Alphonso Johnson and Friends came to play for the students at Reed Middle School. The band had sent out their letter and resume to 30 or more schools, but only two responded. Walter Reed, always jumping at musical opportunities, got to hear this band first.
Alphonso Johnson played with Weather Report, the outstanding assemblage of musical Olympians from the mightiest moment in jazz fusion history. His ability to relax and inform the audience was a rare combination of humor, generosity, and experience. The kids were instantly on board—and middle school students are a tough crowd!
The rest of the band was equally accomplished: Mario Austin on trombone, Jeff Richman on guitar, James Brandon Lewis on Sax, Matt Star on drums, and Gary Fugashima on keyboards. Amazing band, great concert, thanks to our music director at Reed, Stephen McDonough for saying "Yes!"
By Don Helverson
Recording Session " Divine Travels " November 22nd 2011 Gerald Cleaver , William Parker , Thomas Sayers Ellis and James Brandon Lewis
Taken Place at Skyline Productions . All photos Taken by Thomas Sayers Ellis
notes by Thomas Sayers Ellis
-A Digital Test Shot from "Divine Travels," James Brandon Lewis's astounding recording session with Giants William Parker and Gerald Cleaver, TSE 2011
-A Digital Test Shot #2 from "Divine Travels," James Brandon Lewis's astounding recording session with Jazz giants William Parker and Gerald Cleaver (with Matt Shipp upstairs on couch commentary), TSE 2011
A Digital Test Shot #3 from "Divine Travels," James Brandon Lewis's astounding recording session with Jazz giants William Parker and Gerald Cleaver (the elders know just how to relieve post recording session photo shoot anxiety), TSE 2011
Digital Test Shot #4. Portrait of James Brandon Lewis at the end of Divine Travels, his trip to NY/NJ to record with William Parker and Gerald Cleaver, TSE 2011
Words cannot express my experience at The Atlantic Center For the Arts . Three weeks of Great Music, Food, People ,Visual Art and Poetry . I am humbled and i walk away with feeling like i have found my center , and have realized the beauty of art and the effects it has on people .
Most Photos taken by Thomas Sayers Ellis
For more than two decades, CalArts students have written, performed and recorded mostly original jazz and world music compositions at the world-famous Capitol Studios in Hollywood. Friday marked the anticipated release of the 21st edition of the CalArts Jazz CD.
With the support of the studio and EMI Music, students and the CalArts jazz faculty–including Mel Powell Chair of the Jazz Studies Program David Roitstein, Paul Novros, Larry Koonse, Darek Oles and Joe LaBarbera–used the spring semester to select then hone the best songs for the annual compilation. It was Roitstein who established the CalArts Jazz CD project in 1990, and since then has produced all of the CDs.
No. 21 features 11 tracks, and all but two were composed by CalArts students. The compositions range from traditional jazz stylings to more world-influenced tunes, including James Brandon Lewis’s (Music MFA 10) “I Remember South Africa” and Timothy Carr’s (BFA Music 11) “What Flew for Awhile,” an “Icelandic jazz waltz” that features the lyrics and vocals of Kristín Póra Haraldsdóttir (Music MFA 11).