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Fred Anderson's 80th B-Day @ Velvet Lounge

Check out the Fred Anderson 80th Birthday Festival in Chicago, IL starting Wednesday 18 March, 2009 thru the actual birthday party on Sunday 22 March, 2009 (a.k.a Velvet Lounge “Bail-out” Festival); these are ticketed events. An additional non-ticketed kick-off gig on Sunday, March 15 features the AACM Great Black Music Ensemble, and an encore bonus gig on Wednesday, March 25 @ the Hideout will also be happening.

All proceeds are donations to benefit the Velvet Lounge.There are only a total of 78 tickets for sale each night, the club's legal capacity is exactly 100 and the tickets are available only at the Velvet Lounge, during normal business hours (847-917-0776), or call the Velvet (312-791-9050) to make an appointment to drop by at a more convenient time.

Full schedule follows:

Sunday, March 15, 7pm-9pm ($15/note new time):
AACM Great Black Music Ensemble
with artistic director Mwata Bowden featuring original compositions dedicated to Fred Anderson and special guest appearance by Fred Anderson

Wednesday, March 18, 8:30pm ($20 in advance): Wednesday Masters Series Tribute

SET I—Richard Davis & Willie Pickens

SET II (10pm)—Edwin Daugherty/Ari Brown/Dawi Williams/Dushun Mosley with special guests Douglas R. Ewart & Henry Grimes

Thursday, March 19, 8:30pm ($20 in advance): Justin Dillard Tribute

SET I—Justin Dillard & the D-O-3-O Organ Trio (Dave Miller & Cliff Wallace) with special guest
Mike Moynihan

SET II (10pm)—Kahil El’ Zabar Trio (Justin Dillard & Junius Paul) with special guest
Ernest Dawkins

Friday, March 20, 9:00pm ($30 in advance/note special time): Asian Improv Records Tribute

SET I—Chicago Clarinet Quartet featuring Jeff Chan, Mwata Bowden, Ed Wilkerson and special guest Jimmy Ellis

SET II (10:30pm)—Tatsu Aoki & Miyumi Project “Big Band Edition” with special guests
Jeff Chan, Ed Wilkerson, Jimmy Ellis, Jeff Parker & Avreeayl Ra

SET III (12am)—Fred Anderson, Jeff Parker, Tatsu Aoki & Chad Taylor

Saturday, March 21, 8:00pm ($35 in advance/note special time): “Blackout Festival” Tribute*

SET I—Ernest Dawkins & the New Horizons Ensemble (Steve Berry, Darius Savage, Isaiah Spencer) with special guest Corey Wilkes

SET II (9:30pm)—Dee Alexander Quartet (Miguel de la Cerna, Harrison Bankhead,
Frank Parker Jr.) with special guest Nicole Mitchell

SET III (11pm)—Ari Brown Quartet (Kirk Brown, Yosef ben Israel, Avreeayl Ra) with special guest
Pharez Whitted

SET IV (12:30am)—“Jam for Fred” with above plus special guests Hamiet Bluiett,
Henry Grimes, Kidd Jordan & more

*Presenting the First Annual Chicago Creative Excellence in Music Awards. Nominations @

Sunday, March 22, 7:00pm ($35 in advance/note special time): Fred Anderson’s 80th Birthday Party!

SET I—Fred Anderson, Jeff Parker, Harrison Bankhead & Hamid Drake with special guest
Kidd Jordan

SET II (8:30pm)—same as above w/ special guests Billy Brimfield, Henry Grimes & Chad Taylor

SET III (10pm)—“Free Jazz Jam” with all above plus surprise special guests

SET IV (11:30pm….)—Isaiah Spencer & the Velvet Jam All-Stars featuring Kevin Nabors,
Chris McBride & Junius Paul followed by the Velvet Lounge Jazz Jam….

Encore Bonus Gig

Wednesday, March 25, 9:30pm:

Immediate Sound Series Tribute @ the Hideout

1354 W. Wabansia Ave Chicago—773) 227-4433

TWO SETS—Fred Anderson, Harrison Bankhead & Tim Daisy

Louie Bellson, Jazz Drummer Gone At 84Yrs

Italian-American Jazz drummer, Louie Bellson (actual name: Luigi Paulino Alfredo Francesco Antonio Balassoni), once married to Pearl Bailey, passed away on Saturday February 14th, 2009 at the age of 84 years.

One of the great drummers of all time (and one of the few whose name can be said in the same sentence with Buddy Rich), Louie Bellson has the rare ability to continually hold one's interest throughout a 15-minute solo. He became famous in the 1950s for using two bass drums simultaneously, but Bellson was never a gimmicky or overly bombastic player. In addition to being able to drive a big band to exciting effect, Bellson can play very quietly with a trio and sound quite satisfied.

At age 15, Bellson pioneered the double-bass drum set-up.
Winner of the Slingerland Gene Krupa talent contest at age 17, he won out over 40,000 contestants in that drum competition. Bellson was with the big bands of Benny Goodman (1943 and 1946), Tommy Dorsey (1947-49) and Harry James (1950-51) before replacing Sonny Greer with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. A talented writer, Bellson contributed "Skin Deep" and "The Hawk Talks" to Duke's permanent repertoire. He married Pearl Bailey in 1952 and the following year left Ellington to be her musical director. Bellson toured with Jazz at the Philharmonic (1954-55), recorded many dates in the 1950s for Verve and was with the Dorsey Brothers (1955-56), Count Basie (1962), Duke Ellington (1965-66) and Harry James (1966). He has been continually active up to his death, leading big bands (different ones on the East and West Coasts), putting together combos for record dates, giving clinics for younger drummers and writing new music. Bellson has recorded extensively for Roulette (early '60s), Concord, Pablo and most recently Music Masters. Bellson led his own orchestra almost steadily for more than forty years. His last band was called the Big Band Explosion.
A Louie Bellson Drum Solo From 1957:

Mangione Jazzmen Niewood & Mellet Die In Crash

Gerry Niewood

Coleman Mellet

Chuck Mangione

On February 13th, 2009 the lives of Mangione jazz musicians Gerry Niewood, 64, of Rochester, N.Y., and Coleman Mellett of Maryland were taken in a plane crash. Niewood played saxophone and flute and Mellett was a guitarist. In a statement, flugelhorn jazz great Chuck Mangione said: “I’m in shock over the horrible, heartbreaking tragedy of the crash of Flight 3407, which took the lives of my dear friends and band members. I am grieving and praying with their families and friends.” Mangione and his band were scheduled to perform Friday with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at Kleinhans Music Hall. The concert has been postponed. All 49 people on board and one person on the ground were killed in the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 from Newark, N.J. The cause of the disaster was under investigation. It has been conjectured that the plane was on auto-pilot at the time, a possible abuse of FAA policy. (source:AP)

Gerry Niewood Solo With Chuck Mangione:

Thirty Second Coleman Mellet Solo with Mangione's Band: