From humble beginnings in Scarsdale, New York, to the window seats of Gulfstream 550 jets, traveling in only the most luxurious circumstances – Justin Ross Lee is exactly who he thinks he is.
And what you think of him? Well, he doesn’t really care – as long as you don’t think of him as normal.
And, after familiarizing yourself with JRL even briefly, I promise you “normal” won’t be the first word to come to mind. “Pretentious” might be, but, frankly, Lee is fond of the word. In fact, he even named his own line of pocket squares “Pretentious Pocket,” as his own toast to the nomals.
You might have seen him before, probably on social media, where his Internet presence encroaches upon the size of his ego. I mean, take a look at his Instagram; it’s a storyboard for an Action Bronson verse. According to JRL, “If your life isn’t a postcard, it’s not worth the stamp.”
If you’re not familiar with his social media persona, then you may have seen him in the tabloids. He’s certainly no stranger to making news; in fact, a number of his celebrity spats have been publicized in the New York Times and New York Post.
Again, anything but normal.
In the words of JRL, “Normal is the ugliest word in the English language. Average is a close second.” For Lee, these words are synonymous with mediocrity, and those who simply accept mediocrity are schmucks – and fall in line to those who stand out. Literally speaking.
In this feature, Lee takes us to the airport, which doubles as his home office, and shows us a few “travel tips” in a way only JRL could — with style, arrogance and, well, hilarity.
While these tips might seem to be superficial or petty, if you look a little deeper, the “line” at the airport can be seen as a microcosm of life. A lot of times, those who wait stay waiting – while, those with the ambition and persistence to seek alternate routes to get ahead usually do.
The Boston Tea Party venue on Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts was only around for a relatively brief four years but in that time built a name as one of the great psychedelic music venues of the late ’60s, and a must-stop for artists touring the city.
James Murphy and 2ManyDJs dropped some serious money to create the 50,000-watt vinyl-only Despacio Soundsystem. It’s an impressive collection of eight eleven foot tall speaker stacks powered by forty-eight McIntosh amplifiers. At roughly $30,000.00 USD EACH, this was a serious step forward in sound engineering.
The city of Halifax is the stage for the 29th edition of the TD Halifax Jazz Festival this summer, July 8 through 12. This year’s festival is bigger and more exciting than ever, with 14 stages throughout Halifax, from Dartmouth to Clayton Park, including the popular Main Stage on the Halifax Waterfront!
Jazz Festival Artistic Director Laura ‘Lulu’ Healy promises a thrilling lineup as the festival continues to present exciting and intriguing acts from the jazz world. Representing Canada are some of the country’s leading jazz musicians including Michael Kaeshammer, Ranee Lee, Kirk MacDonald, Roddy Ellias, and Robi Botos. The Main Stage lineup also includes Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, tUnE-yArDs, and Juan de Marcos & The Afro Cuban All-Stars. In addition, Healy adds, “We are excited to announce The Budos Band and Vox Sambou have been added to the Main Stage lineup.”
Artists from across the globe will be on hand to liven up the festival and bring the sounds of jazz to the streets of Halifax — the Bus Stop Theatre will present an eclectic series of acts includingMdou Moctar (Niger), Tin Men & The Telephone (The Netherlands), Nils Berg Cinemascope(Sweden) and Another Time, Another Place: Jerry Granelli, Jane Ira Bloom & Julian Priester (Halifax/New York/Seattle/Berlin).
Everyone is invited to get in on the fun, with free concerts on the Main Stage every day throughout the festival including local and touring musicians. “If you work downtown, you’ll be able to stop by when you leave your office to take in summer and the music,” says Healy. “We’ve also expanded our free programming to include a big band series at the Bandstand in the Halifax Public Gardens and a variety of music at the Hydrostone Park… This year we are showcasing the jazz elite from south of the border, including Joey DeFrancesco, Brian Blade, and Kenny Werner — in indoor venues such as Alderney Landing Theatre and the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium.
Free concerts and artist talks are also in store, showcasing venues throughout the city including the Halifax Central Library, Keshen Goodman Public Library, Alderney Gate Public Library, and Alliance Française. Beloved Halifax landmark Theodore the Tugboat will showcase children’s programming, including “Splash! Bang! Boom!,” a workshop that takes place while the boat sails Halifax Harbour. Educational programming also includes the ten-day Creative Music Workshop led by Jerry Granelli featuring special guest faculty members Jane Ira Bloom and Julian Priester.
Also featured are Pram Trio, Anteater, Alana Yorke, The New Bridge, and Party Boots, competing for the Stingray Rising Star Award. Based both on the results of an online fan vote and the decisions of a jury, one act will receive $3000 to help jumpstart their career.
Capping off the festivities is a free swing concert at the Main Stage Sunday evening, July 12 with the Gordon Webster Sextet featuring Brianna Thomas and festival fan favourite Alex Pangman.
Support for the TD Halifax Jazz Festival is provided by numerous corporate and community partners including TD, Waterfront Development Corporation and Westin Halifax. All ticketswill be on sale by the festival’s official provider etixnow.com through halifaxjazzfestival.castarting Tuesday, April 21.
In addition to participating in all the great music and events,people can take an active role in the excitement by volunteering their time. Volunteer applications open May 5th. For more information about the TD Halifax Jazz Festival visit www.halifaxjazzfestival.ca.
Since 1987 the Halifax Jazz Festival, presented by the non-profit organization JazzEast, has organized a diverse range of musical and educational activities including the 2015 TD Halifax Jazz Festival. Follow ‘Halifax Jazz Festival’ on Facebook and Twitter @HFXJazzFest
The deadline for Canada’s Radio Starmaker Fund applications being submitted is 5:00 PM EDT, Thursday, May 21, 2015. The Board of Directors will meet in June to make final decisions regarding funding for this quarterly round. Please sign up if you would like to receive their quarterly email blasts which advise you when the new round is open to accept applications, as well as on policy and program changes.
The website for the Radio Starmaker Fund is now back on-line and ready to accept applications.
New Details for Round 55:
Streamed tracks – the RSF will now allow Canadian streams of songs, as indicated by Soundscan Canada, to go toward meeting their net sales thresholds. 750 streams of individual tracks from the same album released within 5 years of the deadline for the round will be counted as one full album sale when applying to Starmaker.
They have added a spot next to where you include your Canadian ship, scan and digital download numbers called Streamed Tracks. Please include in this area the total number of streamed tracks from the Canadian release of the album for which you are applying as indicated by Soundscan Canada. This must be for actual tracks on the album – not remixes or alternate versions. If you do not have this information, it can be left at 0.
Digitally downloaded tracks – they will once again allow digital track sales to go back 5 years. When entering digital track sales information for your current release, please include those sales going back 5 years from the deadline for the round. Again, this must be for actual tracks on the album – not remixes or alternate versions.
www.AIREUM.ca – the Canadian Broadcast Museum Foundation has been building a National Broadcast Collection for the last several years. Rather than build a conventional bricks and mortar institution, the Foundation is creating a unique virtual presence that will celebrate decades of programs and the people behind them, as well as the remarkable industrial and technological achievements that have combined to build this country’s radio and television services. Planning and design of the virtual museum, its many galleries and interactive elements, has begun. Meanwhile, the important activity of finding, cataloguing and preserving all kinds of relics of our broadcasting past continues. Canada’s private broadcasters are an important partner in the Radio Starmaker Fund and we encourage you to get involved and support AIREUM. Please visit www.AIREUM.ca for further details.