• Ms. Larson’s story, “The Happy Thing of Bayou de Manque,” is the winner of the 47th Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest.


  • In an interview originally published on Jerry Jazz Musician in 2014, Louis Armstrong biographer Thomas Brothers talks about his second volume devoted to the most eminent jazz musician’s life, Louis Armstrong:  Master of Modernism.


  • An open free reed.
    The winds of blues under
    Paris lights.  Crystal rain.



  • A collection of 29 poems by 18 poets celebrating love and jazz music…
  • A short story by Erin Larson
  • A Black History Month Profile: Louis Armstrong
  • "Toots Thielemans" - a poem by Roger Singer
  • A collection of poetry celebrating love and jazz
Literature » Poetry

“The Passing of a Poet” — an appreciation for Mike Faran

Poetry is a courageous art form.  No poet can possibly succeed without the willingness to create a completely transparent window into his or her soul.  A poet rarely achieves by faking it.

A successful poet’s thoughts are naked to the world, and this full-on exposure — because it is so often blunt and painful for the poet — leaves the reader with a reasonable understanding of lives led and footsteps taken (or not).  These revelations build a rewarding and intimate connection.

I have never met or spoken to Mike Faran, whose poetry I occasionally publish on Jerry Jazz Musician.  I only outwardly know him by the short biography he sent me — retired lobster trap builder from Ventura who has had some work published in journals around the country.  That’s it, really.  I don’t even have a photo of him. 

He has periodically sent me emails with a poem or two attached to them, seeking my interest in publishing them.  (“Here is another poem that I hope will meet with your approval.”) Although I haven’t published them all, they almost always

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Quiz Show » Jazz History Quiz

Jazz History Quiz #108

Though his work as pianist with the Savoy Sultans, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge and Sonny Stitt/Gene Ammons was important, he will always be most remembered as the pianist in Charlie Parker’s classic 1947 quintet.  Who is he?


Kenny Drew

Duke Jordan

Joe Albany

Duke Pearson

Tommy Flanagan

Herbie Nichols

Jaki Byard


Go to the next page for the answer!

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“Jazz Speaks for Life” — Martin Luther King

The only known public words ever written (or spoken) by Martin Luther King about jazz are those found in this essay, written for the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival program.




God has wrought many things out of oppression. He has endowed his creatures with the capacity to create—and from this capacity has flowed the sweet songs of sorrow and joy that have allowed man to cope with his environment and many different situations.

Jazz speaks for life. The Blues tell the story of life’s difficulties, and if you think for a moment, you will realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into

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The Healing Power of Jazz

“Music can change people’s lives.  Mozart knew it.  Beethoven knew it.  Miles Davis knew it. Dizzy Gillespie knew it.  Music is what’s important.  It’s giving me life, and it is giving other people hope.”  That is the message from seventy-year-old jazz drummer Phil Young, spoken during The Healing Power of Jazz, an emotional and enriching short film by Jay Dockendorf and Kenny Sule. 

“Music has a very healing energy,” Young says.  “It deals with a force.  It’s vibrations.”  He tells a story of how music helped a

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