Rediscoveries of Women in Jazz: Babe Egan, Valerie Capers, and more.
Rediscoveries of Women in Jazz: Babe Egan, Valerie Capers, and more.
Jazz Historian, Musicologist Jeannie Gayle Pool will share stories about Babe Egan and other women in jazz of the 1920s and 1930s. Valerie Capers will join us, along with Bonnie Janofsky, Janet Klein, and possibly others.
In Babe Egan and the Hollywood Redheads (2022) Jeannie Gayle Pool tells “The story of Babe Egan’s life provides provocative insights into the history of vaudeville, jazz, radio, the recording industry, and film production. It reveals how these branches of the early entertainment industry intertwined and formed the basis of our present-day global mass media.”
“Violinist and bandleader Babe Egan was a vaudeville superstar. In 1929, she was one of the highest paid women in vaudeville, earning $50,000 that year (equivalent to $880,000 today). She performed for tens of millions of theatergoers in the US, coast-to-coast, in Canada, and in Europe, and her band was regularly featured on radio. The Hollywood Redheads appeared in the first German talking picture, as well as on its soundtrack. They were booked solid from 1924 until 1933, doing two, three, or four shows a day.”
Hosted by Jeff Kellem.
Jeannie Gayle Pool, Ph.D
Jeannie Gayle Pool, Ph.D. is an ASCAP composer, arranger, and orchestrator since 1997. Her compositions have been heard in California, Washington, D.C., Ohio, Massachusetts, Toronto, Paris, Belgrade, India, and China, and in several short films and documentaries.
Her restoration and production in 2011 of the original score by J.S. Zamecnik for the Academy-Award winning film Wings (1927) received many complimentary reviews and recognition including a nomination for the International Film Music Critics Award in 2013 (Best Archival Re-recording of an Existing Score).
As a musicologist and producer, she served as the Executive Director of the Society for the Preservation of Film Music (later named The Film Music Society) from 1990 to 2002.
She was a consultant and music archivist for the Paramount Picture Motion Picture Music Department from 1995 until 2012. (Click here to learn more about her work in the film industry.)
Known for her work on the history of women in jazz, her book, Peggy Gilbert & Her All-Girl Band was published in 2008 and her documentary film of the same title, narrated by Lily Tomlin, has been screened throughout the United States.
Dr. Valerie Capers was born in the Bronx and received her early schooling at the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School of Music, the first blind person to do so. For several years she served on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music. She was also a member of the faculty in the Department of Music and Art at Bronx Community College of the City University of New York (CUNY) where she introduced several jazz courses to the music curriculum. From 1987 to 1995 she served as department chair, where she is now professor emerita.
An accomplished composer, her most noted extended works are Sing About Love, the critically acclaimed Christmas cantata produced by George Wein at Carnegie Hall; Sojourner, an operatorio based on the life of Sojourner Truth, performed and staged by the Opera Ebony Company of New York and commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); and Song of the Seasons, a song cycle for voice, piano, and cello which was commissioned by the Smithsonian Institute and premiered in Washington, D.C., at the invitation of the Smithsonian, and since then, has been recorded by several artists.
Throughout her career, she has performed with a roster of outstanding artists, including Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis, Ray Brown, Mongo Santamaria, Tito Puente, Slide Hampton, Max Roach, James Moody, Paquito D’Rivera, and Jerry Weldon, among others.
Dr. Capers’ recordings include Portrait in Soul (Atlantic), Affirmation (KMA Arts), Come on Home (Columbia/Sony), Wagner Takes the ‘A’ Train (Elysium), and Limited Edition(VALCAP Music). Her book of intermediate-level piano pieces, Portraits in Jazz, was published by Oxford University Press (OUP) which has also published her arrangement of the English carol – “It Came upon the Midnight Clear” – for mixed chorus a cappella.
A multi-faceted writer and performer, Bonnie's experience covers a broad range of styles and musical idioms. She is a highly regarded pianist and drummer, in addition to her composing career.
Bonnie's writing credits include composing and arranging for a multitude of shorts, film, jingles, live shows - including Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" - vocalists, big bands and symphony orchestras, from combos to large ensembles, and from Dixieland to jazz to Latin to classical to Pop. She has been featured in the Orient, Europe and throughout the United States. Her film scores have been featured in numerous festivals and won Best Music in the Zephyr Theater Shorts and LA 48 Hour Film Festivals.
Bonnie created the all-women big band, "Maiden Voyage" and has appeared on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" as well as on a Big Band Weekend opposite Count Basie, Woody Herman, Harry James and Maynard Ferguson. Her jazz waltz, "Olivia's First Waltz" won Best Instrumental Jazz Song in the Just Plain Folks 2002 Music Awards. Her biography appears in "Who's Who in Entertainment.
Janet Klein is an entertainer, band leader, musical archeologist and treasure hunter on a 30+ year search for rare songs from the 1910s, 1920, 1930s , digging up compositions by the likes of Wilton Crawley and A.P. Randolf and Robert Cloud, songs of the Victrola, Vaudeville , Vitaphone films and early sound musical feature films. She and her LA based band the Parlor Boys perform this material with passion, skill and authenticity.
Janet & Her Parlor Boys have been entertaining audiences regularly at historic theaters in Hollywood and Los Angeles and other landmark venues throughout the United States. They held court for 13 years, sharing the bill with silent movies, early animated and musical film shorts, (collaborating with animation historian Jerry Beck ) at the Steve Allen Theater and Silent Movie Theaters in Hollywood before the closing of these cherished venues. Janet has made prologue appearances for Retroformat screenings and for programs at the Orpheum Theater, The Alex, The Wiltern Theater, The Warner Grand, The Old Town Music Hall, Niles Essanay Silent Movie Museum with upcoming projects with author, historian filmmaker Steven C. Smith and renowned pianist, scholar Frederick Hodges
The band also tours internationally and has appeared in festivals in Adelaide Australia , Dublin,Ireland, Shanghai, China, Fuji Rock Japan etc.
Since 1998 the group has recorded 10 CDs. Their CD release “Living In Sin” was voted in the Top Ten Jazz and Pop Critic’s Award Poll of the Village Voice.
Janet is also known for her voice over work in animation, as the character for Miss Langtree for Cartoon Network’s “Over The Garden Wall” and for her vintage style graphic work in print, drawing inspiration from her & husband Robert Loveless’ collection of late 19th and early 20th century print and photographic matter.
Jeff Kellem (ASCAP) is a pianist/keyboardist, composer, arranger, and orchestrator with a background in analog synthesis, composition, classical, jazz, and electronic music. In the 1980s, he helped build a new electronic music studio to supplement tape splicing and the ARP 2500 & 2600s at Boston University. He played keys with groovy funk rock (now trip-hop) band Z.O.N.K. in its early days in San Francisco, California and was part of the mid-1990s Boston music scene.
A couple current projects include
- Restoring an unreleased 1960s recording, researching and writing backstory for a box set release (book, scores, and vinyl) with hopeful release in 2023–2024.
- Retrospective music photography book, essay, recording project with a focus on bands from 30 years ago from his collection. Aiming for release in 2024–2025 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the timeframe of this photo block with new recordings by some of the bands.
Jeff is also a typeface designer (music notation & text fonts), dancer, choreographer, concert photographer, music/composition/dance coach, system architect, and researcher. He has performed around the world; some favorite performance cities include Prague, Paris, Moscow, Asheville, and Boston. He continues to guest perform with vintage and swing dance troupes.
For social networks, you can find Jeff via @composerjk in most places, including Twitter, Instagram, Bandcamp, Mastodon, etc.
|Event Date||Saturday, March 18, 2023 12:00 pm|
|Cut off date||Saturday, March 18, 2023 2:00 pm|