National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. Convention to Spotlight Youth, Music and History of NANM

The 95th annual convention of The National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. (NANM) will be held in Los Angeles beginning July 20 through July 24, 2014.  Founded in Chicago in 1919, NANM is the country’s oldest organization dedicated to the preservation, encouragement and advocacy of all genres of African American music.  Since its inception, NANM has provided encouragement and support to thousands of African American musicians, many of whom have become widely respected figures in the musical arena and have contributed significantly to African American culture and music history.

During the convention, music teachers, performers, other professionals and community groups have the opportunity to meet and compare notes with their counterparts from across the country; to hear and participate in concerts featuring familiar and unfamiliar musical literature; to become acquainted with new teaching techniques; to benefit from exposure to high standards of musicianship; and to discuss mutual problems and strategize solutions. See the NANMConventionFlyer and NANMConventionSchedule.

NANM supports young musicians by awarding scholarships, and will provide an opportunity for them to perform and to interact with their peers and highly acclaimed professional musicians during the convention.  By introducing aspiring young musicians to the various genres of music, NANM continues to ‘keep the music alive and vibrant’.

The convention will convene with the opening meeting (concert) at Grant AME Church, 10435 S. Central Ave, Los Angeles 90002 on Sunday, July 20, at 3:00 p.m.  The convention will conclude on Thursday, July 24. The Doubletree Hotel Los Angeles Westside, 6161 Centinela Ave., Culver City 90230, will serve as the headquarters and main venue for much of the four-day gathering.  Many notable musicians from all across the country will attend this uplifting, music-filled and informative convention. The convention encompasses and includes genres such as Negro Spirituals, Hymns, Gospel, Jazz and R&B. The public is invited to attend free and ticketed events.

Byron J. Smith, NANM President, believes Los Angeles is the ideal host city for this year’s convention.  “With the vast amount of music and entertainment that comes out of Los Angeles, it is only fitting that we all converge on Los Angeles for this our 95th anniversary,” he said. “The theme, ‘Lights, Music, Action: Spotlight on the Next Generation’ was chosen to reflect the Hollywood location of the convention.”

In addition to the opening meeting which pays tribute to the late Dr. Don Lee White who was instrumental in establishing the oldest branch on the West Coast, workshops, concerts, and awards presentations will be offered.

A gala concert will be presented on Monday, July 21, at 7:30 p.m. with the Inner-city Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICOYLA) under the direction of Charles Dickerson, founder and conductor. Special guests include Keith David (Enlisted) and LaVan Davis (House of Payne). The concert will be held at the beautiful Wilshire United Methodist Church at 4350 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles 90005.

The Life Members Guild Jazz Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, July 22, at 12:00 p.m. with a jazz ensemble of local youth scholarship winners.  Renowned, award winning writer and stage actress Karen Bankhead will perform as Ms. Etta Mae Mumphries and will also serve as Mistress of Ceremonies.

In celebrating 95 years of history and advocacy, a tribute honoring the past 23 national presidents including R. Nathaniel Dett, Brazeal Denard, Roland Carter will be presented through drama and song on Tuesday, July 22, at 8:00 p.m.

A Gala Awards Banquet will be held Wednesday, July 23, at 7:30 p.m. to honor five music legends for their contributions to African American music.  Honorees include legendary vocalist Kenneth Glover whose 60-year performance career included serving as the official soloist for the National Baptist Convention; retired Presbyterian Pastor and organist/pianist Rev. Dr. Leon E. Fanniel who was one of the accompanists for Mahalia Jackson and is a strong advocate for music programs and young musicians; Bellflower Symphony conductor Joseph Taylor who has taught strings to hundreds of young musicians for the past 40 years and is conductor of the NANM Convention Orchestra; and Musicians in Action founders Jacqueline and Gerald Malone whose calling has been to develop positive relationships between church musicians and church leadership.

Click here for schedule or for tickets.  Information is also available by emailing westernnanm@aol.com or calling (323) 294-6709. Official website: www.nanm.org.


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LMMF Board Advisor Leslie Drayton Announces New eCommerce Website and CD Release

Veteran musician Leslie Drayton announces the launch of his eCommerce website, www.draytonmusic.com. The new website will serve as a central place on the internet to find Leslie’s biographical data, compositions, recorded music, and an ongoing blog of his thoughts about music, education, and the music business.
“Free and Easy”
March 4, 2014, is the official release date of Leslie’s latest recorded effort. This 12-track collection is entitled “Free And Easy” and features mellow, but funky grooves that will appeal to those that love jazz from a soulful perspective. There are guest appearances by Brandon Coleman – keyboards, Del Atkins – bass, Earl Alexander – guitar, Land Richards – drums, and the late Ronald Muldrow – guitar. The collection is available through CD Baby, iTunes, and at www.draytonmusic.com. In addition to the current release, previous recordings and some limited vinyl can be found atwww.draytonmusic.com as well.

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Ed Hamilton on Two Women Who Have Created Jazz Music Salons in Los Angeles

Yvette Coleman & Kathy Drayton: Patrons of Jazz

Ed Hamilton on two women who have created jazz music salons in Los Angeles

Benjamin Franklin started Salons and Lyceums that were meetings of groups who were patrons of the arts. People gathered to hear invited special guests. Yvette Coleman and Kathy Drayton have followed in Franklin’s footsteps with their own creations of Los Angeles’ first music salons—Jazz in the Garden and Live Music Movement Foundation.

Drayton states that her organization LIVE MUSIC MOVEMENT FOUNDATION started in 2011 intentions are to broaden the enjoyment and appreciation of jazz, blues, and soul music as a powerful American cultural force thru Vision, Mission, Commitment, Musical events.

She says, “Our goal is to promote, present and preserve jazz, blues and soul music through Musical experience salons performances, education and commissions of new works.” Going on she continues, “we present musical events and concerts as a way to socialize around the music.  Where there is an atmosphere where people can mix and mingle and socialize while enjoying the music and even dance.”

The musical experience presented a jazz party with Drayton’s husband Leslie Drayton, trumpeter and former band leader for Marvin Gaye and Bassist-Del Atkins. The first salon’s guest was phenomenal trombonist Garnett Brown, who showcased his vast experience playing with Herbie Hancock, Duke Pearson, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Jackie McLean, Dizzy, Blakey, Hubert Laws, Jazz Crusaders, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Oliver Nelson, Jack Wilson, and Gerald Wilson.

Ms. Coleman’s Jazz In the Garden began in 2005 with 5 women who called themselves “Just Us for Jazz”: Jacquiline Williams, Hanne Johnson, Florine Hill, Espanola Obligacion, and Yvette. Spanky Wilson and Wycliffe Gordon were featured.

Describing her reasoning for wanting to host Jazz Salons, Ms. Coleman stated, “I was at a Jazz Salon presented by my friend Mimi Milnick and got inspired. I shared it with my girlfriends and decided we could do something similar, but have it outdoors. We brainstormed about how it should be presented and and what experience we wanted our audience to have and put together a list of potential artists and got started.”

In 2009 went solo with her Jazz in the Garden Salon and through the past 5 years has presented in concert salon atmosphere the following: Winard Harper, Red Holloway, Houston Person, Plas Johnson, Rickey Woodard, Jeff Clayton and Ernie Andrews, Justo Almario, Terrell Stafford, Ndugu Chancler and Patrice Rushen, Javon Jackson, Kenny Burrell, Gilbert Castellanos, David T. Walker, Billy Childs, Willie Jones, 111, Eric Reed, Trevor Ware, and Bobby Floyd.

“It has been my desire to treat the musicians and the fans with great respect so every move I make is predicated on that,” Ms. Coleman says proudly. “I have have the greatest support team of my familly, Jerry Jones my sound man whose been with me from the start, and the greatest volunteer in the world CB and his sidekick Andrew. And the fans are wonderfully supportive of all my musician choices. They encourage me and I love them for that.” And giving kudos to the musicians saying that ”I am tremendously grateful to them for trusting me and my showcasing them in an outdoor picturesque Baldwin Hills setting overlooking beautiful L.A.”

“The future for LMMF,” Ms. Drayton unveils, “plans to produce several concerts and music education events a year. We want to provide an innovative approach to music performance in venues where you’re welcome to do more than sway in your seat—we want you to get up, move, and enjoy the music.”

Collectively, both women have given a renewed breath of Jazz-life to the City of the Angels with their Jazz Salons—Jazz in the Garden and Live Music Movement Foundation. They welcome other Jazz patrons who have been waiting for the reopening of Ruth Price’s Jazz Bakery and overwhelmingly applaud Ms. Coleman and Ms. Drayton’s efforts in maintaining Jazz Music for the ears of the Jazz lovers.

Original article posted at http://jazztimes.com/community/articles/107188-yvette-coleman-kathy-drayton-patrons-of-jazz.


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The Giving Continues for Be The Match Foundation

Voices for Christ

Rochelle Edmondson, far left, and Ebony Malbry, third from left, (aunt and niece) are big fans and supporters of Live Music Movement Foundation.  Rochelle has attended each musical event and has encouraged others to attend.  Ebony usually joins her.  They were in attendance for the Old School Sunday musical event in April that was used as a vehicle to raise awareness of the need for individuals to join the bone marrow registry with Be The Match Foundation. The event was is support of testing for a match with our friend  Carol Martin Hicks who suffers from blood cancer.  Funds were also raised to assist with the cost of testing.

Rochelle and Ebony were inspired to support this cause and brought the need back to their choir – Grant AME Church Voices for Christ.  After hearing of the need to support this important cause, choir members voted to support the effort.  A donation was sent to Be The Match Foundation in the name of Carol Martin Hicks.  The support doesn’t stop with the donation.

Ebony is organizing a bone marrow drive at Grant AME Church to reach out to the demographic of 18-44 year-olds which is the group most needed to find a match.  It is reported that only 7% of the 10 million registered bone marrow donors in the U.S. are of African American heritage. African Americans a have higher likelihood of finding a match if the number of African American bone marrow donors increases.  We are excited that Ebony was moved by our efforts with Be The Match Foundation and look forward to a successful bone marrow donor event.


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Success! Camp Janus Crawfish Boil Fundraiser

Chevon LaRis Powell, survivor and event organizer

Success! The 1st Annual Powell Family Fundraiser benefiting Camp Janus raised $2,190 to go to the continued efforts of this amazing organization.   The event was held in Houston, Texas on Friday, May 10, 2013.

Crawfish boiling with corn, potatoes, vegetables and spices.

Crawfish, corn and potatoes were the hit of this event as scores of people stopped by to purchase a pound or two in support of Camp Janus.  For those who couldn’t handle the crawfish, Texas-style barbecue brisket sandwiches with all the trimmings were offered.

The cooks readying the crawfish. Corbin is one of the youngest helpers. Maurice Sebastien and Walter Hardy help.

It was a festive occasion with a DJ playing great dance music and a bit of jazz.  The community center was decorated with t-shirts from various camps and signs saluting Camp Janus. A raffle was held with gifts from Costa Rica, the Houston Omni Hotel, Houston Dynamo Soccer team, Gifts by Verna and several other sponsors.

Camp shirts from over the years.

Lights, Cameras, Action! This summer Camp Janus went Hollywood as over 65 burn survivor campers experienced a Tinsel-town themed 4-day weekend adventure.  Gifts from the Powell Family Crawfish Boil Benefiting Camp Janus and others like it help make this camp possible.  Thank you again for your generous support.


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