Milwaukee jazz

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Grihalva's invaluable book chronicles Milwaukee jazz through photographs

Published July 25, 2019

In "Images of America: Milwaukee Jazz," out now in paperback from Arcadia Publishing, Joey Grihalva tells the story of jazz in Milwaukee from the 1920s to today via a variety of photographs. In advance of his first event for the book, we asked him about the challenges of writing it.

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Jazzy new CD fulfills Jeannine Rivers' musical dream

Published Feb. 4, 2016

Jeannine Rivers is a lifelong Milwaukeean and vocalist who has performed in venues all over the city. She will release her first CD, "Iridescent October," on Saturday, Feb. 6 at The Bay Restaurant in Whitefish Bay.

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Grassel's 20th CD includes collaboration with Mexican rapper Tacuako

Published Aug. 10, 2015

Virtuoso Milwaukee jazz guitarist and author has just released his 20th CD. The multi-talented Grassel played nearly every note on "2015 Jack" - which features a mix of original material and standards - but what's most surprising is his collaboration with Mexican rapper Tacuako, recorded in February in Cancun. We caught up with Grassel to ask about the record, the collaboration and more.

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Remembering "The Dark Side" and Ron Cuzner

Published March 27, 2014

It was 11 years ago today when my mother called me from Milwaukee and told me Ron Cuzner had died that day at 64. I was stunned into a Cuzner-like pregnant-pause silence. I had moved to Madison in 1989, so I lost my close connection to Ron in those pre-radio streaming years. He had spun his last Ellington "Solitude" intro and uttered his last golden catch-phrase. He and his jazz program "The Dark Side" had finally moved on to the light.

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Milwaukee talks: Jazz violinist Sonya Robinson

Published Nov. 29, 2013

Miles Davis once compared the jazz violin playing of Milwaukee native Sonya Robinson to the work of Stuff Smith. If you follow jazz, you know what kind of praise that is, especially for a young musician. Nearly 30 years later, after a recent return home to perform at Blu, atop The Pfister hotel, we took the opportunity to chat with Robinson about her career, about her Milwaukee ties and about her new record.

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Breiwick's Monk tribute is a sort of happy accident

Published May 14, 2012

If news that local jazz musician and organizer Jamie Breiwick has yet another new release comes as a bit of a shock, you're not alone. The ever-occupied, constantly creating Breiwick is a musical force of nature. His new record, "Music of Thelonious Monk: Friday the 13th," is available only as a free download. Breiwick says the release wasn't something he planned.

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Milwaukee jazz pianist Dorsey dead at 96

Published March 4, 2010

You read here about Claude Dorsey celebrating his 96th birthday in January. Sadly, we received word today that Dorsey died last night.

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100 more great Milwaukee music makers, part 2

Published Feb. 12, 2010

A couple weeks ago, we unveiled the first part of this list of some Milwaukee-related musical greats. Like the first list, this one -- which also features some well-known names -- crossed genres and decades.

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100 Great Milwaukee music makers, part 1

Published Jan. 28, 2010

As we enter not only a new year, but also a new decade, it seemed like a good time to reflect on Milwaukee's musical past. Here is a list of 100 great bands and musicians who have created Milwaukee's musical landscape and -- in many cases -- helped the world at large appreciate the cream of the Cream City crop.

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Jazz legend Dorsey turns 96 this weekend

Published Jan. 8, 2010

Back in 2005, I reported on living Milwaukee jazz legend, pianist Claude Dorsey's final performance, at Panache. Dorsey was 91 then and had not long before that release his long, long, long overdue debut disc, "What A Wonderful World." On Sunday, Dorsey turns 96.

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Hard times mean beloved Dorsey canvas is for sale

Published Sept. 16, 2009

Yesterday, I received an e-mail from a reader named Madeleine Johnson, whose mother -- Milwaukee painter Mary Johnson -- is looking to sell a painting. The painting, is a beautiful "in-action" portrait of a 95-year-old Brew City jazz legend: pianist Claude Dorsey.

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Pritchett's fretwork made lasting mark in Milwaukee

Published Dec. 8, 2004

George Pritchett was perhaps the greatest jazz guitarist ever to grace Milwaukee stages, but that didn't make his brief life any easier. Nearly two decades after his death, however, Pritchett isn't forgotten.