Sunday, July 24, 2011

Jay in the Times and On Stage

One of the nicer people to wield mallets, Jay Hoggard spends a good deal of time teaching Wesleyan University students about jazz, jazz history and leading the Wesleyan Big Band.  When he's not on campus, he can found in venues around the country, working with Bill Cosby and various other ensembles. He, also leads his own group and will be performing several times in August and September, including heading the New Haven Jazz Festival on Saturday August 13 (it's a free afternoon and evening of music.)

Before that, he'll appear this Monday night (July 25) in Hartford,  Jazz in Bushnell Park series.  With his long-time musical compatriot James Weidman (piano), they'll be "Paying Tribute to the Great Abbey Lincoln", the wonderful vocalist and songwriter who passed 11 months ago.  Joining them will Bruce Cox (drums), Brad Jones (bass) and Leena Conquest (vocals.)  Ms. Lincoln amassed quite a songbook over her 4+ decades as a singer so this concert looks to be an exciting evening. Opening the show at 6 p.m. will be the UMOJA Ensemble with the headliners onstage at 7:30 p.m.  If you are unable to attend, tune in to WWUH 91.3 FM or online at  In case of bad weather, the show moves indoors to Asylum Hill Congregational Church, 814 Asylum Avenue. For more information, go to

One of Professor Hoggard's students was profiled in today's Sunday New York Times (here is the link -  Chris Dingman came to Wesleyan in 1998 as a drummer and soon switched to vibraphone at his Professor's suggestion.  After graduation, he attended the Thelonious Monk Institute (at that time, based in Los Angeles, California) and began a career as a professional musician. Wes grad Steve Lehman (saxophone) hired him and Dingman has appeared on several of his CDs as well as being a member of his touring group.  Earlier this year, Dingman self-released his debut CD, "Waking Dreams", and it is one of the best recordings of this (or any recent) year (my review is here.)  Professor Hoggard and the Wesleyan Music Department gets a good deal of credit in helping young Mr. Dingman on his way.  Check it out!

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