Jazz Institute of Chicago

Welcome to the Jazz Institute of Chicago Journal, an archive of jazz writing. You'll find incredible articles about the history of Jazz in Chicago, as well as interviews with a variety of musicians and jazz related figures and reviews of recordings and live shows.

Isaac "Redd" Holt: 1999 Arts Midwest Jazz Master

Isaac "Redd" Holt:
1999 Arts Midwest Jazz Master
by Steve Reinfranck

Isaac “Redd” Holt was born May 16th, 1932, in Rosedale, Missisippi. The Holt family migrated to the west side of Chicago when Redd was eight years old. His interest in drums and percussion originated in the south when his father took him to see a traveling minstrel show featuring the dancer “Peg Leg” Bates and a drummer whose name has vanished in the mist. The moment that Redd witnessed the act featuring trap drums, his future was decided.

My Time with Al Haig

My Time with Al Haig
by Kenny Fredrickson

In the early '60s Al Haig and I were working for a couple of weeks in the same Manhattan night club, playing solo piano and accompanying chick singers. One of the singers was a Mexican-American girl who spoke perfect English and sang her butt off.

A Conversation with Fred Anderson

Fred Anderson: an interview with Lazaro Vega

JAZZ: Episode 8, Risk

JAZZ: Episode 8, Risk
a jazz documentary by Ken Burns

reviewed by Walt Davis

As part of the Doubletake Documentary Film Fest held in Durham, NC on April 6-9, Ken Burns gave a sneak preview of one two-hour segment of his upcoming documentary, Jazz, scheduled to air on PBS in January, 2001. This episode is titled "Risk" and covers the years 1945-55. JIC website editor Paul Baker read a review I had posted to a jazz newsgroup, and asked me to revise it for publication here.

The New Black Music Repertory Ensemble: 2001-2002 Season Opening

The New Black Music Repertory Ensemble:
2001-2002 Season Opening
reviewed by Rahsaan Clark Morris

The Perfecto—Chicagoland's Loft

The Perfecto—Chicagoland's Loft
by Jerry DiMuzio and Isidro B. Perez
with an addendum by Mike West

In the 1970s the Chicago Jazz Scene was taking on a new look as boomer players started to assert themselves. This was evident in the success of the club scene in the Lincoln Park/Lincoln Avenue area. Some of the clubs includeed The Bulls, Collette’s, Orphans, Ratso’s and Wise Fools. What drove this success was the jazz player's need to perfect one's craft and keep their creativity moving.

Captain Walter Henri Dyett (1901-1969)

Captain Walter Henri Dyett (1901-1969)
by Richard Wang

Long before Jazz was an accepted study within the music education curriculum, a black South-Side band director was busy preparing his students for professional careers in this music called Jazz. Beginning in 1931 with his appointment as the band director at Wendell Phillips High School, Captain Walter Henri Dyett trained more than 20,000 musicians until his retirement from DuSable High School thirty years later in 1961.

John Steiner

John Steiner
by Charles Sengstock

JIC founding member Dr. John Steiner died in June of this year, and the JIC, Chicago and the jazz world lost a fine scholar and historian. John was a prodigious record collector and owner of the early Paramount and S&D jazz record labels. More than that, he was a friend to many and, to some, a mentor.

Elvin Jones at Yoshi's, April 2003

Elvin Jones at Yoshi's, April 2003
reviewed by Rahsaan Clark Morris

Elvin Jones brought his Jazz Machine to Yoshi’s in Oakland for six nights of shows starting Tuesday, April 15. I figured as long as I was there to catch some of the SF Jazz Spring Season, I might as well avail myself of a chance to hear a band whose music I hadn’t heard in a long time.

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