Articles By Sanford Josephson
Pianist Sean Mason Puts Jazz Spin on "100 Years of Disney" Music
On Tuesday, October 3, at the Numerica Performing Arts Center in Wenatchee, WA, pianist Sean Mason played a solo performance of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez's "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" from Frozen: The Broadway Musical to an audience of middle school students. It was part of the "When You Wish Upon a Star – A Jazz Tribute to 100 Years of Disney" tour, featuring Mason and the House Band of The National Jazz Museum in Harlem.
published on 11/01/2023
Pianist Lafayette Harris, Jr., Embracing 'Everything' from Eubie Blake to Max Roach
In 1975 when Lafayette Harris, Jr., was 12 years old, growing up in Baltimore, he saw a television commercial advertising a "hometown hero who is coming back to Baltimore to play." Harris was just starting to learn to play the piano, and the "hometown hero" was Eubie Blake. "I had no idea who Eubie Blake was,” he recalled. "They showed him playing this piece, 'The Maple Leaf Rag'. I'd never heard of that, and I just had to learn how to play that music.
published on 09/01/2023
Melissa Aldana Will Preview Music from Her Next Blue Note Album on June 16th at McCarter Theatre
When tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana leads a quartet on Friday, June 16 as part of the McCarter Theatre Jazz in June series, the program will be "a mix of some old things and some new things, and some things we didn't even record."
published on 06/02/2023
Django A Gogo 20th Anniversary; Trumpeter Joe Boga: "Be Ready to Expect Anything"
Cheryl Boga has been Conductor and Director of Performance Music at the University of Scranton for more than 40 years. Predictably, her son, Joe Boga, was exposed to music at an early age. "My mom started me on violin," he recalled, "and I didn’t want to do it. I kept begging to quit, and eventually she let me do it but insisted I couldn't quit music altogether."
published on 05/01/2023
Live Music and Iconic Photography in Partnership with Jazz Foundation of America
Tuesday nights are special at New York’s Thompson Central Park Hotel (formerly the Parker Meridien). From 6-9 p.m. in Parker’s lobby/atrium bar there is now live jazz, thanks to the efforts of the Jazz Foundation of America, a nonprofit organization that has existed since 1989 to provide such things as housing and emergency assistance, pro bono medical care, and disaster relief for jazz musicians in need.
published on 02/01/2023
50th Anniversary Benefit Concert - A Legacy, Two Legends and the Great American Songbook
During the early 1970s, New Jersey jazz fans would gather at the Chester Inn to hear Chuck Slate’s Traditional Jazz Band or at the Hillside Lounge (also in Chester) to see cornetist Will Bill Davison, or alto saxophonist Rudy Powell, or guitarist Al Casey.
published on 09/02/2022
Three Decades Later, Dan Levinson and Dick Hyman Salute the Austin High Gang
“I have a new album coming out with Dick Hyman,” Dan Levinson said. “We recorded it 30 years ago.”
published on 07/02/2022
Diana Krall: Early Exposure to Great Piano Players Shaped Her Career
Seeing “Oscar Peterson and Monty Alexander Perform Live . . . Definitely Changed My Life.”
Diana Krall grew up listening to great piano players because her father, a stride pianist, “had an incredible record collection of 78 rpms. I was very lucky to have that foundation.”
published on 04/01/2022
Alto Saxophonist Mark Gross: Inspired by Cannonball Adderley and Jimmy Heath
Cannonball Adderley was alto saxophonist Mark Gross’ “biggest influence,” so when he was hired by Cannonball’s younger brother, trumpeter Nat Adderley, in 1995 (20 years after Cannonball’s death), it was “one of the highlights of my career. I came recommended to him,” Gross recalled, “but he had not heard me play. We flew to Europe, and I’m thinking we are going to rehearse. We get to the hotel, we have dinner, and he says, ‘See everybody tomorrow.’”
published on 02/01/2022
George Wein: ‘Hooked’ by the Records of Armstrong and Lunceford
In December 2013, as the Newport Jazz Festival was approaching its 60th anniversary, New Jersey Performing Arts Center President and CEO John Schreiber held an invitation-only evening of “music and conversation with George Wein.”
published on 10/01/2021
Artists With Disabilities to Celebrate 11th Anniversary of Showing Their Work at NJMS Collaborative ARTS Exhibit
Several artists with developmental disabilities will gather on August 16 at a virtual reception to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the New Jersey Medical School Collaborative ARTS Exhibit. The artists are part of the Matheny Medical and Educational Center’s Arts Access Program in Peapack, NJ, and the Jewish Services for the Developmentally Disabled’s WAE Center in West Orange, programs dedicated to enabling individuals with disabilities to create fine art. The work of 25 artists from both programs is featured in the exhibit, which began on July 12 and continues through August 31.
published on 08/03/2021
Sherman Irby and Marcus Printup Bring Their Small Groups to Morris Museum
Alto saxophonist Sherman Irby spent four years playing with the late trumpeter Roy Hargrove’s quintet. During that stretch -- from 1997 to 2001 -- two of his band partners were bassist Gerald Cannon and drummer Willie Jones III. That’s the trio Irby will be leading at the Morris Museum’s Jazz on the Back Deck concert. “We go back a long way,” he said. “Coming out of the pandemic, it will be sort of a homecoming.”
published on 07/02/2021
Saturdays With Ramsey Lewis: April 24th Online Concert Will Reprise Songs from "The In Crowd"
About five years ago, pianist Ramsey Lewis and his wife, Janet, were at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, preparing to fly out for a concert tour. “My wife asked an attendant what gate the flight was leaving from, and when she saw how far it was, she asked, ‘Can you get a wheelchair for my husband?’ That’s when I started thinking it was time to retire.”
published on 04/14/2021
Basking Ridge Writer to Have Her Plays Presented at NJ Theatre Alliance's Stages Festival
Fancy Farthington is a "social climbing phony." Princess Cordelia is "English royalty, old money." Mrs. Diedre Billingsworth is a "good-hearted former lady's companion who inherited her fortune from the older woman she took care of." And, Prince Carlos is a "handsome Spanish prince" who "is penniless."
published on 03/11/2021
Readings of Four Plays by Playwrights with Disabilities to be Presented March 28th
This event has been cancelled
(PEAPACK, NJ) -- An action-packed and satirical retelling of the Second World War . . . a romantic comedy about a young couple moving in together . . . a zany comedy about one woman's quest to win the love of someone ensnared by a jealous fiancee . . . a musical drama about a man who desperately wants to spend more time with his cousin.
published on 03/10/2020
Arts Access Artists to Display Paintings At Morris Museum Access-ABILITY Exhibit
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Carly Finley of Flemington, Isabell Villacis of Bound Brook, and Michael Martin of Morris Plains are three of 15 artists from the Matheny Medical and Educational Center's Arts Access Program who will have their paintings on display at the Morris Museum's Access-ABILITY Pop Up Exhibit, from Thursday, February 20 through Sunday, February 23.
published on 02/03/2020
Warren County Artist with Disability Choreographs Dance to Debbie Gibson's "Lost in Your Eyes"
Josh Handler has always loved music, and one of his favorite songs is Debbie Gibson's "Lost In Your Eyes", from her 1989 Atlantic album, Electric Youth. To Handler, the song has special meaning. Written in 1987 when Gibson was 17 years old, the song's lyrics describe a first, adolescent love. To Handler, though, the song, "shows a lot of caring, that it doesn't matter if you're different, you're still great."
published on 10/02/2019
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School's Collaborative Exhibition Will Feature Art From Matheny's Arts Access Program
(NEWARK, NJ) -- When Geeta Acharya arrived at the Matheny Medical and Educational Center as Corporate Compliance Officer in June 2010, she was impressed by its Arts Access Program, which empowers individuals with disabilities to create art without boundaries. Acharya, a resident of Bridgewater, is also an artist and was amazed by the facilitation process, which employs professional artists who follow the instructions of artists who may not have control of their hands and, in some cases, are non-verbal, communicating 'yes' and 'no' by a blink of the eye or a nod of the head.
published on 05/07/2019
Premiere Stages to Present Staged Reading of Play By Writer Who Refuses to be Defined by His Disability
(PEAPACK, NJ) -- "A fearless 16-year-old with cerebral palsy brought a combination of praise and put-downs to the job of master of ceremonies." That's how The New York Times' Neil Genzlinger described Chris Saglimbene in a column on October 20, 2002, reporting on a talent show at the Matheny School and Hospital, a special hospital and special education school in Peapack, NJ, for children and adults with medically complex developmental disabilities.
published on 03/11/2019
Siblings' Interaction from "Different Sides of the Brain" Leads to Sotheby's Exhibit for Artists with Disabilities
Growing up in Watchung, NJ, it was clear that Brad and Dana Chernock’s interests and aptitudes gravitated toward “different sides of the brain”. Brad was drawn toward medicine and science; His younger sister Dana’s passion was the arts. Through the years, Dana recalls, “Brad and I often shared articles and events with each other that combined science/technology with the arts.” But even they are surprised at where this collaborative approach has recently taken them.
published on 01/22/2019
Long Branch Theatrical Couple Uncovered Creative Potential of Artists with Disabilities
In the early 1990s Gabor Barabas, MD, was medical director of the Matheny School and Hospital, a special hospital and school in Peapack, NJ, for children and adults with medically complex developmental disabilities. His wife, SuzAnne, who was director of the Peanut Butter Theatre for children, couldn’t help wondering about the creative potential that might reside inside the minds of her husband’s patients if they were given the opportunity to express themselves.
published on 06/12/2018