My love of jazz goes back to my childhood in Louisiana, I remember my grandmother spinning old cracking 78s on the vinyl record player. She loved listening the Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Nat King Cole, Billy Holiday, and many of the greats who are no longer with us.
As a teen, I spend most of my time going to Earth, Wind and Fire, Parliament Funkadelic, ELO, Boston as well, George Benson, Ramsay Lewis, Spyro Gyra, and Bob James concerts. However, it was my love of jazz that gave me the most joy, and provided the most meaningful memories.
As jazz evolved and more of the greats passed on, I developed a passion not only to listen to jazz but take my culture with me and share it with the world. Jazz has found me in Singapore and Vietnam, Brazil and Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Malta, Budapest, South Africa, Poland, and now in Estonia.
While attending the NorthSeaJazz festival in the Netherlands in 1991 and in a private conversation with George Benson, my love for and knowledge of jazz lead him to refer to me as a Jazz Encyclopedia. My friends refer to me as the Jazz Encyclopedia to this day.
In 2002, I briefly hosted an internet jazz program from Budapest, Hungary which was very highly received. And earlier this year, I opened Nawlin’s Jazz in Tallinn. Along with my business partner, we are committed to bring jazz from its birthplace and share its culture the way we experienced it back home. Nawlins is the way Louisianans pronounce New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz. We will bring a bit of Nawlins to Tallinn through one of its greatest gifts to the world, Jazz.
I’m inviting jazz musicians I may know personally, shared time in the recording studio with, booked for performances in the US and have seen them play. They may not be known to you; be encouraged to come to their performances in Tallinn and develop a love for jazz as strong as mine.