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Who is @JazzIsTheWorst?

Alex Marianyi
Contributing Writer
alex.marianyi[at]gmail.com / @alexmarianyi

@JazzIsTheWorst might be the killingest jazz-related thing on the internet since jazz robots. It’s so killing, in fact, it has garnered followers such as Christian McBride, Nate Smith, and NPR’s A Blog Supreme.

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Justefan's 'The Prelude' EP

Alex Marianyi
Contributing Writer
alex.marianyi[at]gmail.com / @alexmarianyi

I got a chance to sit down with Justin “Justefan” Thomas the other day before his performance with Orbert Davis at the Symphony Center here in Chicago. The Baltimore native talked a bit about his choice in instrument. When he was eight, he walked into the music room and saw a xylophone sitting on two garbage cans, the perfect height for a kid. “Right from the beginning, I knew it was the instrument I wanted to play. It was like a piano you could hit!”

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For Your Consideration: Geof Bradfield's 'Melba!'

Alex Marianyi
Contributing Writer
alex.marianyi[at]gmail.com / @alexmarianyi

Kansas City Child. Central Avenue. Dizzy Gillespie. Randy Weston. Detroit / Kingston. Homecoming. This is the story of Melba Liston’s life as told by Chicago-based saxophonist and composer Geof Bradfield. Liston’s is a story not often told, but she was an extremely unique trombonist and composer with a special gift for bringing out the best in those she collaborated with. Bradfield framed this suite of music, as presented on his album Melba!, around the two big collaborations in her life.

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Do We Really Need Jazz Appreciation Month?

Alex Marianyi
Contributing Writer
alex.marianyi[at]gmail.com / @alexmarianyi

Anthony Dean-Harris may be bad at holidays, but I’m even worse. I didn’t know until I read his post on the 4th of April that it was Jazz Appreciation Month. As an atheist, many religious holidays are lost on me, and I don’t really like being reminded every year of how young/old I am. I’m usually a big proponent of celebrating every day, month, and year equally; so, upon reading ADH’s post, I thought, “Should I support Jazz Appreciation Month? Do we even really need it?”

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The Jazz Musician of the Future

Alex Marianyi
Contributing Writer
alex.marianyi[at]gmail.com / @alexmarianyi

The successful 21st-century jazz musician often employs many different revenue streams in order to pay bills, buy food, and ultimately fund a music habit. Sure, there are the lucky few who merely perform and record or those who have a lucrative teaching position at a college or university, but for the rest, they must scrape together a living doing a wide array of different music-related and other activities.