(Sept. 1, 1 PM) is a multi-reedist and educator
who studied with Alvin Batiste at the Southern University Jazz Institute
in Baton Rouge and received his graduate degree at the University
of Michigan School of Music. He has toured and performed in the U.S.,
Europe and Japan and is a former member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra.
York is a much sought after musician in the Detroit area and has been
Musical Director for Martha Reeves. His own group, New York Force,
has performed at Montreux-Detroit and other jazz festivals. There
are two recordings under his own name: "Blending Forces" and "Opening
and Focusing the Vision." He has been a jazz instructor at the Center
for Creative Studies, Wayne State University, Mott Community College,
and Ann Arbor Community High School, and he is presently Director
of the Jazz Orchestra at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor.
(Sept. 1, 5 PM) is President of the Michigan
chapter of the International Association of Jazz Educators. He was
educated at Ohio University and has a teaching career stretching back
into the late 1950s. He was Director and founder of the Jazz Studies
program at Henry Ford Community College and made the first visit to
the Montreux Festival in Switzerland in 1973. He has also taught in
area high schools, and at Schoolcraft College, Interlochen, and the
Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. His former advanced improvisation students
include young lions like tenorist Rick Margitza and bassist Bob Hurst.
(Sept. 2, 1 PM), is a Detroit-born saxophonist/composer/arranger.
He is on the faculty of the School of Music at Wayne State University,
where he is the Director of Music Management. Collins has toured much
of the world as both leader and sideman with Mel Torme, Louie Bellson,
Red Rodney, Lou Rawls, and Phil Collins, to name a few. He is sought-after
as a clinician and jazz educator since he combines performance, composing,
and communications technology. Collins has presented workshops and
master classes all over the U.S. and in Japan, Scotland, and Canada.
His two most recent CDs, "Urban Solitude" and "Time Will Tell" are
reviewed elsewhere in this newsletter.
(Sept. 2, 4:15 PM) moved to Detroit in 1947
from Monroe. He had started on the clarinet in his hometown and once
in Detroit he changed to the alto saxophone. Rodgers studied saxophone
under the world-renowned musician and educator Larry Teal, and received
degrees from Wayne State University and Eastern Michigan University.
He has performed with many top jazz performers, including Sammy Davis,
Jr., Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones
and Wynton Marsalis. In Detroit his parents started the legendary
Rapa House, an after-hours performance space for Detroit musicians.
He is the leader of three Rapa House bands varying in size from 6
to 18 pieces. His career as an educator began at Miller Middle School
and continued at Northwestern High School where he founded the Jazz
Ensemble. His former students include saxophonist James Carter and
bassists Ralphe Armstrong and Marion Hayden. He is currently teaching
in the Jazz Studies Program at Wayne State University.
(Sept. 3, 1 PM) grew up in Detroit and took
lessons from the legendary Detroit pianist Milt Buckner. In her teens
she played with Lucky Thompson and Wardell Gray, and other local stars
in the making. After graduating from Cass Tech she went on the road
with Counts and the Countess trio, including a long stint in California.
Returning to Detroit she played with Rudy Rutherford, but eventually
went back on the road. In the 1960s she added the organ to the piano
and the vibraphone and played with Lou Rawls and others. She was given
the Legends of Jazz International award in 1995. In recent years,
she has worked with her own quintet, trio and duo in clubs and recordings.
She is also a prolific composer and an effective jazz educator in
(Sept. 3, 4:15 PM) is a Detroit born bassist
and composer. She studied privately with a number of private tutors
including Detroit Symphony Orchestra bassist Stephen Molina and jazz
masters Ray McKinney and Marcus Belgrave. She has performed with a
number of jazz greats including Belgrave, Roy Brooks, Geri Allen,
Lionel Hampton, Joe Williams, Donald Byrd, Hank Jones, Barry Harris
and Kirk Lightsey. Marion is one of the founding members of Straight
Ahead, a Detroit-based group that has recorded three CDs for Atlantic
Records. She has taught at the University of Michigan, Cuyahoga Community
College and the Detroit Public Schools.
(Sept. 4, 1 PM) has been playing drums professionally
for over 25 years with, among others, Woody Herman, Al Grey and Randy
Brecker. A member of the faculty of Grand Rapids Community College,
he is the director of instrumental jazz studies and a percussion instructor.
Also a member of the faculty at Western Michigan University, Froncek
performs with the Western Jazz Quartet. He is a popular clinician
and adjudicator and is a Vice President of the Michigan Chapter of
the International Association of Jazz Educators. He fronts his own
quartet on the vibraphone and leads the "Night Band."