Jazz Stories-Heroes of the Americas
'Jazz Stories -- Heroes of the Americas' is a series of seven spoken word/live jazz pieces this is really something different -- not poetry, not rap, but real narratives in a true interplay of words and music. Here's the description. Biographical information follows. In the tradition of Ken Nordine's Word Jazz, Langston Hughes's 'Weary Blues' and even 'Peter and the Wolf,' writer Lynn Darroch, guitarist John Stowell and saxophonist Rob Davis celebrate musicians such as Ray Charles, Phil Woods, Charles Lloyd and Red Rodney in stories that leap off the page. Darroch draws from 25 years of feature writing, personal encounters and cultural studies to present actual events and reliable information, but the stories are shaped by dramatic interactions between subject and writer designed to illuminate the inspiration and instruction these heroes offer. Telling a good story is always the goal, but these are also musical performances, employing tunes written by or associated with their subjects and meant to be narratives that themselves become jazz. When it works, the words come from inside the music, as integral as melody. Originally developed as a live show, Jazz Stories performance venues include Powell's Books, the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival, and the Portland Jazz Festival as well as clubs and arts centers. A second disc on Latin American music is scheduled for 2006. Biographies For 25 years, Lynn Darroch has worked as a journalist writing about music and other arts and crafts for The Oregonian, Willamette Week, Jazz Times and other nationally-circulated magazines and newspapers. His work on jazz also appears in books such as The Encyclopedia of United States Popular Culture and Jumptown: The History of Jazz in Portland. He edited the Jazz Society of Oregon's monthly, Jazzscene, for seven years and is a fiction writer. Darroch has also traveled extensively and worked in Mexico, Central and South America. He edited the book Between Fire and Love: Contemporary Peruvian Writing and his second CD, scheduled for 2006 release, will feature musicians and artists from the region, including stories about salsa star Ruben Blades and tango musicians in Buenos Aires. He has also lectured on detective fiction through the Oregon Council for the Humanities and teaches in the English department at Mt. Hood Community College. He lives in Portland, Oregon. Guitarist John Stowell was one of the first U.S. musicians to play for the general public in the former Soviet Union in 1984, in a quartet led by flautist Paul Horn. His resume includes travel to Europe and South America as well as frequent tours of the U.S., which take him away from home in Portland, Oregon for nearly 200 days each year. He was the subject of an Artbeat profile on OPB television in 2005. A valued clinician renowned for his advanced harmony and chord-voicings, Stowell has performed with vocalists such as Nancy King and with such legendary players as Art Farmer. His work appears on numerous CDs, including five as a leader and seven albums with his former partner, the bassist David Friesen, His latest solo release is 'Resonance.' After establishing a reputation in Seattle with the group Matt Jorgensen +451, saxophonist Rob Davis moved to Portland, where he has worked with drummer Alan Jones's quartet, the Bobby Torres Latin Jazz Ensemble, and led his own trio at the Portland Jazz Festival in 2005.