To survive and prosper, jazz needs musicians — wise and heartfelt — and audiences who have the same qualities. But it also needs venues and promoters who will make it possible for musicians to improvise where people can hear them. We’ve had Norman Granz; George Wein is still with us. But a new face has entered the scene, with characteristic enthusiasm. Ricky Riccardi, whom we know and love as Louis Armstrong scholar and archivist, writer and blogger, pianist and enthusiast — has begun producing a series of concerts in Toms River, New Jersey, that begins this Wednesday at 8 with a concert by Mona’s Hot Four: Dennis Lichtman, Jared Engel, Gordon Webster, Nick Russo — AND — Tamar Korn. Future concerts will present Dan Levinson, Mike Davis, Kevin Dorn, Molly Ryan, and others. For information, click here. For video evidence of just how wonderful Mona’s Hot Four (this time with guests) is, try here.
Toms River, New Jersey, isn’t noted reverently in the jazz histories as the Cradle or even the Bassinet of Jazz. But things will change!
May your happiness increase!