The Manoogian Museum in Southfield, MI, will host a book launch party for A Legacy of Armenian TreasuresThursday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m. Fr.
Garabed Kochakian of
St. John Armenian Church will give a traditional book blessing. Following the blessing, A Legacy of Armenian Treasures's executive editor Edmond Y. Azadian and editorial coordinator Sylvie L. Merian will give a presentation. A reception will conclude the evening. Copies of the book will also be available for purchase at a special price during the event.
The book launch is open to the public, but please RSVP by May 13 to 248-569-3405 or 248-557-5977.
On May 9, Nancy Hiller, author of A Home of Her Own, will give a lecture and sign copies of her book at the Indiana Landmarks Center in Indianapolis. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with the lecture starting at 6 pm. A booksigning will follow at 7 pm. The event is free, but those who wish to attend should RSVP online at restoring.eventbrite.com or call 317-639-4534.
In honor of Jazz Appreciation Month this April, we offer the following reading selections on important people in places in jazz history.
Second Wingspread conference of the National Jazz Service Organization, 1986. Billy Taylor, Harold Horowitz, David Baker, and Congressman John Conyers, Jr. Courtesy of David Baker.
In his new autobiography The Jazz Life of Dr. Billy Taylor (written with Teresa L. Reed), the legendary jazz ambassador discusses his 60+ years in music, from the heyday of jazz on 52nd Street in
1940s New York City to his appearances on CBS Sunday Morning.
Taylor fought not only for the recognition of jazz music as "America's
classical music" but also for the recognition of black musicians as key
contributors to the American music repertoire. In this excerpt, Taylor discusses segregation and his early musical influences.
Like Taylor, David Baker's musical career was also influenced by segregation. He attended Crispus Attucks High School, an all-black school in Indianapolis, IN, with an excellent music program, to which he attributes much of his success. In this excerpt from David Baker: A Legacy in Music, Lissa May discusses the impact of the Indianapolis music scene and Baker's high school on his musical career.
Recently featured in Jazzhouse (along with David Baker), Kathy Sloane's Keystone Kornerchronicles the experience of this beloved jazz club through more than 100 black and white photographs, a collage of oral histories, and a marvelous CD. During the 1970s, when jazz clubs all over America were folding under the onslaught of rock and roll and disco, San Francisco’s Keystone Korner was an oasis for jazz musicians and patrons. Tucked next to a police station in the city’s North Beach area, the Keystone became known as one of the most important jazz spots in the United States.
"In addition to the careful research that went into his writing, Middleton was a gifted photographer who had an eye for creating interesting 'trainscape' scenes ... Unknowingly with this book, Middleton managed to save his best effort for last—a volume that is sure to please anyone who enjoys exceptional photography and a good story." —The Michigan Railfan
You can enter the contest by sending an email to email@example.com with your name and mailing address. Entries must be received by October 21 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Winners will be notified by email and books will ship via USPS.
This recommendation of William D. Middleton's beautiful last book On Railways Far Away is probably not news to railfans and rail historians, who already know enough about Bill Middleton to know that they will want to own it. This is a spectacular book about trains, and prominent railroad authors will have quite a bit to say about that (one reviewer kept writing "Wow!" in the margins). But as much as this is a book about trains, it is a photographic fairy tale about people and places and times far away, and I hope it finds a wider audience than even our many fine railroad books. It is a book that is nostalgic and romantic on many levels, and tucked into the lush photos of trains are a thousand details that show what a curious and attentive and delighted traveler Bill Middleton was.
So as much as this is a book about trains, it is also a book about history—about the matter-of-fact steps people took to deal with the danger and violence in their everyday lives during the Vietnam War, and the amazing feats it took to build bridges deep into and high above great rivers and to tunnel through miles of stone in remote mountains, and to open the last wild places to the world and industry. And it is also a book about travel—about tropical rainforests in the mountains of China and sun-bleached beaches along the Adriatic coast and misty waterfalls in black forests in the mountains of Norway. It is certainly a book about beautiful photography.
But what speaks to me more than anything else about this book is that it is also a book about people and it is full of stories. The last chapter is entirely about people and railroads, but there are pictures of people throughout the book that would have done any glossy spread in Life magazine proud. Children ice skate on Christmas day on a frozen river below a railroad bridge in China, full of the excitement of being a child on a snowy day. A little girl in a straw hat, white socks, and black patent leather shoes sits all alone on the platform in Tokyo, on a purse half as big as she is, lost in a book as she waits for the train. What is she reading and where is she going, all dressed up and all by herself? A caption reads, "A tower man handles the crossing at the Hilal Tower where two lines cross over in Izmir, Turkey, May 1962," but it's not clear whether he practices more precision in his job, or in shining his spectacular shoes and ironing the pleats in his pants. Where is he going all dressed up like that? A stylish woman straightens a man's tie before the Tokyo bullet train whisks them away . . . to where?
It is the last picture in the book that I have thought about most often, though, because I have been so surprised by my own feelings of wonder about trains (as you might be). Two tiny children are looking up in awe at a giant railway car, and the caption reads, "Even in the midst of war, small children come to see the railway. This is the daily departure north from Da Nang to Hue, Vietnam, January 1966." What a world Bill Middleton saw, and what an amazing gift he had for sharing what was important . . . about railways and worlds far away. I told Bill while I was working on the book how much it made me want to pack up and take to the road. He laughed and said gently, "Those places aren't there anymore." I'm thankful I got to see them through Bill's eyes. They are well worth the trip.