Saturday, August 20, 2016

Connie Crothers Memorial Broadcast on WBAI, August 21, 2016

This Sunday, 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. ET, tune in to Suga' in My Bowl on WBAI 99.5 FM for a memorial tribute to pianist Connie Crothers. You can listen to the show online at Crothers passed away last Saturday after a brave battle with cancer. 

The broadcast will include a recording of my interview with Crothers which appears in my book Freedom of Expression: Interviews With Women in Jazz. Trying to capture the "voice" of an interviewee in print is very challenging. Needless to say, hearing Connie's actual voice and her descriptions of her first attempt at improvising, her studies with Lennie Tristano, and the pervasive sexism that existed in the jazz world before the women's movement is a special experience. I hope you can tune in.

Here's a little more information about the broadcast:  

"Connie Crothers expressed her musical life as performer, recording artist and teacher releasing feeling–her source–through spontaneous improvisation. This edition is a memorial broadcast in honor of Connie Crothers by guest contributor Chris Becker, who provides an interview he recorded for his book released earlier this year titled Freedom of Expression: Interviews with Women in Jazz. Additional remembrances will be provided by Arts for Arts/Vision Festival organizer Patricia Nicholson Parker, percussionist/drummer Warren Smith and trumpeter Lewis "Flip" Barnes.

"This program is engineered, produced, hosted and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our "On the Bandstand" segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with associate producer Hank Williams."

Photo of Connie Crothers by Joyce Jones.


  1. We are wondering why Henry Grimes was not invited. Here is a list of his concerts with Connie Crothers betw. 2006 and 2016:

    Jan. 14th, 2006: Jemeel Moondoc w/ Connie Crothers & Henry Grimes, the Stone, NYC

    March 1st, 2007: Connie Crothers and Henry Grimes, the Stone, NYC

    Sept. 19th, 2009: Jemeel Moondoc w/ Connie Crothers, Henry Grimes, & Chad Taylor, the Stone, NYC

    Nov. 21st, 2010: Connie Crothers and Henry Grimes, the Stone, NYC

    March 19th, 2012: We attended Connie Crothers' lecture on Lenny Tristano, "Swing University," Jazz at Lincoln Center, NYC, and Connie had me speak a bit. I played w/ Lennie and recorded with him ("Continuity," the Half Note, 1958 and 64)

    Feb. 26th, 2014: William Hooker's group w/ Connie Crothers, Daniel Carter, Ras Moshe, and Henry Grimes, Roulette, Brooklyn, "Five for Roy"

    June 15th, 2014: Connie Crothers, Melvin Gibbs, Henry Grimes, Vision Festival, Roulette, Brooklyn

    August 20th, 2014: Connie Crothers, Henry Grimes, Jemeel Moondoc, the Stone, NYC

    Nov. 6th, 2015: Connie Crothers and Henry Grimes, duo, concert and dinner celebration honoring Henry Grimes for his 80th birthday, Jan Hus Neighborhood House, NYC

    April 26th, 2016: Henry Grimes & Connie Crothers, Under_Line Salon, Arts for Art / Vision Festival fundraiser at David Gage's luthier shop, NYC.

    Several of these concerts can be viewed (at least in part) on YouTube.

    Here is Henry's highly emotional response to hearing of Connie's death:

    "Dearest Connie, with love, and missing you as much as we do and will miss you, we are so grateful for having you so far, and you are our hope and dream. I am blessed by you in all manifestations of the spirit and love that I have received from you, and having you for inspiration and knowing that you are with us, I thank you for having been here with us so long and so completely. Thank you for sharing your spirit and your music with us. We know you will speak to us always, and we will live forever in the creative spirit of our times."

    Connie and Henry and I were all extremely close friends.

  2. P.S. A small clarification: It was Henry who played with Lennie Tristano and who spoke a bit during Connie's lecture, not I.

    1. Margaret, Did Joyce Jones reach out to you or Henry? I know she had to put the show together very quickly, and it was a very moving and educational tribute to Connie and her legacy. Hope you were able to tune in.

      Years ago, when I lived in New York, a friend of mine and I actually helped you and Henry carry an amp and some gear up and down some stairs after one of his gigs. I forget the venue. But Henry played with a dancer, and it was amazing. Hope to see you and hear Henry again in person very soon.