Radio host and author Steven Leech will speak and sign copies of his new book, “Boysie’s Horn: The History of Jazz in Wilmington in the 20th Century,” at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach on Friday, April 15, from 12:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. Browseabout Books is located at 133 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach.
“Boysie’s Horn” highlights the influence of one of America’s greatest jazz educators, Boysie Lowery, in making African-American Wilmington a launching pad for national artists, including vibraphonist Lem Winchester, trumpeter Clifford Brown and singer Betty Roché. Says journalist and jazz host for KUVO Denver Pete Simon, “For decades, [Lowery] has taught hundreds of people the intricacies of music and, more importantly, life itself. She was a beautiful soul that everyone loved madly. Thanks to Steven for looking into this project.
“Jazz fans and scholars alike will revel in all the artist names Leech verifies in this fully illustrated and well-indexed dossier of bands, clubs, speakeasies, musicians, recordings and social engines, too often overlooked by the cultural arbiters of the Delaware. Leech fills in the gaps of how American jazz, often associated with big-city record companies, owes a huge debt to a few gifted African Americans living in a small town on the east coast.
The work features a suite by Wilmington jazz legend Larry Williams.
Leech is known as the radio host and producer of “Bop Time,” for which he was named in WVUD’s Wall of Fame for his “unparalleled ability to provide background information and historical context for the selections that he chooses”.
Leech is the editor of Dreamstreets magazine, Delaware’s oldest literary magazine, and has twice been awarded grants from the Delaware Division of the Arts for his many novels, poetry, journalism, and literary history. Leech also sits on the board of the Delaware Rock & Roll Society. The son of a Roosevelt-era WPA writer, Leech wrote the introduction to a Delaware Heritage Press reprint of “Delaware: a Guide to the First State,” to which his father had contributed.
“Boysie’s Horn” is published by Broken Turtle Books, which specializes in the works of Delaware authors and those in the Delaware diaspora.