and aspiring jazz trumpeters should evidently watch out for this kid...

What's in a name, rap version: It's interesting how rappers who use pseudonyms sometimes end up in legal trouble pertaining to their stage names. A few years ago, C-Murder was charged with murder, and now Juvenile has been arrested for issues with child support.

At least she doesn't look like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog: Finnish president Tarja Halonen is getting a lot of publicity for her re-election campaign from the Conan O'Brien show, of all things. Why? Because they look almost exactly alike. (UPDATE: She'll be in a runoff, so Conan can keep up the gag for a while.)

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