And in the Bronx, even Woodlawn Cemetery is participating in "Jazz Appreciation Month," by hosting a concert honoring Duke Ellington and a walking tour of the grounds on April 29th.  Ellington, as well as Lionel Hampton, Coleman Hawkins, and Illinois Jacquet, is buried at Woodlawn.  

    On April 19th, the Iowa State Senate approved a resolution making the trombone Iowa's "premier instrument."  Singled out were Glenn Miller (born in Clarinda, IA) and Jack Jenney (a Dubuque native).
Buddy DeFranco: "Wholly Cats: The Complete 'Plays Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw'
  Sessions Vol.1," Lonehill Jazz (Sp) LHJ 10281; "I Hear Benny Goodman & Artie Shaw:
  The Complete 'Plays Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw' Sessions Vol.2," Lonehill Jazz (Sp)
  LHJ 10282   [ 2-CDs ]
Neal Hefti: "Jazz Pops,"  Reprise (Japan) MZCS-1125
Guy Lombardo: "Into the Fifties," Jasmine (UK) 446   [ 2-CDs ]
Jay McShann: "Hootie's Blues," ASV Living Era (UK) 5667
Fats Waller: "The Complete Recorded Works, Volume 1: Messin' Around with the Blues,"
  JSP (UK) 927   [ 4-CDs ]
West End Jazz Band: "Singin' in the Bathtub," Legacy 107   [ includes a recreation of a
   Coon-Sanders radio broadcast (!), with guest Karl Pearson ]
Teddy Wilson: "Complete Recordings with Jo Jones," Essential Jazz Classics 55408
  [ 3-CDs ]
various: "While the Music Plays On: The Girls of the Big Bands," Flare (UK) 1030   [ 2-CDs ]

Boomie Richman, tenor saxophonist (Paxton '44-'45; T. Dorsey '45-'51 [ off and on ]; Goodman '51 / '52 / '53 /
  '54 / '55 / '58; Reynolds '55 "Songs for Happy Feet" album ), b.Apr. 2, 1921
Bill Finegan, arranger - composer (Miller '38-'42; T. Dorsey '42-'52) / leader (Sauter-Finegan '52-'57),
  b.Apr. 3, 1917
Slide Hampton, trombonist (B. Johnson '55-'57; Hampton '58; Ferguson '58-'59) / leader (Gillespie All Star
  Big Band '04- ), b.Apr. 21, 1932
Mundell Lowe, guitarist (McKinley '46-47), b.Apr. 21, 1922
Bea Wain, vocalist (Shaw '37 If It's the Last Thing I Do; Clinton '37-'39), b.Apr. 30, 1917
Billy Ver Planck, trombonist (J. Dorsey '52; Thornhill '53; Dorsey Bros. '56) / arranger (Miller-DeFranco '68),
  b.Apr. 30, 1930

    Drummer John Von Ohlen has worked for several great orchestras, including Woody Herman's in 1968-69 and Stan Kenton's during 1970-72. 
    "Stan's band was my kind of music," Von Ohlen told Jim Knippenberg of the Cincinnati
Enquirer this month.  "He was a god to me, and the band was a family, all of us good musicians.  It was different with Woody - they weren't good musicians, they were great musicians.  I felt like I was hanging on by my fingernails."
    Today, Von Ohlen, 65, doesn't travel much since he went off the national circuit, but remains active around the Midwest.  (He was born in Indianapolis, IN.)  He still plays, teaches at the University of Cincinnati, does workshops, and even gives private lessons.

Danny Barcelona, 77, drummer (Armstrong '56-'71), d.Apr. 1, 2007, complications from cancer
Raymond Jelinek, 81, pianist (Garber Orch. '80s), d.Apr. 6, 2007, from injuries in a traffic accident
Bobby Tucker, 84, pianist (Eckstine '50-'93?), d.Apr. 12, 2007
Herman Riley, 73, saxophonist (Basie '73 "Blazing Saddles" film), d.Apr. 14, 2007, heart failure
Tommy Newsom, 78, saxophonist (Goodman '61-'62; Tonight Show Big Band '62-'92), d.Apr. 28, 2007,
  bladder and liver cancer
Al Quaglieri, 80, trumpeter (Pastor '48-'49?), d.Apr. 29, 2007

"Artie Shaw Orchestra to top off concert series," Alva [ OK ] Review-Courier, Apr. 1, 2007.
Barron, James.  "They're Playing Our Song?," New York Times /, Apr. 8,
  2007.   [ Spencer Bruno and John Burcin continue the Lester Lanin tradition ]
Clay, Chris.  "Ambassador of Swing at LAC," Mississauga News [ Ontario, Canada ] /, Apr. 22, 2007.  [ appearance by Larry Elgart ]
Derfler, Patrick.  "Get Out Monday: The big bang of big bands," St. Louis [ MO ]
  Post-Dispatch /, Apr. 16, 2007.  [ trombonist Ed Neumeister (Hampton '81 "Aurex Jazz Festival";
   Ellington Orch "Music Is My Mistress" '88 CD) sits in with the Webster University Big Band ]
England, Dan.  "Fading memories, tone can't hide brassy attitude," Greeley [ CO ] Tribune /, Apr. 22, 2007.  [ Snooky Young (Lunceford '39-'42; Basie '42 / '43 / '45 / '46-'48 / '57-'62;
  Hampton '44-'45) appeared with the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra ]
Flemming, Julie.  "Bunny Berigan Jazz Fest set for May 18-20," Beaver Dam [ WI ] Daily
  Citizen /, Apr. 22, 2007.
Giddins, Gary.  "Cadenza: Beyond Labels," JazzTimes, Apr. 2007, p.22.   [ reasons behind
   Sony-BMG's lack of interest in releasing classic jazz material ]
Gilbert, Andrew.  "Dean of drummers earns tribute," San Jose [ CA ] Mercury News /, Apr. 25, 2007.  [ appreciation of Louis Bellson ]
"Hemet High's jazz band to team up with jazz legend, orchestra," San Jacinto Valley [ CA ]
  Chronicle, Apr. 30, 2007.   [ Herb Jeffries (Ellington '40-'42) will perform as a guest ]
Lennon, Janet and Kathy.  "Sweethearts of Song," Reminisce /,
  Apr./May 2007, pp.14-17.   [ two of The Lennon Sisters look back on their period with Lawrence Welk's band ]
Martineau, Janet I.  "Artie Shaw Orchestra more than big band," Saginaw [ MI ] News /, Apr. 24, 2007.   [ concert review ]
Millegan, Lisa.  "Swing Shift," Modesto [ CA ] Bee /, Apr. 11, 2007.  
   [ The Glenn Miller Orchestra performs Apr. 16 in Modesto ]
Noyes, Beth.  "Tommy Dorsey [ sic ] brings '40s back to the Smith," Auburn [ NY ] Citizen /, Apr. 27, 2007.   [ Dorsey Orch. directed by Buddy Morrow makes local appearance ]
Parker, Ev.  "Cab Calloway's grandson brings jazz great's music to life at the Opera House,"
  Napa Valley [ CA ] Register /, Apr. 11, 2007.  [ review ]
Patton, Naomi R.  "Pianist Hank Jones tapped to inspire grads," Detroit Free Press /, Apr. 27, 2007.   [ Jones (Kirk '45-'46?; Goodman '56 / '57 / '59 "Swing Into Spring" TV special / '61
   Freedomland / '65 / '66 / '67 / '69 / '74-'75 / '76 / '79 / '81; Shaw '53-'54) will speak at Oakland University's May 5 commencement
   ceremony ]
Readers share memories of legendary ballroom," Pottstown [ PA ] Mercury /,
  Apr. 23, 2007.   [ reminiscences about the Sunnybrook Ballroom ]
Reitman, Valerie.  "Live Nation plans Hollywood Palladium renovation," Los Angeles Times,
  Apr. 11, 2007.   [ Live Nation, an L.A.-based live music company, plans for the Palladium to re-open in Sept. 2008 ]
Rick, Skylar.  "Glenn Miller Orchestra at UCCC," Greeley [ CO ] Tribune, Apr. 13, 2007.
Sengstock, Charles A.  "Chicago's Century of Progress- Musical Silver Lining of the
  Early 1930's," [ Chicago Federation of Musicians Local 10-208 ] Intermezzo, Apr. 2007,
Shearer, Jenny.  "A new gig ... marriage: Big band era unites singer, trumpet player,", Apr. 4, 2007   [ Whitey Thomas, 87, who was a member of Miller's AAF band, was recently
   married to a woman he met at their retirement complex ]
Stanley, Lea Sitton.  "A place of joy returns to life: A new owner vows to reopen the
  Sunnbyrook Ballroom," Philadelphia [ PA ] Inquirer, Apr. 5, 2007.   [ Thomas Sephakis, Co-Chairman
   of The Sunnybrook Foundation, vows to re-open the ballroom within six months ]
Tan, Aldrich M.  "Glenn Miller Orchestra replaces Purple Heart's brat fry," Oshkosh [ WI ]
  Northwestern /, Apr. 28, 2007.  [ " . . . The 19-member band directed by Larry O'Brien
   is the only full-time touring big band in the world, the group's road manager Bart Delaney said . . . " ]
Tumpak, John.  "Henry Holloway: South Africa's Big Band Legend," L.A. Jazz Scene,
  Apr. 2007, pp.3-4.   [ Holloway is a radio broadcaster who keeps classic big band music on the air in South Africa ]
Tuz, Susan.  "Composer, 95, reflects on productive career," [ Danbury CT ] NewsTimes /, Apr. 11, 2007.  [ about Jack Lawrence, who wrote the lyrics to All Or Nothing At All,
   A Handful of Stars, Johnson Rag, and many others ]

    The Virginia Tech University shooting rampage which left 32 students and teachers dead on April 16th caused concern on many levels across the country.  Because acquaintances thought he worked there, Joe Enroughty received nearly 30 messages asking if he was alright.  Actually, he's employed at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, which is about 2-1/2 hours away.  Enroughty, President of The Guy Lombardo Society, said, "I guess I didn't realize I had so many caring friends."
    Meanwhile, "shock jock" Don Imus was fired after making on-air racist and sexist comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team.  While some countered that hip-hop and rap entertainers have been doing the same thing for years, one poster to the Yahoo "Glenn Miller Fans" group, school teacher Glenn Mittler of Ohio, made an interesting observation.  "I submit that Glenn Miller's 'Doin The Jive' pre-dates rap by a good 50 years and doesn't denegrate nor insult anyone to boot," he wrote.  "My kids at school were shocked to hear Glenn's 'patter on that platter' and had to admit Glenn Miller was 'pretty good' at that."

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APRIL 2007
compiled by Christopher Popa

    The Big Band Academy of America (BBAA) will hold its "2007 Big Band Reunion Luncheon & Concert" on April 29th at The Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City, California.  Special guests will include Jo Stafford, widow of bandleader Paul Weston and one-time vocalist with Tommy Dorsey's orchestra.  Though she no longer sings publicly, Stafford will make this rare, personal appearance to be inducted onto The Big Band Academy's "Golden Bandstand."
Jo Stafford
courtesy of Corinthian Records
    This year, the special theme is, as described, "A More or Less Complete, Chronological History of the Big Bands."  The 18-piece "BBAA Blue Ribbon Band," under the direction of saxophonist Pat Longo, will perform, and a salute to Horace Heidt will be offered by his son, Horace Jr. 
    To order tickets or more information, contact Reunion organizer David Bernhart (son of the late Milt Bernhart) at 818-559-1313 or via

    All of April is "Jazz Appreciation Month," a fine opportunity to go hear a big band in-person:
Count Basie Orchestra directed by Bill Hughes: Apr. 1, Cactus Theater, Lubbock, TX; Apr. 9-10, Kravis
  Center, West Palm Beach, FL; Apr. 12-14, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL; Apr. 15, Bethune Performing
  Arts Center, Daytona Beach, FL; Apr. 17, Baldwin Community College, Tifton, GA; Apr. 18, private concert, Riderwood
  Village, Silver Springs, MD; Apr. 19, Chris' Jazz Cafe, Philadelphia, PA; Apr. 20-22, Blues Alley, Washington, DC;
  Apr. 28, Hippodrome Theatre, Baltimore, MD; Apr. 30, Timberlane School Performing Arts Center, Plaistow, NH
Louis Bellson: Apr. 27-28, Savanna Jazz Club, San Francisco, CA
Cab Calloway Orchestra directed by C. Calloway Brooks: Apr. 1, Seattle, WA; Apr. 6, Rolling Hills, CA;
  Apr. 7, Napa Valley Opera House, Napa, CA
Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Bill Tole: Apr. 13, Hot Springs, AR; Apr. 21, Granite Falls, MN
Tommy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Buddy Morrow:  Apr. 27, Smith Opera House, Geneva, NY
Larry Elgart: [ with the Toronto All-Star Big Band ] Apr. 22, Living Arts Centre, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Les Elgart Orchestra directed by Russ Dorsey: Apr. 29, Euless City Hall, Euless, TX
Gene Krupa Orchestra directed by Michael Berkowitz: Apr. 9, Charley O's, Valley Glen, CA
Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians with Al Pierson: Apr. 22, Oxnard, CA
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Larry O'Brien: Apr. 1, College of the Siskiyous, Weed, CA; Apr. 11,
  Heritage Theatre, Cedar City, UT; Apr. 13, Sangre DeCristo Arts & Conference Center, Pueblo, CO; Apr. 14, Union
  Colony Civic Center, Greeley, CO; Apr. 16, First Baptist Church, Modesto, CA; Apr. 17, Tydings Auditorium, Hobbs,
  NM; Apr. 19, Tulsa Community College, Tulsa, OK; Apr. 20, Sooner Theatre, Norman, OK; Apr. 21, El Dorado
  Middle School, El Dorado, KS; Apr. 22, Mulvane High School, Mulvane, KS; Apr. 24, Johnson Fine Arts Center,
  Aberdeen, SD; Apr. 27, F. Ritchie Walton Performing Arts Center, Marion, IN; Apr. 28, Southern Illinois University,
  Edwardsville, IL; Apr. 29, Coronado Performing Arts Center, Rockford, IL; Apr. 30, Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre,
  Indianapolis, IN
Loren Schoenberg and The National Jazz Museum All-Stars: Apr. 20, Duke Ellington Society "In a
  Sentimental Mood" concert, Town Hall, Flushing, NY
Artie Shaw Orchestra directed by Dick Johnson: Apr. 1, Mayborn Auditorium, Temple, TX; Apr. 2, Midland
  High School, Midland, TX; Apr. 4, Herod Hall, Alva, OK, Apr. 7, Yavapia College, Prescott, AZ; Apr. 9, First United
  Methodist Church, Lompoc, CA; Apr. 13, Wallenstein Theatre, Moses Lake, WA; Apr. 14, Bremerton Performing Arts
  Center, Bremerton, WA; Apr. 15, Everett Civic Auditorium, Everett, WA; Apr. 17, Burley High School, Burley, ID; Apr. 21,
  Munster High School, Munster, IN; Apr. 22, Paramount Theatre, Cedar Rapids, IA; Apr. 23, Temple Theatre, Saginaw,
  MI; Apr. 24, Association of Professional Orchestra Leaders "dinner-dance," Porretta Banquets, Chicago, IL; Apr. 25,
  Washington Middle School, Washington Court House, OH; Apr. 26, Beaver Falls Middle School, Beaver Falls, PA;
  Apr. 27, Oil City High School Auditorium, Oil City, PA; Apr. 28, Lewistown High School, Lewistown, PA; Apr. 29,
  Waynesboro High School, Waynesboro, PA
Keely Smith: Apr. 3-28, Carlyle Hotel, New York, NY
    Libraries and non-profit organizations in some 50 communities across the country received grants to present this month “Looking at Jazz: America’s Art Form,” in cooperation with National Video Resources, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Jazz at Lincoln Center and the American Library Association.  The programs include film clips, live performances, and discussion.  Kudos to everyone involved!
    For those in New York City, historian Phil Schaap will present two special music courses each week at Frederick P. Rose Hall, the home of Jazz At Lincoln Center.  They are "In the Classroom: Swing University: Advanced Jazz History" and "Duke Ellington with Phil Schaap."  Each class lasts 4 hours.  For fees and registration, call  212-258-9999 or email