Talkin' Jazz - Jazz Arts Project

Jazz Arts Project Presents Its 9th Annual Talkin’ Jazz Lecture Series in Partnership with Count Basie Theatre

Click here to secure your ticket(s) for April 2016 Talkin’ Jazz.

April is National Jazz Appreciation month initiated by the Smithsonian Institute and established by an act of Congress. It is an annual celebration that pays tribute to jazz as an historic and living American art form.  Since 2008, Jazz Arts Project has participated by curating a series of lectures and Q & A panels featuring noted jazz luminaries and scholars, hosted & moderated by Joe Muccioli, Artistic Director of Jazz Arts Project. This free community event is a great introduction to jazz for novices or a wonderful extension of knowledge for connoisseurs. This year, Jazz Arts Project collaborates with Count Basie Theatre to present this education program.

  • April 11, 2016 – 7:00pm -“It’s all About the Bass”  with Jay Leonhart

Jay Leonhart has been recognized as a very accomplished bass player for a long time now. He has been named the Outstanding Bassist In the Recording Industry three times and is always mentioned when the discussion turns to the outstanding . At age thirteen, while playing banjo with his brother in a dixieland band in Baltimore, Jay watched and listened to the bass player and knew that the bass was the instrument he would play forever.

Since that time Jay has been privileged to play with the likes of Judy Garland, Duke Ellington, Thad Jones, Buddy Rich, Jim Hall, Peggy Lee, Mel Torme, Marian McPartland, Kenny Barron, Sting,m James Taylor, Papa Joe Jones, Roy Eldridge, Jim Hall, Louie Bellson, Dick Hyman, Luciano Pavoratti, and many more. Jay now appears primarily with his trio, which plays regularly at Birdland in New York, when not gainfully employed elsewhere. Jay is also a perennial favorite bass player with the Red Bank Jazz Orchestra.

  • Monday, April 18, 2016 – 7:00pm – “Satchmo” with Ricky Riccardi, Louis ArmstrongHouse Museum

Ricky Riccardi is an archivist at the Louis Armstrong House Museum and author of What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong’s Later Years. He runs the online blog, “The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong,” and has given lectures on Armstrong at venues around the world, including the Institute of Jazz Studies, the Satchmo Summerfest, the Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival in addition to teaching a “Music of Louis Armstrong” graduate level course at Queens College. He has recently co-produced “Satchmo at Symphony Hall 65th Anniversary: The Complete Concert” for Universal Music and “Columbia and RCA Victor Live Recordings of Louis Armstrong and the All Stars” for Mosaic Records. He is also a jazz pianist based out of Toms River, NJ and received his Master’s in Jazz History and Research from Rutgers University.

  • Monday, April 25, 2016 – 7:00pm – “Count Basie” –  “The Kid From Red Bank” with Ed Berger, Institute of Jazz Studies

Ed Berger has filled a number of positions at the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies for nearly four decades.  He has also been active as a jazz writer and photographer, teacher, producer, and road manager.  A graduate of Indiana University with an M.L.S. from Rutgers, his most recent book is Softly, With Feeling: Joe Wilder and the Breaking of Barriers in American Music (Temple University Press, 2014), which received the Association for Recorded Sound Collections’ Award for Best Historical Research in Recorded Jazz, 2015.  He is a frequent contributor to Jazz Times as writer and photographer and co-editor of the Journal of Jazz Studies. Berger regular teaches at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Swing University, and from 1979 to 2014 was co-host of Jazz from the Archives on WBGO-FM. Berger enjoyed a long association with jazz master Benny Carter, serving as Carter’s road manager for nearly two decades, as well as producing two Grammy-winning recordings for the saxophonist.  Berger’s other publications include Free Verse and Photos in the Key of Jazz (2015, with Gloria Krolak); Benny Carter: A Life in American Music (2002, with Morroe Berger and James Patrick); Bassically Speaking: An Oral History of George Duvivier (1993); and Reminiscing in Tempo: The Life and Times of a Jazz Hustler (1990, with Teddy Reig)


Here are some of Jazz Arts Project’s speakers from previous years:

  • “The State of Jazz”  Dorthaan Kirk and Sheila Anderson, two venerable personalities from WBGO Jazz 88.3
  • “Jazz Jokes and Anecdotes” with Master Bassist and author Bill Crow
  • “What A Wonderful World” Ricky Riccardi Project Archivist for the Louis Armstrong House Museum
  • “Improvisation and Education with venerable saxophonist and Jazz Arts Academy instructor Bruce Williams
  • “Mary Lou Williams – The First Lady of Jazz” with Vincent Pelote from the Institute of Jazz Studies
  • “Jazz Clubs then and now”  with veteran musician and club owner of Cecil’s jazz club Cecil Brooks III
  • ‘From Russia with Love”  with Russian born trumpet artist Valery Ponomarev
  • “A Great Day In Harlem”  discussing and showing of that historic film documentary film
  • “Ragtime” with specialist and Eubie Blake Protege´ Terry Waldo
  • The Quintessential Charlie Parker” with jazz historian, radio personality and raconteur Phil Schaap
  • “Jazz and the American Culture” with Musician/ Educator/ Author – Warren Smith.
  • The Ellington Mystique” with Duke Ellington’s grandson Edward Kennedy Ellington
  • “Listen” with Ed Berger, Associate Director of The Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University.