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Archive for June, 2013

PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR ((June 27, 1872 – February 9, 1906): Birthday Celebration June 27, 2013 at Library of Congress

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013


Holly & Al @LOC Caitlin Rizzo

Holly Bass and Al Young in post-presentation mode at the Library of Congress celebration of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s birthday 

A Public Event

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Celebrating poet Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar
Courtesy photo

“Gone by age 34, the gifted, versatile Dunbar was the first American writer to earn a living entirely by his pen. Miz Chapman — our 2nd grade teacher at Kingston Elementary School for Colored in Laurel, Mississippi — sang his greatness and made us memorize and recite poems by Dunbar she loved.”
— Al Young


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Holly Bass & Al Young

The Library of Congress offers these events to the public at its Washington, D.C. location free of charge, except where otherwise noted. Schedules are subject to change. Check back to this site for the latest information.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Lecture — Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar

12 Noon
Poets Holly Bass and Al Young celebrate the birthday of American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar by reading selections from his work and discussing his influence on their own writing.

Location: Dining Room A, Sixth floor, James Madison Building

Contact: 202.707.5394


© Scott Sternberg

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Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem
When Malindy Sings

set to music by Oscar Brown, Jr.



Friday, June 21st, 2013


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The Jamies 45rpm Summertime    Summer in the City cvr

The Jamies’ 1958 & 1962 hit  |||  The Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ ‘Summer in the City’ (1966)

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Kent & Cindy's Tomatoes 2013  Kent Crockett

Summer offerings from Kent and Cindy Crockett’s California foothills garden.



Some are simply summer-blessed.


Library of Congress
Washington DC
June 27, 2013

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Holly & Al @LOC 2 Caitlin Rizzo

Holly Bass and Al Young in post-presentation mode at the Library of Congress celebration of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar’s birthday.


California Poets in the Schools Video Shoot
June 20, 2013

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CPITS Video Crew Berkeley Marina  Al Young

California Poets in the Schools video crew at the Berkeley Marina to shoot a promo with Al Young for its 50th anniversary fundraising campaign.  L-R > Nick Pasquinzo, Jamie Jordan, Kennedy Pasquinzo, Maddie Rinn, John Drexler, Tina Pasquinzo


Robert Chrisman: A Celebration of the Life
June 16, 2013

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Bob Chrisman broadcasting

Poet Robert Chrisman (1937-2013), co-founder with
Nathan Hare of The Black Scholar Journal

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Ray Black MC Chrisman Celebration  Pat Scott on Chrisman
Al Young

Teacher-photographer Ray Black hosted the Robert Chrisman Celebration at San Francisco’s Jazz Heritage Center. Former Pacifica Radio Executive Director Patricia Scott, like many others, expressed her love for Robert Chrisman, co-founder and publisher of The Black Scholar, along with her exasperation with his mercurial side.

Al Laura Chrisman ADM 16 June 2013
Ray Black

Laura Chrisman — Robert Chrisman’s daughter who has taken over as editor-publisher of The Black Scholar — with veteran writers Adam David Miller and Al Young.


Cuban Poet Nancy Morejón
La Peña Cultural Center
in conversation with Al Young
and translator Kathleen Weaver
June 13, 2013

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Kathleen Weaver

Cuban poet Nancy Morejón in a post-luncheon shot with Al Young on the day of her June 13, 2013 reading, a KPFA Event, at Berkeley’s popular La Peña Cultural Center. Joining author-translator-editor Kathleen Weaver onstage, they sat in conversation before a packed, lively house.



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GUITARIST JOHNNY SMITH (June 25,1922 – June 12, 2013) ~ In Memoriam

Thursday, June 20th, 2013



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© JazzTimes

For a jazz education class, guitarist Johnny Smith chalks up ideas behind his legendary arrangement of “Moonlight in Vermont,” a surprise and lasting hit he recorded with Stan Getz for Royal Roost Records in 1952.

In 1954, Birmingham, Alabama-born Smith wrote and recorded “Walk, Don’t Run,” which the Ventures recorded in 1959. Smith based the petulant melody line on chord changes to Sigmund Romberg’s “Softly As in a Morning Sunrise.” With composer royalties from this long-lasting hit, Johnny Smith opened a record store in Colorado Springs. Except for a 1977 tour with Bing Crosby, the reclusive musician spent his last five decades off the road and doing whatever he wished.

In the 1980s, a summer workshop teacher of writing at Bennington College, under the direct influence of Vermont moonlight, I composed a poem called “Moonlight In Vermont.” Now lost , the poem begs me to rewrite it all over again. I loved the way the Smith/Getz recording reopened for me,  just then a junior high tuba player, the poet’s entrance to moon savvy and awareness.

–Al Young

‘Johnny Smith, Venerable Jazz Guitarist, Dies at 90’  |  Paul Vitello  |  NYTimes  |  June 18, 2013

A Johnny Smith biography and discography
(Vintage Guitar)


MULGREW MILLER (August 13, 1955–May 29, 2013) In Memoriam

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013


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“I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good” (Duke Ellington)
Jazz à Vienne 2012

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Mulgrew Miller



Courtesy Alvin Queen

Mulgrew Miller in Spain | 2011


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Remembering Mulgrew Miller

by Becca Pulliam
© 2013 by Becca Pulliam and NPR’s JazzSet
June 6, 2013

The pianist Mulgrew Miller died on May 29, 2013, following a cerebral hemorrhage. The jazz world is grieving the loss of this “wonderful musician and great spirit,” in the words of fellow pianist Kenny Barron. As saxophonist Loren Schoenberg so aptly says, “Mulgrew could levitate a bandstand.”

Thinking about his piano alone, Miller’s right hand was the great embellisher; the whole keyboard was his canvas. His left hand could stride and swing with great authority, and when the two hands got together, he sent the train down the tracks. Yet he could lay down a carpet of flowers. What a touch. Miller deployed all his gifts and accomplishments anew every time we recorded him, and he always seemed to be with us, grounded in the shared love of the music.

He expressed his credo as a writer with these words: “I strive to compose beautiful melodies and interpret them with a beat that dances.”

Miller was born in 1955 in Greenwood, Miss. At 6, he started playing by picking out hymns and harmonies on the piano, always on the black keys. As he told WBGO’s Gary Walker in an on-air conversation, he didn’t realize that those keys are considered to be the difficult ones to play in …

 >>>  Read Becca Pulliam’s ‘Remembering Mulgrew Miller’ in full. Go to the original at NPR’s JazzSet  >>>


‘Mulgrew Miller, Influential Jazz Pianist, Dies at 57’  |  Nate Chinen  |  The New York Times  |  May 29, 2013


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“All the Things You Are”  The Center for Jazz Studies, Tel Aviv  June 2012

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Golden Fingers: An Interview with Jazz Piano Legend Mulgrew Miller  Bassist Jonah Jonathan  February 2012


The Official Website

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POETRY L.A.’s Emerging Counterparts Series: Natalie Díaz and Sarah Vap

Thursday, June 6th, 2013



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Dear Poets and Friends,

Poetry.LA just added two intriguing new poets to its expanding collection of online videos: Natalie Díaz and Sarah Vap.

We caught up with them in May at Hitched, a reading series spotlighting emerging poets that Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo curates monthly at Beyond Baroque.

Natalie’s collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2012. Sarah’s latest collection, Arco Iris, was published by Saturnalia Books also in 2012.

For more information about the poets including links to buy their books, you can go to the poet’s individual page by clicking on All Poets. Then click that poet’s name.

Best to you,

Hilda Weiss and Wayne Lindberg

A video showcase of poets &
poetry venues in Southern California

Natalie DiazEmerging Counterparts May-June 2013Sarah VapButton-Play-32x32