The Event Horizon

WOW! I do believe that this is the record for blog absenteeism. But fear not…I’m back! Oh yes friends of the cyberverse…it is ON! It is time to:





and make plans to attend the concert of the season, the show-of-shows, the mother of all gigs, yay and forsooth…


(Hey…CNN and Fox News aren’t the only ones who get a theme song for headlines! Thanks Kevin Riepl )

So, what up? Well, on the horizon and approaching fast is this event see, and well…ok, ok, I just wanted to use a term from relativistic speculative science fiction cuz it sounded cool ok? But yes, there IS an event on the horizon and it IS coming up fast and you MUST know about it and make plans to attend! Here’s what it is:

Click Here For TICKETS!

The Allen Jazz Invitational and Arts Festival  (CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS) is going to be EPIC! This mega-event has grown out of our yearly concert in the fabulous Allen PAC in Allen, Texas where the One O’Clock performs our own charts as well as the music of some very important guest artists. In the past, we have featured the legacy of my good friend and mentor, Maynard Ferguson whose complete collection of music is housed in our own Willis Library Facility. This year, we will be branching out and performing works from other areas as well as some Maynard favorites. The guest artists? Check THIS out:



One of the world’s great lead trumpet artists, Frank can be seen nightly on The Late Show with David Letterman as a member of Paul Shaffer’s CBS Orchestra. Click here for more info on this amazing artist!



ANOTHER one of the world’s great lead trumpet artists! Wayne is a part of EVERYTHING in Los Angeles from movie scores to Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band. Here is Wayne’s great website.


stockton helbing - Promo 1 - banner

Simply one of the best drummers on the planet today! (Hyperbole? Nope, just fact) Whether he is in the studio, on the road with Doc Severinsen, or running his own record label (Armored Records) Stockton is a musician’s musician. Check him out here.



One of the greatest entertainers in all of jazz, woodwind artist and composer extraordinaire Denis DiBlasio always brings it. Check out his website here.


Not bad eh? PLUS, there will be some great high school bands performing for guest artists comments and masterclasses, a panel discussion with the cats, the One O’Clock and well…check out the entire deal here.

It will be a show to remember and I hope to see you there! Here is a sneak-peek via snippets from the last two years. ENJOY!


Lab 2013 is HERE!

One O’Clock Nation!

Welcome to Fall Semester, 2013! And to kick off the restart of the Blog Shed, here are two VERY cool things:

1. The personnel for the new One O’Clock!

2. Lab 2013 Drops (That is the current way to say “CD release” these days…must….remain……..hip……)

The semester is off to a ROARING start with yet another great assemblage of talented torch-bearers for the on-going tradition of excellence and innovation that is North Texas Jazz. And, here they are:


The One O’Clock Lab Band Fall 2013 Edition!

The Saxophones L-R: Neils Rosendahl, Alex Hahn, Drew Zaremba, Mark Hartsuch, Brian Handeland

The Saxophones L-R: Niels Rosendahl, Alex Hahn, Drew Zaremba, Mark Hartsuch, Brian Handeland

The Trombones L-R: Colby Norton, Joakim Toftgaard, Isaac Washum, Julie Gray, Jon Ryan

The Trombones L-R: Colby Norton, Joakim Toftgaard, Isaac Washum, Julie Gray, Jon Ryan

The Trumpets L-R: Stuart Mack, Andy Cresap, Robby Yarber, Jake Boldman, Ally Hany

The Trumpets L-R: Stuart Mack, Andy Cresap, Robby Yarber, Jake Boldman, Ally Hany

The Rhythm Section L-R: Jake Greenburg, Horace Bray, Gabe Evens, Conner Kent

The Rhythm Section L-R: Jake Greenburg, Horace Bray, Gabe Evens, Connor Kent

Learn more about these great musicians in their own words via the bio portion of our website.

We’ve been having a blast with TWO concerts already under our belt and a bunch more comin’ right up. Check out our schedule here on our official website. (right hand corner)

And Lab 2013! The “Homage to Denton: Jazz Town U.S.A” is here. Behold the groovy cover:

Lab 2013

Lab 2013

Look familiar? It should as this was the picture that we used to advertise the “Jazz Town U.S.A. CD cover contest. After some really cool entries, we decided that Occam’s Razor once gain came into play as the band decided to go to the source and use actual pictures of Denton as our graphics theme. The results are spectacular and very organic and comfy…in a cool kind of Dentonian way. Iconic landmarks are included that virtually all alums will recognize and no doubt wax nostalgic while listening to the charts.

And the writing! Well, suffice to say that everyone had a great time capturing the mood and vibe of Denton via programmatic tone poems. Here is the official press with lots of info:

“Lab 2013 is yet another example of the amazingly high level of talent that our students possess,” said Steve Wiest, director of the One O’Clock Lab Band. “This latest CD pays tribute to our beloved Denton, a town that not only supports our jazz program but continues to provide a welcoming and diverse live music scene. We hope that our fans not only enjoy this CD but have the chance to come and see us perform live in Dallas, Fort Worth and right here in Denton: ‘Jazz Town U.S.A.'”

Songs about uniquely Denton institutions – such as graduate student Aaron Hedenstrom’s tribute to his favorite breakfast eatery, Old West – and experiences – such as jazz professor Richard DeRosa’s 4:30 a.m. wake up calls to the blaring of the A-Train horn – focus the recording on the city that has been home to the jazz program for nearly 70 years.

The One O’Clock will have a CD release event in Fort Worth:

One O’Clock fans who can’t make it to the CD release event may purchase the CD online at Pender’s Music or the UNT Music Store.

Additional One O’Clock Lab Band concert dates include:

  • 7 p.m. Nov. 7 (Thursday) at First Presbyterian Church, 1000 Penn St., in Fort Worth
  • 8 p.m. Nov. 26 (Tuesday) at Winspear Hall in the Murchison Performing Arts Center in Denton, with guest saxophonist Walt Weiskopf
  • 8 p.m. Dec. 7 (Saturday) at Winspear Hall in the Murchison Performing Arts Center in Denton, performing a holiday concert with the Jazz Singers
  • 8 p.m. Dec. 13 (Friday) at McDavid Studio at Bass Hall in Fort Worth, performing a holiday concert

More about LAB 2013

An Homage to Denton, Texas: “Jazz Town, USA”
Lab 2013 is proudly dedicated to Denton, Texas. Recently voted #1 on Business Insider’s “Top Ten Best Small Towns in America,” Denton has long been a hotspot for the arts and especially jazz. The downtown music scene is thriving and offers a wonderful laboratory for the music of UNT jazz students as well as visiting professionals. The people of Denton are big supporters of the arts with many of them working in some field of artistic endeavor as either professionals or amateurs themselves. Denton is a great place to live and a super-fertile environment in which to be making music. With Lab 2013, we salute the hometown of North Texas Jazz and The One O’Clock Lab Band!

Track Listing:
Take the ‘A’ Train (Billy Strayhorn/ arr. Richard DeRosa) 7:00
Old West (Aaron Hedenstrom) 8:04
Somewhere on the 33rd Parallel (Keith Karns) 7:49
Denton Standard Time (Steve Wiest) 9:40
As Time Goes By (Herman Hupfeld/ arr. Drew Zaremba) 9:30
Will or Would? (Neil Slater) 6:21
The Square (Keith Karns) 9:38
Honeybee (Aaron Hedenstrom) 5:41
Traffic Jam (Jenny Kellogg) 5:44

Total Time: 69:28

April D-JAM!

One O’Clock Nation! How goes it? What have we been up to? APRIL! Traditionally the busiest of times here at UNT, the month of showers (in Denton…not so much) has once again lived up to its reputation. April is of course Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) across the U.S. and specifically Dallas Jazz Appreciation Month (D-JAM) around these here parts. So, the One O’Clock did our part by getting the music out-and-about and having a blast doing it. Here is the run-down:

The Next Generation Festival (The 56th Monterey Jazz Festival)

On April 6, we flew to beautiful Monterey, California to perform as the Saturday evening headline group at The Next Generation Jazz Festival. Affiliated with the legendary September Festival, The NGJF is a wonderful event that brings together some of the best high school and college groups in the U.S. An extremely good time was had by all, and the band was SWINGING!

Cannery Row...downtown Monterey

Cannery Row…downtown Monterey

The beautiful Monterey Beach

The beautiful Monterey Beach

Bass trombonist Jon Gauer tests his limits in the icy cold Monterey Bay.

Bass trombonist Jon Gauer tests his limits in the icy cold Monterey Bay.

Next up on our Aprillian Agenda (ok, “Aprillian” is not a real word…but if I didn’t tell you, would you have known? Ah…the power of the unedited Internet) was a reward for the band’s hard work all year. My good friend James Pankow happens to be the legendary trombonist and composer for the amazing jazz-rock group Chicago, and he invited the entire band to visit with the cats backstage at their concert in Oklahoma. So…ROAD TRIP! Members of the One O’Clock had the wonderful treat of seeing one of the world’s best professional road productions from the inside-out in going behind the scenes and talking shop with the members of Chicago. The show was TREMENDOUS and the band and road crew were some of the classiest people you would ever want to meet. We all got an education as to just how gracious the great ones can be when they are at the top of their game. Mucho thanks to Jimmy and all the good folks associated with Chicago!

L-R Front Row: Steve Wiest, James Pankow, Jenny Kellogg, Robby Yarber. NExt Row L-R: Jon Gauer, Stuart Mack, Ransom Miller, Evan Templeton, Chad Willis, Preston Haining, Lou Pardini. Back Row L-R: Tris Imoden, Jason Scheff, Walfredo Reyes Jr, Walt Paraizader, Robert Lamm, Lee Loughnane, Keith Howland

Members of The One O’Clock and guests with Chicago: L-R Front Row: Steve Wiest, James Pankow, Jenny Kellogg, Robby Yarber. Next Row L-R: Ryan Palmer, Jon Gauer, Stuart Mack, Ransom Miller, Evan Templeton, Chad Willis, Preston Haining, Lou Pardini. Back Row L-R: Tris Imoden, Jason Scheff, Walfredo Reyes Jr, Walt Paraizader, Robert Lamm, Lee Loughnane, Keith Howland

Following the Oklahoma-Chicago road trip, we performed for D-JAM itself at the new City Performance Hall in the Dallas Arts District. Under the auspices of Joanna St. Angelo (Sammons Center for the Arts Executive Director) and Arlington Jones (Sammons Jazz Artistic Director) we put together a wonderful evening of Dallas-Jazz celebration titled “Jazz-in Dallas.” The first set featured The Sammons Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Arlington Jones (Stockton Helbing, James Driscoll, Simone Rodgers, Garry Williams, Tom Braxton and Keith Anderson) performing “Sammons Jazz Plays Motown” a wonderful suite of arrangments by Arlington that turned Motown hits into jazz standards. The second set featured The One O’Clock playing a group of charts we collectively called “Grammy Jazz” made up of pieces from our Grammy nominated recordings, as well as works that were specifically nominated. It was a wonderful night in a beautiful venue!

The beautiful City Performance Hall.

The brand-new Dallas City Performance Hall.

Then of course April ends with the wild and wonderful LAB BAND MADNESS! Now a permanent fixture at The UNT Showcase Stage at The Denton Arts and Jazz Festival, Lab Band Madness features ALL NINE Lab Bands! And, as if that weren’t enough, throughout the weekend the stage features all four vocal jazz groups (West End, Third Street, Avenue C, and The Jazz Singers) multiple student small groups both instrumental and vocal, The U-Tubes (trombone band), the two guitar ensembles L-5 and Super 400, The Zebras, The Jazz Repertory Ensemble and the Latin Jazz Lab Band along with The Mariachi Aguilas and The African Percussion Ensemble. An absolutely stunning array of young talent all featured in the great out-of-doors (complete with some SLAMMIN’ deep-fried goodness from the multiple food tents).

Lab Band Madness, Matt Young: drums Stuart Mack, trumpet

Lab Band Madness, Young Heo: bass, Matt Young: drums, Stuart Mack: trumpet, Jon Gauer: bass trombone.

Lab Band Madness: Scott Neary: guitar, Devin Eddleman: alto.

Lab Band Madness: Scott Neary: guitar, Devin Eddleman: alto, Steve Wiest.

So…yeah: APRIL! Kinda busy. But when you have a band like this, being kinda busy is a very, very good thing!

And now…Lab 2013.

Until next month: Keep Swingin’!

Jazz Town U.S.A.!

Hey folks! I have a blog? I do wish someone would tell me these things!!

Well, here I am back again in Blogsville offering up the latest-and-greatest in all things One O’Clock. And there is a whole heapin-helpin of fun goin’ on. Lemme tell ya what!

This is the official illustration for "Heapin' Helpin' in this year's edition of Websters. Well, not really...but it should be.

This is the official illustration for “Heapin’ Helpin’ in this year’s edition of Websters. Well, not really…but it should be.

First off, we are all very pumped for this year’s Gomez Artist: Peter Erskine. Thanks to an endowment by DFW businessman Glenn Gomez, we have the “Glenn E. Gomez International Artists Endowment for Jazz Studies” that every year brings us one of the greats in the jazz world for a week-long residency. Peter is simply a “musician’s-musician” and has worked with a “who’s-who” of modern jazz. Check out his website. With all of the many activities planned for Peter’s residency, he will also be performing with The One O’Clock on Thursday, February 28 at 8:00PM in Winspear on the UNT campus. Click here to get your tickets while they last! For those of you who won’t be able to make the live performance, we will also be live-streaming the concert. The music is BURNING with charts by Bob Mintzer, Tim Hagans, Bill Dobbins and Bill Holman. I can guarantee, without reservation, a good time will be had by all!


We are also excited to announce our art contest to choose a Denton-resident (past or present, UNT students qualify) to create the artwork for Lab 2013. Every year, The One O’Clock records a full project of music and titles it “Lab (fill in the year here)” For “Lab 2013” we will be programmatically focusing on the sights, sounds, people and vibe of Denton Texas. Voted the Number One Small Town in America in the recent edition of Business Insider, Denton is of course the beloved home of UNT and the world’s first Jazz Studies program. To celebrate our Denton-ness by finding a local artist to produce the artwork for an homage to Jazz Town U.S.A. itself will be a joy indeed. Cruise over to our Jazz Town U.S.A. blog to learn all the details and get your Denton on!

Denton Texas: "Jazz Town U.S.A."

Denton Texas: “Jazz Town U.S.A.”

Here is our first video blog regarding the Jazz Town U.S.A. project and contest. Take a tour with members of The One O’Clock as they walk about the ultra-hip downtown square in Denton and end up at Dan’s Silverleaf and Rooster’s Roadhouse.

And, as we say here in Texas:  “Boy howdy bless your heart and DAD-GUM!”

Which is to say:

Keep swingin’!

Rampant Positivity!


HEY! Look at this…I’m back! And just in time to finish off the year.

Yep, the One O’Clock had an exceedingly groovy Fall Semester (to see just how groovy it was, check out The Denton Messenger) that kept me exceedingly busy and far away from the Blogosphere. So, I thought I would stop on by as we all (hopefully) chill on our respective Holiday breaks and say howdy (bless my heart).

As you can see above by the world-famous North Texas Jazz Ball that comes down every year in Times Square, 2012 is almost over. (Hey, it’s MY blog, I can use Photoshop and do whatever I want to the New Years Eve ball…so there!) The world did not end for Mayan or your’un (sorry) and life goes on. NOW, what to do?

I say, we should all dive right into a heapin’ helpin’ of rampant positivity as we look at the year ahead. Why not? We all have a choice, and I choose positivity. Especially in the world of jazz and jazz education. Of course it is easier for me, as director of the One O’Clock Lab Band to be very positive. In my world, multitudes of supremely talented students spend each and every day studying and assimilating the music of John Coltrane, Thad Jones, Duke Ellington, Bob Brookmeyer, Cannonball Adderley, Clifford Brown, et al and etc, while developing their own unique voices as new practitioners of this amazing art form. How could I be anything but positively inspired?

In my world, I wonder what the heck the media is talking about when they report on the doings of a lost and jaded generation…haven’t they heard these UNT students? And guess what… THAT is the problem! They probably haven’t. Thus, therefore, and to wit: our on-going efforts to get this music and these students out to the public as much as possible.

I recently wrote an article for the Instrumentalist Magazine that discusses the idea of jazz advocacy (you can click right here and read the article, and I hope you dig it muchly! The Instrumentalist Article). In it, I proudly refer to The One O’Clock numerous times as I make the point that the world at large loves jazz! They just don’t get the opportunity to realize it often enough.

So, how about a new year’s resolution to go along with the “eating healthier, increase your workout regime resolutions” that are already planned? (I speak for myself on that one…just sayin’).

My Resolution:

I resolve to find more ways to bring this uplifting and powerfully joyous music to the world at large. To find more opportunities for live music, for cyber music, for written music, and to make all of this music available to more people than ever before.

Sound good? Then let’s do it!

Here’s to a swinging 2013.




Thanks to one of my favorite people in the world, Althea Jerome, for sending me the link to Evan Christopher’s great article: “This Could Be the Start of Something- A 2012 wrap up”

You can read it by clicking here. Evan is  a wonderful clarinetist who calls New Orleans home. I love his positive approach to NOLA outreach and his thoughts on our art in general.

Check out Evan’s great playing in this video with the Rosenberg Trio.

Fight The Good Fight!

DON’T WORRY! This is NOT a political post!! (whew…that was close) The One O’Clock is a HUGE tent and absolutely everyone who can groove like a monster is welcome. There is not a DROP of politics in the House of Swing.

…But wouldn’t it be cool if the debates (’tis the season) were between Gil and Diz (yeah, they would need to be alive, but hey…dream with me…) and the debate itself were about what type of jazz would be the law of the land: trad? swing? bebop? cool? hard bop? free? post-bop? fusion? neo? ALL OF THE ABOVE? And of course…it would be a win-win for everyone (not to mention a well mannered and highly creative-intellectual debate…WATCH OUT…almost political! back to the music…)

Why isn’t this possible? Why is such a sentiment instantly funny? (because Gil and Diz have passed on….ok, ok…move beyond that!) As I walk about the hallowed halls of groove here in Jazz Paradise, everything seems just fine: young brilliant students studying the music of Thad Jones, John Coltrane, et al, small groups playing new original music that is swinging like crazy and firmly rooted in the grand tradition …and on-and-on it goes. All is well, correct? Well…

Many of our best-and-brightest graduate only to leap into a world that has no idea jazz EXISTS! Let alone like or dislike it…they haven’t even HEARD it! I’ve mentioned before that we are in high Dickensian mode here: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” The best of times: there are more gifted and highly prepared-educated young students of jazz around than ever before. The worst of times: nobody seems to care. What to do? How do we change this?

A paradigm shift is very, very difficult (Man! I sound like I know what I’m talkin’ about). Perhaps that train has left the station. the music biz in general is reeling and trying to figure itself out…what chance does li’l ol’ small-percent-of-a-small-percent (jazz) have? Well, we have  a GREAT chance. It is called education. Dig:

Every single time that I speak with an audience after a One O’Clock concert I meet someone who says something like: “I didn’t even know I liked this music! This is GREAT!”

Step One: Get the music to the people.

The media, our various cultures, technology…none of it will do it without your direct involvement. Get your band swingin’ and give a concert, go on a tour, play for the public…anywhere anytime…get the music out there! Real, live, or virtual…once people see-hear jazz they are HOOKED. It is simply America’s classical music and gift to the entire world. …there is even a Congressional Resolution that says so. Check it out:

HR-57 Read it HERE!

Yep. They did that!

Step two: Get your talking points together

People usually have these two misconceptions about our music:

a. “You can’t make a living playing that! You need something to fall back on.”

b. “You are wasting your time learning to improvise. Get into something more practical”

Alas! Au contraire!!  TO WIT and yay…behold!!!!! That dawg just don’t hunt!!!!!! (nostalgic statement, no?)

Dig these two extremely helpful tools that will fill you with happy, positive vibes when having a conversation with the above concerned adult:

1. The 2009 TMEA Keynote Address by Dan Pink

OoohWEE! this is a great one. Dig, the Conceptual Age:

Click Here and Dig!

2. Beyond the Music by David Liebman

This is a masterful short treatise on what a jazz education does to and for a person (and the world!). From the great saxophone master and educator extraordinaire Dave Liebman

CLICK on this link for Beyond the Music by Dave Liebman

So, there you have it Oh Heroes of the Blogosphere. Some very cool materials to help you fight the good fight. Or, in a more positive less political dressing: spread the good word! And if you need some music as an example? Hmmm…let’s see….I got it!

Click HERE.

Keep Swingin’!

(Just added this. The word count was at 666…had to add more words…just sayin’)

New Band-New Semester-New CD…Same Swing

Blogshed Nation! ‘Tis a new semester here at NT and the One O’Clock is SWINGING! (how’s that for a “Duh” type “but of course” opening?) More on that in a minute (or however long it takes for you to ge to that point, I mean after all you could take a sammich break or something between paragraphs…totally your call) But first:

Lab 2012 is out! Here is a cool montage of Lab 2012 love:

And, here is a wonderful review from one of our highest profile alums: Tom “Bones” Malone:

“This album is supreme in every respect. Compositions, arrangements, variety of different styles, ensemble performance, section performance, solo performance, improvisation, virtuosity, intonation, sound quality, blend, balance, recording technology, mixing, mastering. Did I leave anything out? It also continues a legacy of UNT Jazz tradition of 65 years.

I have never heard a better album.”
Tom “Bones” Malone; The Late Show with David Letterman

Mr Blues Brother Himself: Tom Malone

For info on the groovy cover art and Miles of Shades refer to earlier literary excursions. And, for your viewing pleasure, here is “Miles of Shades” in its entirety:

And the new band! Well, once again I am blown away by the depth of talent here at UNT. Every year a new group of equally talented students replaces the previous years equally-astounding group. How is this possible? Don’t know says I…I’m just glad it IS. So, without further ado, to-wit, ta-da, and Voilà:

The Fall 2012 One O’Clock Lab Band

Saxophones: Devin Eddleman Lead Alto, Alex Fraile, Aaron Hedenstrom, Nick Salvucci, and Spenser Liszt.

Trombones: Isaac Washam Lead, Jenny Kellogg, Julie Gray, Jon Gauer, and Sean Casey

Trumpets: Chad Willis Lead, Robby Yarber, Preston Haining, Keith Karns, and Stuart Mack

Rhythm Section: Addison Frei: piano, Evan Oxenhandler: guitar, Matt Young: drums and Young Heo: bass

Another League of Extraordinary Cats has assembled. As of Wednesday September 15 we have already had our first concert, and it was (can you guess?) SWINGING! I am especially excited to see what this group will do with its formidable amount of improvisational talent as well as the ever-growing stable of amazing composers. A very special year is in the offing folks. Check out our phone app and website to stay on top of the upcoming shows. You will NOT want to miss THIS group!

See you there:)

Triple Digit Jazz (the summer report)

Denizens of Blogsville! What up?

So, 100+ degrees forecast for the entire week beginning with today. And if last year was any indication: the same forecast will stay in place for the rest of the summer (which ends in mid November).  Ah, the tender bucolic joys of the consistently brutal North Texas summers. Even the magnificent live oak that grace this hard-baked land seem to be saying “Really? Can it get any hotter? I mean DAYUM!” (see picture below)

OK…that is an anthropomorphically negative view of the above photo of a stately 1000-year old citizen of the Body-Tejas. You dig? I could say: “Even the trees in Texas are tough and laugh in the face of triple digit adversity. Yay and forsooth, ’tis the same with the citizenry: strong, adaptable, and tough as nails.” I could say that…but CRAP-DOGGIES it’s HOT!!!

A screenshot from my phone (right before it melted and slipped into an alternate dimension)

What to do? Since this is a blog about the One O’Clock…what are the mighty members of Lab 2012 up to this summer, and how are they dealing with this planet Mercury-like environment? Well, many of our intrepid students (after making sure the air conditioner in their cars and dorms/apartments are in fine working order and able to handle 24/7 operating conditions), hunker down for the canicule in Denton itself and take summer classes. And if they are not involved in said canicular curriculum (Come on now…that’s some FINE prose, ain’t it?), or even if they ARE, these same Dentonite eco-warriors take part in or put together their own performance opportunities…such as:

Summer Lab Band: A grand tradition where there are no auditions, just an open invitation to practice sight reading and summer-chop maintenance. Leon Breeden and Neil Slater used this as a place to check out new talent as well. This is my 5th summer to do the same and it is a blast! In the first 5-week session, the group is tied in with the Conducting a College Jazz Ensemble Course, where the students get “podium time” in front of the band.  Lab Band Manager-Deluxe Craig Marshall takes the band for the second session and reads giant stacks of music every week. A good time is had by all! (as long as the AC continues its life-sustaining thang.)

The Basie Tribute Big Band: Founded by a group of One O’Clock students including Dan Foster and Nick Wlordarczyk, this band does what it says: plays classic Basie charts. Could there be any more groovy concept in all the world? Nope. Now led by One O’Clock alum Devin Eddleman (soloist and alto sax II on Lab 2011), The Basie Tribute Band performs in the ultra-hip basement of a local establishment called The Abbey Inn. Set up in the style of an English Pub (mmmm…dark beer), it is the perfect location for a summer-time escape from the heat as well as an opportunity to continue honing one’s swing-skills. The group has developed a hefty book that, along with Basie classics, also include other modern big band favorites as well as some student charts.

The Tyler Mire Big Band: A new group launched recently by recent One O’Clock alum Tyler Mire (Lab 2012, 2010) this exciting Denton-based band plays charts by leader Tyler as well as tenor saxophonist and band member Aaron Hedenstrom (Lab 2012). As you can see by the nifty promo vid above (put together by the very talented Mr. Hedenstrom) the group has a great time and is made up of some of the best musicians around. They too performed at The Abbey Underground, but have also rehearsed on campus and have designs on getting out-and-about.

(Above) One O’Clock trombonist/composer Jenny Kellogg featured with famed One O’Clock alum Steve Houghton

Jazzcateers! Yep, that’s right: if you’re not already aware of this very cool summer activity..time to git hip. The Original Magic Kingdom: Disneyland in Anaheim, CA hosts The Disneyland All-American College Band every year. Under the direction of Dr Ron McCurdy (longtime friend, associate, and partner-in-crime of yours truly) this full-size modern jazz ensemble works all summer and gets to perform with a wide-range of guest artists. This year, current One O’Clock members Jenny Kellogg and Drew Zaremba joined recent grad Brian Clancy and current UNT Jazz trumpet student Stuart Mack for the multi-month adventure. A number of UNT students have come to us from this wonderful program including Tyler Mire and woodwind specialist Kelsey Pickford.

Here is a report from Drew Zaremba, tenor II and one of the composers for Lab 2012 who is playing lead alto with the Disney Band this summer:

“With only two weeks left in the Disneyland All-American College Band (AACB), I can say with certainty that this summer has been an incredibly enjoyable and educational experience. I am very proud to have so many North Texas musicians in the band; with myself, Jenny Kellogg, Stuart Mack, and Brian Clancy, the Jazz department certainly had a great showing!

As I previously stated, the program has been enjoyable but equally educational.  Perhaps the greatest benefit to the summer was hearing from the dozen or so clinicians who have come through to speak with and work with the band.   Many of these clinicians are active performers and writers such as Wycliffe Gordon, Wayne Burgeron, and Matt Harris, but a sizable number of people were past alumni of the band who spoke about how their careers took different directions and how they still found success in the music industry or other businesses.

Today we recorded at Capitol records!  It was a thrilling feeling to be in the same building where Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles recorded.  Our typical day however, consists of playing five sets a day, which we repeat five times a week, the majority of which is show band music, with one big band set and one marching band set.

The entire program has been a wonderful experience, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a career in the music business because of the dynamic and educational nature of the program.”

Drew Zaremba in Action at The Swingin’ Kingdom

So how ’bout all that? To paraphrase Jurassic Park: “Jazz finds a way.” Indeed, even in the midst of brain-frying turn-your-car-hood-into-a-skillet Texas DAWG-Days…these resourceful and highly passionate students of jazz make sure to find ways to keep swingin’.

And THAT after all, is what it’s all about.

Proof Positive!

Blogateers! What up? I am back in less than two months…fear not, I doubt if the condition is chronic. So, what’s happening? What does this title mean? (I’m trying to stretch the suspense a bit so that it will be VERY intriguing as a tweet)

For starters, Lab 2012 is close to being a “wrap” (a borrow from cinema-speak, not necessarily a comment on the musical genre contained therein). I am thrilled by the results, and I think you will be too. The writing is wonderful and the band showed up ready to make some swingin’ history. Release date will be in early August and will be announced on virtually all of our virtual outlets…so stay tuned!

But what is this “Proof Positive” thing about? Ta Da! It refers to the cover art for Lab 2012. As mentioned in January’s installment of The Shed, 2012 will NOT be the end of the world. The newest theory that I’ve heard is two fold:

a. The Mayan calendar is a circle, therefore non-ending: infinite (granted, this could mean we start over again after this year…here’s hoping cave-cats dig jazz…)

b. It is simply a description of events and has no real end date. This was related directly to my lovely daughter, Amber, on a recent trip she made to the ancient land of the Maya, where she and her friend asked an ACTUAL Mayan decedent what up? He spoke of a Mayan measurement of time in an event called a Baktun. (I requested this scientific research aspect of her trip, thus sidetracking an otherwise altruistic and philanthropic religious adventure). Here is the actual (virtually) filmed response:

Therefore, and TO-WIT: this year’s cover art. I submit and hereby posit that said Baktun signifies the beginning of a new Jazz Age. Why not? (this is my blog and I am in charge of reality). An age where jazz is embraced by every city, village, and hamlet in the world. An age where performance halls spring up like mushrooms (non-poisonous) and groups of local jazz artist are given salaries (beyond a living wage) benefits and the pursuit of groovy-ness. Where the Cubs win the World Series!! (ok…now I’ve gone too far)

So, you get it no? Lab 2012 is “Proof Positive” that the world will not end this year, but will just keep swingin’ and getting better (you heard it here first folks). After another world-wide search, we awarded the job of telling this happy story to graphic artist extraordinaire Baran Sarigul of Bournemouth / UK. It took only a quick glance at his work for me to know this was our man. And……drumroll………………… here is what he came up with:

The Front of Lab 2012:

The Back of Lab 2012:

The CD Itself:

There you have it! Proof Positive:

a. The One O’Clock continues to groove, swing, and produce some of the best music in the galaxy.

b. The world will not only not end…but it will get BETTER! (in my reality…and perhaps yours 🙂 )

c. Jazz is alive and well

d. Lab 2012 continues the tradition of VERY hip cover art.

Ain’t life grand?!

Much more to come…

Seeing is Believing (or: what I’ve learned so far in The 21st Century

HEY BLOGCATS! I’m back! Wow…so one thing I’ve learned is that if you are going to have a blog, you need to actually write stuff. One seems to justify the other as it were (and to wit)

True, and ironically enough, the thing that has kept me from blogging (blogifying? bloggery? bloggeting? Spewing forth in a bloggatious manner? …feel free to use any of these, they are all gems) is the fact that I have been spending mucho time establishing our One O’Clock online newsletter: The Denton Messenger. A groovy thing it is too, but taken time away from the blogosphere it has (to be said in the voice of Yoda for maximum effect). Thus leading me to the subject of this return-to-the-living installment of the Blog Shed: “Seeing is believing” or: what I’ve learned so far in the 21st Century.

Yes…I have been working out.

What I have learned so far in this era of technological wonders is that to truly nurture and reach a new audience for jazz, while at the same time staying connected with your established base of alumni and fans, you need a multiple-redundant full-media approach. (as an aside…and you KNOW I love me some parenthetical asides…the 21st Century is missing many of the things I was planning on: hand-held ray guns, transporters, a thriving space agency, and flying cars to mention just a few. (Although living in Texas I can understand why giving our drivers the option to take to the air is not such a good idea…just sayin’…)

The “full media approach now means SO much more than it did when I was a kid. Back then it meant: print media, TV, AND radio. Of course now in the era of Flash Gordon, it includes all manner of digital wizardry that even the most cantankerous members of the 20th Century have taken to.  In fact, these days the majority of young students that I speak to put it like this: “Hey man, I’ve been watching the One O’Clock lately. I especially like (fill in the blank) composed by (whoever)…and how ‘bout that trumpet solo at 2:45.” To which I initially responded to thusly: “Ruh?” (using the classic surprised-yet-curiously-quizzical voice of Scooby Doo). Then I figured out what they meant: the average student today watches music more than he or she listens to music. If your music doesn’t come in some kind of visual format, you are missing out on one of the most organic forms of advertising available so far in this young century: YouTube. In fact, there is even a trend to put audio on YouTube with a slide show, or just album art. (I think the latter constitutes some kind of time-space dichotomy, but I’m not sure)

A good friend of mine is a voice crying out in the wilderness on this very subject: Bret Primack, AKA “The Jazz Video Guy” Bret came to UNT recently and filmed a dazzling series of promotional videos for us (I highly recommend that you try to acquire his services in this area) and was also the happy subject of a previous thread (woo hoo! Look at me cross-referencin’ an’ what-not) He also wrote an installment of the Denton Messenger op-ed column “The Outer Shed” for us. In short, Bret understands the power and nature of 21st Century jazz activism via YouTube and is making it happen in a BIG way. But what can we other jazz folk do? Well here is what the One O’Clock is doing:

  1. In 2007 Neil Slater and Craig Marshall inaugurated a series of videos about the studio process itself, interviews with band members, and a selection of full studio performance videos.
  2. In 2011, we expanded this concept to include an entire DVD of all the pieces from the studio that year in performance format.
  3. Each year since 2009, we have made a compilation video of our studio efforts to promote the CD and to campaign for Grammy recognition.
  4. Most of the above is now available on both our website and our YouTube channel.
  5. Via the YouTube channel, all of these videos are also accessible on our phone app (which is available on iPhone and Android platforms…HEY! at least the word Android is in common use at this time in the 21st Century, thus partially fulfilling my hope for robots at this point…wow: that was a parenthetical aside mentioned within a parenthetical aside…doubleparanthetical? Superparanthetical? English majors…chime in at this point…)

AND: Lab 2012 will be our first foray into a true music video. We are calling it “Miles of Shades” (a jazz fantasia) The concept was suggested by the indubitable-yet-highly-mercurial UNT Distinguished Alum Bob Belden. A master of modern multi-media, Bob suggested that we take a piece of music and animate it in a similar manner as cutting-edge groups Brain Killer and The Mantra ATSMM. (And with a names like that you KNOW it must be cool.) Along with this wonderful concept, I was also inspired by Darcy James Argue’s recent exciting entry into the world of jazz animation: Brooklyn Babylon. Between these great examples, and the films Fantasia and Fantasia II I came up with the idea of incorporating one of our super-talented UNT student visual artists (in this case Peter Rand) and a team of our own One O’Clock composers (Jenny Kellogg, Aaron Hedenstrom, and Tyler Mire) in just such a project. Under the mentorship of our professor of jazz composition Richard DeRosa, and professor of visual art Jenny Vogel, these students have been putting together a wonderful effort that is very exciting indeed. The imagery is stunning and the music consists of three 2-minute movements, one by each composer. I think you will be amazed at the results, and yes: it will give us yet ANOTHER way to hook into the visual-digital realm where today’s new audience for jazz lives (not to mention yet another category to enter in the Grammys!).

Here are some screen shots from “Miles of Shades”

What else? Well the possibilities seem to be truly endless. Recently, we inaugurated our first live stream concert on March 8th with the great John Clayton. I wanted to wait until we were sure we had the sound right before jumping into this arena. We ARE talking about music here after all. Through the team of UNT Recording Services and our own Chad Willis, we were able to initiate a state-of-the-art internet broadcast that gives me all KINDS of ideas! How about a monthly broadcast from Kenton Hall? Outreach concerts, composition forums, interactive classroom concerts…all brought right into schools of all types all over the country…all over the world….into the deepest reaches of the universe! Well, you see what I mean.

So, as we used to say in the last century “stay tuned”…and as we still say here at North Texas: “the best is yet to come!

PS: Of course (and to-wit) the most effective way to turn on and tune-in a new jazz audience is for the uninitiated to hear this music LIVE-and-In-PERSON. It is also the preferred method of enjoyment for most if not all jazz vets. Therefore (I’ve used up my monthly allotment of “to-wit” just sayin’…D’OH just used up “just sayin’! D’OH…oops just, ok, ok, enough) the One O’Clock Lab Band will continue to play as many gigs all around DFW and the world as university classes will allow. Watch for us soon at a hip venue near YOU!