Skinny Hightower is a smooth jazz artist who lives here in Wichita. The 32-year-old is receiving some huge accolades from the jazz world. His song "Taboo" peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard charts in July.

Jazz Age Shanghai - Read the Book, Hear the Music

A video with the song "Ye Shang Hai" and clips from movies of the era with additional background and a translation of the song here.

Carla Eckels

Area high school, middle school, and junior college jazz bands and jazz vocal ensembles will sharpen their skills this weekend under the direction of musical masters at Friends University.  The 21st Annual Jazz Festival is a two-day event on the Friends University campus in Wichita. An invitational vocal concert will cap off Friday's events and the festival will culminate with the Headliner Concert Saturday night. (The festival's daytime events are no-cost and welcome observers.)

  1. Chick Corea/Gary Burton - Hot House (Concord)
  2. Roni Ben-Hur/Santi DeBriano - Our Thing (Motema)
  3. Carol Welsman - Journey (Justin Time)
  4. Pete Zimmer - Prime of Life (Tippin')
  5. John Abercrombie Quartet - Within A Song (ECM)
  6. Kevin Mahogany & the Dave Stryker Organ Trio - Next Time You See Me (Mahogany Jazz)
  7. Cheryl Bentyne - Let's Misbehave (Summit)
  8. Claire Martin - Too Much in Love to Care (Linn)
  9. Oregon - Family Tree (Cam Jazz)
  10. Luciana Souza - The Book of Chet (Sunnyside)
  11. Fred Hersch Trio - Alive at

  1. Bruce Barth - Three Things of Beauty (Savant)
  2. Kevin Mahogany/Dave Stryker Organ Trio - Next Time You See Me (Mahogany Jazz)
  3. Cory Weeds - Up A Step (Cellar Live)
  4. Sara Gazarek - Blossom & Bee (Palmetto)
  5. Dr.

At the end of last month, the National Endowment for the Arts announced the list of 2013 NEA Jazz Masters. Since 1982, this highest jazz honor has been bestowed on some of the greatest living musicians in jazz - among them, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Dave Brubeck, Wayne Shorter, Tony Bennett and Jack DeJohnette. NEA Jazz Masters receive a one-time fellowship award of $25,000, are honored at an awards ceremony, and may participate in a variety NEA-sponsored promotional, performance, and educational activities.

Top 40 Albums July 2012

Jul 25, 2012

  1. Curtis Fuller - Down Home (Capri)
  2. Kate McGarry - Girl Talk (Palmetto)
  3. Jazz Soul Seven - Impressions of Curtis Mayfield (BFM Jazz)
  4. Virginia Mayhew Quartet - Mary Lou Williams: The Next 100 Years (Renma)
  5. Duke Ellington Legacy - Single Petal of A Rose (Renma)
  6. Bela Fleck and the Marcus Roberts Trio - Across the Imaginary Divide (Rounder)
  7. Shawnn Monteiro - To Carmen with Love (Whaling City Sound)
  8. David Liebman/Nancy Reed - Neighbors (VectorDisc)
  9. Eric Reed - The Baddest Monk (Savant)
  10. Halie Loren - Heart First (

Top 40 Albums June 2012

Jul 5, 2012

  1. Steve Kuhn - Wisteria (ECM)
  2. Chris Hazelton Trio - Peregrination (Artists Recording Collective)
  3. Florian Hoefner Group - Songs Without Words (OA2)
  4. Shawnn Monteiro - To Carmen with Love (Whaling City Sound)
  5. David Liebman/Nancy Reed - Neighbors (VectorDisc)
  6. Piero Odorici - Cedar Walton Presents Piero Odorici (Savant)
  7. Ahmad Jamal - Blue Moon (Jazz Village)
  8. Three Voices - Transitions (Summit)
  9. Jazz Soul Seven - Impressions of Curtis Mayfield (BFM Jazz)
  10. Stacey Kent - Dreamer in Concert (Blue Note)

Over the years, many different instruments that were not part of the early ensembles have come to have a home in jazz. And their inclusion has added new textures and new approaches to the music. One of the more successful migrants into jazz has been the organ. From its roots in the church and early movie theaters (where an organist would provide accompaniment to silent films and entertainment in between them), the organ found a place in jazz thanks to early pioneers like Fats Waller (who had an early job in one of those movie theaters), Count Basie, Milt Buckner, and Wild Bill Davis.