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City for a permanent non-
profit music/arts centre.
- Created a detailed plan to
launch this hub.
- Brought together several
towards this goal.
- Delivered over 400 school
- Presented over 50 tributes,
concerts, and galas.
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A Fond Farewell to Lorraine Gordon of Village Vanguard“As Mother always said, 'You can't eat the décor'". This line always makes me think of the Village Vanguard under the leadership of Lorraine Gordon who died this month at the age of 95.
By no means a fancy club, The Vanguard was known for its excellent acoustics, ambiance and top rate music. In other words, jazz at its best. I think about what Mother said every time I visit the Village Vanguard in New York.
Bruce Lundval former President and CEO of Blue Note Records called her "beautiful, hilarious, ornery, outspoken, sometimes outrageous, honest to a fault, endlessly quotable and simply the living spirit of jazz. She's tough, but she's charming and she's wonderful and she's smart as a whip. And she runs the greatest jazz club in the world, period."
In fact, she was everything a jazz icon should be.
The Vanguard opened in 1935 and went on to host such legendary artists as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Bill Evans. Lorraine Gordon, a longtime lover of jazz, took the helm as owner 54 years later following her husband, Max's death in 1989. Since then, she had booked performers and handled the books for the venue, according to the Times. The club celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2015.
I think the Village Vanguard is unquestionably a most unique and internationally acclaimed jazz venue, having existed since opening at the same NY location.
My recollection of going there the first time, is having to navigate a set of somewhat creaky stairs down to a dark, if not dingy, basement room replete with decorative trappings, photos and posters which obviously have been there for many years. Fancy it is not! But it is packed all the time. One goes there to hear and experience some of the greatest jazz music and jazz musicians ever, performed with the aid of unparalleled acoustics. Tables are very close – let’s say – intimate, which simply added to the ambiance of this cherished venue. For me, it is always a magical experience!
That about sums it up. Lorraine will be sorely missed for sure.
I Can Hear the Music – A Memoir by Gene DiNovi
with Jack Batten
JPEC President, Ray Koskie with Gene DiNovi
This absolutely delightful and fascinating history of 500 pages, replete with stories and historical photos, is a must read for jazz fans of all ages. Gene has performed with all the jazz “greats”, in all kinds of locations and environments. He truly has experienced it all and now invites you share those experiences with him.
I Can Hear Hear the Music, a Memoir written by 90 year old DiNovi with Jack Batten, is now available at:
Ben McNally Books and Brunch Store,
366 Bay Street at Richmond, Toronto, ON, M5H 4B2.
Tel: 416-361-0032. www.benmcnallybooks.com
(For more information on Gene DiNovi and Jack Batten, click here)