Yoshio Toyama

I think one of the fascinating moments in New Oreleans was hearing Japanese trumpet player, Yoshio Toyama, play ‘What a wonderful World’ and actually sound exactly like Armstrong!! Everyone who was standing near the venue and could hear Toyama stopped talking!

I knew nothing about Toyama before going and after hearing him and reading an article about how he and his wife return to New Orleans often to donate new instruments to the schools.

I made a video to post but it isn’t uploading!! Anyway, here’s another video I made.

You can always look him up on youtube.





Notice her vintage purse, the nude shoes and her purple turban…Jasmine’s outfit is savvy and retro. Something about the combination reminds me of Jazz.

Dr. Naison & Liz


In celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday I thought I’ll blog about Dr. Naison and his lovely wife who have been married for over 30 years.  If family is not one of the main things to be thankful for, what is? By looking at this photo one can tell that they are still happy with one another. It was satisfying to be around them too. They are very down to earth and warm people.

Dr. Naison is the head of the African-American Studies Department at Fordham University and while I was in school, I took his class titled, From Rock and Roll to Hip-Hop.

I learned so much in that class. It was the only class I was able to talk in dept about the music I listen to…and I was a music major. In addition to it being the only class that allowed me to express my love of Gospel music, it was not (and still isn’t) considered a music class at Fordham.

Every time I think about how Fordham doesn’t include music classes that talk about music besides Classical and Jazz, it really annoys me. I tried talking to the Music department but nothing was changed. How Fordham University is going to be in the heart of the Bronx (where Hip-Hop music was born) and doesn’t include Hip-Hop music in its course selection?!

Skateboarding and all that Jazz

Skateboarding is like Jazz.

It has your body moving in all types of ways.

Your arms flying high, your feet off the ground

You and your partner are the center of attention

All are welcome but men seem to dominate the instrument.

The better you are, the more fun you have.

Space is needed.

There are no rules.

Improvisation is encouraged.

The game can go on and on and on for miles

kinda like a Miles track.

It’s taken seriously by those in the game.

Only a few understand the art.

If you don’t understand, you are a square

Coolness is involved too.

It looks fun. It seem easy.

But doesn’t all Jazz seem fun and easy?

Skateboarding and all that Jazz

Of all the guys there, I think this kid was the coolest. You have to have some type of high self-esteem to pull off this look. He was a cool cat. Very laid back. I think he was the first to pull out a cigarette… Speaking of Jazz… Oh, and his name?  Fidel.