Coming Events

May 16, 2023. USS Liberty Memorial Library. Grafton, Wisconsin. 6-7:30 pm. Talk on Wisconsin jazz, focusing on jazz in Milwaukee.  Working from Wisconsin Riffs; copies of the book will be for sale.

April 23, 2022. Presentation for Fond du Lac celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month. Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts, 51 Sheboygan St., Fond du Lac, 7:00 pm. I’ll be talking about the development and activity of jazz in Wisconsin, focusing on a number of the figures in Wisconsin Riffs. Copies of the book will be available.

November 18, 2021.  Talk for Ripon Historical Society (508 Watson St., Ripon), 7 pm.  I was all set to speak to my local historical society (the oldest in Wisconsin) before the pandemic hit (see below).  A year and a half later, I’m finally able to do it.

Here’s a story about it:

March 3, 2021.  Talk for the Wisconsin Historical Society Press’s “Book Bites” series.  This event will be streamed live at 7pm on Wednesday, March 3 on the WHSP Facebook page.  If you can’t catch it live, or if you’re one of the “Philistines” who is still not on Facebook, you can watch a recording of it later at the WHSP site (or YouTube).

Here’s the announcement page for the event:

The Historical Society Press’s Facebook page is here:

March 19, 2020.  I’ll be giving a talk in my hometown — at the Ripon Historical Society, 508 Watson St., Ripon, WI.  Evening time to be announced.  THIS EVENT WAS CANCELLED BECAUSE OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.

February 5, 2020.  Hatch Public Library, 111 W. State St., Mauston, WI.  I’ll be talking as part of the library’s monthly “hatch-Ed” series.  I might even play a little trombone!  1:00 pm.

February 2, 2020.  Book talk at Kingston Historical Society, 575 N. Main St., Kingston, WI.  1:30 on Super Bowl Sunday!  (over long before the game)

November 29, 2019.  Pre-concert talk with Mrs. Fun (Connie Grauer and Kim Zick), artists profiled in Wisconsin Riffs, before their performance at the annual Thanksgiving weekend jazz event at Thrasher Opera House, Green Lake.

October 10, 2019.  Fox Cities Book Festival.  My reading/talk will be at the Neenah Public Library, 240 E. Wisconsin Ave., Neenah, at 6:30.  As usual, I will be highlighting a number of the great Wisconsin musicians in Wisconsin Riffs, including Fox Valley players, and their music.  Here’s the site for this event:

August 31-September 1, 2019.  Fox Jazz Fest, Jefferson Park, Menasha.  My friend John Harmon and the Jazz Corner Society decided to name this year’s festival — the 25th anniversary of this wonderful free festival — Wisconsin Riffs, after the title of my book.  All of the acts are Wisconsin-connected artists.  Many of those, David Cooper, Randy Sabien, members of the Lawrence University Faculty Jazz Sextet, Brian Lynch, Matt Buchman and Marty Robinson, Ike Sturm, and Janet Planet, are profiled in my book.  I will be at the Festival, with copies of the book.  I’d be happy to sell signed copies to anyone, of course.  And like everyone else, I’ll be enjoying the excellent music.  Here’s the Jazz Festival’s website:  Down Beat magazine posted an article about this 25th anniversary:

March 29, 2019.  Heid Music, Oshkosh (1750 W. South Park Ave.):  Friday Night Heid.  Spearheaded by a former student of mine, Heid Music is putting on an event for area band directors, students and any other interested parties.  At 5:30 pm I’ll give one of my usual talks about Wisconsin jazz musicians.  Sometime after 6, our Jazz Improvisation Group from Ripon College, made up of students and community members, will play a little live music.  It should be a fun occasion.

March 28, 2019.  My friends José Encarnacion and Patty Darling have invited me to come speak to their students in the outstanding jazz program at Lawrence University — my alma mater.  We will be meeting in the so-called “jazz room” in the basement of the Conservatory complex from 4:35-5:45 in the afternoon.  I look forward to sharing some of their probably unknown heritage with these talented and inquisitive students.

February 9, 2019.  Book talk for the Beloit Historical Society, 845 Hackett Street, Beloit.  At 1 pm, I’ll give a presentation about Wisconsin Riffs.  At about 2, a combo from the award-winning Beloit Memorial High School jazz program will perform.  (I will probably sit in and play a couple of tunes with them.)  Refreshments will be served, with the whole show wrapping up by 3.

October 25, 2018.  I have the honor of playing in duo with my great friend and mentor John Harmon for the opening event of the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Local History & Historic Preservation Conference.  It’s at the Osthoff  Resort in Elkhart Lake.  We’ll play some at 4:30 while folks get settled in at cocktail hour of the Mini-Grant Fundraising Reception.  I will also speak briefly about Wisconsin Riffs.  Sorry this isn’t open to the public, but it’s still all about spreading the word about Wisconsin jazz.

October 4, 2018.  Book talk at Hub Stage, UW-Waukesha.  This “author talk and reception” is part of the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books.  The event will run from 6:30-8:00 pm.  It is a ticketed event; you can just attend the event, or attend the event and buy the book.  For more information, see:

September 29, 2018.  Book talk at the Wausau branch of the Marathon County Public Library (300 N. First St., Wausau), This event is part of the Central Wisconsin Book Festival.  Talk begins at 10:45 am.  For more information, see:

September 25, 2018.  Book talk at Lane Library, Ripon College, Ripon, WI.  At 7:30 pm I’ll be talking to the “home crowd” on my home campus.  I know that all of my Jazz Ensemble students will there, and hope many others will be as well.  See the event listing at:

August 3, 2018.  Milwaukee veteran guitarist Toty Ramos will be performing at Thrasher Opera House in Green Lake (506 Mill Street) with his new sextet.  The concert begins at 7:30.  At 6:45, I will be doing a pre-concert talk with Toty, reviewing his career in jazz and Latin jazz in Milwaukee.  Trumpeter Eric Jacobson, also profiled in Wisconsin Riffs, will probably also join the conversation.

July 6, 2018.  Madison singer Gerri DiMaggio will be performing at Thrasher Opera House in Green Lake (506 Mill Street) with her World Jazz Unit.  The concert begins at 7:30.  At 6:45, I will be doing a pre-concert talk with Gerri, who is profiled in my book, and probably as well with pianist Paul Hastil, who is also profiled.  Also in the band are Gerri’s husband Bob Pesselman on guitar and John Christensen on bass.

Go to for tickets and information.

June 26, 2018.  Author talk at the Local Store, 205 N. Dewey Street, Eau Claire.  7 pm.  See

June 12, 2018.  Author talk at Caestecker Public Library, 518 Hill Street, Green Lake.  Talk will be in the downstairs meeting room, beginning at 6:30.

June 6, 2018.  Book release event at the Wisconsin Historical Museum, 30 N. Carroll (on Capitol Square), Madison.  Sponsored by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press and the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium, as part of the Isthmus Jazz Festival.  6 pm.

April 30, 2018.  Book release event at the Jazz Estate, 2423 N. Murray Ave., Milwaukee.  Sponsored by Boswell Book Company.  I will be talking about the new book, but as a special treat, there will be music by the Manty Ellis Trio, with Eric Schoor and Jeff Hamann.  Cover charge $5, to underwrite the band’s appearance.