- The Washington Times - Monday, January 16, 2006

Ready to rumble

Think you’ve got verbal stamina to spare?

Here’s your chance to go head to head with Bill O’Reilly on his talk show, “The O’Reilly Factor,” by way of a new contest announced yesterday by Fox News Channel.

Beginning today, the network will sponsor “Bloviate With Bill,” and it will choose six grand-prize winners to challenge the Fox News Channel host one on one in the hot seat on select nights throughout February. Viewers may enter by e-mailing their desired topic to oreillycontestfoxnews.com by Feb. 8. Finalists will receive an invitation to tape a segment with Mr. O’Reilly on the set of his program. For additional rules, visit www.foxnews.com/oreilly.

In challenging viewers to enter, Mr. O’Reilly — who recently squared off against CBS’ late-night host David Letterman on Mr. Letterman’s show — said, “You want a piece of me? Here’s your chance.”

Very sweet ‘Roll’

The American Folklife Center and the Music Division at the Library of Congress, in conjunction with the Kennedy Center, will present a special program celebrating the life and music of Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton and the release of “Jelly Roll Morton — The Complete Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax” (Rounder Records) at noon tomorrow in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE.

The program, featuring jazz scholar John Szwed and pianist Dave Burrell, will focus on a landmark 1938 recording session in which Mr. Morton (1890-1941) — the self-proclaimed creator of jazz and swing — sat down at a piano in the same spot to record not only a large repertoire of jazz, blues and folk songs, but also the first oral history of jazz. Seated nearby, asking questions and operating a small portable disc recorder, sat Alan Lomax, a 23-year-old assistant in charge of the library’s Archive of American Folk Song.

Mr. Lomax’s 1938 recordings are the basis of the Rounder box set, which has been nominated for two 2005 Grammy Awards — one of them for Mr. Szwed’s liner notes.

The noontime celebration kicks off a three-day symposium (beginning tomorrow and continuing through Friday) titled “The Lomax Legacy: Folklore in a Globalizing Century.” The symposium will bring together a diverse gathering of scholars, cultural workers and media producers who will reflect upon the life and work of Mr. Lomax (1915-2002), a pre-eminent song collector, musical anthropologist and cultural activist.

The symposium is an initiative of the American Folklife Center and the Association for Cultural Equity (ACE), New York. ACE was founded by Mr. Lomax and is directed by his daughter, Anna Lomax Wood.

Mr. Szwed, author of “Space Is the Place: Sun Ra’s Life on Earth” (1997) and “So What: The Life of Miles Davis” (2002), is researching and writing a biography of Mr. Lomax. His essay on Mr. Lomax and Mr. Morton, “Doctor Jazz,” is included in the Morton box set.

Almighty’ connection

Filming for Universal Pictures’ “Evan Almighty,” the sequel to 2003’s “Bruce Almighty,” will take place in Crozet, Va., west of Charlottesville.

Steve Carell, who played Evan Baxter in the first film, will star in the sequel, which involves rescuing humanity in an ark. Jim Carrey and co-star Jennifer Aniston won’t return for the sequel, but Oscar winner Morgan Freeman, who played God in “Bruce,” will be back.

Plans call for scenes to be filmed in and around Charlottesville starting in March. Officials say about 200 people could be part of the film crew in the area.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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