The ASCAP Foundation Announces 2016 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award Recipients

The Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards was established in 2002 to encourage young gifted jazz composers. The recipients, who receive cash awards, range in age from 13 to 30, and are selected through a juried national competition. (See 2015 official rules and guidelines here.)

The Herb Alpert Foundation, a non-profit, private foundation established in the early 1980’s, makesHerb_Alpert_foundation significant annual contributions to a range of programs in the fields of Arts, Arts Education and Compassion and Well Being. Its funding is directed toward projects in which Herb and Lani Alpert and Foundation President Rona Sebastian play an active role. [The Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.]

Commenting on the awards, ASCAP Foundation President, Paul Williams said, “We congratulate the recipients of our Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards. The incredible level of creativity and sophistication of the submitted works is a great sign for jazz. We commend our dedicated panel of ASCAP composers who selected the winners. We are honored to partner with the Herb Alpert Foundation in this significant ongoing endeavor.”

The 2016 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award recipients are listed with their age, current residence and place of origin:

  • David Bernot, age 21 of Glendale, CO (Mesa, AZ);
  • Paul Bloom, age 22 of New York, NY (Needham, MA);
  • Mario Castro, age 27 of Brooklyn, NY (Humacao, Puerto Rico);
  • Michael Conrad, age 27 of Greeley, CO (Arlington Heights, IL);
  • Roxy Coss, age 29 of New York, NY (Seattle, WA);
  • Natalie Dietz, age 29 of Boston, MA (Sydney, Australia);
  • Lukas Gabric, age 28 of Brooklyn, NY (Villach, Austria);
  • Joshua Green, age 28 of New York, NY (Philadelphia, PA);
  • Dave Hassell, age 27 of Brooklyn, NY (Norwell, MA);
  • Taylor Herron, age 24 of New York, NY (Fort Worth, TX);
  • Gene Knific, age 23 of Chicago, IL (Kalamazoo, MI);
  • Jodie Landau, age 23 of Sherman Oaks, CA (Los Angeles, CA) ;
  • Remy Le Boeuf, age 29 of Brooklyn, NY (Santa Cruz, CA);
  • Roos Plaatsman, age 28 of Long Island City, NY (Groningen, The Netherlands);
  • Jonathan Saraga, age 28 of New York, NY;
  • Jeremy Siskind, age 29 of Kalamazoo, MI (Santa Ana, CA); and
  • Christopher Zuar, age 28 of New York, NY.

The youngest winners of The 2016 ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards are listed with their age and state of residence:

  • Emily Bear, age 14 of Illinois; and
  • Esteban Castro, age 13 of Pennsylvania.

Composers receiving Honorable Mention this year are:

  • Andrew Herring, age 19 of Winchester, VA (Harrisburg, PA);
  • Andrew Karaboski, age 21 of New York, NY (Seattle, WA);
  • Josh Shpak, age 22 of Boston, MA (Walnut Creek, CA);
  • Alexander Weitz, age 24 of Tucson, AZ (Abington, PA) and
  • Matthew Whitaker, age 14 of New Jersey.

The ASCAP composer/judges for the 2016 competition were: Mark Feldman, Gregor Hubner, Oscar Perez, and Rufus Reid. Additional funding for this program is provided by The ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund.

Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education, talent development and humanitarian programs. Included in these are songwriting workshops, grants, scholarships, awards, recognition and community outreach programs. The ASCAP Foundation is supported by contributions from ASCAP members and from music lovers throughout the United States.

Indianapolis Museum of Art Hosts Stunning Orchid Exhibition, “Color Me Orchid,” Feb. 19-March 13

ColorMeOrchid-Homepage-Slider-web-1200x500Winter is in full swing, but flowers are blooming at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Step into spring with the new Color Me Orchid exhibition, a vibrant and stunning display of orchids in the IMA’s Madeline F. Elder Greenhouse from Feb. 19 through March 13. The exhibition will pay homage to the brilliant colors, shapes and pattern of orchids, while also highlighting their history and connection to the IMA. Throughout the show, orchids will be available for purchase in the Greenhouse and at a special Pop-Up Shop in the main Museum building. IMA Indianapolis Museum of Art logo (2)horticulture experts will be available to share advice on orchid care.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) is located on a 152-acre campus of lush gardens, historic homes, outdoor sculptures, inspiring performance and gallery spaces. Founded in 1883, the IMA is among the 10 oldest and 10 largest encyclopedic art museums in the United States and features significant collections of African, American, Asian, European, contemporary art and design arts that span 5,000 years of history. With innovative programming designed to engage guests of all ages, the IMA offers a variety of interactive experiences inside the galleries, throughout the campus and within the local community. From gardening demos in the Madeline F. Elder Greenhouse to outdoor film screenings in the IMA Amphitheater to community celebrations in The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres, guests are invited to interact with art and nature in exciting new ways at the IMA. Along with the Indianapolis campus, the IMA also owns the Miller House and Garden in Columbus, Ind., one of the nation’s most highly regarded examples of mid-century Modernist residences.

For more than 40 years, orchids have been a striking staple in the Greenhouse. The orchid was the favorite flower of Madeline F. Elder, who rallied volunteers and support to save the Greenhouse from demolition in 1972. From the beginning of Elder’s involvement, the Greenhouse has housed this exquisite flower. The exhibition is the first of its kind in the Greenhouse in recent years. As a living gallery space, the Greenhouse offers classes, workshops and educational plant displays year-round.

Orchids have a great history of captivating people,” said Sue Nord Peiffer, the IMA’s greenhouse manager. “People really enjoy seeing this exotic and diverse group of plants. They have the most complicated bloom in the flowering world.”

Phalaenopsis hybrid orchid

Phalaenopsis hybrid orchid. Photo by Eric Lubrick. Courtesy of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

The exhibition features the five most popular orchid species among amateur growers: Cattleya, Dendrobium, Oncidium, Phalaenopsis, Paphiopedilum and Phragmipedium. Despite the large number of species, orchid enthusiasts have always wanted more and different plants. Crossbreeding has artificially created more than 100,000 new varieties, which represent the vast majority of plants available for sale today.

Cattleya cultivars

Cattleya cultivars

Cattleya, also known as the corsage orchid, is named for William Cattley who introduced the South American plants to European Society. The species range from tiny to very large with a sprawling habit. They are grown for their colorful, blousy, and often fragrant blooms. Cattleya orchids are from tropical Central and South American, and are grown in loose bark mix in medium light and humidity. Allow to dry between waterings.

Dendrobium anosmum Orchid

Dendrobium anosmum Orchid

Dendrobiums tend to have long lasting colorful blooms. Their Greek meaning is “life in a tree” because many of these plants live upon trees and without soil. Some dendrobiums are evergreen, while others lose their leaves and bloom on bare stems. Native to tropical Asia and South Pacific Islands, most orchids in this group require bright light, high humidity, and an evenly moist bark mix when actively growing. Many dendrobiums require a dry winter dormancy to set new flower buds.



Oncidium comes from the Greek for “swelling” and refers to the bumps on the bloom’s lip. They are also known as the dancing ladies orchids. Besides the bumps on the lips, many oncidiums are known for the large sprays of small blossoms and fragrances that dance in the breeze. Native to tropical Central America and South, oncidiums are easy to grow and prefer bright light, moderate humidity, and nights that are at least 10°F cooler than the days. The bark mix should be allowed to dry slightly between waterings.

Paphiopedilum and Phragmipedium are also known as slipper orchids. The main floral feature is the large slipper shaped lip. Many of these plants are terrestrial and grow on the shady forest floor instead of in trees. They grow in a fine bark or mossy medium and must be kept lightly moist under indirect light with high humidity. Paphiopedilum are native to tropical Asia and Pacific islands; Phragmipedium are from tropical Central and South America. Continue reading

Cowboy Couture Returns to Jackson Hole with Western Design Conference Announcement of September 2016 Dates

Applications Now Being Accepted Through April 1st


The Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale, which showcases the latest in Western-inspired contemporary functional art, will return to the Snow King Events Center in Jackson, Wyoming, Sept. 8-11, 2016. The popular Jackson Hole event displays the work for purchase of more than 130 best-of-their-craft artisans, who are selected by a jury of experts to present a variety of hand-crafted innovations in Western furniture, fashion, jewelry, accessories for the home and more.WDC-Designer-Conference

The 24th annual Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale is a four-day, multimillion-dollar event that brings together craftspeople, collectors, interior designers, architects and fashion designers with a love of the West, sponsored by Mountain Living magazine. The Western Design Conference was founded 24 years ago in Cody, Wyo., as a way to promote contemporary artists working in historical American craft methods. The WDC moved to Jackson in 2007. Allison Merritt, who purchased the WDC in 2014, after seven years acting as event manager, continues the strong commitment to Western arts in Wyoming while expanding the reach of the show. From documented American craft to home design to couture fashion, the show encompasses all aspects of the best of Western design.

2016 Western Design Conference #1

The Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale showcases unique furniture such as this music stand and chair by Henneford Fine Furniture, the 2015 winner of Best Craftsmanship at the 2015 event.

While the Exhibit + Sale’s contemporary Western design may take cues from the history and culture of the Old West, “a walk through the exhibit hall dispels the notion that Western furnishings are heavy or rough-hewn,” wrote the Denver Post after a visit to last year’s WDC. The one-of-a-kind pieces on display reflect a high degree of sophistication, creativity and craftsmanship – often with an innovative use of distinctly Western materials. Another aspect that makes the experience special for visitors, explains Merritt in a video capturing the excitement of the WDC, is the direct interaction with the artists for a deeper understanding of their influences and process.

2016 Western Design Conference -  Beltshazzar Jewels

Attendees of the Western Design Conference can browse and purchase a wide range of jewelry and accessories from artists across the country such as this dramatic necklace by Beltshazzar Jewels.

These are artists creating at the highest levels of contemporary craft,” says Merritt. But beyond the remarkable workmanship, “sometimes it’s hearing the artist’s personal inspiration behind a particular piece that gives it deeper meaning to the buyer, so that when they take it home, it is so much more than just a beautiful object. Continue reading