Monday, September 7, 2015

Welcome to the Fall/Winter Contests!

Copyright 2014 -- Juan Tituana
This morning there is no looking back (although I will be in contact with those of you who won the spring/summer contests).  It's time to post the fall contests!

The first contest is for poems inspired by Latin jazz musicians like Tito Puente, Danilo Perez, Celia Cruz, Poncho Sanchez, Paquito d'Rivera, Eddie Palmieri, Chico and Arturo O'Farrell, Astrud Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Joao Gilberto.  Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, and Stan Kenton have also worked in this genre.  I hope to see some wonderful poems in this contest!

The second contest is for poems inspired by jazz musicians born in the 1900s and 1910s.  These poets include Thelonious Monk (again) but also Mary Lou Williams, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Ben Webster, Johnny Hodges, and, of course, Ella Fitzgerald.  Bea Garth will be starting us off soon with a poem inspired by Fats Waller.

The deadline for the contest will be January 30.  Previously published poems are accepted as long as you tell me where they have been published and you have the right to republish them.  I will be publishing the poems as I go and contacting you as I work out the schedule and before I publish them in case the poem is no longer available.  We will have judges for the contest since that worked out well this time around.  And there will be prizes.  

Please email me at thesongis (at) gmail (dot) com if you have questions.

Now here is some music to inspire you.  First is some Latin jazz.

I'll start with Eddie Palmieri's "Vamanos Pa'l Monte":

Here Tito Puente performs a solo:

Here he performs with Celia Cruz:

Charlie Parker performs with Machito here:

I want to finish with Dizzy Gillespie's "Manteca."  This version is from 1970:

With Dizzy Gillespie, let's move on to the jazz musicians born in the 1900s and 1910s.

I'll start with his "Night in Tunisia."  This version is from 1945 although I could have chosen his 1985 performance with Arturo Sandoval in Havana:

I can't believe that this is my first link to Louis Armstrong (without his second wife).  Here is his version of "La Vie en Rose":

I'm also including a 1927 version of his "St. James Infirmary Blues," done with his Hot Five:  As you can hear, he sang even back then.

Ben Webster's version of "Willow, Weep for Me" is very stylish:

I'll finish with Benny Goodman's "Sing Sing Sing":

It's a song to get you moving...and maybe even sending poetry!


  1. hi marianne and the song is i will be posting
    before the 30th thank you for this post
    ritamarie recien

  2. Please send poems to -- thanks so much!