It’s here.

Released in the spring of 2018, Wisconsin Riffs is now available.  You can order it from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or, if you want to more directly support the enterprise, the Wisconsin Historical Society Press. The WHSP did a great job with it.  Well over 500 pages, with over 100 photos, it’s a really nice book. […]

August ’21

Just a short shot here: For one thing, I want to announce this week’s concert by the Paul Dietrich Jazz Ensemble, for the Green Lake Festival of Music. That concert will take place Thursday night (August 5) at the Thrasher Opera House in Green Lake. It will feature a stellar band, with many of the […]


If Fred Sturm were still walking this earth, today he (and we) would be celebrating his 70th birthday.  Some of us will anyway. Fred was one of the great jazz educators.  Ever.  (Our friend Greg Keel referred to him as “the gold standard.”)  Fred was, thankfully, recognized for that during his lifetime, in official ways.  […]

Cliff Gribble

Here’s a profile of yet another great jazz educator in Wisconsin, my friend Cliff Gribble. I first got to know Cliff when he was a major force in the relatively new Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Jazz Educators. I’m sorry to say that at that time I did not hear any of his […]

Dave Kiepert

I promised a few weeks ago to post about another great Wisconsin jazz educator, Dave Kiepert. Before I put this article on the site, however, I wanted to check to see if Dave was still with us, as it had been quite a while since I had heard from or about him. He had moved […]

Joan Wildman, 1938-2020

Today I’m posting two articles, this one on Joan Wildman, the other on another of Wisconsin’s great jazz educators, Harvey Halpaus. Joan passed away in April in Madison.  Joan was on my doctoral committee when I was completing my degree at UW-Madison.  As I wrote my dissertation on a jazz topic (it eventually evolved into […]

Harvey Halpaus, jazz educator

Today I’m posting two articles:  this one about Harvey Halpaus, the other about the late Joan Wildman. Although retired for some years, Harvey was still active working with with school jazz groups at festivals and contests right up until the onset of the pandemic last winter, undoubtedly enlightening students and directors about the sweet mysteries […]

Another tribute

As the last few articles I’ve posted here have drawn increased traffic to the site, I am thinking about perhaps making it a little bit more than just a place for me to post excerpts from Wisconsin Riffs and other writing I’ve done. In that spirit, I’m attaching a link here to something my son Paul […]

Karen Johnson, (jazz) educator

As promised a few weeks ago, here is another profile of a prominent, highly skilled and respected Wisconsin jazz educator.  This is another of the profiles, like that of Steve Sveum, and others who are to follow, that had to be cut from my book Wisconsin Riffs in order to make it short enough to be […]

Beverly Dahlke

A while back, after posting tributes to Lyle Mays and Ron Keezer, I promised to post about a living Wisconsin musician.  I did that recently, in honoring Steve Sveum on his retirement after an illustrious career as a jazz educator.  But prior to posting about Steve, this is the post I had been planning bring […]

Congratulations, Steve Sveum

Before the Wisconsin Historical Society Press agreed to publish my book Wisconsin Riffs, they told me that I was going to have to cut a great deal of material from the original manuscript.  I mean a lot.  All the cuts I made were painful, none more painful than the chapter I had written in which […]