Laura Smith

Laura’s Contributions


September 2006    News

Minton’s Playhouse: Back to the Future

A wall of people” with “an air of excitement” is how saxophonist Patience Higgins describes the opening night festivities at the Uptown Jazz Lounge at Minton’s Playhouse. That’s right, Minton’s Playhouse. After closing its doors for good in 1974, the historic...

07/27/06    News

New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund Sponsors Benefit for Wardell Quezergue in Chicago

For jazz fans, what better cause is there than helping a musician in need? On Sunday, July 30, the New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund (NOMRF) is sponsoring a benefit show for composer/arranger Wardell Quezergue at the Black Orchid in Chicago. Like many others...

07/20/06    News

Malachi Thompson Dies at 56

On Sunday, July 16, trumpeter, composer and Chicago scene luminary Malachi Thompson lost his battle with cancer. He was 56. Thompson was best known for his tremendous range in style, a blend of free jazz, bop, soul and gospel. After moving to New York City...

07/19/06    News

Litchfield Jazz Fest Starts Aug. 4

On Aug. 4-6, Goshen, Connecticut’s Litchfield Jazz Festival returns for its 11th year. This is no ordinary jazz festival. For three days, audiences will enjoy stunning jazz performances, crafts and everything a hungry jazz fan could want from Thai food to...

07/13/06    News

Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia Released Aug. 29

On Aug. 29, Penguin Books will release Richard Cook’s Jazz Encyclopedia , a comprehensive resource from the co-author of The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD . If you just can’t seem to remember that Dizzy Gillespie’s real name was John, or that Albert Ayler...

06/24/06    News

JALC Announces 2006 Band Directors Academy Sessions

On June 12, Jazz at Lincoln Center announced its seventh annual Band Directors Academy, drawing band directors from North America and South Africa. BDA is intended to give instructors educational tools that can be directly applied to the classroom, covering...

06/22/06    News

Moogfest Tonight in Manhattan

Synthesizer enthusiasts will gather tonight in New York City for the third annual Moogfest. The home of this year’s electro-fest is B.B. King’s Blues Club, where keyboard aficionados will perform in tribute to synthesizer inventor Bob Moog. Moog ignited...

06/20/06    News

Bebop Lives at Uptown Jazz Lounge at Minton’s Playhouse

The celebrated Minton’s Playhouse is back in business, although this time under a new name. The seminal club was recently reopened as the Uptown Jazz Lounge at Minton’s Playhouse. Upon opening in 1938, Minton’s Playhouse garnered fame as the birthplace of...

06/15/06    News

Queens College's Godwin-Ternbach Museum to Host Armstrong Exhibit

On June 20-August 10, the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College will house a smorgasbord of Louis Armstrong paraphernalia. Among the must-see items are letters to Armstrong from Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon and Kennedy, books from Armstrong’s personal...

06/13/06    News

Marques Adams, Up-and-Coming Jazz and R&B Saxophonist Dies at 25

On Friday, June 2, saxophonist Marques Adams passed away in Atlanta. Marques was a member of the Chapter, a Florida-based R&B-jazz-soul group. With the Chapter, Marques composed “Derrty Jazz,” an instrumental off the album The Return of Real Soul Music that...

06/08/06    News

North Sea Jazz Cruise Debuts in 2007

On July 5, 2007, the first-ever North Sea Jazz Cruise will embark in Copenhagen. Touring the North Sea, the Elbe and a collection of major European cities, the cruise offers seven days of complete jazz immersion with a luxurious travel experience. In a recent...

06/07/06    News

Latin Jazz Legend Hilton Ruiz Dies at 54

Internationally acclaimed Afro-Cuban pianist Hilton Ruiz died yesterday at 3:51 a.m. in New Orleans' East Jefferson General Hospital. He had been comatose in the intensive care unit since May 19, when he was found along Bourbon Street with massive head injuries...

06/06/06    News

Actor and Musician Lew Anderson Dies at 84

On May 14, actor and musician Lew Anderson lost his battle with prostate cancer. Though he was celebrated for his role as the mute Clarabell the Clown on The Howdy Doody Show , his music career was most enduring. He was 84. His foray into music began during...

06/02/06    News

North Sea Jazz Festival Returns July 14-16

The North Sea Jazz Festival returns for its 31st year this July 14-16 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Audiences can expect a wide range of genres—everything from jazz, blues and soul to funk, hip-hop and R&B. The North Sea Jazz Festival is described on its...

06/01/06    News

Trumpeter Jon Faddis Signs With KOCH Records

On May 10, KOCH Records announced the signing of legendary trumpeter Jon Faddis. Faddis began his jazz career as a student of Dizzy Gillespie and presently serves as musical director for the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band. In a recent press release, KOCH Records...

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About Laura Smith