Ahamefule Oluo dressed in a suit, holding a microphone with musicians in the background.

Ahamefule Oluo photo by Bruce Clayton Tom

Obituary: William Dement: A Man of Medicine Who Loved Jazz

William Dement, MD PhD, an im­portant figure in the sleep medicine field died June 17, at the age of 91 after suffering from cardiovascular disease. Dement cemented his medical career in the late 1950’s in the direction of sleep studies when he earned his PhD at the University of Chicago. Dement and his team discovered and named the sleep phase, rapid eye movement or REM. While Dement is well-known in the medical field, his abil­ity and love of jazz are lesser known. Born in Wenatchee, 1928, he grew up in Walla Walla and served in the U.S Army in Japan. Dement attended college at the University of Washing­ton earning a basic medical degree in 1951, and helped pay his way through school by working as a jazz bass player. He enjoyed hosting jam sessions on his houseboat and he also had the oppor­tunity to play with jazz talents Quincy Jones and Stan Getz. In the 1980’s he supported the formation of the aca­demic jazz program at Stanford Uni­versity. Dement is survived by his two daughters and a son.

Café Racer Closure

In July, Café Racer owner Cindy Anne announced that the physical lo­cation of Café Racer on 5828 Roos­evelt Way NE, Seattle would close permanently. Citing the COVID-19 mandated closures of music venues, and concerns for their customers’ health, the ownership decided that closing their physical location and moving their music performances to an online platform would be the most feasible and sensible action to take at this moment. Their plan is to continue providing great local music and con­tent online until it is safe to open an­other in-person location. Café Racer online music offerings can be heard at caferacerradio.com

Thanks to the Raynier Institute and Foundation

We are enormously grateful to be part of the ongoing legacy of the late James Ray, whose passion for Seattle’s social health and musical vibrancy led to the creation of the Raynier Institute and Foundation. We thank the Rayni­er Foundation and its staff for all they do to make Seattle a better place.

Earshot Jazz Festival 2020

Sign ‘O the Times! Drawing on the lessons that jazz teaches us—to listen, improvise, and learn—the 2020 Ear­shot Jazz Festival will go on this year, adapted into an all-digital format in October that reflects the diversity of jazz and responds to our changing community.

We look forward to presenting mu­sic performances with an emphasis on our region’s talent alongside com­pelling conversations and other forms of sustained digital engagement. This year’s Featured Resident Artist, Aha­mefule J. Oluo, will have the exciting opportunity to explore new ideas in a shifting landscape. Save the date for late October and stay tuned for further details at earshot.org.

4Culture’s Reopen Fund

4Culture’s Reopen Fund for Orga­nizations and Landmarks intends to provide support for training, protec­tive equipment, infrastructure up­grades, additional personnel and other measures needed by cultural organiza­tions to open under COVID-19 public health restrictions. Organizations are encouraged to apply even if they do not operate out of a permanent facili­ty. King County Council has allocated $1.4 million to support local organiza­tions in their re-opening efforts. To be eligible, cultural organizations must be located in King County and their primary mission should be related to one or more funding areas which in­clude arts, heritage, and preservation. Awards could be used for installation of plexiglass barriers, sanitizing sta­tions, signage, training for front-line staff, software upgrades and more. Priority will be given to organizations/landmarks that have a track record serving a community disproportion­ately impacted by COVID-19. The deadline is August 17. For application and details please visit 4culture.org/grants/reopen/

Save our Stages Call for Support

The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) through their #SaveOurStages campaign, is asking for nationwide support to preserve and nurture the ecosystem of indepen­dent live music venues and promoters throughout the United States. NIVA emphasizes that because of COV­ID-19 health concerns live music ven­ues were the first to close and will be the last to re-open. Consequently, ven­ues and the people whose livelihoods depend on them will suffer if they do not receive adequate financial assis­tance. NIVA is asking people to send a letter to their legislators in support of the Restart Act introduced by Sena­tors Young and Bennet in the Senate and Representatives Golden and Kelly in the House, which would ensure the survival of independent venues across the nation, and preserve both the eco­nomic and cultural contributions that these venues provide. For more infor­mation visit nivassoc.org


Posted on

July 30, 2020