Ohio Jazz: Musicians with roots here given their due

Andrew King reviewed Ohio Jazz in the June 17, 2012, edition of The Columbus Dispatch.
A few excerpts:

“We’re not trying to say that Ohio invented jazz, but if you look at its evolution . . . those were Ohioans doing those things,” [David] Meyers said. “Most of these musicians leave Ohio to make it big, so they’re associated with wherever they end up, but their roots are in Ohio.”

Robert Breithaupt — a music professor at Capital University, a drummer in the Columbus Jazz Orchestra and a board member of the Jazz Education Network told King that the authors of Ohio Jazz “have dedicated a significant part of their lives to documenting this music for the benefit of others.” He added, “It’s very important documentation because apparently we’re going to need to leave it to dedicated individuals like these to fill in the gaps that other academic work hasn’t done.”



“Book explores Buckeye State’s rich jazz history” – Kevin Parks, This Week

A few excerpts from Kevin’s article:

“Some people might think the history of jazz in Ohio could barely fill a two-page pamphlet,” wrote Kevin Parks in This Week. “They would be wrong.”

In essence, that is the message of Ohio Jazz: A History of Jazz in the Buckeye State. Much too often, Ohio is barely mentioned in the standard histories of jazz. However, the challenge for the authors was, “what do we leave out?”

“The genesis for the book dates back to the first of several collaborations by the quartet, a 1999 exhibition at the Ohio Historical Society titled ‘Ohio Jazz!’  It remained on display for a year until portions of it were moved to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

“‘We’ve added a lot of stuff to it, especially individuals’ names and biographies,’ said Loeffler of Worthington, who added he’s been involved in the jazz scene in Ohio ‘since I was in the womb, practically.'”

“Loeffler added he hopes the book will ‘alert the residents of Ohio as to what they have and how they have influenced the music in the nation and the rest of the world.'”

Ohio Jazz: A History of Jazz in the Buckeye State, which retails for $19.99, is available at local bookstores and at the website historypress.net.



Ohio Jazz: A History of Jazz in the Buckeye State

The history of jazz is largely the story of a few key cities–none in Ohio. As a result, most jazz historians give short shrift to the Buckeye State, regarding it as a go-through rather than a go-to place. However, the fact is that jazz has been practiced in Ohio and with a vengeance. For thirty years, these authors have been researching and documenting the history of music, particularly jazz in Ohio. Their 1999 “Jazz Ohio!” exhibit at the Ohio Historical Society ran for twelve months before portions of it were moved to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The exhibit inspired this book, and much of what you will read here has never before been brought together in one place–and it may well change the way you think about jazz. And Ohio.

The authors of Ohio Jazz: A History of Jazz in the Buckeye State previously collaborated on Columbus, The Musical Crossroads (Arcadia, 2008) and Listen for the Jazz: Key Notes in Columbus History (Arts Foundation of Olde Towne, 1990 92). David Meyers has spent nearly thirty years documenting the history of music in central Ohio and was formerly host of Bring ‘Em Back Alive, a weekly radio program on local music history. An artist and community activist, Candice Watkins is a driving force behind two of the city’s largest annual music festivals: Hot Times and ComFest.

Arnett Howard, arguably the best-known musician in Columbus, has devoted much of the past three decades to interviewing many of the pioneering jazz musicians in the community. And James Loeffler, former publisher of the Antique Review, is a well-known collector of jazz recordings and is a board member and former president of the Central Ohio Hot Jazz Society.

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