Jim Gallert
Jim Gallert is a veteran jazz broadcaster, researcher and writer. He’s produced & hosted jazz programs on WDET-FM (“Jazz Yesterday”, “Detroit Jazz Alive”) and WEMU-FM (“Swing City”). He currently co-hosts “Detroit JazzStage”, (www.jazzstage.us) a locally produced Podcast which highlights the wealth of jazz talent in and around Detroit.
Gallert has participated in all 28 Detroit Jazz Festivals as staff writer, emcee or host of “Meet The Artist” sessions. He and Lars Bjorn produce and host presentations, panel discussions, interviews and music performances in the Jazz Talk Tent at the Detroit Jazz Festival.
As a writer, Jim has authored numerous biographies of Detroit jazz musicians including Phil Lasley, Alma Smith, Todd Rhodes, George Benson and Willie Anderson. His works have appeared in Detroit and national publications and have been used as CD liner notes. Much of his research, many photographs from his extensive collection and some of his writing were included in Before Motown: A History of Jazz In Detroit, 1920– 1960 by Lars Bjorn with Jim Gallert.
Gallert and Bjorn give talks around town on Detroit jazz history. JamesJazz@aol.com
Lars Bjorn
Lars Bjorn is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and the author of (with Jim Gallert) Before Motown: A History of Jazz in Detroit, 1920-60 (University of Michigan Press, 2001). He is also the Editor of the SEMJA Update, the monthly jazz newsletter of the Southeastern Michigan Jazz Association. SEMJA is dedicated to jazz education and organizes jazz clinics at the Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival every year. In the late 1970s he was a board member of the Detroit Jazz Center and took part in publishing a “Detroit Jazz Who’s Who” with Herb Boyd and Leni Sinclair in 1984. He has also published articles on jazz in sociological research journals. At UM-D he teaches courses on Detroit and on the auto industry. The team-taught Detroit course is called “Society and the Arts in Detroit” and takes a social-historical perspective on the changes in several art forms in the city. lbjorn@umich.edu
Charles L. Latimer
Jazz journalist Charles L. Latimer was born in Detroit, Michigan on February 26,1967. He became interested in writing while taking English class at night school at Edwin Denby High School. He graduated from Denby in 1986. He started his journalism career in 1994 at a small community newspaper called All About Detroit. There he wrote human-interest feature articles.
In 1997, he started covering the Detroit jazz scene for the Metrotimes, a weekly alternative newspaper. Since then, he has written articles about local and national jazz musicians such as Nancy Wilson, Larry Smith, James Carter, Donald Walden, Donald Harrison, Rene’ Marie, Carla Cook, Penny Wells, Regina Carter, Richard Davis, Nicholas Payton, Paul Keller, Dwight Adams, TS Monk, and Teddy Harris.
His articles have appeared in the Michigan Chronicle, City View, Presence Magazine, and the Monitor. His concert and record reviews have been published on Jazzreview.com. In 2006, he plans to self-publish his first book tentatively titled the “Detroit Jazz Lofty & Otherwise.” The book will be a compilation of his jazz articles about Detroit musicians. CJamz@msn.com
H Fred Reif
Reif was born on May 18, 1947 in Saginaw, Michigan. At the age of twelve he got his first drum set. He started playing jug and washboard while in college and joined a jug band in college (we called ourselves the “Original Low-Class, Half Fast, Jug & Blues Band”).
Reif began to explore Saginaw’s rich musical heritage, and this led him to explore the Detroit blues scene. He also located and booked various older blues artists, like Lazy Lester, and Reif met, befriended and interviewed many “classic” Detroit bluesmen. His activities led him to write articles for various blues magazines, including Blues Unlimited, Living Blues and Juke Blues.
Reif has also managed retail record stores, record labels, and is currently Lazy Lester’s manager. He lives in Ann Arbor, and continues to document the rich blues history of Detroit. fredinna@yahoo.com