Saturday, December 24, 2016

Compilation CD Benefits ACLU

One the cover of the January 2017 Syncopated Times is an item about a new compilation CD produced by Glenn Crytzer, That New Old Sound. Proceeds from the sale of the album benefit the ACLU.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The First Syncopated Times of 2017!

The January 2017 issue of The Syncopated Times was published Tuesday, December 20. If you are a subscriber, it is on its way to you. It is jam-packed with high-quality editorial content. (If you are not a subscriber, what on Earth are you waiting for?)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Professor is IN: Jazz and Dancing

"The Professor is IN" by Adrian Cunningham is one of the most popular columns in The Syncopated Times. This month I published the column and inadvertently omitted the italics in the original formatting. And as Professor Cunningham says, "This stuff is really important." To make amends, here is the Professors column as it was originally supposed to appear:

Jazz and Dancing

      As a bandleader performing for many swing dancers in recent years (in the US and worldwide), Im inspired to see the reuniting of jazz and dancing; a marriage thats been separated for a long time. Furthermore, seeing a room full of young people connecting with this music is encouraging for the future of the scene.
      My own early dance experience as a young Australian lad consisted of mindlessly throwing my body around to whatever loud and awful electronic drivel the DJ decided to serve up—in an unsuccessful attempt to woo any young lass desperate or drunk enough to think I looked cool doing it. Those days are long gone, thank goodness.
       We all like to think we have a bit of Fred Astaire in us, when in reality our dance-floor grace might be more akin to Fred Flintstone.
     And due credit to the swing dancers of the world: Lindy Hop dancing aint easy. Take it from me. Ive moved on from my youthful gyrations and have been swing dancing for a while now. And though Im by no means a Frankie Manning on the dance floor, I dance enough to know it takes a lot of work to look good out there.
        Lets get technical for a minute. The basic Lindy step is a Six Count step. And swing music is almost always eight count music. You dont have to be Einstein to figure out that that just doesnt add up.
       But theres not just the Six Count Basic, there's also the Shag, the Swing Out, the Charleston, Balboa, Big Apple...dear lord.
      And the traditional role of the man is to take the lead. Youve gotta make all the big decisions on the dance floor.
        So, for all you brave lads out there, heres the Professors guide for swing dancing as a lead.
      Step one: get some lessons! You need to have some idea of what you're doing. And if you cant dance, and you ask a girl who can—she will EAT YOU ALIVE. Make no mistake my friend, its a jungle out there.
      Step two: once youve developed some skills, pluck up the courage to ask someone to dance. Forget about any conversation. Lose the beat and youre down a rung on the dance floor pecking order. You gotta concentrate on those feet—but don't look at them! They are supposed to have a bloody mind of their own, irrespective of what the top half of your body is doing. (You know that game where you pat your head and rub your stomach? Times that by a thousand.)
     Now the song starts. No turning back now. And your mind goes something like this (dont worry, its perfectly normal):
       Please dont be a fast song, please dont be fast. Damn it! Its fast. But I can handle it. Positive thoughts there, buddy.
      And here we go. Okay, so you know about three dance moves. Dont waste them early on. Okay, so start by just bobbing up and down. Thatll kill some time. Alright!
        Okay ask her her name. But don't lose the beat. One word to every beat. Here goes-
    Great! Bugger, I didnt catch her answer. Damn you, distracting footwork.
      One, two...okay turn her. Not that way! Bugger. Don't worry; you can cover it up. Do some fancy footwork. But I dont know any! That's okay. Just make something up, and do it fast enough so she wont notice. Good save sir!
        Is she enjoying it? Give her a smile and make her think you're actually enjoying this. Okay, good. Hmm...she kinda looks like shes smiling. Or is she in pain? Maybe its gas. Is it gas? You can't ask her that, you idiot. Focus!...let's get back to it. Now—let's try the Charleston. It worked! Good one!
        Bloody hell, when does this song end? It seems like its been going for 30 minutes. Dont let on like you want it to end, smile and do some more bobbing. Ah, bobbing, the ultimate filler.
    And finally, the song is over. What a relief! Thank her and walk Hang on—we were dancing to a live 17 piece band?
         I didn't even notice.

Reedman extraordinaire Adrian Cunningham is the leader of Professor Cunningham and his Old School Jazz Band, based in New York City. His most recent CD is Ain't That Right! The Music of Neal Hefti issued on the Arbors Jazz label. Visit his both his sites on the world wide web: and 

The December 2016 Syncopated Times

The December 2016 issue of The Syncopated Times was published yesterday. Here's the cover:

Friday, October 28, 2016

Our November 2016 Issue

The November 2016 issue of The Syncopated Times was published last week and many of you who subscribe have received it by now. This is a lovely paper, maybe the best yet. If you would like a copy of this issue, subscribe via PayPal and I'll send you a copy via First Class USPS mail. It will not count against your full subscription: consider it a lagniappe.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Juvae Jazz: A Jazzy Oktoberfest!

This information arrived too late to be included in the October issue of The Syncopated Times:

A “JAZZY OKTOBERFEST” is planned by the Juvae Jazz Society of Decatur, IL, for Saturday, October 8th  at the Decatur Club from 2 to 5 p.m.  Entertainment will be provided by the “Gaslight Squares Jazz Band” from St. Louis, a relatively new, young, dynamic group playing styles of Ragtime and a variety of Jazz and Blues.  They are led by British trumpet player, T.J. Mullner, also playing banjo and singing.  Making up the group  are Jacob Alspach (tenor banjo, guitar & vocals), Jon Weiss (tuba), Matt Sellers (piano), Rudy Torrini (clarinet) and Nick Penne (washboard).  Lots of talent – lots of music.  Plenty of food and drinks prepared by the Decatur Club for purchase.  Tickets, $20.00, may be purchased in advance by mailing a check to: Juvae Jazz Society, P.O. Box 2323, Decatur, IL 62524, or at the door; for reservations contact Phyllis at 217-877-4527 or 217-433-4527; Sandie 217-546-1363.  As always, all profits fund the 42nd Central Illinois Jazz Festival, produced by the Juvae Jazz Society, to be held February 10-12, 2017, at the Decatur Conference Center & Hotel, Decatur, IL.  Visit our website for further information regarding Juvae Jazz Society and the Society’s events.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The October Issue of TST Is Published!

Last night I put the finishing touches on the October 2016 issue of The Syncopated Times and it was printed and mailed out to subscribers today. I am really pleased with how this one turned out.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Saturday, August 27, 2016

North Carolina Jazz Festival 2017

The advertisement for the North Carolina Jazz Festival, which takes place February 2, 3, & 4, 2017, in Wilmington NC was inadvertently omitted from my September 2016 issue. Please take note.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Yes, I Know

So I worked like a maniac to get the September issue just right and to the printer on time, and there's a glaring typo on the front page that blows the (alleged) joke I was attempting to make. It occurs (as my typos always do) in the "Hot Items" section. That's the very last thing I lay out before the paper goes to press--and by that time I'm frazzled. 

When you receive your paper, you don't have to write to inform me of it. You'll be wasting your time and mine. Yes, I know it's there.

Our September Issue Is On the Way!

The September 2016 issue of The Syncopated Times was printed and mailed this morning. Subscribers will be receiving it soon. It came out well! Here's the cover:

Saturday, July 30, 2016

It's a Glitch!

Some (or maybe all) of you subscribers might notice that your subscription label on the August issue omits your last name. We're not presuming an unseemly informality. The omission was the result of a one-time glitch that occurred while the paper was being labeled for mailing from Fresno, CA. Please be assured that your surname will be restored with subsequent issues. (If your subscription copy does not arrive within a reasonable time, please let me know via email.)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The August Issue Is Published!

I finished the August issue Wednesday and it was printed and mailed on Friday. You're going to like it. It came out beautifully!

Friday, July 1, 2016

The July Issue

The July issue of The Syncopated Times is on its way to subscribers (and many have received it already). I'm delighted with how it came out.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

New: a Digital Option for International Subscribers

Over the past six months, since creating and launching The Syncopated Times, I've been most concerned with publishing a paper that is attractive, informative, and fun. My early stated goal of creating a more economical subscription option for readers outside the United States was necessarily put on hold while I made sure I got the paper part right.

My other concern was that I didn't want to "give away the store," since my content cannot be free. My whole month is invested in designing, writing, editing, and laying out a publication that I am determined to make a source of information, entertainment, surprise, and delight for all who turn its pages. My staff writers also must be paid. I can't do that without compensation.

So, while I won't regularly be offering online content from The Syncopated Times, I have settled on a solution for international subscribers who want to read the paper without spending an exorbitant amount of money. Subscribers outside the US who want The Syncopated Times may now receive a monthly PDF download link, sent by email, for the price of a US subscription. The PDF is a more compact file than the one I send to the printer, but is otherwise identical.

This new digital subscription option is available through PayPal only. When someone outside the US pays for a subscription by PayPal at the US rate, I will send the files to the subscriber's PayPal email address--or to another email address if one is specified. I merely must ask that all who receive the digital edition not redistribute it nor publish the download links.

The PayPal button is at the top of this page. Merely choose the US yearly or two-year option to receive the digital subscription if you are outside the US.

I am of course delighted to continue to provide the paper edition of The Syncopated Times by mail to all international subscribers who wish to receive it.

The June Issue Is Headed Your Way!

The June Syncopated Times was mailed last Thursday and many subscribers have received it already. It's a good one!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Our Third Issue

Have you seen the April 2016 issue of The Syncopated Times? It's delightful!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


To those subscribers who received the November/December 2015 issue of The American Rag this month, be advised that the woman in the photograph with me is not, in fact, my wife.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The PayPal Button is Fixed!

I reconfigured the PayPal button on this site to allow subscribers to make a single payment without having a recurring charge. The "subscribe" option through PayPal was, counterintuitively, the wrong one for me to use for my subscriptions.

I apologize to anyone who went through the original button only to find they were being lassoed into an annual charge (even for a two-year subscription). I don't want to push anybody to do anything. And I appreciate everyone who has signed up to subscribe to The Syncopated Times!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Introducing The Syncopated Times!

Over the past two weeks I have prepared the first ever issue of The Syncopated Times. This was no doubt the hardest work I've ever done in my life. Added to that, it was necessary for me to teach myself newspaper layout from the ground up as I was assembling my first issue. Luckily, I'm fairly resourceful, and a quick study—but I've also had to struggle against my own profound inertia to scale a learning curve that has been more of a right angle. But the first issue is done! In finishing it I've managed to amaze myself.

Last year I began writing for The American Rag, a monthly national paper devoted to the preservation and perpetuation of traditional jazz and ragtime. Though a series of wholly unanticipated circumstances, I purchased the assets of the paper from Don Jones, who published The American Rag over the past twenty years. I am deeply grateful to Don and Cathie Jones for this opportunity, and I am determined to keep their work going in The Syncopated Times far into the future.

Thanks also for the indispensable help of Lew Shaw, Russ Tarby, Gary Price, and Norman Vickers whose work you will find in our first issue.

Since I'm expanding the frequency of issue to twelve per year, at the start of February I'm raising the yearly subscription price to $30 per year in the US (and $55 for two years). I'll maintain the Canadian and Overseas rates at present (as posted on The American Rag website ) but I anticipate expanding to include a digital edition that will make it much more economical for subscribers outside the US to receive content. (And being digital, it will be instantaneous.)

To subscribe, email me at with your name, address, and full nine-digit zip code (and your pledge to subscribe) and I'll add you to the list of subscribers. All current subscribers to The American Rag will automatically receive The Syncopated Times for the duration of their subscription. For new subscriptions, mail yout check for the one or two-year subscription to:

The Syncopated Times
1809 Whitesboro St.
Utica, NY 13502-3719

Or pay by PayPal to

Thank You!
Andy Senior
Publisher and Editor
The Syncopated Times