Press Release
Press Release

New book chronicling a century of Milwaukee jazz history to celebrate release at the Jazz Gallery

Free event on Nov. 15 to feature presentation, discussion with local jazz renaissance man Jamie Breiwick, plus a performance by KASE + Klassik

By - Nov 4th, 2019 01:08 pm
New book chronicling a century of Milwaukee jazz history to celebrate release at the Jazz Gallery

New book chronicling a century of Milwaukee jazz history to celebrate release at the Jazz Gallery

MILWAUKEE (November 3, 2019)​ — A new book chronicling the storied history of jazz in Milwaukee is now available, with a release event to be held at the Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts on Friday, November 15, at 7 p.m.

Milwaukee Jazz ​ tells the stories of the musicians and venues that were happening in Cream City — from the heyday of the 1940s to the renaissance of the 1970s, from swing to bebop, from the streets to the classrooms, from grand ballrooms to outdoor festivals, from ornate theaters to smoky clubs like the Flame, Lakota’s, and the Jazz Gallery.

From 1978 to 1984, the Jazz Gallery was one of the hottest clubs in the country, hosting such legends as George Benson, Betty Carter, Sonny Stitt, and Chet Baker, while launching the careers of local luminaries like David Hazeltine and Brian Lynch.

At the ​November 15 event​, ​Milwaukee Jazz ​ author Joey Grihalva will present historic images, including photos and posters (two are included in this document) from the Jazz Gallery not featured in the book. The event will also include a discussion with Jamie Breiwick, who is the author of the book’s introduction, plus a performance from his jazz/hip-hop improv group KASE.

Kellen “Klassik” Abston, a genre-bending local musician and vocalist who first studied saxophone with local icon Berkeley Fudge, will also speak and perform with KASE.

Local musicians featured in ​Milwaukee Jazz ​ include Loretta Whyte, Jabbo Smith, Woody Herman, Manty Ellis, Siggy Millonzi, ​Al Jarreau​ — who was interviewed by Grihalva before his death in 2017 — and many more. The book also includes household names that played Milwaukee over the years such as Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Herbie Hancock, and Wynton Marsalis.

Writer ​Joey Grihalva​, a Sherman Park native and three-time Milwaukee Press Club award winner for his feature work on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, interviewed dozens of musicians, club owners, and journalists, and compiled over two-hundred photographs.

“Uncovering the rich jazz history of my hometown has been nothing short of revelatory. I am deeply honored to have spent time with such talented artists and their kin. And I am equally excited to share their stories with the larger community,” writes Grihalva.

Milwaukee Jazz ​ is the latest edition to the Images of America series from Arcadia Publishing, the largest publisher of local history books in the nation. The book can be purchased ​directly from the author​, at Boswell Book Company, Barnes & Nobles, Target, Amazon, through ​Arcadia’s website​, and other places where local books are sold.

Milwaukee Jazz ​ is Grihalva’s first book. It began in 2016 as an assignment from Tarik Moody at 88Nine Radio Milwaukee. This led to an award-winning, two-part multimedia series, which got the attention of Arcadia and was expanded into a book. For more information on ​Milwaukee Jazz ​ visit ​www.mkejazzbook.com​ and follow ​www.facebook.com/mkejazzbook​ and ​www.twitter.com/joeygrihalva​.

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