Archive for March, 2010


Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues Contest Week 2.

March 24, 2010

This week competition again comes in two parts and has two prizes. This week you can win a Wreckhouse International Jazz and Blues 2010 Festival pass and the CD of Brandi Disterheft’s album ‘Debut’.

To have a chance to win the CD you will have to answer the following question,

Brandi Disterheft plays on one of the JUNO nominated albums this year. What is the albums name and who is it by?

To win the Festival pass you will have to answer the previous question plus be a member of our facebook group and a follower of ours on twitter.

As a helpful hint the answer to the question is located somewhere on te Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues Blog

All entries must be emailed to no later than Tuesday 30th of March (12pm NT). Please state if you are signed up to any of our social networks. Winners will be announced on Tuesday 30th of March.

Good Luck


Volunteer of the Week

March 23, 2010

Laura Nelson-Hamilton

Each week, WJB profiles one of its volunteers as part of its commitment to recognizing all their selfless contributions to our cause. This week, our featured volunteer is Laura Nelson-Hamilton.

Laura is a relative newcomer to WJB, but she’s just getting started!  During last year’s Festival, Laura helped out by working the merchandise table at three of our events, an experience that she calls ‘amazing’!  Laura remains enthusiastic about volunteering with Festivals to come, looking forward to contribute even more in 2010.  Well, WJB will be happy to welcome you back!

Outside of her involvement as a WJB volunteer, Laura donates her time to several other community-based organizations.  For example, she currently works with a student organization called Meal Exchange, which raises funds for community food service agencies.  Laura is also helping to organize a Meal Exchange student conference to take place this July in Toronto.

Laura is a Master of Women’s Studies candidate at Memorial University.  Her research focuses on the intersection of gender, social class, physical capacity and previous gardening experience with their participation in community gardening projects.

Laura, we’re looking forward to working with you in 2010!  Best of luck to you, WJB’s Volunteer of the Week!


Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues Contest Winners

March 23, 2010

The winners of the Wreckhouse Interantional Jazz and Blues Festival pass and the Shuffle Demons Greatest Hits CD are:

Taryn Stone – Festival Pass

Mary Pike – Shuffle Demons CD

You can win another festival pass and the Brandi Disterheft album ‘Debut’ in this weeks cotest. Keep following this blog and twitter for further details.

For this weeks contest click here


New Orleans: The Birth Place of Jazz – The Early Days.

March 23, 2010

New Orleans is world renowned as the birthplace of jazz but how did this innovative and influential form of music come about in this city?

The history of New Orleans is a diverse and eventful one. The control of the city had switched back and forth between France and Spain until its sale to the United States in 1803. The already culturally diverse city was flooded with English speaking people from more northern states, bringing with them slaves and other ethnic groups.

From this melting pot of peoples came an eclectic mix of music. After the civil war brass marching bands became the popular music of the day. At around the same time in New Orleans the styles of Cake Walks and Minstrel Shows were becoming popular. New Orleans was also becoming known as a party city with numerous attractions, river boat tours and a liberal attitude to policing.

Jazz was further able to thrive in New Orleans due to the high demand for musicians. Music was traditionally played at almost all events from births through to funerals. This made being a musician quite a lucrative career. This abundance of musicians and the skills they had, allowed for innovation and the rapid development of jazz music.

A hub of Jazzes development and growth was in an area of the city named Storyville. Storyville was the the part of New Orleans where gambling, drinking and prostitution were all legal. Many brothels would hire a jazz pianist or small band to play in the salon areas of the establishments. Future jazz greats like Lous Armstrong began their careers playing in these establishments, allowing them to hone their craft as full time musicians.

There were multiple styles of jazz that developed in New Orleans such as Ragtime and Dixieland. Read more in the coming weeks about New Orleans Jazz and the styles and musicians it produced.


City of St. John’s Tourism Awards Nominations

March 22, 2010

The City of St. John’s will honour the very best in the tourism industry at its 19th Annual Tourism Awards Ceremony in June. Nominations are now being accepted for the five annual awards.  At the bottom of the page you can find the nomination criteria and nomination form.

If you know a person, group, or organization to nominate please submit directly to the City of St. John’s by the deadline of April 14th, 2010.

2010 Tourism Awards Nomination Criteria

2010 Tourism Awards Nomination Form


Years in Jazz: 1959

March 22, 2010

The year began with a bang as Fidel Castro lead his armed revolt to victory against Fulgencio Batista regime in Cuba. This heralded a time of unease in the United States and the fear of a Red invasion.  The year ended with another revolution the release of the Sony transistor TV, not only a ground breaking innovation but also signaling Japans future lead in technological innovation. It was also a momentous year in Jazz, with the release of several influential albums.

1959 saw the development of modal improvisations on Miles Davis’ album ‘Kind of Blue’. Previously musicians would have improvised over a repeated chord progression written throughout the song. With the advent of modal improvisation songs starting being written using modal scales rather than chord sequences giving the musicians greater freedom to improvise. Davis broke the traditional conventions of jazz and produced a classic album. (To find out more about modal improvisations visit Link )

1959 was the year that Ornette Coleman introduced free jazz or the avant garde to the masses through his album ‘The Shape of Jazz to Come’. Coleman wanted his musicians to forget the conventional rules of jazz and just play. It took the modal improvisations on Miles Davis’ album further dispensing with the chordal conventions completely. This album became the springboard for other artists in the exploration of Jazz. (To find out more about avant garde/free jazz visit Link)

1959 was a year of change and innovation not only in global events but also in the world of Jazz. It was a year that influenced the future decades and can be looked as a immense year for music.

Notable Jazz albums recorded or released in 1959

– Miles Davis – Kind of Blue

– Miles Davis – Sketches of Spain

– Ornette Coleman – The Shape of Jazz to Come

– John Coltrane – Giant Steps

– The Dave Brubeck Quintet – Time out

– Charles Mingus – Mingus Ah Um

– Duke Ellington – Anatomy of Murder

– Bill Evans Trio – Portrait in Jazz

– Ella Fitzgerald – Sings The George and Ira Gershwin Songbook

– Horace Silver – Blowin’ the Blues Away


H’sao Videos

March 22, 2010

Here is a small selection of music by the group H’sao

%d bloggers like this: