Best Jazz Lecture Series (2008)

Jazz Insights

Arnold J. Smith might not immediately jump out at you in a crowd, but his signature bolo ties and broad-brimmed hats definitely set him apart. The same holds true for his lecture series JAZZ INSIGHTS at the New School, now in its 23rd year. Although this journalist, publicist, and local jazz hero boasts many stories of his own, he yields the floor to legendary guests like pianist Billy Taylor, saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera, and singer Jon Hendricks in an intimate classroom setting. After eliciting some oral history, Smith often DJs the musicians' recordings for comment. Several spontaneous miniconcerts have taken off from there. Recent series topics have included "The Legacy of Charlie Parker," "Jazz Vocalists," and "Author/Author!" featuring the Voice's own Nat Hentoff and Gary Giddins.


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