Remember The First Annual Jimmie Lunceford Jamboree Festival Takes Place Oct. 19-21, 2007 In Memphis,Tn...
Go To the Official Website http://www.jimmieluncefordjam.blogspot.com to find out more and how you can support this historical undertaking!!!
~Bro. Ron a.k.a. R2C2H2 Tha Artivist
Rhythm Is (Still) Their BusinessJimmie Lunceford [ above ] died in 1947, but his music lives on thanks to several current endeavors. First is a resurrected Jimmie Lunceford Legacy Orchestra; surprisingly, it's not in the United States, but, rather, in Holland. Another is a new CD by the Orchestra, "Rhythm Is Our Business," made up of 16 tracks. And third is a plan to hold a yearly Lunceford celebration in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.
According to publicity, "It was only a chance discovery of the original Lunceford band book with charts and notations in 1999, gathering dust in the Smithsonian library, that inspired Dutch saxophonist and band-leader Robert Veen to embark on an epic 8 year journey to resurrect the JLO, to record and release the first 'new' Lunceford recordings in 60 years."
Though the reformed band first appeared two years ago at the North Sea Jazz Festival held in The Netherlands, their activity is just now taking off. For example, in February 2007, they performed at the Paradiso Club in Amsterdam, and, last month, presented a three-hour show, "A Night At the Cotton Club," at the 10th annual Jazz Op Tilt Festival in Giessenburg. Additional details are at the webpage myspace.com/jimmieluncefordlegacyorchestra.
Meanwhile, in Memphis, sponsors were being sought for a three-day celebration, "The Jimmie Lunceford Jamboree Festival," to take place October 19th through the 21st at various locations around the city.
According to organizer Ronald Herd II, planned events include an opening symposium at Manassas High School, discussing Lunceford's life and career; a tribute concert; and a wreath-laying ceremony at Lunceford's gravesite in Elmwood Cemetery. For more information, view the website jimmieluncefordjam.blogspot.com.
It was stated that the purpose of the Festival is "To Honor And Bring Awareness To The Forgotten And Impressive Legacy And Achievements Of Jimmie Lunceford," credited, among other things, for being "The First High School Band Orchestra Leader/Conductor In The History Of The Memphis City Schools."
Author Eddy Determeyer, in his recent Lunceford biography, Rhythm Is Our Business (Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press, 2006), wrote that "In 1927, Lunceford was one of the world's first, if not the first to teach jazz at a school."
Lunceford had been hired that year to teach English, Spanish, music, and athletics at Manassas High School in Memphis. He organized a student band there, called The Chickasaw Syncopators, which took its name from the African-American neighborhood where most of the students lived.
"Jimmie Lunceford taught his students jazz history, dance band harmony, dynamics and blending, the use of mutes, how to build a solo, and rhythm," Determeyer explained. "He used a Victrola to have them analyze how other, well-established dance orchestras performed."
Under Lunceford's leadership, The Chickasaw Syncopators turned professional and, by 1933, were billed as his own orchestra.
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