What better time than a global pandemic to start a publishing company for jazz books? Last Fall (2020), we launched Cymbal Press as a way of brining the wit, wisdom, and ideas of artists to market. The whole process has been a labor of love, with two great books already available. My personal inspiration for launching this company is explained in my essay, Repaying a Debt… Realizing a Debt.
Our first book, Life in E-Flat – The Autobiography of Phil Wood, was truly special. It allowed me to share the remarkable life story of legendary saxophonist Phil Woods with the world. This project required me to work with Phil’s wife to acquire the rights, coordinate with Phil’s book collaborator Ted Panken, assist Sylvia Martinez with the months of editing required to perfect the book, solicit written contributions from Grammy Award winners, Bill Charlap and Brian Lynch, seek pre-publication reviews by prominent artists, and even discuss Phil Woods’ artistry with Billy Joel. In addition to the substantial editing and layout effort invested by Sylvia, the book was a family affair. My kids Vivian worked on photo editing and Yvonne designed the book cover.
All of this work has been rewarding. The book has been well-reviewed on Amazon and we just learned that Life in E Flat – The Autobiography of Phil Woods was voted Book of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association!!
See the 2021 Winners in Jazz Journalism.
Veteran educator Gary Stager, Ph.D. is co-author of Invent To Learn — Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, publisher at Constructing Modern Knowledge Press, and the founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute. He led professional development in the world’s first 1:1 laptop schools thirty years ago and designed one of the oldest online graduate school programs. Gary is also the curator of The Seymour Papert archives at DailyPapert.com. Learn more about Gary here.