Debbie Burke

Jazz Author


jazz blog

Gaining Entrance: Ricky Parrell Celebrates the “Keys to My Life”

  Picture sax player Ricky Parrell bobbing and weaving on his bike throughout the boulevard-width streets right outside Washington DC. When it’s time for a breather he locks up his bike. The key he uses? It’s become fodder for his... Continue Reading →

An Array of Horns, Smoothly

Somehow, smiling while keeping his embouchure as he plays sax, Audley Reid is a sight to behold and a feast for the ears. The groove and funk spilling from his horn catches the audience in an acoustic vise. He’s performed... Continue Reading →

Ribbons of Gold through the Air

It can be the cool “So What” by Miles Davis or the thoughtful jazz chestnut “On Green Dolphin Street” or something fast and spicy. No matter: Claudio Roditi’s trumpet speaks in a way that fills a room with sweet honey... Continue Reading →

Talkin’ Swing with Gordon Goodwin of the Big Phat Band

There are no fewer than 20 top-notch musicians in Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band. Founded in 1999, Goodwin’s idea was to assemble a band to record an album “and nothing more.” It wasn’t his intention to get gigs for the... Continue Reading →

From Hymns to Hip: Composer Phillip Keveren Brings JS Bach into the Jazz Age

Composer/pianist/teacher Phillip Keveren, who earned his musical pedigree from Cal State U and the University of Southern California, was driven to re-interpret the fugues and cantatas of Bach into jazz. Sample it here: Why morph JSB into jazz, one may... Continue Reading →

A Novelist’s Journey – Episode 2

“Cease and desist or I will have my lawyer contact you!” These are the words that froze my heart and sucked the breath from my lungs. Moments later, when I regained composure, I read the rest of an email that... Continue Reading →

Bob Bernotas, Unmuted

Bob Bernotas might not be a jazzy household name, but he’s been writing about the genre for many years.  With a successful monthly newsletter and as the host of a show by the same name on an East Coast college... Continue Reading →

A Novelist’s Journey – Episode 1

My first book was non-fiction. It's a cool little paperback about the jazz scene in the Delaware Water Gap in Pennsylvania (there are some international jazz masters living there and I interviewed them). Moderate success on that front. Without a... Continue Reading →

With Love, Victor Borge

Classical pianist and humorist Victor Borge (1909-2000), born in Denmark, was one of early television’s first musicians to perform a stunning variety of classical pieces for a rapt audience, all while injecting a wonderful, dry humor into his performances. In... Continue Reading →

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