Archive for the ‘Trading 4′s’ Category

Bill Sager Celebration Jam Session

Friday, October 31st, 2014



Here are some more details about Bill Sager’s memorial next Saturday at Cezanne: There will be a brief memorial service for Bill at 1 PM followed by a jam session until 3 PM.

If you would like to make a contribution to help his family with his medical and funeral expenses, a PayPal account has been set up for that purpose. Open your PayPal account and choose “Send & Request,” then “Send money to friends and family” and then send to Thanks to Tianna Hall for setting this up.

Bill was quite a guy!


Bob Henschen

Houston Community for Youth Concert

Friday, August 29th, 2014
Hob Henschen Trio

Hob Henschen Trio

You are cordially invited to come out and hear the Bob Henschen Trio in concert this Sunday, August 31, 7 PM at the Houston Mennonite Church, 1231 Wirt Rd. (just north of I-10.)


The event is the Fifth Annual Jazz Concert benefitting the Houston Committee for Youth and Non-Military Opportunities, Inc., an organization I have volunteered with for many years.  Featured in addition to my trio (with Anthony Brock and Keith Karnaky) will be the wonderfully eclectic Free Radicals horn band. They are a twelve-time winner of the Houston Press Award for Best Jazz and they’re a whole lot of fun. It should be HCYNO’s most exciting jazz concert yet.


And, of course, the event is for a worthy cause, supporting the work of HCYNO, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization, which since 1991 has worked to provide Houston area young people with accurate information about the realities of military enlistment and alternatives to the military for education, careers and service. The group has literature displays in the counseling offices and libraries of over twenty area high schools, provides speakers to classrooms and organizations, participates in high school College Fair events, and offers a peace history and conflict resolution lesson book to elementary teachers and parents.

The Free Radicals

The Free Radicals


This jazz event is HCYNO’s major fundraiser of the year and I hope you can join us for a great evening of jazz this Sunday!


Thanks for your support,

Bob Henschen

Fifth Annual Jazz Concert 

Benefitting the Houston Committee for Youth

and Non-Military Opportunities, Inc.



Bob Henschen Trio with Anthony Brock and Keith Karnaky



The Free Radicals

Sunday, August 31, 7 PM

Houston Mennonite Church, 1231 Wirt Road

Map link:


A donation of $10 is requested, but no one will be turned away.

Tax deductible donations may be sent to: HCYNO, 9600 Glenfield Ct. #113, Houston TX 77096.

Or you can donate by credit card at:

Witt, Wheeler and LaCascio Nominated Best Jazz by Houston Press

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

It is an honor to have been nominated (my first time since living in Houston) for the Best Jazz Category (Witt, Wheeler, LoCascio group) in the Houston Press Music Awards!  If you have not already voted, please take a moment to do so.  Voting ends July 31 (today) at midnight.  Here’s the link -


Neural Substrates of Spontaneous Musical Performance: An fMRI Study of Jazz Improvisation

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Charles J. Limb
*, Allen R. Braun
1 Language Section, Voice, Speech and Language Branch, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America, 2 Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Peabody Conservatory of Music, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
To investigate the neural substrates that underlie spontaneous musical performance, we examined improvisation in professional jazz pianists using functional MRI. By employing two paradigms that differed widely in musical complexity, we found that improvisation (compared to production of over-learned musical sequences) was consistently characterized by a dissociated pattern of activity in the prefrontal cortex: extensive deactivation of dorsolateral prefrontal and lateral orbital regions with focal activation of the medial prefrontal (frontal polar) cortex. Such a pattern may reflect a combination of psychological processes required for spontaneous improvisation, in which internally motivated, stimulus-independent behaviors unfold in the absence of central processes that typically mediate self-monitoring and conscious volitional control of ongoing performance. Changes in prefrontal activity during improvisation were accompanied by widespread activation of neocortical sensorimotor areas (that mediate the organization and execution of musical performance) as well as deactivation of limbic structures (that regulate motivation and emotional tone). This distributed neural pattern may provide a cognitive context that enables the emergence of spontaneous creative activity.
Citation: Limb CJ, Braun AR (2008) Neural Substrates of Spontaneous Musical Performance: An fMRI Study of Jazz Improvisation. PLoS ONE 3(2): e1679. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001679

Link to Full Article: jazz improvisation and cerebral function

Neural Substrates of Interactive Musical Improvisation: An fMRI Study of ‘Trading Fours’ in Jazz

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Gabriel F. Donnay, Summer K. Rankin, Monica Lopez-Gonzalez, Patpong Jiradejvong, Charles J. Limb*
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
Interactive generative musical performance provides a suitable model for communication because, like natural linguistic discourse, it involves an exchange of ideas that is unpredictable, collaborative, and emergent. Here we show that interactive improvisation between two musicians is characterized by activation of perisylvian language areas linked to processing of syntactic elements in music, including inferior frontal gyrus and posterior superior temporal gyrus, and deactivation of angular gyrus and supramarginal gyrus, brain structures directly implicated in semantic processing of language. These findings support the hypothesis that musical discourse engages language areas of the brain specialized for processing of syntax but in a manner that is not contingent upon semantic processing. Therefore, we argue that neural regions for syntactic processing are not domain-specific for language but instead may be domain-general for communication.
Citation: Donnay GF, Rankin SK, Lopez-Gonzalez M, Jiradejvong P, Limb CJ (2014) Neural Substrates of Interactive Musical Improvisation: An fMRI Study of ‘Trading Fours’ in Jazz. PLoS ONE 9(2): e88665. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088665
Editor: Dante R. Chialvo, National Research & Technology Council, Argentina Received September 24, 2013; Accepted January 14, 2014; Published February 19, 201

Link to the Full Article:  trading fours in jazz

Kenny Easton Looking to Fund His New Album

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Just wanted to let you know about the recording that is in progress right now which features our friends (Art, Corey, Carlo, Anibal,Daelton, and me) and essentially “pre sell” it through kickstarter to musician friends who are interested in supporting. (I realize crowdfunding isn’t everyones cup of tea) 10$ or more buys a download and 3 of 7-8 tracks are finished. (I will be featuring Woody and Raquel on the others) for more info. the link to my vid. on kickstarter is…

Thanks, hope we play together again soon and thanks for all the support you’ve given already ! Ken

“The Fountainhead” Jazz Album Project

I am trying to raise funds for musicians and studio costs to bring to completion an album of my orig…

Erin Wright\’ Thursday Jam Session

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Title: Erin Wright\’ Thursday Jam Session
Location: Costa\’s
Link out: Click here
Description: Next week\’s house band will include, the lovely Ariel Jones on drums, and Ken Ward on keys…. plus Erin Wright on bass & Alisha on sax!
Do ya love jazz? WE DO! and can\’t think of a better way to spend Valentines eve…..
Houston\’s Thursday Jam Session at Costa\’s, 415 Westheimer Rd
Ste 101
Houston, TX 77006
(832) 831-1565

Start Time: 20:00
Date: 2014-02-14
End Time: 23:00

Bob Henschen Trio New CD Release

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Title: Bob Henschen Trio New CD Release
Location: Cezannes
Description: Cezanne\’s, Friday, October 11, 9 pm, Bob Henschen Trio, CD Release, \”Cravo e Canela,\” (Clove and Cinnamon) featuring Aric Nitzberg, bass, and Tim Solook, drums, 4100 Montrose at Colquitt (above the Black Labrador Restaurant), 713-523-1199.
Start Time: 2100
Date: 2013-10-11

Hoagland “Hoagy” Carmichael (1899-1981)

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Hoagy Carmichael is remembered today as one of America’s great composers of popular songs. Several of his tunes, like “Star Dust” ,”Georgia on My Mind” ,”Up The Lazy River“, “Lazybones“, “Skylark” and “Heart and Soul” have become standards which are still widely performed. While studying to be a lawyer at Indiana University, Hoagy wrote a couple tunes for a band called Curtis Hitch’s Happy Harmonists. The songs were “Washboard Blues” and “Boneyard Shuffle” and they were recorded in 1924 for Gennett records with Carmichael on piano. Through his association with this band he meet Bix Beiderbecke, who was a member of the Wolverine Orchestra at that time. The two became close friends and the Wolverines went on to record Carmichael’s “Riverboat Shuffle“. Music publisher Irving Mills heard the Wolverine’s record and wrote Carmichael asking if his company could publish the song, to which Hoagy agreed. Carmichael himself led several other sessions at Gennett, where he recorded the first version of “Stardust” in 1927. But Carmichael took a job in Florida as a law clerk after graduating. While there, he unexpectedly heard a recording of his song, “Washboard Blues“, by Red Nichols and his Five Pennies. He had been unaware that the song had been re-recorded. It was then that he decided to abandon law and become a musician. Carmichael returned to Indiana and resumed his music career. Several of his friends, including Bix, were playing in Paul Whiteman’s Orchestra by this time. Whiteman was familiar with some of Carmichael’s Gennett recordings and also went on to record Hoagy’s “Washboard Blues” in 1927. Hoagy sings and plays  piano on the track and it holds up as one of the Whiteman Orchestra’s best performances. In 1930 Isham Jones and his Orchestra had a huge hit with a ballad version of Stardust. By 1935 Hoagy was working in Hollywood as a songwriter and he also became a character actor, appearing in over twenty films throughout his career. In 1941 he had a number one hit with the song “Huggin’ & Chalkin”. In 1951 he won an Oscar for his song “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening” that was performed by Bing Crosby in Paramount’s “Here Comes the Groom”. In 1956 Carmichael recorded an excellent LP called “Hoagy Sings Carmichael” on the Pacific Jazz Label. The record placed Hoagy back into a no-nonsense Jazz setting for the first time in years and featured several West Coast Jazz musicians including Art Pepper on alto saxophone. In 1959 and 1960 he was a regular on the western TV series Laramie. In the 1960s he composed two orchestral works, “Brown County In Autumn” and “Johnny Appleseed” which were unsuccessful. He never resumed his songwriting career after the failure of these two works.

For additional information on Hoagy Carmichael’s life and music you are encouraged to visit The Hoagy Carmichael Collection at the Indiana University Digital Library

Joe\’s Class

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Title: Joe’s Class
Location: Napa Grille
Description: Joe LaCascio’s Jazz Improv Class will be performing weekly as part of their studies.  Joe will be on hand to share his ideas about how jazz performers can best to communicate effectively through their jazz music.  A rear opportunity to sit at the feet of a real master.
Napa Grille & Urban Wine Bar
4019 Southwest Fwy #101
Sugar Land, TX 77478
(281) 277-2599

Start Time: 1930
Date: 2010-09-01
End Time: 2230