PHOENIX (Nov. 2, 2012) The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) will mark the opening of four jazz-focused exhibits and a traveling photography exhibition with “All That Jazz” month, a celebration of jazz music and its history throughout November.
The Jazz exhibit, which opened in May, is one of the largest genre exhibits in the museum. MIM, a Smithsonian Affiliate, borrowed several instruments from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History for display including clarinets played by legendary artists Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, and a trombone played by J. J. Johnson. Other important historical pieces include a trumpet mouthpiece and mute used by Miles Davis and a guitar played by Charlie Christian. Three more jazz-centered exhibits have recently been added. Guests can now see a cornet associated with Louis Armstrong (also from the Smithsonian collection) in the Early Jazz exhibit, a beaded gown and lyric sheets owned by Ella Fitzgerald in the Women in Jazz exhibit, and timbales on loan to MIM from Eddie Palmieri as well as a saxophone played by Mario Bauzá in the Latin Jazz exhibit.
The celebration kicks off with “All That Jazz” weekend from November 9 to 11. An extraordinary way to experience jazz culture, the weekend will highlight the music, musicians, musical instruments, and stories behind MIM’s jazz exhibits. Curatorial talks, presentations by specials guests from the Smithsonian Institution and the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, and live music by local jazz groups will be available throughout the weekend, all free with museum admission. One event of note is a lecture about Louis Armstrong by Dr. John Edward Hasse, curator of American music at the National Museum of American History, on Saturday afternoon. The lecture was made possible in part by the Arizona Humanities Council. Another not-to-be-missed curatorial talk, led by MIM curator Dr. Daniel Piper, will discuss the intersection of jazz and Afro-Cuban music, with special guests Juno Award winner Jane Bunnett, Cuban piano virtuoso Hilario Durán, and 93-year-old legendary Cuban conguero Candido on Sunday afternoon. Visit MIM.org for a full schedule.
In addition to the activities during “All That Jazz” weekend, MIM will host “Take Five: A Journey through Jazz History” on Thursday, November 8. This evening fundraising event includes wine, delicious hors d’oeuvres, and a dessert, all inspired by and paired with genres of jazz. MIM curator Dr. Cullen Strawn will serve as the benefit’s emcee, providing fascinating commentary on the history and progression of jazz through the years. Entertainment will be headlined by Grammy-winning guitarist/producer Marty Ashby and feature a handpicked quartet of local musicians on trumpet, saxophone, bass, and drums, playing styles ranging from Dixieland to Latin jazz. Tickets are $95 per person and seating is limited to 150 people. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 480.478.6000. This event is sponsored in part by the Capital Grille and Creative Event Rentals, Inc.
On Friday, November 9, MIM will present a special screening of the award-winning film “The Girls in the Band,” which tells the stories of female jazz and big-band instrumentalists from the late 1930s to the present. The film will be followed by a Q&A session with filmmaker Judy Chaikin and musicians Roz Cron, Noriko Ueda, and Tomoko Ohno, who are featured in the film. The film screening is free with museum admission and free for MIM’s Circle of Friends donors, or $10 for the screening only.
Later in the month, on November 21, MIM will welcome a new exhibition in the Target Gallery, “Portraits from the Golden Age of Jazz: Photographs by William Gottlieb.” Gottlieb photographed the jazz scene of the 1930s and 1940s for his columns in the Washington Post, Down Beat magazine, and other publications. The negatives were stored for more than 30 years until Gottlieb’s retirement in 1979, when he began printing them. Gottlieb is now one of the most honored jazz photographers of all time, and his subjects included Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Stan Kenton, among many others. MIM will showcase instruments from its own collection and video footage of many of the featured musicians alongside 71 photographs, which will be on display through April 6, 2013. KJZZ-FM, a Tempe-based radio station featuring a mix of local and NPR news, entertainment, jazz, and blues, will serve as the exhibition’s media sponsor. Entrance to the exhibition is free with museum admission.
MIM is also honoring jazz with a variety of concerts in the MIM Music Theater throughout the month. Musical duo Ivory & Gold will perform on Wednesday, November 7, and the DIVA Jazz Trio, with special guest Grace Kelly, will perform on Saturday, November 10. Latin Jazz fans are in for a treat when Bunnett, Durán, and Candido (all taking part in the curatorial talk on Sunday, November 11) come together for a performance on Monday, November 12. On Tuesday, November 13, MIM presents “An Evening with Branford Marsalis.” Marsalis, an NEA Jazz Master, Grammy-winning saxophonist, and Tony Award nominee, is one of the most revered instrumentalists of his time. The month concludes with four performances of the Manhattan Transfer Holiday Show. The Grammy-winning jazz vocal ensemble will perform two shows each on Thursday, November 29, and Friday, November 30. Times and ticket prices vary by show.
The Musical Instrument Museum is located at 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard in Phoenix (corner of Tatum and Mayo Boulevards, just south of Loop 101). Please visit MIM.org or call 480.478.6000 for more information.
MIM enriches the world community by collecting, preserving, and making accessible high-quality musical instruments, images, and music from every country in the world. We celebrate our world’s diverse musical cultures and foster global understanding by offering our guests an incomparable interactive experience, a welcome and fun environment, dynamic programming, and exceptional musical performances.
Erin Miller, Media Relations Manager