April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month!
Get Involved! The movement to end sexual violence in the United States, and around the world, relies on people who’ve made a choice to do something. Sexual violence often seems inevitable, but the choice to do something and get involved has made incredible changes in national and global conversations about sexual violence. In recent decades, these changing conversations have expanded support for survivors and led to substantial innovation in the work of preventing sexual violence.
There are many ways you can become involved in the work of changing conversations about sexual violence, supporting survivors, and preventing sexual violence before it ever happens.
Volunteer: Community rape crisis centers often rely on the support of volunteers to provide services to victims (such as answering telephone calls from survivors) and to help implement prevention programs (like talking to students about sexual violence).
Organize: Throughout the country, passionate groups of community members organize events, plays, and rallies to raise awareness about sexual violence.
Learn: The root causes of sexual violence run deep and are sometimes hard to understand. Learning about sexual violence from resource centers like NSVRC can help you to understand these root causes, helping you to be a part of the national conversation about sexual violence and a more effective advocate for survivors and the work of prevention.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center can help you to find the nearest crisis center to you and can help you to find these groups, or give you advice on how to start a group of your own. For more information, please visit the NSVRC.
April is International Guitar Month!
Celebrate With These Guitar Greats – It’s hard to imagine listening to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” without remembering the classic “No ‘Stairway’ — denied!” scene in Wayne’s World. Once voted the No. 1 greatest guitar solo ever, the classic-rock staple is one of many great solos and guitar-playing styles that we’ve been handed over the years.
International Guitar Month has been observed each April since 1987 to celebrate the glory of an instrument whose origins have been traced back to as early as the eighth century.
Whether you’re into Neil Young’s simple but powerful guitar solo on “Down By The River,” Joni Mitchell’s open-tuning beauty “Coyote,” Prince’s burning solo on “Purple Rain,” Joe Walsh’s wah-wah funk on the James Gang’s “Funk #49,” B.B. King’s iconic solo on “The Thrill Is Gone” or the wild genius of Wilco’s Nels Cline on “Impossible Germany,” now is a great time to curate your playlists to celebrate the guitar’s many styles and sounds.
International Artist Spotlight – Dave Greaves
“Still Life – The Legacy Collection by Dave Greaves”
In the ’70’s, during the heyday of English folk and rock music, musician/singer/songwriter Dave Greaves toured with many top artists including Sandy Denny and John Martyn and had deals with Island Music, EMI Music, Demon Records, Black Bear Records (The Stops) and Pye Records (Cheap Thrills). Dave was also one of the few artists who shared billing with Nick Drake during this time.
Dave’s CV includes being a founder-member of The Hull Truck Theatre Company, playing electric guitar with many R&B soul outfits from The States including Johnny Johnson and the Bandwagon as well as performing with his brother group MG Greaves and The Lonesome Too. Dave has also been electric guitarist on UK tours for Emmy winning, Texas Music Awards “Singer-Songwriter Of The Year” Bob Cheevers who was a show opener on what was to be Johnny Cash’s final tour.
Most of Dave’s songs are from personal experiences telling poignant stories in his own very special language of the heart. Perfectly thought out guitar parts along with a smoldering (and as he puts it) gin-soaked voice set Dave Greaves apart from other world-class musician/songwriters from both “back in the day” and today. “He’s as real as it gets and utterly convincing”. Originally from Hull, England, Dave now lives a peaceful life with his family in Scarborough, England on the banks of the North Sea. His song catalogue is filled with compositions that are pertinent, stunning and timeless.
April is Jazz Appreciation Month!
Jazz Appreciation Month (fondly known as “JAM”) was created at the National Museum of American History in 2001 to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz for the entire month of April.
JAM is intended to stimulate and encourage people of all ages to participate in jazz – to study the music, attend concerts, listen to jazz on radio and recordings, read books about jazz, and more.
Jazz Appreciation Month 2020: Women in Jazz – This year, JAM celebrates the dynamic impact of the often-overlooked contributions that women have made to jazz, both on and off the stage. As performers and conductors, educators, and producers and directors of jazz festivals, women have made their mark but have continued to struggle for recognition on par with their male counterparts.
Featured on the official 2020 poster is pianist, band leader, and composer-arranger Toshiko Akiyoshi, whose vital contributions to the art of big band jazz earned her the title of NEA Jazz Master in 2007. Born in Manchuria, Akiyoshi first moved to Japan with her parents at the end of World War II, and then to the United States in 1956 to study at Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Following a series of performances in top New York venues, in 1973, she and her husband, saxophonist/flutist Lew Tabackin, formed the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra. Known for her uniquely textural big band compositions and Japanese influence, Akiyoshi has received fourteen Grammy Award nominations and was the first woman to win Best Arranger and Composer awards in Down Beat magazine’s annual Readers’ Poll. The artist for the 2020 JAM poster is Wynter Jackson, a senior visual arts student at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Washington, D.C. To request a poster, try the NMAH’S site, available while supplies last.
To learn more about JAM, visit the Smithsonian’s page Here.
International Jazz Artist Spotlight – Laila Biali
“Out Of Dust”
Multi award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter and pianist Laila Biali has toured with Chris Botti, Paula Cole, Suzanne Vega and Sting. She has headlined festivals and venues spanning five continents including Carnegie Hall. Her accolades include a 2019 JUNO Award for “Vocal Jazz Album of the Year”, “SOCAN Composer of the Year” and “Keyboardist of the Year” at Canada’s National Jazz Awards, a JUNO nomination for her studio recording Tracing Light, and a spot on DownBeat Magazine’s “Best Albums of the Year” list for her follow-up Live in Concert. In 2015, Laila released her first album of entirely original music, House of Many Rooms – an indie-pop project featuring a star-studded lineup including the vocalist Lisa Fischer, who is featured in the Academy Award-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom.
Check out a few tracks from her LP “Out Of Dust” below, and then head to Laila Biali to find out more, get tour dates and grab your copy!