2017 Washington D.C. Jazz Festival Oral History Archive

Willard Jenkins

Project started by Willard Jenkins to help preserve jazz oral history.

Charles Fishman Interview

Audio Interviews

Brother Ah from the Washington Post

“Brother Ah” from the Washington Post. More about Robert Northern

Robert "Brother Ah" Northern is a radio host on station WPFW and has an extensive performance career with many jazz greats including Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, and the Thelonious Monk Orchestra. He is interviewed here by Rusty Hassan.

Brother Ah Interview by Rusty Hassan

Brother Ah (born Robert Northern 5/21/34) is an American jazz French hornist and multi-instrumentalist, born in North Carolina and raised in The Bronx, NY. Northern studied music at the Manhattan School of Music and at the Vienna State Academy. He is perhaps best known as a session musician, having worked extensively in the 1950s and 1960s with musicians such as Donald Byrd, John Coltrane, Gil Evans, Sun Ra, McCoy Tyner, Roland Kirk, and the Jazz Composer’s Orchestra. He also worked with Don Cherry, Thelonious Monk, Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Eric Dolphy, Charlie Haden, and John Lewis.

He lived in NYC from 1963-1971, and after a period of increasing interest in non-Western music, visited and studied in Africa (Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania) during seven consecutive summers (1971-77). In the 1970s he released several albums as a bandleader; his 1974 release Sound Awareness featured Max Roach and M’Boom. These albums were released on CD on the Ikef Records label in the 2000s. In addition to horn playing, Northern also branched out into percussion and flute performance later in his career.

He has taught at Dartmouth College (1970-77); Brown University (1973-1982), and then at the Levine School of Music in Washington, DC beginning in 1982. Northern was also the founder of the World Music Ensemble, and the founder of The Sounds of Awareness Ensemble, which explores the sounds of nature and music. As Brother Ah, he hosts a weekly jazz radio program on WPFW in Washington, DC.

DC Jazz Fest's Charles Fishman and Cyrus Chestnut, 6/3/11 by Jati licensed under www.jatilindsay.com

“DC Jazz Fest's Charles Fishman and Cyrus Chestnut, 6/3/11” by Jati licensed under www.jatilindsay.net.

Charles Fishman, founder of the D.C. Jazz Festival and personal manager for Dizzy Gillespie is interviewed by Rusty Hassan.

Charles Fishman Interview by Rusty Hassan

Charles Fishman (b. 2/23/42) is Founder of the DC Jazz Festival (formerly the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival). He is a Grammy Award-winning producer and founder and president of Charismatic Productions, a Washington, DC-based production and consulting firm established in 1986. Fishman has produced projects at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Theatre, The National Mall, Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts and other notable venues.

He was the personal manager and producer of jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie until the Maestro’s death. He has produced nine audio recordings and five television programs that have been aired on PBS, ABC, Bravo, the BBC, and other international networks. Washingtonian Magazine (October 2008) listed Fishman as “one of the 50 men and women who have transformed Washington into one of the nation’s liveliest center for the performing arts”.

Judith Korey's Jazz Hero award presentation on April 24, 8 p.m. during Calvin Jones Big Band Festival at the University of the District of Columbia

Attribution: Judith Korey's Jazz Hero award presentation on April 24, 8 p.m. during Calvin Jones Big Band Festival at the University of the District of Columbia

Source: http://www.jjajazzawards.org/p/2017-jazz-heroes.html#Korey All content © 2010-2017 Jazz Journalists Association or as indicated

WPFW Radio host Rusty Hassan interviews Judith Korey, Music Program Director and Curator: Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives, University of the District of Columbia.

Judith Korey Interview by Rusty Hassan

Judith A. Korey is a Professor of Music at the University of the District of Columbia (since 1972) where she currently serves as the Music Program Director and is curator of the University’s acclaimed jazz research and resource center, the Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives. The archives houses several special collections which in addition to its vast holdings of sound recordings, books, and other published materials also includes unique resources that highlight jazz artists and document jazz activites, sites, and events in the Washington, DC area.

She coordinates the JAZZAlive events series that includes the research and outreach initiative JAZZForum. JAZZAlive culminates annually with the Calvin Jones Big Band Jazz Festival, since 1987. In 2008 she was awarded the University of the District of Columbia’s Dr. Cleveland L. Dennard Service Award, presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated a long-term commitment of outstanding service to the University. In addition to honors and recognition from the University, she received the 24th annual Mayor's Arts Award for Excellence in Service to the Rrts in 2009, and was selected as one of the 2017 Jazz Heroes by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Rusty Hassan

Photo from Open Sky Jazz

Jazz writer and historian Willard Jenkins interviews WPFW Radio host Rusty Hassan.

Rusty Hassan Interview by Willard Jenkins

Rusty Hassan (born 11/26/45), a native of Greenwich, CT, has been the producer and host for weekly jazz radio program in the Washington, DC area for the past 50 years, starting as a student at Georgetown University on radio station WGTB. Since then he has hosted weekly jazz programs on WAMU, WDCU, and WPFW. Currently he hosts Thursday Night Jazz on WPFW 89.3FM. In that time he has interviewed numerous prominent jazz artists, including Dexter Gordon, Art Blakey, Mary Lou Williams, Ramsey Lewis, Jimmy Heath and countless others. In addition to his radio work Rusty Hassan has written dozens of jazz album liner notes.

He has taught jazz history courses at American University, Georgetown University, University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution. He currently teaches jazz history at the University of the District of Columbia. The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities recognized him with a special award for his contribution to the community through his years of broadcasting in Washington. In his professional life Hassan was a union representative with the American Federation of Government Employees for 34 years.

Interview Transcriptions

Brother Ah Transcriptions
Charles Fishman Video Interview Transcriptions
Charles Fishman Interview by Rusty Hassan Transcriptions
Rusty Hassan Interview by Willard Jenkins Transcriptions