NCCU PROFESSOR WINS JAZZ AWARD
The Jazz Music Awards will not only honor Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyler, Ambrose Akinmusire, Henry Threadgill, and James H Patterson … but also North Carolina Central University Professor Dr Lenora Helm Hammonds. The celebration will be held on October 21/22 in Atlanta, and Dr Helm Hammonds will be presented with the Jazz Educator Award. NPR affiliate Jazz 91.9 WCLK, located on the campus of Clark University, is behind the awards program. An array of live performances will feature musicians including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ledisi, Lizz Wright, Jazzmen Horn, and Terri Lyne Carrington, who will serve as musical director.
Dr Helm Hammonds is a professor in NCCU’s Jazz Studies program and is also the interim department chair and director of graduate programs. She has released albums on her own, Zenzalai Music, label and has also designed an online vocal training program that can be accessed by anyone around the world who can’t attend college. Find it at LenoraHelm.online.
NICHOLAS COLE MOVING UP THE CHARTS
Almost-local (okay, Goldsboro native), keyboardist Nicholas Cole has a new single that’s doing very well on Billboard’s Smooth Jazz chart. This past week “All the Way” is #28 and showing real promise. LeFrance is providing the soulful vocals.
Enjoy “All the Way”:
Jazz trumpeter Al Strong, founder of the late lamented Art of Cool music festival, is starting a Kickstarter campaign for his second album, Love Stronger (a followup to LoveStrong volume 1). Hopefully, you have already heard his version (and/or seen the video) of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which will be included in this album. Working with an all-star cast of musicians—(Chris Patishall on piano, Jeremy “Bean” Clemons on drums/engineering, Kevin Beardsley on bass, and Louis Hawkins on sax)—Strong will use the funds for licensing and other copyright fees, production costs (photography, artwork/design, public relations and marketing, music video(s)), and the cost of launching a tour. Nowadays artists need to foot the bill for doing many of the things record labels used to take care of, although a distribution-only deal was recently signed with Lightyear Entertainment/Virgin Music.
UPDATE: Success! Al Strong was hoping to raise at least $24,700 and got $25,470 in pledges. Congratulations, Al!
AUNTIE BEV’s ‘WORDUP! VOCABULARY CHALLENGE’
Beverly Mahone, known as wordsmith, etymologist, and vocabulary builder “Auntie Bev” on TikTok, has announced her new show, “WordUp! Vocabulary Challenge.” Mahone is a part-time North Carolina Central University writing consultant, and has found quite an audience on TikTok with 420 thousand followers. During this live show, contestants will square off for the right to advance to succeeding rounds and a chance at winning $500. They’ll receive a batch of words and will then take turns choosing words that their opponents will try to define. Round one of the WordUp! Vocabulary Challenge will air live on Saturday, January 8, 1pm, on the All Wordz Matter Facebook page. If you’d like to compete, click here for more info and to sign up; all contestants must be age 18+. The WordUp! Vocabulary Challenge will air every other week, with the final rounds being played at the end of the year. The show’s sponsor is AAG, a reverse-mortgage company; you can visit their website at aag.com.
RDU Airport’s Observation Park is back! This is a great place to take the family on a free outing, where everyone can watch the airplanes take off from a safe vantage point. You can park for free, listen to communication between the pilots and the control tower, enjoy the picnic and play areas, look at the educational placards (test your knowledge of airplanes!), and use the modern restrooms. Observation Park will be open every day from 9am to dusk.
Click here for more info and to get directions.
Did you know we don’t have to pay for bus fare until at least June 2023? How DO they do it?
Little Waves Coffee has been named 2022 Micro Roaster of the Year by Roast magazine, a publication that covers the coffee industry. Most of us know the business as Cocoa Cinnamon, which was founded in 2010 by Areli Barrera Grodski and Leon Grodski Barrera. Some of us remember Cocoa Cinnamon starting out as a bicycle-based coffee company before they got a retail spot. They have three locations now: 420 W Geer St, 2013 Chapel Hill Rd, and 2627 Hillsborough Rd. The roastery was established in 2017, and after roasting more than 59 thousand pounds of coffee in the past year, Little Waves Coffee not only has their retail locations, but also coffee subscribers and wholesale customers around the country.