From the Desk Of: Eugene Marlow
2024 Upcoming Events
2024
May 13 NEW MARLOWSPHERE BLOG: Eugene Marlow posts a blog book review of Erica Ginsberg’s Creative Resilience.
May 1 “ZIKKARON/KRISTALLNACHT” AWARD: Eugene Marlow’s documentary short “Zikkaron/Kristallnacht: A Family Story” is an official selection semi-finalist of the CLIMAX Festival Internacional de Cinema Independiente 2024 in the “Best Achievement in Documentary Editing & Sound” category. There were 537 submissions to this film festival. 
April 30 INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY DOCUMENTARY SHOWING: Documentarian Dr. Eugene Marlow shows excerpts from his formative documentary “The Influence of African American Jazzers in the Diaspora: China & Russia” for the 24 hours of International Jazz Day. Link provided on April 30, 2024. Click Here.
April 15 NEW MARLOWSPHERE BLOG: Eugene Marlow posts a blog about his High School of Performing Arts classmate Charlie Smalls, composer and lyricist of the 1975 Broadway show “The Wiz”. 
April 13 BIG BAND PERFORMANCE: Bobby Sanabria’s Grammy-nominated “Multiverse” Big Band performs Eugene Marlow’s transcription and arrangement of James Reese Europe’s 1914 recording of “St Louis Blues” as part of a celebration of the music of Rafael Hernandez and James Reese Europe’s Harlem Hellfighters, Bronx Music Hall, 438 East 163rd Street, Bronx, New York City.
March 30 RADIO PLAY: Eugene Marlow’s free jazz-styled arrangement of  “Adon Olam” with vocalist Rachel Kara Perez, performed by Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble, is spun on WBGO’s “Latin Jazz Cruise,” hosted by Grammy-nominated drummer Bobby Sanabria. WBGO is the most listened to jazz radio station on the planet.
March 23 RADIO PLAY: Eugene Marlow’s Bolero-styled composition “Sin Mi” (Without Me) with lyrics by Rachel Kara Perez, performed by Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble with multi-lingual vocalist Jenn Jade Ledesna, is spun on WBGO’s “Latin Jazz Cruise,” hosted by Grammy-nominated drummer Bobby Sanabria. WBGO is the most listened to jazz radio station on the planet.
March 22 MARLOW PRESENTATION: Dr. Marlow gives a short talk on his “Jazz International” research project (documentaries and books) PechaKucha style for staff, professors, and students at Baruch College’s (City University of New York) Third Annual Cross-College Faculty Research Symposium. 
February 17 RADIO PLAY: Eugene Marlow’s Latin jazz original “Flight II,” performed and recorded by Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble with ArcoIris Sandoval at the piano, is spun on WBGO’s “Latin Jazz Cruise” hosted by Grammy-nominated drummer Bobby Sanabria. WBGO is the most listened to jazz radio station on the planet.
February 15 NEW MARLOWSPHERE BLOG: Marlow’s newest blog is “In Recovery from the Pandemic–APAP 2024 Faces: Familiar, New & Absent.” 
February 9 NEW ALBUM RELEASE: MEII Enterprises proudly releases a second album from the Ben Sutin Quartet. Titled “Mr. Inevitable,” the seven-track album consists of all Sutin originals. The album is available on all major digital platforms and Bandcamp. Watch an album video hereSutin’s first album with MEII Enterprises was “Hard Bop Hanukkah” (2020). 
February 8-11 JAZZ IN CHINA DOCUMENTARY SHOWING: Eugene Marlow’s award-winning, feature-length documentary “Jazz in China” is an “official selection” of the “Third Annual (2024) Spotlight on Academics Film Festival.” It is shown via ResearchTV.ca. This is the 12th film festival to officially select the documentary. So far, it is the recipient of an “Award of Excellence” from the 2022 Depth of Field International Film Festival and was the first place winner of the 2022 American Insight “Free Speech Film Festival.”
January 13-14 APAP 2024: Eugene Marlow, Ph.D. attends the annual meeting of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (New York City) as a journalist. Marlow will write an article about the international exhibitors attending the multi-day event at the New York Hilton (midtown).  
January 12 “BOARDED AND BROKEN” DOCUMENTARY SHOWING: The New Plaza Cinema (scroll down a bit) shows “Boarded & Broken,” a documentary short photographic essay by Glenda F. Hydler with  a music underscore composed by Dr. Eugene Marlow (who also produced and directed the work). The photographs represent some of the businesses that covered up during and after the vandalism around New York City in the spring of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Temporary structures were created in the name of “security.” They were boarded and broken, but not forgotten.  The short film festival is organized by filmmaker Michael Jacobsohn. New Plaza Cinema is located at 35 West 67th Street in Manhattan, New York. Starts at 7:30 p.m. General seating: $15; Seniors: $12. 
January 6 RADIO PLAY: Eugene Marlow’s Afro-Caribbean original “El Ache de Sanabria,” an homage to friend and colleague Bobby Sanabria, performed and recorded by the Grammy-nominated “Multiverse Big Band” on the Jazzheads label, is spun on WBGO’s “Latin Jazz Cruise,” hosted by Grammy-nominated drummer Bobby Sanabria. WBGO is the most listened to jazz radio station on the planet.
January 1 Dr. Marlow begins a one-semester fellowship leave from Baruch College to work on his nascent new documentary “Jazz in Arabic Culture”. He returns to teach courses in media and culture at Baruch College on August 28, 2024.
2023
December 16 RADIO PLAY: Eugene Marlow’s Afro-Caribbean arrangement of “Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel,” performed by his Heritage Ensemble,  is spun on WBGO’s “Latin Jazz Cruise,” hosted by Grammy-nominated drummer Bobby Sanabria. WBGO is the most listened to jazz radio station on the planet.
November 26 Dr. Eugene Marlow is informed his blog “Remembering Bill Evans: A Personal Account,” originally published in 2013, was to be included in an anthology of “best writing by jazz journalists.” The volume, sponsored by the Jazz Journalists Association, will be published by Cymbal Press in 2024. 
November 7 MEII ENTERPRISES ARTIST PERFORMANCE: Violinist/Composer Ben Sutin’s fourth album “Mr. Inevitable” is performed by the quartet at a pre-release show at Shapeshifter Lab in Park Slope (New York City) on Tuesday, November 7th starting at 6pm! Shapeshifter Lab is located at 837 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215. Sutin’s album will be officially released on February 9, 2024. 
November 1 GRAMMYU: GrammyU, the mentor/mentee arm of the Recording Academy (the Grammys) has paired Dr. Eugene Marlow (mentor) with French-born Amelia Rolland (mentee), a recent singer-songwriter graduate of the renown Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA).  This is Marlow’s fifth turn in the GrammyU program. He is a voting member (since 2006) of The Recording Academy.
October 21 RADIO PLAY: Eugene Marlow’s Latin-jazz arrangement of “Hatikva” (The Hope), the Israeli national anthem, performed by Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble, is spun on WBGO’s “Latin Jazz Cruise,” hosted by Grammy-nominated drummer Bobby Sanabria. WBGO is the most listened to jazz radio station on the planet.
October 15 RADIO PLAY: Francisco Manuel invites composer/producer Eugene Marlow to spin “Blue in Green Remix” (MEII Enterprises 2023) on Radio Despi out of Barcelona, Spain.
October 2 Dr. Eugene Marlow participates in the American Insight “Speak EZ” program which showcases award-winning directors, artists. authors, and scholars. Marlow’s feature-length documentary “Jazz in China” won first place in American Insight’s 2022 “Free Speech Film Festival.” He is interviewed by Karen Curry, former NBC and CNN journalist. 
August 29 The Annual Marlow Prize in “Arts Consulting” is presented at a ceremony organized and hosted by the MA Program in Arts Management (David Milch, Director) at Baruch College (City University of New York) (starts at 6.p.m.). Dr. Marlow is in the process of establishing a $25,000 fund so that the annual prize can be awarded in perpetuity. 
August 28 Dr. Eugene Marlow begins his 71st semester (36th year) teaching courses in media and culture at Baruch College (City University of New York).
 July 3 MARLOW PRIZE AWARDEES: Matthew Sullivan is the recipient of the Marlow Prize in Arts Leadership for the 2022-23 academic year. His consultancy, Children’s Orchestra Society: Succession Planning for Community Arts Organizations was an exceptional paper utilizing a very high level of research and an analytical approach. His review of succession planning – specifically in a transition within a founder-led organization will serve the Children’s Orchestra Society very well, but also provides an excellent resource for any similar institution. The Committee also awarded an Honorable Mention for the Marlow Prize this year to Jessie Kardos for her consultancy, Re-envisioning a Multinational Dance Nonprofit Through a Program Budget Model: Springboard Danse Montréal & Friends of Springboard Danse. Jessie’s consultancy stood out in its ability to provide excellent research and analysis, managed across two organizations, working internationally and with budgets in multiple currencies. Sullivan and Kardos are students in the MA Program in Arts Management at Baruch College, City University of New York. The annual Marlow Prize is funded by Dr. Eugene Marlow, Senior Professor in Baruch College’s Department of Journalism.
June 30 ZIKKARON/KRISTALLNACHT SHOWING: Eugene Marlow’s award-winning documentary short “Zikkaron/Kristallnacht: A Family Story” is shown at the New Plaza Cinema (New York City) on June 30. This short (previously an official selection at 18 domestic and international film festivals) is among several shorts shown on June 30. The short film festival is organized by filmmaker Michael Jacobsohn. New Plaza Cinema is located at 35 West 67th Street in Manhattan, New York. General seating: $15; Seniors: $12.
May 27 PERFORMANCE: Dr. Eugene Marlow’s piece “Aspetta Ancora Qualche Minuto” (“Wait a minute!”) is performed by the Namaste Trio (Natalia Benedetti, clarinet, Guido Arbonelli, clarinet, and Vincenzo De Filpo, pianoforte) in Montecchio Emilia, Italy.  The concert is organized by composer Andrea Talmelli, Presidente of SIMC, the Contemporary Music Italian Association. 
April 30 JAZZ IN CHINA (DOCUMENTARY): The folks at the UNESCO sponsored International Jazz Day invited Dr. Eugene Marlow to present his multi-award-winning feature documentary “Jazz in China” as an “official event” on April 30, 2023. The documentary is shown free of charge globally via UNESCO’s International Jazz Day web site for 24 hours on April 30, 2023.
April 21 MEII ENTERPRISES ARTIST PERFORMS: MEII ENTERPRISES artist classical oboist Virginia Chang Chien performs with a trio at Klavierhaus, 790 11th Avenue, New York City. Concert entitled “Revival Romanticism” starts at 7 p.m. Ms. Chien performs with violist April Jiwon Kim and pianist Daniel Colalillo. Tickets $26.
April 6 JAZZ IN CHINA (DOCUMENTARY): Dr. Eugene Marlow’s award-winning, feature-length documentary is shown at the Brooklyn Heights branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, starting at 6 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose room on the basement level. Dr. Marlow participates in a Q&A session following the showing. The library is located at 286 Cadman Plaza West, Brooklyn NY 11201.
April 1 ARTICLE: Dr. Marlow is featured in the Baruch College Fund Annual Report 2021-2022 because of his commitment to his Marlow Prize in Arts Leadership, awarded annually to a student in the Graduate Program in Arts Administration.
March 31-April 2 JAZZ IN CHINA (DOCUMENTARY) ON CUNY-TV: Dr. Eugene Marlow’s award-winning feature-length documentary “Jazz in China” is shown on CUNY-TV. CUNY-TV reaches 7.3 million homes. “Jazz in China” looks at the influence of African American jazz musicians on Chinese artists, and the music’s appeal to Chinese youth. Embark on a captivating journey as this documentary takes you through exclusive interviews and incredible performances that capture the magic of jazz culture in China throughout history, and today. Produced by Baruch College journalism professor Eugene Marlow. Friday, 3/31, Saturday, 4/1, and Sunday, 4/2, at 3:55 PM. CUNY TV | Antenna 25.3 | Spectrum/Optimum 75 | RCN 77 | Verizon FiOS 30
March 7 MEII ENTERPRISES ALBUM PRODUCTION: MEII Producer Eugene Marlow goes into the studio (Samurai Hotel) in Astoria, Queens (New York City) to oversee the recording of virtuoso violinist Ben Sutin’s forthcoming album, featuring acclaimed drummer Johnathan Blake. The album is due for release in late summer 2023.  
March 1 JAZZ IN CHINA (DOCUMENTARY) ARTICLE: DOWNBEAT, the leading jazz publication, publishes “Jazz in China: A Cultural Conversation,” authored by John McDonough. The full-page feature article includes comments by producer-director Dr. Eugene Marlow.
February 27 JAZZ IN CHINA (DOCUMENTARY): Dr. Eugene Marlow talks about his award-winning, feature-length documentary as part of the Northwest China Council’s “Movie Chat” program. Starts at 7 p.m. PST. Register here.
February 25 MARLOW BIG BAND CHARTS: Composer/Arranger Eugene Marlow adds three more Latin big band charts to 3-2 Music’s catalogue: “Resolution,” “Sin Mi,” and “Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel.” Marlow’s first big band chart with the Fresno, California company that markets to colleges and universities music departments was “El Ache de Sanabria (en moderacion),” Marlow’s musical homage to multi-Grammy nominee drummer/percussionist and big band leader Bobby Sanabria. This chart appears on Sanabria’s Grammy-nominated “Big Band Urban Folktales” (Jazzheads 2007) 
February 24-26 JAZZ IN CHINA (DOCUMENTARY) ON CUNY-TV: Dr. Eugene Marlow’s award-winning feature-length documentary “Jazz in China” shown on CUNY-TV’s 7.3 million homes. “Jazz in China” looks at the influence of African American jazz musicians on Chinese artists, and the music’s appeal to Chinese youth. Embark on a captivating journey as this documentary takes you through exclusive interviews and incredible performances that capture the magic of jazz culture in China throughout history, and today.  Produced by Baruch College professor Gene Marlow. Friday, 2/24, Saturday, 2/25, and Sunday, 2/26, at 3:35 PM. CUNY TV | Antenna 25.3 | Spectrum/Optimum 75 | RCN 77 | Verizon FiOS 30
February 15 GRAMMYU MENTEE: Recording Academy voting member Dr. Eugene Marlow is chosen to serve as a mentor to mentee Nora Ann Jn Louis (a.k.a. Koryna), a first year BA in Music Production student at Rider University, Lawrenceville, New Jersey. This is Dr. Marlow’s fourth turn as a mentor in the Recording Academy’s mentorship program.
February 15 JAZZ IN CHINA (BOOK) TALK: Dr. Eugene Marlow gives a talk (via Zoom) organized by the Northwest China Council (Portland, OR) starting at 7 p.m. (PST). The talk is free and open to the public.  Register here to participate in the one-hour presentation.
February 11 PERFORMANCE: Dr. Eugene Marlow’s “Aspetta Ancora Qualche Minuto” (“Wait a minute!”) is performed by the Namaste Trio (Natalia Benedetti, clarinet, Guido Arbonelli, clarinet, and Vincenzo De Filpo, pianoforte) at the Camera del lavoro, Association Secondomaggio, in Milano, Italy.
January 25 Dr. Eugene Marlow begins his 70th semester (35th year) teaching courses in media and culture at Baruch College (City University of New York).
January 21 RADIO PLAY: Eugene Marlow’s original Latin composition “Sin Mi” (Without Me) with lyrics by Rachel Kara Perez, performed by Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble with multi-lingual vocalist Jenn Jade Ledesna,  is spun on WBGO’s “Latin Jazz Cruise,” hosted by Grammy-nominated drummer Bobby Sanabria. WBGO is the most listened to jazz radio station on the planet.
January 2 Dr. Eugene Marlow submits a positive review of The Supreme Nonfiction: An Anthology of Literary Nonfiction in the Digital Age book proposal to publisher Bloomsbury.
2022
December 24 RADIO PLAY: Eugene Marlow’s Afro-Caribbean arrangement of “Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel,” performed by his Heritage Ensemble,  is spun on WBGO’s “Latin Jazz Cruise,” hosted by Grammy-nominated drummer Bobby Sanabria. WBGO is the most listened to jazz radio station on the planet.
December 15 REVIEW OF THE “JAZZ IN CHINA” BOOK: “BEST JAZZ BOOKS OF 2018.”
December 15 REVIEW OF THE “JAZZ IN CHINA” DOCUMENTARY: A review of the documentary in “The Feedback Society” by Robert Barry Francos from May 2021.
November 21 ARTICLE  PUBLISHED: Dr. Eugene Marlow’s article “Jazz in China: The Book, The Documentary, the Journey,” appears in the November 2022 issue of School Band and Orchestra, pp. 16-19.
November 21 SINGLE TRACK RELEASE: Anruo Cheng’s electroacoustic composition “She Says,” an anti-violence against women protest piece, is released on Eugene Marlow’s indie MEII Enterprises label.
November 19 “JAZZ IN CHINA” DOCUMENTARY AWARD CEREMONY: American INSIGHT’s annual Free Speech Film Festival Award Ceremony takes place at Cliveden in Philadelphia on Saturday, November 19th, 2022. The Free Speech Film Festival Award Ceremony Moderator is American INSIGHT Board member, Karen Curry, former NBC and CNN Bureau Chief. She will be joined onstage by Bob Craig, longtime WRTI Jazz host, and Dr. Eugene Marlow, the director of the 2022 Free Speech Award winner.
November 10 “JAZZ IN CHINA” REVIEW: Renowned jazz journalist Nate Chinen pens review of Eugene Marlow’s award-winning, feature-length “Jazz in China” documentary.
November 10 “ZIKKARON KRISTALLNACHT” DOCUMENTARY PRESENTATION: Dr. Eugene Marlow’s award-winning 2015 documentary short “Zikkaron/Kristallnacht: A Family Story” has been selected by 17 domestic and international film festivals. It also earned the 2016 John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis from the Media Ecology Association. The documentary short will be presented as part of The Sandra Kahn Wasserman Jewish Studies Center in the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences at Baruch College on November 10. A talk by Dr. Marlow will follow the showing. The presentation takes place in 14-270 starting at 6 p.m. at Baruch College (New York City).
November 7 SINGLE TRACK RELEASE: Eugene Marlow’s piece for string orchestra “Undminished” as performed by the North/South Chamber Orchestra is released by MEII Enterprises on cdbaby to 150+ digital platforms. 
November 3 BLUE IN GREEN: Three tracks from Eugene Marlow’s “Blue in Green: Original Compositions Inspired by the Jazz Poems of Grace Schulman” will be played at a “event” honoring Dr. Grace Schulman’s retirement from Baruch College. The event takes place in Engelman Recital Hall, Baruch College (New York City) at 6 p.m.
October 12 JAZZ IN CHINA DOCUMENTARY AWARD: Eugene Marlow’s 2022 feature-length documentary “Jazz in China” is the winner of the 2022 American Insight “Free Speech Festival.” An award ceremony will take place in Philadelphia on November 19.
September 26 Recording Academy voting member Dr. Eugene Marlow is chosen to serve as a mentor to mentee Ms. Amelia Rolland, a French-born, multi-talented musician-composer (currently studying at the Berklee School of Music in Boston). This is Dr. Marlow’s third turn as a mentor in the Recording Academy’s mentorship program.
September 25 Marlowsphere Blog: Dr. Marlow publishes Blog #156–Anruo Cheng’s electroacoustic composition “She Says,” an anti-violence against women protest piece. 
August 31 JAZZ IN CHINA AWARD INTERVIEW: Dr. Eugene Marlow, Producer/Director of the award-winning documentary “Jazz in China,” is interviewed by Karen Curry, a member of the board of American Insight (via Zoom), regarding his documentary. The feature-length documentary (which has also received an “Award of Excellence” from the Depth of Field International Film Festival) is the winner of the 2022 American Insight “Free Speech Film Festival.”
August 30 The Annual Marlow Prize in “Arts Consulting” is presented at a ceremony organized and hosted by the MA Program in Arts Management (David Milch, Director) at Baruch College (starts at 6.p.m.). Stephanie O’Brien received the award for 2021-22, and both Jose Alvarado and Rob Maitner received Honorable Mentions. Dr. Marlow is in the process of establishing a $25,000 fund so that the annual prize can be awarded in perpetuity. 
August 29 Dr. Eugene Marlow begins his 69th semester (35th year) teaching courses in media and culture at Baruch College (City University of New York).
August 13 JAZZ IN CHINA DOCUMENTARY AWARD: Eugene Marlow’s feature-length documentary “Jazz in China” is the recipient of an “Award of Excellence” from the “2022 Depth of Field International Film Festival.” The festival received close to 400 entries from 23 countries. 
August 9 JAZZ IN CHINA ZOOM PRESENTATION: Dr. Eugene Marlow is interviewed on Zoom by the University of Chicago/Hong Kong about his feature-length documentary “Jazz in China.” Dr. Marlow shows a 15-minute portion of the documentary followed by a Q&A session. The full-length, 60-minute documentary is an official selection at 11 domestic and international film festivals.
August 3 JAZZ IN CHINA IN-PERSON PRESENTATION: Dr. Eugene Marlow gives a talk on “Jazz in China: The Documentary” at the Basalt (Colorado) Public Library. He shows the feature-length documentary in its entirety followed by a Q&A session. Presentation starts at 5:30.
August 1 JAZZ IN CHINA IN-PERSON PRESENTATION: Dr. Eugene Marlow gives talk on “Jazz in China: The Book/The Documentary” at the Aspen Composers Conference, Aspen, Colorado. Dr. Marlow shows a 15-mi nute portion of the documentary followed by a comparison of writing the book vs. producing the documentary.
July 8 PERFORMANCE: Eugene Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble provides music for Baruch College’s Executive MBA Reception at the St. Regis (New York City).
July 2 RADIO PLAY: Eugene Marlow’s “El Ache de Sanabria” performed by the Grammy-nominated “Multiverse Big Band” is spun on WBGO’s “Latin Jazz Cruise,” hosted by Bobby Sanabria. WBGO is the most listened to jazz radio station on the planet.
June JAZZ IN CHINA DOCUMENTARY REVIEW: International Piano (UK) publishes a review of Eugene Marlow’s documentary, p. 62.
May 22 MANUSCRIPT REVIEW: Dr. Eugene Marlow submits review of “Locating Burial Mound: Naamyam, Free Jazz, and Chinese American Voices” draft manuscript for Music Theory Spectrum, University of Ottawa.
April 30 JAZZ IN CHINA DOCUMENTARY: Eugene Marlow’s revised feature-length documentary about “Jazz in China” (based on his 2018 book) is an “official event” of International Jazz Day. The documentary is available for viewing free of charge globally for the 24 hours of International Jazz Day.
April 15 THE MARLOWSPHERE BLOG: Eugene Marlow publishes “Part II: It’s Suffocating: When Young Women From South East Asia Hit A Cultural Wall.” 
April 8 THE MARLOWSPHERE BLOG: Eugene Marlow publishes Part I: “It’s Suffocating When Young Women From South East Asia Hit A Cultural Wall” 
April 2-8 NPR RADIO PLAY: Judy Carmichael re-broadcasts her March 2019 interview with Dr. Eugene Marlow about his book Jazz in China: From Dance Hall Music to Individual Freedom of Expression (University Press of Mississippi 2018). Marlow will release a feature-length documentary version of the book on the MEII Enterprises label on April 30, 2022, International Jazz Day.
February 28 ZIKKARON/KRISTALLNACHT OFFICIAL FILM FESTIVAL SELECTIONS: MEII Enterprises announces that Dr. Eugene Marlow’s 2015 documentary short “Zikkaron/Kristallnacht: A Family Story” has been selected for showing at 18 domestic and international film festivals, as follows: 2022 Stockholm Short Festival, 2022 FlickFair Film Festival, 2022 Arthouse Festival of Beverly Hills, 2021 Tokyo Shorts Film Festival, 2021 San Francisco Indie Short Festival, 2021 Rotterdam Independent Film Festival, 2021 Phoenix Shorts Film Festival, 2021 Paris International Film Festival, 2021 Niagara Falls International Short Festival, 2021 London Indie Short Festival, 2021 Florida Short Film Festival, 2021 Berlin Shorts Award, and 2017 New York Short Film Tuesdays.
February 7 GRAMMYU: Grammy U, the educational outreach arm of the Recording Academy, has paired Dr. Eugene Marlow (voting member since 2006) with Jonah Abrams, an upper level student at Stevens Institute of Technology (New Jersey) for the Spring 2022 semester.
January 31 Dr. Eugene Marlow begins his 68th semester teaching courses in media and culture at Baruch College (City University of New York).
January 28 Dr. Eugene Marlow interviews Baayork Lee, Co-Founder and Executive Artistic Director of the National Asian Artists Project, as part of the MA in Arts Administration Spring 2022 Semester Welcome @ Baruch College (starts @ 5 p.m.) Dr. Marlow and Ms. Lee both graduated from The High School of the Performing Arts: Marlow as a drama major, Ms. Lee as a dance major. Of note, Lee created the role of Connie in the 1976 Tony-award winning Best Musical A Chorus Line.
January 11 THE MARLOWSPHERE BLOG: Eugene Marlow publishes his newest blog: “Update: The Max Borak Story.”
January 10 ALBUM RELEASE: MEII Enterprises releases “C.I.T.I.Z.E.N.” the inaugural album from Ghananian rapper Pope Nst. The five-track album has been distributed worldwide to all digital platforms. 

Please check back often as updates with new dates and more details
will be added to the schedule.

Click here to learn more about Eugene Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble

EMHE

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“Creative Resilience” by Erica Ginsberg, A Book for All Artists

The Marlowsphere (Blog #160)

Once in a while you pick up a book, start reading it and quickly realize there’s deep value, the voice of pragmatic experience, wisdom, and guidance in between the front and back covers. Such a book is Erica Ginsberg’s Creative Resilience: Reclaiming Your Power as an Artist (Bold Story Press, 2023).

Whatever aspect of the fine and performing arts you’re in, whether you are a fulltime artist making your living through your artistic practice or an “amateur” for which art is a sideline or something in between, Creative Resilience is a must for your bedside reading before the lights go out, or sitting on a beach, or resting in a hammock, or having with you to refer to while you’re creating your art.

In a way, the book’s sub-title is misleading. It presumes on some level the reader is someone who has lost the power of making art. Ginsberg’s book touches anyone in the world of the fine and performing arts, whether you’re active or licking your wounds from too much rejection. Once you get into two or three chapters you will recognize yourself in the words, paragraphs, and pages regardless of what stage of artistic life you are experiencing. Creative Resilience is for the beginner, the artist at the middle stage of a career, or someone at the height of their skills and powers.

Certainly, this is not the first book to deal with the emotionally fraught issues of making art and failure and/or success. Several books have preceded this one, among them:

  • Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
    by David Bayles and Ted Orland
  • The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
    by Steven Pressfield
  • Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All
    by Tom Kelley and David Kelley
  • Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better: Wise Advice for Leaning into the Unknown
    by Pema Chödrön
  • The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
    by Jack Canfield
  • Art Is the Highest Form of Hope & Other Quotes by Artists
    by Phaidon Editors

Art and Fear and The War of Art are two of the earlier books Ginsberg references in an appendix at the end of her book. What distinguishes Erica Ginsbergher work, however, is its presentation style in words and organization. Each of her 23 chapters are short and easily digested. This book could be absorbed in one sitting. There’s also an element of interactivity. At the end of each chapter is a “Creative Check-In,” where Ginsberg provides the reader with an opportunity to reflect on the content of the chapter and essentially prods the reader to reflect on and apply what has just been read to the reader’s own “artistic” life.

Her choice of language is straight forward and clear. She quotes other artists who were especially interviewed for the book. She quotes many other artists who are well-known and some not so well known. Regardless, throughout you always have the feeling Ms. Ginsberg knows whereof she speaks, that she has experienced everything she talks about, that her advice and encouragements come from a wealth of struggle, failure, pain, revision, reframing, success, and personal and artistic growth.

Creative Resilience is one of those volumes that should be on every artist’s bookshelf to be read and re-read at least once a year, or at least referred to from time to time regardless of artistic failure or success. It covers a lot of bases regarding the fragile world of art making. It’s the kind of book you can cozy up to and feel as if someone is talking to you like an understanding friend.

Eugene Marlow, MBA, Ph.D. is himself an active artist: composer, arranger, musician, journalist, author, producer, documentarian, and educator.

Eugene Marlow, MBA, Ph.D., © 2024

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Charlie Smalls Remembered

The Marlowsphere (Blog #159)

The Wiz Playbills Then & Now The Broadway-bound revival of “The Wiz,” a re-telling of the 1900 L. Frank Baum classic with an African American cast, began previews on March 29, 2024, at the Marquis Theatre ahead of an April 17 opening night. No, this isn’t a public relations piece about the show that premiered 50 years ago. This is a blog about my memories of the show’s composer and lyricist, Charlie Smalls.

I’m able to write with some authority about Charlie Smalls because I knew him, not just casually, but over a period of several years. We were classmates at The High School of Performing Arts at 120 West 46th Street in Manhattan, just blocks away from Broadway. We were both in the same homeroom. He was a music major. I was a drama major, with strong leanings toward music.

Charlie was clearly an exceptionally talented musician and, as it turns out, a talented composer and lyricist. His ability to write lyrics was a surprise to me when I learned in 1975 about the opening of this Broadway show called ‘The Wiz,” but I was not surprised about his Charlie Smalls inscription to Eugene Marlow in Marlow's yearbook.composing skills. Even in high school Charlie was already a player at a professional level. In fact, not only did he play the piano, but he also studied the upright acoustic bass.

I’m quite certain Charlie helped put me on the road to composing jazz pieces. There was a piano in our homeroom and he was often sitting at the piano just noodling around. I don’t recall if he ever taught me anything specific about jazz chords or structure, but I am certain that as a result of our casual meetings at the homeroom piano I was inspired to compose my very first piece at age 15 — a blues in C minor that had classical arpeggio gestures and moved from c minor to C Major and back to c minor. I also used a major ninth chord in the opening theme (although I couldn’t name it at the time). Many years later I named it “Nightcap.” Even more years later virtuoso pianist ArcoIris Sandoval recorded it, with multi-Grammy nominee drummer Bobby Sanabria, and bassist Frank Wagner for one of my albums.

Did I learn the blues from Charlie? Hard to say. I could barely read music—even though my father was a professional violinist and a composer who introduced me to jazz at a jazz jamboree in London, England when I was around eight years old. Consequently, I also didn’t know how to write music down. This was a skill I acquired years later.

Charlie was a presence. He had a big smile and a big personality. You knew he was in the room. He was talented. And he was a good soul. He Charlie Smalls dancing during the GOPA music broadcastwas no wallflower. Every day at midday the entire school of 600 students had a lunch break. During the second half of this period, we had what was called GOPA: the Government Organization of Performing Arts where music was played over the public address system that reached everyone in the school’s lobby area. There was also a lunchroom on the same floor and when the  music blared over the GOPA system, we all danced in the center of the lobby floor. And we loved it! And so did Charlie. Not only did he program and announce the music played from the vinyl records, Charlie was also on the floor in the thick of the dancing throng. It only lasted 20-30 minutes, but this was everyone’s chance to let off some steam from the pressures of the schoolwork. Performing Arts demanded a professional attitude at all times, or you were out!

There are two other things I recall from my memory of Charlie. In my senior year I took on the task of writing and directing the senior show. This was an annual tradition in which the outgoing seniors “roasted” the staff and faculty. The show was called “A Lass in PlAy Land.” It was a rip-off of the plot of “Alice in Wonderland” There was a drama Alice (played by Jennifer Salt), a dance Alice (played by Baayork Lee), and a music Alice (played by Stephanie Dank). Each Alice represented each of the school’s majors. Charlie was my first call when it came time to add music and a trio ensemble into the performance mix. He handled the assignment with ease (no pun intended).

As an aside, you might recognize the names Jennifer Salt and Baayork Lee. Jennifer was the daughter of Waldo Salt (screenwriter of “Midnight Cowboy”) and an excellent writer in her own right. She went on to star in movies and television (e.g., “Soap”) and as a writer for television. Baayork was one of the original cast members of “A Chorus Line” and went on to work with director Michael Bennett as his assistant. She is now in charge of “A Chorus Line” worldwide.

The other memory I have of Charlie is he called me one afternoon after we had graduated and urged me to go down to a club in The Village in Manhattan to listen to a comedian. I had never heard of this comedian, but I trusted Charlie’s judgment. That comedian was Richard Pryor. I remember standing at the back of this smallish club listening to Pryor’s patter. I didn’t understand a word of what he said or why he was saying it. But it was clear how he was saying it was highly engaging and compelling.

Charlie Small yearbook inscription to Eugene MarlowIn my yearbook Charlie wrote: “Keep writing. Stay in the groove because I want to be on my way to see your new B’way hit some time soon. Don’t fail me!” He signed it “Mr. Cool Charlie.” By “writing” I’m sure he meant composing.

Of course, 14 years after we graduated from Performing Arts “The Wiz” opened on Broadway with music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls. He had created a 7-time Tony-winning “hit” show. In the 14 intervening years between graduation and the opening of “The Wiz” I was busy earning two college degrees, serving six years in the United States Air Force during the height of the Vietnam War, then working as a news editor for the leading trade magazine in mass merchandizing, and finally starting a career in video and radio production. Events—personal, professional, and external–took us in different directions. Music, though, one way or another, has been my constant shadow companion.

L to R: Unidentified man, Charlie Smalls (Composer/Lyricist), William F. Brown (Book) and Ken Harper (Producer) during rehearsals for the stage production “The Wiz” photo: NYPL Digital CollectionsCharlie died young, much too young. He was 43 and performing in Belgium when he suffered a burst appendix and died from cardiac arrest in the process. I’ve seen photos of him decades after he graduated from Performing Arts. He smoked and perhaps this was a contributing cause. Don’t know. He had a son whom I’d like to meet.

Either way, Charlie was no small talent. He created an enduring musical work that was morphed into a movie in 1978 and is now enjoying a Broadway revival. There’s no doubt in my mind Charlie Smalls played a brief but pivotal role in my own, long, challenging journey to embracing and realizing my innate musical talent.

I wish I had kept up with him. He was the real deal.


Eugene Marlow, MBA, Ph.D., received the John Golden Award for Excellence in the Creative Theatre when he graduated from The High School of Performing Arts. To date, he has composed over 300 musical works in various jazz, Afro-Caribbean, Brazilian, and classical genres. Four of his charts for big band appear on four Grammy nominated albums. He has released 33 albums and single tracks on his indie label, MEII Enterprises.

Eugene Marlow, MBA, Ph.D., © 2024

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In Recovery from the Pandemic – APAP 2024 Faces: Familiar, New & Absent

APAP LogoEvery year in mid-January the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) hosts a multi-day conference at the Hilton Hotel on West 53rd Street and Avenue of the Americas. It is one of those most important gatherings that brings together performers and their representatives and presenter decision-makers from all parts of the United States and other parts of the planet. It is an annual event where people meet and greet, network and do business. There are hundreds of exhibitors on three floors. Performers showcase their wares in performance spaces inside and outside the conference space. As the saying goes, you can feel the electricity of people rubbing shoulders over an intense, compacted period of days.

APAP is an organization that has evolved. Membership in the association was 29 in 1957 (its founding year); today, APAP has 1,600 organizational and individual members and serves more than 5,000 performing arts professionals every year. The association represents the APAP Sign-In Areanonprofit and for-profit sectors of the presenting and touring industry of the performing arts in the U.S. and internationally, with member organizations from all 50 U.S. states and several dozen countries.

But just like the stock market, or any market for that matter, nothing goes in the same direction forever. This is just as true with APAP 2024.

This journalist first attended APAP in 2011. At that time my focus was on the jazz genre and its representation at APAP. Since then, my focus has shifted to “international” exhibitors. I missed the 2023 conference because of contracting COVID 19. In several ways the COVID 19 pandemic of 2020-2023 represents a period in modern times that can be referred to as “before” and “after,” as in before the pandemic and after the pandemic. For some time to come the global COVID 19 pandemic will be a time marker of events.

This is true of “before APAP 2020” and “after APAP 2020.”

I spent an afternoon touring the three floors of exhibits speaking with as many “international” exhibitors as possible. My central question was usually “Why do you exhibit at APAP? What motivates you to be here given the travel and per diem expense and the exhibiting expense itself?” The last time I took this approach the most telling response was “You have to show up to be credible.”

Of note, and this is one of the key observations of APAP 2024, none of the international exhibitors interviewed for this writer’s APAP 2020 story were present at APAP 2024. None. These were a few of the faces absent from this year’s event.

China Shanghai International Arts Festival LogoBefore 2020 you could take it for granted there would be several mainland Chinese exhibitors. And they were not shy about making their presence known. Their booths were among the largest on the exhibit floor. This year? There was one—The China Shanghai International Arts Festival hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China and organized by the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government. There was no one manning the booth. Only “silent” brochures strewn across the booth tables. Not even any business “contact” cards.

On the other hand, the Taipei (Taiwan) Cultural Center in New York was present. This center was established as the first overseas office of Taipei Cultural Center LogoTaiwan’s Ministry of Culture in 1991. Its mission is to “build connections through arts and culture in New York and throughout North America.” According to Yu Chien Liu, “Our cultural officers are in constant contact with presenting organizations here. We feel that APAP is such a good opportunity for us to meet all the artists in one place.” This organization that looks to bring Taiwanese performing artists to the United States has been present at APAP since 2001.

I interviewed almost a dozen international exhibitors. Many of them were newbies. A few had been around for several years.

Madame Arthur Among the newbies was “Madame Arthur” which opened in 1946 as the first transvestite cabaret of Paris. It presents weekly reviews of French music repertoire. The name comes from the famous song written in 1860 by Paul de Kock and performed by Yvette Guilbert. According to Rosie Doubremelle, the exhibit representative, the show producers were able to mount an APAP exhibit with the help of the French government.

Siudy Garrido FlamencoSiudy Garrido is a Venezuelan-born, award-winning flamenco artist, choreographer as well as Artistic Director of her own company with a high reputation in the contemporary Flamenco dance scene. Pablo Croce, SIUDY Flamenco CEO re-quoted a piece of advice he had heard from another: “People do business with those they know and who they like. Being here, rubbing elbows, seeing people in the eye, and having that personal relationship is what motivates us to be here.”

Another APAP 2024 exhibitor newbie is Gregory Harrington, a self-described classical crossover violinist born in Dublin, Ireland, but based in New York City. He presented two shows: the first Gregory Harringtonis “Emerald Strings,” a fusion of Irish traditional, contemporary music through the lens of classical music, and the second is “Reaching Milestones,” basically Miles Davis to Dave Brubeck punctuated by some of the great classical pieces that inspired legends like jazz pianist Bill Evans. There’s a little bit of Bach in there, a little bit of Chopin, Django Rinehart.”

He was the sole representative in his booth. When asked about his exhibiting at APAP, he replied: “In my eyes there’s no such thing as the usual route. I’ve been representing myself all my life. Just trying to see, can I explore, can I have a look at a different market, see the industry through a different lens. It’s not just about the ‘ask,’ it’s about can you create the longevity of a network. People like to do business with their friends. They don’t like to be pitched and asked all the time. If I get something out of it this weekend, great, it pays for itself, and if not, onwards.”

IncantiAnother first-timer to APAP is “Incanti” based in Milan, Italy. “Incanti” means “enchantments” in Italian. This is a highly theatrical magic show featuring six of Italy’s youngest and most decorated illusionists. Their performances draw upon the writings of such theatrical authors as Shakespeare, Goethe, Pirandello, and Tennessee Williams. Piero Venesia is one of the six magicians. His awards include the Golden Wand Award at the Abano Terme International Magic Convention. Regarding exhibiting at APAP 2024 he commented: “We did a show in Latvia and we learned from someone there that he had brought a show to the United States on tour and was able to do this because he exhibited at APAP. It didn’t happen the first year, but it did the second year. We’ve toured Italy. Next year we’ll be touring Europe, so we figured that we should try to bring our show overseas, such as to America, and that’s why we’re here at APAP.”

Interestingly, two exhibitors, of which one was a first timer, incorporate jazz into the performance mix. The first is Admission Nation based in Montclair, New Jersey. It provides traditional flamenco and flamenco jazz performances with performers within and outside the United States. According to founder Ami Otero Minars: “We dedicate year-round to fostering an understanding of the art of flamenco and flamenco jazz and its diverse cultural roots. We are gearing up for a USA tour in April 2025.” APAP 2024 was its fourth time as an exhibitor.

Lee Torchia jazzragaThe other jazz oriented—and first time—exhibitor was “Lee Torchia: Jazz Raga.” Kyra Helmuth, representing Ms. Torchia, observed: “There’s so much diversity of music here, but you don’t see any North Indian raga. Lee Torchia does a fusion of jazz and raga. Jazz is well known in America. She’s brings these two cultures together. She needs to be here to get exposure.”

Then there are the exhibitors who have participated in APAP previously but bring Sisco Entertainmentsomething new to the event. David Wyatt, Operations Manager for the London-based Sisco Entertainment Group, commented that APAP 2024 was the fourth time the company has exhibited. The company specializes in musical entertainment, such as “The Knights of Music,” a tribute to British entertainment’s “Knights and Dames,” that is, anyone who has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Sisco also represents “The Barricade Boys,” a theatrical vocal group, and “Gravity,” a threesome female vocal group, among other acts. Wyatt added: “APAP is like a gateway to America. This is the place where you can meet the agents, the people, rather than sitting in an office with a phonebook. This is the place where you can meet the decision-makers you need to meet over one weekend. Everybody’s here.”

As for the rest, the vast majority of exhibitors were the “usual” faces, so to speak, like CINARS APAP 2024 Exhbitors(Canada), Love Productions, Golden Land Concerts and Connections, and New African Production which has been exhibiting at APAP since 2009. But in speaking to others on the floor not connected to this article’s intended international focus their collective observation was that attendance was “thin,” not only on day 2, but also on the first day of the exhibits.

Again, I refer to the “before the pandemic” and the “after the pandemic” time hack. There is no doubt the pandemic put a dent into many aspects of life, not just in the United States, but globally. Zoom has become a daily occurrence not only for business, but also for personal interactions. Commercial real estate has taken a hit in many major cities. It is a cascading, domino effect. Mortgage rates have doubled since before the pandemic (and might be in the process of coming down as of this writing), but this, in part, has led to inflation. Prices for almost everything has risen, not just incrementally, but significantly.

Is this another reason for the observation that international exhibitors were less present at APAP 2024 than in previous years? Or that attendance was “thin”? Are the mainland Chinese so disgruntled with the United States they would only send brochures to represent them at APAP 2024? And where are the other international exhibitors who always usually show up? Or is it a combination of factors?

Is the apparent shrinkage of international exhibitors at APAP 2024 compared to previous years like the canary in the coal mine? Or is it just a change in who shows up and 2024 is another transition year?

The answer to the last rhetorical question is in the affirmative.

According to Jenny Thomas, APAP’s Director of Marketing and Communications, the 2024 event attracted 3,061 attendees from 29 countries APAP Attendees2024on six continents. Of these attendees 375 were first timers! There were 317 exhibitors overall. But the most telling statistic from the 2024 event was the number of showcases. According to Ms. Thomas there were 800 or so showcases in 2023. In 2024, however, that number was 1,026!

Ms. Thomas observed that prior to the pandemic everyone was on “autopilot.” It was business as usual. Post-pandemic the vibe is one of “a reset shift,” a focus on being “more creative and flexible” with attention to “audience and community engagement.” The pandemic forced many to rethink not only performance content, but also marketing strategy apparently.

APAP 2025 will tell if this reset yields the desired results.

Eugene Marlow, MBA, Ph.D., © 2024.

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Syurpriz! 100 Years of Russian Jazz: The Documentary

"Jazz 100 Russia" documentary posterThe Marlowsphere (Blog #157)

When it comes to documentaries where the subject is jazz, the American catalogue is full of viewing choices, so much so you come away with the impression that jazz is only performed in the United States and if it is performed elsewhere on the planet, well, how good could it be? If it was created and performed on a par with American jazz composers, arrangers, and musicians, well, then, certainly documentaries would be a lot more present.

Syurpriz! That’s Russian for “Surprise!” According to a recently released feature-length  documentary (114 minutes) produced in Russia, jazz has been performed in Russia (more surprise) for 100 years!

The documentary—“Jazz 100 Russia”—was the brainchild of renowned Russian tenor saxophonist Igor Butman (he’s also one of the characters in the documentary as well as one of the producers, along with Yulia Hmelevskaya).

Cyril Moshkow Russian Jazz JournalistIt was written by Russia’s leading jazz journalism Cyril Moshkow. The director is Alexander Bryntsev. The documentary’s major sponsor is the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.

The documentary calls itself “groundbreaking” and it is that. It’s the first documentary to encapsulate the 100 years of jazz in Russia, starting with the introduction of jazz by (syupriz) an innovative dancer, Valentin Parnakh, who brought the jazz sound and aesthetic to Russia from his visits to Paris in the early 1920s.

Second, the six-part feature is a cornucopia of archival footage that no doubt took years of specific and serendipitous research.

Third, along with the archival footage, the soundtrack is wall-to-wall jazz of various stripes paralleling the evolution of jazz in the United 1935 Alksandr Tsfasman Band in Early Soviet TalkieStates, from “trad jazz” to “free jazz” to today’s contemporary styles. This, too, must have required painstaking research.

Fourth, the documentary does not shy away from dealing with the political lefts and rights in Russia since the 1917 Russian Revolution, although the references are subtle and non-critical.

The 100-year span of Russian jazz history brought together in 114 minutes is in itself a work of art: gorgeously shot and edited so well the viewer does not notice the content juxtapositions. It tells a story of not just the jazz players, but also the social and cultural backdrop in which this democratic form of music through improvisation ─ and therefore individual freedom of expression ─ as survived and grown in a country with a long history of adherence to central authority.

1959 Moscow Jazz Club Backstage Rehearsal, photo (c)Vladimir SadkovkinSpeaking of improvisation, one of the best definitions of jazz is articulated by Evgeny Pobozhiy, the young winner of the 2019 Herbie Hancock Jazz Guitar Competition. He says:

[Jazz] is the most perfect musical form that humans have created. Jazz culture
has absorbed the best achievements of humanity: Western traditions and oriental
ethnic traditions, and African, of course. It is based on improvisation, that is, on
spontaneous music-making, and improvisation is impossible without deep knowledge
and understanding. A jazz musician has always been something like a symbiosis of a
creator and a scientist, both involved in a certain spiritual practice.

Well stated. Just like the documentary.

The documentary will become available outside Russia after it has been shown on Russian television. Click here to see the trailer.

Eugene Marlow, Ph.D.
Producer/Director/Writer
“Jazz in China” Winner of the 2022 Free Speech Film Festival

Eugene Marlow, MBA, Ph.D., © 2023

 

 

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