Baltimore Jazz Conference 2020

When: Saturday, October 17th, 2020

Where: Zoom – private link available on registration

Registration is no longer available – thanks everyone for making it a great event!

Baltimore Jazz Alliance is pleased to present the 2nd Baltimore Jazz Conference, a free event for Baltimore area performers, presenters, and jazz lovers. This year’s lineup features topics ranging from jazz history to fundraising; from tools and strategies for presenting music during the pandemic, to music licensing; from tips for engaging the audience, to a special listening session with Baltimore Kissa Society. Plus we have special live (streamed) music performances throughout the day.

Here is the day’s lineup – all sessions will be recorded, so if you are torn between two simultaneous sessions, you will be able to choose one and come back later and see what you missed.

12:00 pm

Welcome to the Baltimore Jazz Conference

Join us for a few words about the Baltimore Jazz Alliance and how it can help you – including our recently introduced member grants program – and about how this event will be managed throughout the day. This meeting will remain open through the first couple of hours – if you have questions about how to navigate the conference, or just want to say hi, or to ask questions about the BJA or anything else, join this meeting and give us a shout.
12:30 pm

Jazz & Activism

Panelists Darius Scott, Savino Palumbo, and Jamal Moore lead a discussion on the intersection of jazz and activism. Bring your questions and ideas to this discussion, and join the conversation!

Funding Options for the Jazz Community

Join Laura Weiss and Emily Sollenberger from the MD State Arts Council, and Jess Porter from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, in a discussion of the current landscape of funding for the arts in Maryland.
1:45 pm

Livestream: Jamal Moore

Grab your lunch and enjoy this special live set with the Jamal Moore Duo, live from Sunspot Studios.
2:30 pm

History and Highlights of the Left Bank Jazz Society

Panelists John Fowler, Michael Cherigo, and Bertrand Uberall discuss Baltimore’s famous Left Bank Jazz Society.

Baltimore Kissa Society: The Kids Are Alright, Mate

The Baltimore Kissa Society invites you to a virtual listening party exploring some of the exciting new names emerging from the London jazz scene. Presenter Alexander Jarman will share vinyl recordings of recent releases from Yussef Dayes, Kamaal Williams, The Ezra Collective, Nubya Garcia, and more. Attendees are invited to bring a recommendation for new music releases or their favorite cocktail.

Pulling the Curtain Back on Music Licensing and Performing Rights

Dan Spears from BMI talks about performing rights organizations and what they mean to you.
3:30 pm

Livestream: Justin Taylor

Enjoy this special performance by the Justin Taylor Trio, live at Blue House.
4:00 pm

Presenting in a Pandemic

Join this panel discussion with some of Baltimore’s foremost jazz presenters in the COVID-19 era. Henry Wong (An die Musik), Barbara Grubbs (Contemporary Arts), Cheryl Goodman (Your Girl Cheryl), and Ed Hrybyk (independent artist and presenter) share their experiences and ideas on how to rethink presenting live jazz in the midst of a global pandemic.

Listening to Jazz

Visual artist Jerry Prettyman leads a discussion about how to listen to jazz.

Music Business and Law

Attorney Francine C. Diggs of MD Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, and Michael Smith of the Carlton Music Group, lead a discussion of topics relating to the business and law of music – bring your questions!
5:00 pm

Engaging the Audience

Join Rufus Roundtree and Rodney Kelley, two of Baltimore’s most engaging entertainers, for an open discussion on how (and why) to engage with your audience.

Meet Todd Barkan

Meet NEA Jazz Master Todd Barkan, proprietor of Keystone Korner Baltimore, and formerly of the storied Keystone Korner in San Francisco, in a discussion about his years in the jazz business and his thoughts and plans for jazz in Baltimore.

FAQs about Online Playing

Methods for collaborating with other musicians on projects are in rapid flux and development these days. While ultimate solutions may have to wait 5G or some other breakthrough technology, there are a few stable solutions available for musical collaboration. Musician/Sound Designer David Crandall will look at a few of these methods. (Download some information to be discussed here.)
6:00 pm

Final Wrap

We’ll hang around a little longer here – if you want to find out how to get more information from any of our presenters, or about the BJA, or about the jazz scene in Baltimore, or just want to give us some feedback on the event, stop in and talk to us!.

This free program is brought to you by Baltimore Jazz Alliance with support from the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts as part of Free Fall Baltimore.

~~~ About our presenters ~~~

(bios not available for all presenters)

Darius Scott has worked regularly and recorded with several regional groups including a dedicated tenure with D.C.’s Grammy nominated Michael Thomas Quintet, several multi-year engagements with The Antonio Parker Quartet at HR-57 in DC, and with the legendary Allen Houser Quintet at Bertha’s in Fell’s Point. Darius enjoyed a privileged 3 years in the piano chair rotation with Baltimore’s piping hot latin-jazz group Rumba Club, and 7 years as the regular pianist with a creative Baltimore jazz ensemble, the Al Maniscalco Quartet. Darius has also enjoyed a growing collaborative performing and recording relationship with swingin’ bassist Kent Miller.

It is Darius’ good fortune to have been a regular sideman for several very busy and high quality groups in the Baltimore-Washington area. Notably with the Baltimore hard-bop quintet the Todd Butler Group, D.C.’s Popular Latin Jazz Group La Jazz, and is also often in the house rhythm section at Westminster Church in D.C. From 2003 to 2008, the Resolution Trio performed on most Thursday and Friday nights at Sascha’s 527 in Baltimore. More recently, Darius has been the frequent house pianist for Clarence Ward III’s The Session on Monday nights.
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Laura Weiss is the Program Director, Arts Services at the Maryland State Arts Council. She comes to the Maryland State Arts Council with 13 years of non-profit arts management experience. Previous to MSAC, Laura was a long-time administrative staff member at Everyman Theatre in Baltimore. During her tenure there, she served in multiple roles including Associate Director of Marketing and Media Relations, Special Assistant to the Artistic and Managing Directors, and Development Operations Manager. Laura holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Musical Theatre from The Catholic University of America. She is a Baltimore area native, having grown up in Towson and attending Carver Center for Arts and Technology for high school. The arts have always played an important role in Laura’s life, and she is proud to support individual artists and arts organizations across the State in her role as Program Director for Arts Services at the Maryland State Arts Council.
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Emily Sollenberger is the Program Director, Arts Services at the Maryland State Arts Council, where she works with a team who encourages and invests in the advancement of the arts for all Marylanders. Emily works directly with arts organizations and individual artists across the state through grant programs that are offered. Prior to MSAC, Emily raised funds for nonprofit arts organizations rooted in Baltimore, including Maryland Art Place, Baltimore Clayworks, and most recently, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts. Emily obtained her Master of Arts in Arts Administration from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and her Bachelor of Arts in Art and Business from Muskingum College.
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Jess Porter is a Program Officer at Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) based in Baltimore, MD. As one of the nation’s six Regional Arts Organizations, MAAF’s mission is to nurture and fund the creation and presentation of diverse artistic expression and connects people to meaningful arts experiences within our region and beyond. Jess’s manages MAAF’s grant programs in the area of jazz and folk and traditional arts. MAAF’s Jazz initiatives include Jazz Touring Network and Living Legacy Jazz Award along with supporting a national Jazz initiative called Jazz Roads. Prior to her joining the program team at MAAF, Jess merged her passion for youth development and the arts by serving more than six years with Young Audiences of Maryland/ Arts for Learning, the nation’s largest arts education network devoted to enriching the lives of Maryland’s youth through educational and culturally-diverse arts programs. Personally, Jess continues a creative practice in visual arts and volunteers regularly with a youth-led arts entrepreneurship program, Youth-in-Business, a program at Jubilee Arts.
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In November 2020 Michael Cherigo and Michael C. Cherigo Talent will celebrate 43 years in the business of representing National Jazz, Blues and World music. In those years he has Represented/Booked/Managed in an exclusive and non-exclusive capacity some of the greatest names in this business. Some of the artists he has worked with are Dave Liebman, Joe Zawinul, Steve Khan, Nick Brignola, Chuck Mangione, Ted Curson, Eric Alexander, Vince Herring, Jim Snidero, Dave Stryker, John Abercrombie, Marc Copland, Bill O’ Connell, Sam Rivers, Chico Freeman, T.K.Blue, Greg Hatza, Hendrik Meurkens, Tomas Stanko, Walt Weiskopf, James Moody, Giacomo Gates, Dena Derose, and many others. Venues that he has worked with and booked artists in have included the Newport, Monterey, Telluride, San Jose, Ottawa,Syracuse Jazz Festivals and National Jazz Clubs such as Birdland, The Bluenote, Yoshi’s, Ethel’s in Baltimore, The Jazz Bakery, Dazzle Jazz Club, Blues Alley, Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, The Left Bank Jazz Society, and currently, The Keystone Korner and Andie Musik in Baltimore. At present he is still working and hopes to for as long as he can.
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Jazz researcher Bertrand Überall has done extensive research on the music of many notable jazz composers such as Lee Morgan, Herbie Nichols, Tadd Dameron, Wayne Shorter, Cal Massey and Duke Pearson. In the course of this work, he has uncovered a number of unrecorded pieces by these composers at the Library of Congress. Bertrand has also been conducting a research project on the Left Bank Jazz Society, both the Baltimore and DC chapters. In the last few years, Bertrand has been a volunteer coordinator with three Jazz concert series in the DC area: The ‘Take 5’ Series at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the ‘Jazz in the Basement’ series at the DC Public Library and ‘Jazz at UUCSS’ in Silver Spring. He hosts two public Facebook pages: ‘Bertrand Überall – Jazz Events listings in the DC area, including Baltimore’ and ‘Duke Pearson Research’.
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The Baltimore Kissa Society organizes listening parties for jazz enthusiasts and hosts a blog exploring jazz album covers. Their weekly radio program can currently be heard Sundays at 6 p.m. on

Kissa is the Japanese word for cafe, and The Baltimore Kissa Society specifically take their inspiration for listening parties from Japanese jazz kissas, where patrons can spend hours listening to jazz records over a cup of coffee or a cold beer. (Check out more about Japan’s jazz cafes here.)
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Dan Spears is the Vice President of Industry Relations and Licensing at Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI). In his capacity as Vice President, Mr. Spears works closely with BMI’s Licensing management team to create strategic, value-driven sponsorships and customer events. He serves as a pivotal bridge between the company’s Licensing, Writer/Publisher and Business Affairs teams. In this role, Mr. Spears continues to develop new customer initiatives and strategic partnerships that feature BMI songwriter performances and help educate key accounts, while providing new sources of revenue for affiliates and licensees.
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Whether dominating the ivory keys of a grand piano or the weighted 88, Justin Taylor commands a sound and style that captivates audiences and astounds the listener. His approach to creating music and connecting with his audiences nothing short of music mastery in its finest. This Towson University graduate, with a degree in Jazz Studies and Commercial Music has been performing for over 24 years on both local and national stages with some of the music industry’s most prolific and well known artist in jazz, gospel & R&B. Equally skilled in these styles of music, Justin is also a writer, producer, and engineer. He has performed or opened for artist such as Grammy nominated R&B & Hip Hop artist Jaheim, Contemporary R&B and Pop singer K’Jon, Baltimore’s very own National recording artist Maysa Leak and national recording saxophonist Corinthia Cromwell, Carl Grubbs, Sam King, Clarence Ward III, Reginald Cynjte, Shannon Gunn, Tim Warfield, Warren Wolf, Ed Hrybyk and several other prominent local and national artist. Because of Justin’s versatility. He is one of Baltimore’s most sought after young pianist who is making his mark in this great art form called music. He has recorded on several national & artist albums in his career and has taught at Columbia & Baltimore’s School of Rock & performed in artist at residency ensemble at Towson University under Matt Wilson and Gerald Cleaver.
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Cheryl T. Goodman is the Founder & President of YGC Productions, (formerly Eagle Arts & Entertainment Services, Inc.), and an on-air personality on WEAA FM Radio as “Your Girl Cheryl,” offering arts & entertainment information of interest to an over 40 audience in the Baltimore/DC metropolitan area since 2014.

Ms Goodman was the Associate Convention Director of the JazzTimes Convention, the largest international gathering of jazz industry professionals held annually in New York City for many years, producer of the Annapolis Jazz Fest for two years, and a consultant to Billboard magazine on the first Billboard/BET on Jazz Conference in 1996. As a producer and presenter, she has staged and coordinated concerts, festivals, and educational programs featuring national jazz artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Chuck Mangione, Cyrus Chestnut, Roy Ayers, Vanessa Rubin, Terrance Blanchard, the late Stanley Turrentine, and Sweet Honey in the Rock in nightclubs, theatres, and festivals such as St. Peter’s Church in NYC, Prospect Park (Brooklyn, NY), The Hippodrome Theatre (Baltimore, MD), Mondawmin Mall, Baltimore’s Harborplace, Lisner Auditorium (WDC), and Lorton Correctional Facility (VA). She is the founder of the Jazz in the Sculpture Garden series at The Baltimore Museum of Art, Cylburn Sounds: Jazz Under the Stars at the Cylburn Arboretum and Summer Music Moves Dance & Music Festival, a citywide event held in multiple locations.

Ms. Goodman is published as a feature writer and critic in several national art and entertainment magazines, trade newsletters and online services such as JazzTimes, Midwest Jazz, Down Beat and Baltimore Afro American Newspaper. Ms. Goodman is a professional grant writer and has secured over $500,000 for nonprofit organizations such as Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, The Hippodrome Foundation, D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, Eubie Blake Cultural Center and Dance Baltimore for the presentation of jazz over the years.
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Barbara Harrell Grubbs, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Contemporary Arts Inc, a 501(c)(3) arts organization whose mission is to perpetuate the art form of jazz through education and performance. Along with Carl Grubbs, co-founder and Artististic Director, they have developed programs in the community for mentoring young people and entertaining audiences of all ages.

Barbara Harrell Grubbs retired from the Baltimore City Public Schools having served as teacher, supervisor and high school administrator. After retiring from the City school system, she took the position of Administrative Assistant for (GEMS) Govans Economic Management Senate, Inc., a non-profit community development in the field of housing. As the Administrative Assistant she was responsible for the daily operations of the business. At GEMS she served as Housing Counselor for first-time homebuyers and rehab counselor for residents of Govans who sought to rehab their properties.

Since her retirement from GEMS, she has devoted her time and skills to the growth and expansion of programming for Contemporary Arts Inc.
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Henry Wong owns and operates An die Musik, which has, since 2004, hosted a staggering 4,000-plus events, many of them jazz and contemporary classical concerts. It won Best Jazz Venue in 2019’s All About Jazz reader’s poll and was cited as a “Great Jazz Venue” by Downbeat magazine from 2016-2018.
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Jerry Prettyman studied Applied Art & Design at Catonsville Community College and the Maryland Institute College of Art, and Fine Art at Morgan State University. He was employed as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator for thirty-nine years. Mr. Prettyman has been a guest speaker on numerous radio and television programs. He has also given numerous lectures and presentations of his works to private groups, schools and organizations and been a guest juror and curator for many exhibits.

His work has been exhibited in many galleries, museums and public buildings across the country. Some of the more selected exhibitions include: the Smith/Mason Gallery and Museum of Washington, D.C., the Maryland Institute College of Art, the Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA, the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park & Museum, Baltimore, MD, the Banneker Douglas Museum, Annapolis, MD, the Corcoran Gallery of Art Washington, D.C., the JVC Jazz Exhibition New York, NY, The Jazz Gallery, New York, NY, Delaware Museum of Contemporary Arts, Duke University, Durham North Carolina and many more.

His works are also in the collections of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company of Los Angeles, Mr. Joseph Haller of the Jesuits Residents of Georgetown University, the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture at the University of Maryland College Park, and of Mr. Paul Pierce, 2008 Most Valuable Player of the NBA World Champion Boston Celtics.

He has numerous commissions to his credit, the most significant being a commission (after an exhaustive nationwide search) by the firm of Joseph A. Wetzel Associates, Inc. of Boston, Massachusetts, , to create and design an eighteen foot Italian Tile floor mural honoring legendary tenor saxophonist Lester “Prez” Young for the Jazz Plaza at the Jazz Museum, in Kansas City, Missouri. Jerry has always had a love for art and cannot remember when he has not sketched or painted. As an artist he has never gotten locked into a single style. Instead, much like the jazz musicians who inspire him, he describes himself as a vehicle through which the work emerges.
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Francine C. Diggs is a 1998 graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law with a concentration in Public Interest Law. She previously earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pre-Law at Villa Julie College, renamed Stevenson University. Francine’s career includes serving as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Judge Clayton Greene, Jr and practicing law for local and Federal Governments.

Francine has an Arts and Entertainment Company called ShinDiggs Arts and Entertainment where she is a glass painter, abstract artist, art instructor and art business consultant.

Additionally, Francine volunteers with the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (MVLA) serving as a lecturing Attorney and providing legal advice to artists on trademarks, copyright, business and contracts.

The Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts organization provides access to legal services and education for Maryland Artists and Arts Organizations. MDVLA refers income eligible Artists and Arts Organizations on an issue by issue basis to Attorneys who want to do pro bono legal work for the creative community. MDVLA also holds monthly Art Law Clinics where you can register to meet with an Attorney for a 30 minute consultation. We also participate in lectures, seminars and workshops on a variety of art law related issues.

Contact information for Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts is as follows:
Phone: 410-752-1633
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Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Carlton Smith Music Group, Michael Smith is an advocate for artists and musicians seeking careers in the music industry. As an Artist Management Consultant, Michael helps artists and musicians increase their knowledge of the music business and gain bargaining power.

Michael’s diverse background starts in New York radio where he was a host and DJ for various shows in the market. He would go on to help launch the careers of many aspiring artists, including his own as a member of the New York underground rap group Stronghold. Michael later branched out from music and served as a consultant to Discovery Channel and the Executive Office of The President of The United States. Michael currently serves as a volunteer public policy advocate for the Recording Academy where he helped pass the Music Modernization Act. His experiences aid him in mastering the balance between creativity and business supporting musicians from the studio to the boardroom.

Michael has a long career in music. He is featured on projects listed in Amazon Studios, MTV, MSG Networks and BET. Recently Michael appeared on an episode of the Netflix documentary Hip Hop Evolution. Michael holds several degrees and certifications including Associates and Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Engineering Technology, a Master’s in Strategic Planning and certifications in Pro Tools, Ableton and Music Business. Michael speaks at various conferences around the country and offers an alternative to the traditional management model helping artists become music business savvy.
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Rufus Roundtree is a Baltimore born musician and bandleader. Rufus received a BS in Music Education from Morgan State University. Rufus started early as a vocalist and auditioned and was accepted in the first offering of the TWIGS program of The Baltimore School for the Arts in the fourth grade. After being introduced to the Trombone he followed his teacher Katie Nichols for further study at The Peabody Conservatory. He furthered his music education by participating in numerous performing ensembles throughout the Baltimore City School System.

Rufus became Director of Bands at Rognel Heights Elementary/Middle, Old Court Middle, Dundalk Middle and finally Parkville Middle Schools. He also served as assistant band director and on-field conductor for the Milford Mill Academy Marching Band. While sitting in with the band of one of the parents of one of his students, he got noticed by the one and only George Clinton and ended up playing with the band that night and many more after. After that night the transition began to move from the classroom to the stage. Rufus found a way to turn his audience into his students and the stage into his classroom and turn each performance into a learning experience.

Rufus Roundtree and Da B’More Brass Factory is the current vehicle that Rufus sits in the driver’s seat of with an all star assembly of some of the finest musicians around. The members themselves are very competent and successful band leaders in their own right but combine their individual expertise and provide a pleasant and invigorating experience for their listeners. Rufus has performed with and opened for some of the biggest names in the business, including George Clinton and the P-Funk AllStars, The Grammy Award Winning Rebirth Brass Band, The Treme Brass Band, Trombone Shorty, Kermit Ruffins, The Soul Rebels, Dru Hill, 112, Ruff Endz, Tremaine Hawkins, Vickie Winans, Rance Allen and John P. Kee to name a few.

Every gig is a learning experience and class is always in session. Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!!!!(let the good times roll) p.s. Rufus is just his stage name.
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Born in a home full of jazz, the voices of the masters captivated Todd Barkan’s imagination as a small child, and encouraged him to pursue music. Todd was deeply immersed as a child, learning piano and starting jazz lessons at age 6. A self-described “jazz fanatic” by the time he was 8, listening to the jazz masters shaped the course of Todd’s life. From 1972-1983, Todd owned and ran the Keystone Korner, one of the “the finest jazz clubs in the Bay area.” Barkan is known for his catchphrase, “Take care of the music and the music will take care of you.” After owning the Keystone Korner for 10 years, Barkan moved to NYC where he produced hundreds of records, became the director of programming for Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and continued to stay involved with live jazz. In 2018, the National Endowment for the Arts honored Barkan for his lifelong contributions to jazz. The NEA Jazz Master fellowship is the nation’s highest honor for jazz musicians.

In 2019 Todd relocated to Baltimore to open Keystone Korner Baltimore, now one of the area’s premier jazz clubs.
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David Crandall is a musician and sound designer in Baltimore; he holds an MFA in Digital Arts from UMBC.
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