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Remember, Fake Unicorns Exist 

OK so I'm just sitting here minding everyone else's business on Facebook while having Siri compare home toenail clipping services when a Reminder pops about Big Wille playing tonight at Moriarities and there's John Patrick Peters, naturally freaking about a willie and its portentous dimension and I go, No JPP, you dasn't fret about the Willie yonder, and this brings up rain in a sudden downpour of post-replies from which I feel a need to seek shelter. 

So he offers to take me in during one set or so at his own gig tonight at yonder Unicorn Tavern 'round 9:00 if not midnight.

So there you have it: willies, unicorns, showers and measures. You probably can see where it's all headed.

Break ya off some John Patrick Peters in the meantime if you know what's good for ya, consult your physician if doubts enter in. Git to the Unicorn tonight for the Truth.

Some Are Born To Greatness. Jazz Special Forces Allied Commander Ryan Wert Had REO Town Thrust Upon Him. Then He Returned Fire. 

Superlatives become as whipped rats in the presence of such unsurpassable command of gear, sound waves, mixology mastering mastery and any of the acolytes who would ever order their Forces to launch any mission meant to move the asses of the masses. He is the ultimate buzzkill for those whose failure of words suffers its own acclamations of silence.

He is Ryan Wert. But how can one Man be contained in only two words?

Engineer, Co-Producer and Highly Unelected Official, Ryan Wert, owner and working guts of Lansing's Elm Street Recording. It helps to add the words. I call on everyone to organize their own community conversations on the immortality already unfolded before us.

This article published about him last year will help greatly with that:

Thanks for everything, Mr. Mayor. 

A great guy to be around if you want to see how the future of any community is begun by Doing.


Jazz Special Forces Saxophones Ace Jon Gewirtz Darkens The Skies Over The Enemies of Sound 

Jonathon Gewirtz currently serves on the music faculties of Lansing Community College, Olivet College, and Hillsdale College where he teaches a variety of classes:  private lessons, jazz band, music appreciation, music theory, ear training, and blues, jazz, and rock history.

An active performer, he has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Brazil in various styles including classical, jazz, funk, R&B, blues, and pop.  

He is a member of Layers: Lansing Community College Faculty Jazz Quartet and The Hillcats: Hillsdale College Faculty Jazz Quintet.  

Jonathon has also performed with the Jimmy Dorsey Big Band, the Midland Symphony Orchestra, and the Lansing Symphony Big Band.

Jonathon currently performs regularly at venues and music festivals throughout Michigan with Soulstice, Summer of Sol, Orquesta Ritmo, and Atomic Boogaloo.  

He can appear anywhere in the skies before the sirens sound, so the enemies of Soul should never leave their bunkers. Check out some of Jon's strafing with that savage Boogaloo right here:


Running Up(?) WYCE Charts at #29 -- Carrying Lansing In Its Independent Heart 

Redacted Passages currently sits at #29 in spins on west Michigan's premier independent radio station, WYCE! 

How can that be? Lakeshore effect? Revisionist Calvinism? The Paul Henry bypass? Inexplicably greater numbers of blond people?

Scientists are jamming westbound busses and grant-funding proposals to go find out. Meanwhile, a little WYCE history...

Licensed in 1983 to Wyoming, Michigan, WYCE first began broadcasting as an FM-based extension to a cable-based radio station in the Wyoming and Kentwood areas. This station was licensed to Wyoming Community Education (the source of the station's call letters).

in 1987, the Wyoming Board of Education, in response to concerns about the music their students were programming, willingly transferred the license and sold the assets to Grand Rapids Cable Access Center (who operated a Public-access television cable TV channel known as GRTV), which was the forerunner to the Grand Rapids Community Media Center (GRCMC). Eclectic music format found today is established by Friends of WYCE committee and Station Manager Tracy Taylor.

in 1997, WYCE studios moved from the community education site in Wyoming, to join GRCMC on the second floor of the West Side Library. It's signal strength was increase and programming expanded to 24 hours by the end of the 90s.

In 2000, WYCE's Inaugural Jammie Awards ceremony is held at the old Founders location on Monroe Avenue. Roberta Bradley and Gypsy win first Local Album of the Year award. 2018's Best Contemporary Folk Album went to Lansing's May Erlewine for Mother Lion (Earthwork Music)and Best Jazz Album was awarded to Lansing's organissimo for B3tles: A Soulful Tribute to the Fab 4 (Big O Records). (Indeed a pattern: WYCE digs Lansing artists too.)

One year later in 2001 WYCE started the Hat Trick Concert Series - forerunner to today's Live at Wealthy - begins at One Trick Pony Bar & Grill. The series runs for a dozen years and raises more than $75,000 for area nonprofits.

By 2010 WYCE got FCC Clearance to expand its signal to the Lakeshore (and perhaps in all other directions), then in 2014 its first "WYCE Live at Wealthy Theatre" concert is held, signaling a continuing collaboration between the GRCMC branches.

You don't need to be anywhere near our West Lakeshore to stream WYCE online of course. Check it out to hear one of most savagely cool mixes of independent music around! And besides, all Albums it adds to its music library such as Redacted Passages are automatically considered for ensuing Jammies, so, who knows...??? Vote early and often!





It Takes A Lot Of Brass To Ring As Loud as Jazz Special Forces Air Commander Shawn Bell 

A true craftsman hones freedom and creativity from the staid traditions of everyday life. Trombonist Shawn Bell exemplifies this creed. His omnivorous playing and writing have been called “soulful” and “captivatingly quirky.” While Jazz has been the driving force of Bell’s training and education, he has earned a reputation as a dynamic journeyman always ready to “play the gig” at hand. This commitment to making music not bound by the doctrine of a single style or genre has given Bell a unique voice as musician, composer, and educator. 

Shawn’s musical apprenticeship started in southwest Michigan. There, he took advantage of many of the typical experiences aspiring young musicians pursue, including local and state honor bands, studying privately, and playing in a local big band. These experiences spurred Shawn to continue his education at the college level at Western Michigan University where he studied under Dr. Steve Wolfinbarger and Dr. Scott Cowan. Both of these teachers helped him lay a strong foundation based on the fundamentals of brass playing, the Jazz tradition, and, above all else, making music rather than displaying empty virtuosity. 

After completing his undergraduate degree from WMU, Shawn furthered his education by attending Northern Illinois University to earn a master’s degree. This time period also provided Bell with many opportunities, including touring internationally, taking part in the Kennedy Center’s Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency program, being selected as a finalist for the Eastern Trombone Workshop Jazz trombone competition, and being mentored by the great Jazz educator Ronald Carter. 

Outside the walls of academia, Shawn has spent the last ten years building a resume marked by variety. In 2010, he released his debut album Things Yet Unknown to critical acclaim. The Midwest Record Review noted, “Solid playing and writing, a great tone and a young, untamed spirit all team up to make this a delightfully auspicious debut.” JazzTimes’s website stated, “To find a young trombonist like Shawn with this level of command and virtuosity is amazing.” Additionally, Bell has played with many luminaries in the Jazz realm, including Curtis Fuller, Benny Golson, Bobby McFerrin, Bob Mintzer, and Paquito D’Rivera. 

While Jazz has framed Shawn’s artistic lineage as a trombonist, he is also a sought-after performer in other styles and a skilled composer and arranger. In 2013, Bell joined one of the Midwest’s premiere Salsa bands: Grupo Aye. This 11-piece band maintains an active performance schedule at festivals and events throughout the region. Shawn has also distinguished himself as a first-call freelance player, who is at home performing with groups ranging from R&B and Funk bands to pit orchestras and studio ensembles. 

As a composer, Bell has written extensively for traditional big band settings, including many compositions and arrangements geared towards student ensembles. These works have been said to be “steeped in the Jazz language,” and “challenging to play, yet still accessible to most audiences” by educators at the high school and college level. Outside of Jazz, Shawn is an active freelance composer and arranger whose writing can be heard on many recordings and live shows. His work is as varied as creating arrangements of current pop tunes for cruise ship musicians, to collaborating with progressive rock bands in the studio. 

Just as Shawn stood on the shoulders of masters to start his career, he now works to do the same for the next generation of trombonists and Jazz musicians as an in-demand educator. Bell has over ten years of experience working with students at the middle school, high school, and college levels. Along with maintaining a full private lesson studio, he has also taught large and small Jazz ensembles at Northern Illinois University and has taught music theory, songwriting and arranging, and trombone at Lansing Community College. In addition, Shawn is an experienced clinician and guest artist who has worked with Jazz ensembles throughout the Midwest. Elements of his approach to leading large Jazz ensembles can be found in the 2016 book Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz: Volume 2. 

The journeyman musician is one who is always ready to create at a high level in any situation. Shawn’s playing, writing, and teaching epitomizes this point of view. He currently plies his trade throughout the Midwest.


It was one of his last projects before relocating with his wife to Nebraska at last summer's end -- if not his final Lansing project -- but Shawn brought far more than his horn to the Album: he arranged all its brass sections + wrangled Brad Fowler (trumpet/flugelhorn) and Jon Gewirtz (tenor/baritone saxophones) into the Elm Street Studio to round out their chorus. No mean feat for a former Lansing hitter-cum expat, now throwing his 'Bone out of Lincoln to the wider world.

Beneath The Bass Of Jazz Special Forces Agent Hank Horton Lies The Earth's Core 

Horton earned a bachelor’s degree from CMU and a master’s degree from MSU, both in string bass performance. For 23 years, he recorded and performed with Dennis DeYoung of STYX. He has received a double platinum CD and triple platinum DVD, as well as a number one single.

In addition to playing and recording with another member of STYX, James Young, Horton also played bass on the STYX album Brave New World and had a guest vocal spot. Horton has experience in musical theater, having toured with the musical 101 Dalmatians for a year. 

Horton currently performs with SHOWDOWN, the Lansing Symphony, and the Jackson Symphony. He also performs with Return to Paradise in New York, as well as the Kos Ritmos Latin Jazz Orchestra and the Phil Barille Jazz Trio in Chicago. 

You'll also seem him hitting in various Lansing area bands such as The Rotations and in the local Jazz Tuesdays mecca of Moriarty's Pub, when not slamming to the bottom of Michigan itself with Hillsdale's Hillcats.

Most recently, he's been at work with Donnie Brown of Verve Pipe fame.

When touring Broadway shows come to town needing an emergency substitute in their bass department, it's Hanks telephone that rings. so...who You gonna call?

Last but not least, Hank gave me clutch vocals coaching in preparation for this Album! I'd like to say At No Time Was The Public In Any Danger, but if it weren't for Mr. Horton's intervention in that department too, we'd have needed to redact a certain singer. He teaches this and other things to the rest of us as part of the music faculty of the Lansing Marshall Music host of instructors.

I cannot recommend Hank enough for these tasks at hand, but far greater plaudits flow from my far-betters. Be sure to repeatedly check out whatever lineup you ever see him in while area supplies last.

Now We're in The Big Leagues: "Tailored To Undress" To Be Unveiled [sic] on WLNZ's Vinyl Side of Midnight 

Lansing Jazz Chronicler and Sage, DJ and Host of WLNZ's Vinyl Side of Midnight, Mike Stratton, will debut the Redacted Passages Album ballad, "Tailored To Undress," -- featuring guest vocalist Cindy McElroy -- on TOMORROW NIGHT's broadcast! 

This is a jazz show for and by the jazz fan…the Vinyl Side of Midnight. The show’s host, Mike Stratton has been a volunteer and a part of the WLNZ team for over a decade. His dedication to the program has garnished him an international following and national syndication. Cool jazz, bop jazz, avant-garde; Mike mixes in a little bit of everything including interviews and music from the local scene. The Vinyl Side of Midnight has been on 89.7FM WLNZ since 1997. This show can heard on Sunday nights, from 9pm until midnight. Over the last few years it can be heard on the web, as well, at the WLNZ LCC Radio website.

Here's what he's already had to say about the track: "Why did I pick this piece for the show? It’s my favorite. I think it marries words and music most effectively. Your violin obligato and then the string arrangement are rich and evocative. Cindy McElroy kills it."

About Redacted Passage Album, we writes:

"This is a music of seasons past, what’s been gained through loss. It’s sharp and smart and sad. What’s left out of Redacted Passages always remains a mystery, but we’re left to focus on what we find."




Princess of Norway & Jazz Special Forces Chanteuse Cindy McElroy Has a Voice Tailored For Success 

Redacted Passages guest vocalist, Cindy McElroy, brings veteran soul/pop chops and a deep-hearted muse to every song she writes and covers, coupling the voice of a surging river to strong cross-currents of pulsing guitar work and a keen ear for supporting musicians. 

Cindy McElroy grew her musical roots on Drummond Island in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.The Singer/ Songwriter draws from her life experiences and travels around the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe. Inspired by icons James Taylor, Carol King, The Beatles, Elvis Costello, and Eva Cassidy her music takes on an acoustic flavor. With the recent additions of Guiseppe Stella as Producer and Drummer, and with Michael Mleczko on keys, the current project, "Word Might Get Around", has flourished. Cindy feels they hear her music the same as she does and the sound is fantastic.

The loss of her grandmother in 1987 and her mother in 2006 to Alzheimer's Disease turned her musical focus to the disease. "The Queen of Norway" was co-written by friend and author, Rich Hill (A Deckhands Tale). A portion of the proceeds garnered from "The Queen of Norway"will go to the Alzheimer's Association.

More recently, she studied Jazz Singing under renowned jazz vocalist, Sunny Wilkinson -- with telling results on the Redacted Passages ballad, Tailored To Undress. 

...or was that because she's also a newly minted fashion designer?

In 2017 Cindy released her EP, Word Might Get Around and it's s available for download purchase everywhere, such as on ITunes, Amazon, CD Baby Music. Be sure to pick up a copy -- and enjoy a little taste of her Release Party here:

Amazon, Proving its Woman Warrior Might, Makes Digital Booklet Available 

Much to my surprise and deelight, Amazon is also making the Redacted Passages Digital Album Booklet available with full Album download purchase! 

So if you've an ITunes problem (I've unverified reports from Urbandale) invincible women warriors and other people of varying martial prowess can make sure of their digitalia via

I hope your Amazon purchase makes you feel like you were Brought To Life By Zeus.

That said, all feelings are normal. It's what you do with them that matters most.

Not that I would know.