Saturday, December 26, 2015

Adventurous Programming Award

Chamber Music America and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers have for the second time selected the Steve Griggs Ensemble for an Adventurous Programming Award. This honor recognizes the ensemble's programs that blend history and original music to recognize important but often overlooked stories in Seattle (A Cup of Joe Brazil, Panama Hotel Jazz, Listen to Seattle, and Sound in Stone). The award will be presented at the CMA conference in New York City on January 10.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Jubilee for Joe Brazil at Boxley's

Boxley's in North Bend will be hosting a Jubilee for Joe Brazil in commemoration of Joe's passing on August 6, 2008. Come listen to saxophonist Steve Griggs, guitarist Milo Petersen, bassist Chuck Kistler, and drummer Greg Williamson on August 7 at Boxley's, 101 W North Bend Way, North Bend, WA 98045.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Stokely Carmichael

Seattle P-I photo
Yesterday I listened to a 1967 tape of Stokely Carmichael addressing a full gymnasium of supporters at Garfield High School in Seattle. The transcript can be found at The tape is part of the Joe Brazil Collection. Stokely also spoke to 3,000 people at the University of Washington. Stokely talks about Beethoven being black. Joe said the same thing a few years later at Whitman College.

Maupin Meets Coltrane at Brazil's House

Detroit saxophonist Bennie Maupin talks about meeting John Coltrane at Joe Brazil's house. (Thanks to Chris Devito for sharing this information)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Detroit House Today

This is Joe Brazil's house in Detroit. His neighbor told me that the musicians would enter and exit from the door on the side that led into the basement. There used to be a fence that obscured the doorway. One New Year's Eve, several folks fired guns in the back yard. The vinyl siding is missing now because a woman in the neighborhood is stealing it.

Joe said in an interview that bassist Paul Chambers lived here with him. I wonder if Paul Chambers introduced Joe to John Coltrane when Paul and John were visiting Detroit in Miles Davis' band.

In the last few years Joe lived in Detroit, he shared the house with bassist Ali Jackson.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Program from Homegoing Celebration

"As the Music Historian he would wish for us all to study our history, listen to music and to support local musicians." - Virginia Brazil

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Performance at Jack Straw

Grateful for the attentive audience and passionate performance at Jack Straw on January 14. It is a joy to share the story of Joe Brazil with people unfamiliar with his life. Jay Thomas, pictured here on trumpet, played his first jam session with Joe. Susan Pascal, vibraphonist out of the frame to the right, is married to Dave Pascal, who worked in a band with Joe. In the audience was a student from one of Joe's History of Jazz classes. Stories of musicians are a backbone of the jazz tradition. Blending new music and old stories is at the heart of my artistic practice. Thanks to Jack Straw for supporting this project through discounted studio time.