In honor of the esteemed late Chiaroscuro artist Joe Temperley, a kickstarter campaign has been created to fund both a tribute album and scholarship in his memory. For more information about the project, please click here.
Don Friedman (1935-2016)
Chiaroscuro Records was honored to have the talented Don Friedman on two projects, CR(D) 365 Live on the QE2 as a sideman with Clark Terry and CR(D) 376 as leader of a quartet on Hot House. These recordings certified the widely known reputation of the pianist as a versatile jazz master.Read more at Jazz Wax..
Phil Woods Tribute Concert article in Downbeat
Downbeat magazine recently wrote a piece about the tribute concert held in honor of the late Phil Woods. To read the article, click here.
Denny Carrig Interview about Phil Woods
Denny Carrig of the Deer Head Inn talks to WVIA-FM's Erika Funke about a tribute concert for the late Phil Woods
Rudy Van Gelder 1924-2016
All of us at Chiaroscuro Records are saddened to note the passing of legendary engineer Rudy Van Gelder. Rudy worked as an engineer on a great number of entries in the Chiaroscuro catalog, and made a very large impact on the legacy of the Chiaroscuro label. He will be missed. For more on the passing of Rudy Van Gelder, click here.
The Art of Leo Meiersdoff
Famed Jazz Artist Leo Meiersdoff has created many wonderful album covers for Chiaroscuro. This weekend at the Monterey Jazz Festival, informational panels including text and photographs, as well as 10 colorful prints and 2 posters will be on display. All of the artwork is available for purchase, with proceeds benefiting the Monterey Jazz Festival. Full details can be found here.
WVIA presents the Chiaroscuro Jazz Conservancy Sessions: Live Concerts – Public Invited
PITTSTON, PA (WVIA) – WVIA invites the public to the “Chiaroscuro Jazz Conservancy Sessions: Live Concerts” featuring Chiaroscuro Jazz Records recording artists and members of the NEPA Jazz Alliance accompanying regional high school bands.
The concert line-up includes the Berwick Senior High School Jazz Ensemble accompanied by Chiaroscuro recording artist, Ted Rosenthal on Sunday, April 27 at 3:30 p.m., The Williamsport Area High School Stage Band accompanied by Chiaroscuro recording artist, Virginia Mayhew on Sunday, May 4 at 3:30 p.m., and the Jersey Shore High School Stage Band accompanied by Chiaroscuro recording artist, Virginia Mayhew on Saturday, May 10 at 3:30 p.m. The NEPA Jazz Alliance artists participating in the concerts will include Drummer Marko Marcinko, Bassist Paul Rostock, and Trumpeter Eddie Severn. All the concerts will be held in the Sordoni High Definition Theater at the WVIA Studios in Pittston, PA and will be recorded for television broadcast on WVIA-TV later this year.
The “Chiaroscuro Jazz Conservancy Sessions: Live Concerts” television specials are part of WVIA's Chiaroscuro in the Schoolsproject, which is funded by a generous grant from the Degenstein Foundation. This specific event was produced in partnership with the Pennsylvania Jazz Alliance.
Frank Wess was born in Kansas City but began his musical career in Oklahome and the midwest. His family later moved to Washington , D.C., where he began his career in jazz, working in big bands before he was twenty. His career was interrupted by World War II and while in the army played with military bands with great distinction. He was particularly proud of accompanying Josephine Baker in North Africa. After the war he worked with many bands such a legendary ensemble led by Billy Eckstine, but he is best known for his long association with Count Basie (1953-1964). While with Basie he not only played tenor and alto saxophones but became one of the foremost flautists in jazz and his facility on flute resulted in winning many polls. He was also a member of Clark Terry's big band from 1967 into the 1970s, played in the New York Jazz Quartet (with Roland Hanna and worked on TV and Broadway shows.
Interview with George Graham about Chiaroscuro's New Releases
George Graham, Director of Artistry & Repertoire for Chiaroscuro, recently sat down with WVIA-FM's Erika Funke on her ArtScene program to discuss the label's new releases from Phil Woods and Bill Mays. You can hear the interview below:
New Releases Available Today!
Today Chiaroscuro Records proudly releases new albums from Bill Mays and Phil Woods! You can purchase both albums starting today at your favorite Jazz Record store, or you can order direct through Amazon.com.
Four Star Review for Life's A Movie
Audiophile Audition has written a review of Bill Mays' new album on Chiaroscuro, and they like what they hear! Click here to read the full review.
Chiaroscuro Records Prepare New Releases from Phil Woods and Bill Mays
For the first time in over a decade - Chiaroscuro Records are excited to prepare two brand new releases for the label! On September 24th, Chiaroscuro is proud to release new works from both Phil Woods and the Festial Ochestra, and The Bill Mays Inventions Trio.
Phil Woods' New Celebration is the long-awaited follow-up to his 1997 Grammy® Award-nominated release Celebration, and features many of the same players, along with a number of other world-class musicians from Woods' Poconos home region comprising the 18-piece Festival Orchestra. All but two of the compositions - Johnny Mandel's "Here's to Alvy" and Al Cohn's arrangement of Raye & de Paul's gorgeous "You Don't Know What Love Is" (featuring vocalist Najwa Parkins) - were specially written and arranged by Woods for this recording, which was done in April of 2013. Woods' extraordinary writing creates an ideal setting for his solo virtuosity, as well as some excellent contributions by other members of the orchestra. But more than being a launching pad for solos, the arrangements display a mastery of context that makes each piece a fully conceived and compelling musical story. Woods' longtime friend Quincy Jones contributes liner notes for the CD, Woods' second album as a leader on Chiaroscuro.
Life's a Movie is the third project by Bill Mays' highly imaginative Inventions Trio, and his first recording for Chiaroscuro. Featuring the versatile and impeccable Marvin Stamm on trumpet, and the excellent young classically-trained and vividly swinging cellist, Alisa Horn, the Inventions Trio embodies the essence of synergy and masterful interplay that is so important to successful "chamber" jazz. The album is centered around an imaginary soundtrack - the title suite - that beautifully displays Mays' compositional and conceptual skills. There is also a heartfelt tribute to the immortal Bill Evans with a medley of four Evans' originals; a tour of Spain with the trio's version of Joaquin Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez" (which earned a permanent place in jazz history through Miles' Sketches of Spain) and Chick Corea's own classic "Spain," inspired by the same piece; and a three-piece medley from the utterly unique Thelonious Monk.
Check back here for all the latest news on both of these exciting releases.
WVIA and Chiaroscuro Records Conduct Jazz Education workshop
Jazz pianist and Chiaroscuro Records artist Bill Mays and four other professional musicians conduct a day-long jazz education workshop at the WVIA Public Media Studios in Pittston, PA with the Berwick Area High School stage band. Along with Bill Mays, clinicians Marko Marcinko, drums, Eddie Severn, trumpet, Tom Hamilton, saxophone, and Josh Davis, bass coached the student musicians, then performed with them in a program recorded for TV and radio broadcast in the fall of 2013. Chiaroscuro in the Schools project is funded by a generous grant from the Degenstein Foundation, and this event was produced in partnership with the Pennsylvania Jazz Alliance and Susquehanna University.
This event will be broadcast on Monday, October 28th at 7pm on WVIA-TV
WVIA and Chiaroscuro Records Jazz it Up at Lewisburg Area High School
Pittston, PA (WVIA) – International award-winning pianist and Chiaroscuro recording artist Jesse Green will visit Lewisburg Area High School this Thursday, April 11for a day of special jazz workshops and performance with student musicians.
Mr. Green will conduct a clinic and rehearsal with the students at 10 a.m., culminating in an assembly concert at 1:45 p.m. for the school’s students and teachers.
This special music education event is coordinated by Lewisburg Area High School band Director Justin Hill with WVIA Public Media, and the performance will be recorded by WVIA's George Graham for upcoming radio broadcast on WVIA 89.9 FM and WVYA 89.7 FM in the Williamsport region.
Jesse Green recorded and performed with many of the world's jazz greats, such as Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Clark Terry, David Liebman, and many others including his father, famed trombonist Urbie Green. His first two CDs, "Lift Off" and "Sea Journey" were released on Chiaroscuro Records.
"Chiaroscuro in the Schools" is an arts education project of WVIA in partnership with the Degenstein Foundation, providing opportunities for public school students in the Central Susquehanna Valley to experience quality jazz music through a series of school visits by renowned artists associated with Chiaroscuro Fine Jazz Records, a division of WVIA Public Media.
Chiarocsuro Channel awarded Diamond City Best Of 2012
The Chiaroscuro Channel and WVIA won the best independent radio station award in the 2012 Diamond City Readers Choice awards! Read the full article here:
Borah Bergman passed away this past Thursday in New York at the age of 78. Bergman recorded 2 albums for the Chiaroscuro label including 1970's Discovery. He went on to record over 20 more albums in his career. "He was a very driven and dedicated artist" said Hank O'Neal.
All That Jazz on WVIA FM to Feature Jazz Performances from the 2012 Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts Festival
PITTSTON, PA (wvia) - For the 15th consecutive year, WVIA FM’s All That Jazz with George Graham presents comprehensive coverage of the Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts (COTA) Festival. Enjoy 12 nights of extraordinary jazz music starting Monday, November 5 at 7 p.m. on WVIA FM.
The series will feature music from all sets on the main stage of the festival which was held in the Poconos town of Delaware Water Gap on Sept. 7, 8 and 9, 2012 and recorded for broadcast by Chiaroscuro Records.
Monday Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. - Niewood Plays Niewood / Craig Kastelnik and Friends
Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. - Fernando Otera & Nick Danielson / JARO (Big Band)
Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. - Cohn, Green & Walsh / "Sweet" Sue Terry & Dangerous Sax
Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. - Phil Woods and the Festival Orchestra / Nellie McKay part 1
Friday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. - Nellie McKay part 2 / The SheilaMark Band
Saturday Nov. 10 at 10 p.m. - highlights from first week of coverage
Monday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. - Bob Dorough / Dave Liebman & Nancy Reed & Neighbors
Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. - COTA Cats / Spencer Reed "Not All Blues" Band
Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. - Five Play / Eric Doney & Zach Brock - part 1
Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. - Doney & Brock part 2 / Lineage
Friday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. - Vinny Bianch & La Cuchina / Leftovers (Music that had to be cut for time from previous segments)
Saturday Nov. 17 at 10 p.m. - more leftovers, highlights from week 2
Chiaroscuro Records is a division of WVIA Public Media and is the steward of some of the finest jazz recordings in the world. For more information about Chiaroscuro's fine jazz recordings, visit www.chiaroscurojazz.org.
Red was a natural entertainer, having worked as an emcee and club manager often with his friend Redd Foxx. He always made the audience comfortable and his performances on saxophone were both exciting and sentimental, while his vocals were witty, bluesy and sincere. Everything he did was joyful and musical. Red Holloway has joined a Chiaroscuro honor roll"
Chiaroscuro Records to be featured on a special WVIA State of Pennsylvania
GIVEN A RECORD COMPANY AND LAUNCHING A NEW RADIO STATION, WVIA PRESERVES JAZZ HISTORY
(2012-02-03) PITTSTON, PA(wvia) – Through the past year WVIA has learned how to operate and manage a jazz record company. Chiaroscuro Records was donated to the station by long-time WVIA Trustee, regional businessman and philanthropist Andrew Sordoni for the purposes of preservation, education and entertainment. Some of the world’s most venerated mainstream jazz artists, including half of all those in the American Jazz Hall of Fame, have recorded for Chiaroscuro Records.
Sordoni explains how and why he became part of Chiaroscuro in a special WVIA State of Pennsylvania television interview. Joining him around WVIA’s Steinway are record company founder Hank O’Neal, chief engineer Jon Bates and internationally renowned pianist and composer Junior Mance. Mance captivates the theater audience with several spontaneous solos on original jazz classics.
Once the station had set up its record company in the public media center near Pittston, staff began to imagine ways only WVIA could grow the business. Legal advisors cleared the way for creation of a new digital radio frequency devoted solely to the Chiaroscuro library, and all involved quickly realized the fan base for mainstream jazz, while modest in size, is international in scope. Research of other worldwide web music services led WVIA to realize how discriminating listeners around the world might be attracted to the format and purchase or download an album.
The TV show guests explain why this music, recorded by very remarkable artists over a half-century by Chiaroscuro, has been often underappreciated. Yet the founders labored on believing that someday future generations will appreciate the unique and imaginative interpretations unlikely to be captured again.
The interview and performance air on State of Pennsylvania, Thursday, February 9 at 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. and on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. on WVIA-TV.
To hear WVIA’s Chiaroscuro Channel anywhere in the world go to wvia.org and click on the banner.
Chiaroscuro Records now has a live radio station that exclusively plays the greatest cuts from the Chiaroscuro Catalog. You can listen live by clicking on the "Radio" button on the top navigation bar, or just click here.
Chiaroscuro Records featured in Current Magazine
Chiaroscuro Records has been featured in the October 17th issue of Current magazine
Pennsylvania’s WVIA is now in the record business with a catalog of albums 200 deep, thanks to a unique donation: the jazz label Chiaroscuro Records.
The pubcaster serving Scranton/Wilkes-Barre plans to bolster Chiaroscuro’s collection of some 200 master recordings dating back four decades with new sessions recorded in its 5.1-channel Dolby Surround Sound studio/theater. Possibilities include a jazz show for NPR and PBS stations, and an HD channel dedicated to the musical library.
Longtime station trustee and jazz aficionado Andrew J. Sordoni III — whose name also adorns the high-tech studio — announced his gift Oct. 5. Sordoni, who is chair of the contractor Sordoni Construction Services, purchased the label in 1987. It was founded in 1970 by pianist and NPR music host Marian McPartland, former CIA agent Hank O’Neal and entrepreneur Sherman Fairchild of Fairchild Aviation.
Chiaroscuro is a term for images characterized by strong contrasts between light and dark.
Musicians in the Chiaroscuro catalog include big-band drummer and composer Gene Krupa, pianist Teddy Wilson, Italian-American violinist Joe Venuti, pianist-composers Mary Lou Williams and Eubie Blake, saxophonist Zoot Sims, pianist-bandleader Claude Hopkins and Welsh pianist Dill Jones. “These artists are international in scope and fame,” said Bill Kelly, WVIA president.
“This is a very new part of our business,” he said. “We’re determined to do two things, which are compatible in our minds: Make it a profitable business, and also be the mission-driven repository of some of America’s most historical jazz recordings.”
Chiaroscuro’s catalog covers both studio performances and concerts. Many of the live shows were recorded between 1983 and 2002 on the ocean liners Norway and Queen Elizabeth 2 during annual Floating Jazz Festivals. Many recordings end with short commentaries by the artists on their music or creative processes.
Patrick Jarenwattananon of NPR Music, who writes for and runs its “A Blog Supreme” jazz page, calls the label’s catalog “an impressive cache.”
“Chiaroscuro recorded a lot of all-time greats, especially later in their careers,” Jarenwattananon said. “And it was, and is, a small, independent label. Today, with so little major label investment in jazz, a good majority of good jazz records — most jazz records, period — are put out by independent companies, and often fairly small ones at that. But when [Chiaroscuro] started up, that wasn’t as much the case, which heightens the sense of achievement here.”
Tom Curra, WVIA executive v.p., is overseeing the label. He said the station, located just over two hours from both Manhattan and Philadelphia, is a natural steward. The Poconos region has a large contingent of jazz musicians familiar with the station and its monthly Homegrown Music concert-broadcasts by regional contemporary artists in various genres.
For two decades WVIA produced a syndicated series of popular NPR holiday shows, The Jazz Feeling, which Sordoni initiated by bringing in artists from New York City to record at the station. Now, Curra envisions inviting up-and-coming jazz artists to capture the sessions in audio and video. The station would also shoot the musicians in concert there. Fans could then go online to purchase recordings and DVDs. By adding interviews segments and B-roll, the sessions could become a national series.
“And we’re considering, as we speak, the possibility of creating a third HD radio station based entirely on the Chiaroscuro Records library,” Kelly said. “It seems at first blush an obvious idea.” That might also be used to promote sales of not only the old catalog but also the new recordings and videos.
“I look forward,” said Jarenwattananon, “to seeing what being owned by a public media organization will do for making this music, and the history in it, accessible to many.”
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Chiaroscuro Records of New York now Owned and Operated by WVIA Public Media
Pittston, PA – What can happen when an established record label is donated to a PBS and NPR station? What if those stations have a high definition television and 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound Theater under their roof? What if America’s finest jazz artists were given special access to such a facility?
Would the resulting audio and video recordings, performed before a live audience of passionate fans and later offered on the internet, CD’s and DVD’s inspire renewed interest in America’s classic music?
Answers are about to be learned as Chiaroscuro Records of New York passes from the loving hands of its long-time owners to WVIA TV and FM in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The company that eventually became Chiaroscuro was founded by Hank O’Neal, a former CIA agent, distinguished author, photographer, jazz authority and educator in 1970, in association with the legendary musician, Marian McPartland, and the noted industrialist and philanthropist Sherman M. Fairchild. After a period when the catalog was owned by AudioFidelity Enterprises, Chiaroscuro was acquired by SOS Productions, Inc., a company formed by O’Neal and Pennsylvania businessman Andrew Sordoni. These two, operating in the spirit of a partnership, reinvigorated the company, established a business headquarters in Wilkes Barre, Pa. while maintaining the creative office and studio in New York City.
Chiaroscuro Records is a collection of some 200 masters, equally divided between studio recordings and live concerts, many of which were presented on the legendary ocean liners S/S Norway and Queen Elizabeth 2, during the Floating Jazz Festival.
“I had been a fan of the company before I met Hank O’Neal, had personally purchased most of the vinyl recordings and was impressed with the Chiaroscuro format and intent to present and preserve the work of great but neglected musicians”, said Sordoni. “It is a happy coincidence that Hank and I became acquainted as the result of collaboration with Northeast Pennsylvania’s public television and radio stations in the annual production of the holiday public radio program, Christmas Music; The Jazz Feeling.”
Andrew Sordoni has been an active advocate, supporter and mentor to management, as well as a governing trustee of WVIA TV and FM for decades. Artists who now travel from New York and elsewhere to be part of the new Chiaroscuro label will perform in the Sordoni Theater, a gift of the family to the station’s ambitious “transformational change” conversion to digital high-definition. The donor spoke often of the need for WVIA to become a convener and common denominator. Now station officials look ahead to artistic impact far beyond the broadcast market it has long served.
The emerging vision for Chiaroscuro’s future is one that embraces and shares a breathtaking repository of historical recordings and expands on that tradition for lovers of this music throughout the world. While capturing new, digital, high-definition audio and video performances by internationally recognized artists in its state of the art theater studio, WVIA will also seek new jazz fans for priceless historical Chiaroscuro recordings of artists like the late Milt Hinton, Earl Fatha Hines, Joe Venuti, Teddy Wilson, Jonah Jones, Mary Lou Williams as well as vital younger artists such as Bill Charlap, Antonio Hart and Roy Hargrove, along with veterans like Lee Konitz, Randy Brecker and Abdullah Ibrahim.
WVIA also expects to build on a tradition begun decades ago by founders Sordoni and O’Neal by producing “Octogenarians in Jazz” a radio interview series once carried on many NPR stations. Now made for television, future conversations and live performances with still-performing, acclaimed senior jazz citizens will be offered to PBS and NPR stations across America.
“Andy Sordoni and Hank O’Neal put their hearts, a lot of time and much treasure into preserving the music of Chiaroscuro, and they wanted a home where it would be respected and kept alive. WVIA is expanding into non-traditional areas and this seems a perfect fit for our future,” said Bill Kelly, President of WVIA.
For more information on Chiaroscuro Records, please visit [ http://www.chiaroscurojazz.com/ ]http://www.chiaroscurojazz.com/
Welcome to the new chiaroscurojazz.com!
Chiaroscuro records is now owned and operated by WVIA Public Media of Northeast Pennsylvania. This new website is just a part of all the exciting changes that are happening at Chiaroscuro. What won't change is Chiaroscuro's dedication to bringing you the absolute best in Jazz recordings. So take a look around, browse our catalog, and let us know what you'd like to hear or see!
Chiaroscuro at COTA
Chiaroscuro records was at the 34th annual COTA Jazz festival Sept. 9-11th to record all the great Jazz that took place over the weekend. These recordings will be broadcast on George Graham's All that Jazz program on WVIA-FM 89.9 in the coming months. In the meantime, here are some photographs from the festival.