Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pop Music Considered in Fracture Compound's Post about Sound Art

This is by Bryan C. Reed on a blog called Fracture Compound out of Durham, North Carolina. His thoughts on songwriting and pop music, though not the main thrust of his article, struck a chord with me. It has influenced me to change my blog description up top so as not to imply that classical and jazz are the only art musics.

Here's the article: What's the Difference between 'Sound Art' and 'Music'

There is an Alabama connection. The post refers to the Black Warrior Review, a creative-writing publication out of the University of Alabama. There is discussion of nudity.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Two Culinary Benefits for Tornado Victims, Jazz and Chamber Music to Accompany

This coming Wednesday night (6/1), Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center's Chefs to the Rescue, a benefit for Alabama tornado relief victims, will feature a jazz trio along with its panoply of food, beer and wine presentations. Serving will be chefs from all over the country including local heavies, southern stars and Kevin Sbraga, 2010 Top Chef winner. Here's a link to a WRBL story about it.

The focus for the event is not the jazz, of course, but this will, in fact, be a good trio with Auburn's Tim Chambliss on drums, Atlanta's Kenyon Carter on sax and Montgomery's Coleman Woodson, III, on piano who plays an impressive left-hand bass. Tickets are $100 or $1,000 per person, depending on how well you want to get to know the chefs. To buy tickets (if they are still available) go to http://bit.ly/ChefRescueTickets which is a shortened link to the Lee County Red Cross's online store.

There's a flyer, but the only place I can find it online is its Facebook page. To see the full flyer, go to the page, click Photos, click the flyer photo and click "Download". I'll try to link to the flyer directly from here.

That didn't really work. See if you can click on the picture up there I just added.

Along those same lines, Waverly's acclaimed Yellow Hammer Restaurant will host its own wine-dinner benefit for Tallapoosa County's tornado victims on June 9. My chamber group, The Woodfield Trio, will play. Call 334-887-5800 to make reservations. This being my group, I have no doubt that I will try to get you to read more about it later. The Yellow Hammer Restaurant benefit has been postponed.

Some other upcoming events

6/4 - Earl Klugh and Birmingham guitarist Erick Essix at Samford's Brock Hall  
6/5 - The Preserve Jazz Festival (Hoover)
6/5 - LaGrange Symphony Orchestra presents Chamber Music and Ice Cream (LaGrange, GA)
6/10-11 - Alexander City Jazz Fest

Friday, May 27, 2011

Coppélia plays Sunday (5/29) at the Carmike Wynnsong 16

Москва (Moscow) - Bolshoi Theatre (Большой театр)
Above photo credit: jaime.silva from Flickr
Above photo from the theater's Facebook page
At 7:00 PM Moscow Daylight Time, the Bolshoi Ballet will perform the ballet Coppélia by Léo Delibes on Sunday (5/29) at the Bolshoi Theater (pictured at right, top) in Moscow.


Well, at the very same time, 10:00 AM here in the CST, you can experience the production right here in Auburn on the big screen at the Carmike Wynnsong 16 (pictured at right, bottom). Then, at 2:00 PM, the theater will show an encore which will repeat on 6/8 at 7:30 PM.

I've heard that it's a great experience and would love to see some comments from people who have been. Theaters all over the world are simulcasting these best-in-the-world productions of opera and ballet. Here's the website for Ballet in Cinema and here's the one for Opera in Cinema, both run by Emerging Pictures.

Verdi's Macbeth from The Royal Opera House will play on June 13 (1:30 PM) with an encore on June 22 (7:30 PM). Then, Children of Paradise, a ballet by Marc Olivier-Dupin, will play from the Paris Opera Ballet on July 9 (12:30 PM) with an encore on July 20 (7:30 PM). I'll try to keep up with any schedule changes.

My last post has some other soon-coming events.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jane Drake, Herbie Hancock, Montgomery Pops and the Atlanta Jazz Festival

Local Jazz at Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center

The Jane Drake Trio will be at Piccolo Thursday night (5/26) for its standing gig, but that's it for music there this week due to the holiday. Sunday jazz brunch (5/29) at Ariccia continues to be accompanied by a jazz trio, which I guess is why they keep calling it a jazz brunch. Last I heard, it will be the Jack Dresher Trio with Jack on bass, pianist Joe Thomas and drummer Sam Frederick who teaches music at Troy University.

Can I just say that I think it is fantastic that the Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center, home to Piccolo and Ariccia, has chosen to identify with jazz? I would bet that there's not a club within 100 miles that hosts jazz four times a week, sometimes more, almost all year round. To all responsible, kudos and thanks.

As far as I can tell, that's it as far as jazz or classical events in Auburn and Opelika for the next 7 days or so, *sigh*. I'll move on to the localish ones, of which there are a ton.

Columbus Jazz and Opera, Montgomery Pops

Friday (5/27) jazz at The Loft in Columbus this week is the Kevin Vannoy Quartet. I think he's a guitarist. The venue does not list its jazz events on its online calendar, and if you call them, they might not be able to confirm who is playing. Their jazz booking must be a separate process from the rest of the operation. But I will say to look down on the right on Columbus Jazz Society's home page. If you see them listed, you can be sure they'll be there playing jazz, 7-9 PM **EASTERN TIME**. Right now, Vannoy is the last artist listed. I'm checking to see if Friday night jazz will continue through the summer.

UPDATE: Kevin Vannoy was canceled at The Loft due to the holiday and the finale of Columbus's Uptown Concert Series. He's been rescheduled for June 24. Friday night jazz will, in fact, continue through the summer.

I'm not sure how I missed listing the jazz group Solar last week at The Loft, but they were there. Elwood Madeo, the band's guitarist and I played a duo at Hamilton's on Magnolia in May. I enjoyed his lush voicings and melodic lines. I have played with David Morgan, the group's drummer, who is very good and very involved with the Columbus Jazz Society. I've mentioned the soulful saxophonist before, Fred Ezekiel, who was at Piccolo a couple weeks ago. Auburn Knights alum David Johnston plays bass for the group and the pianist is Donald Tipton. I won't miss announcing their concert on June 12 at the Liberty Theatre as part of the Society's monthly concert series.

Also on Friday (5/27), the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra finishes out its season with its Free Jubilee Pops Concert on the steps of the Alabama Archives and History Building. It looks like the actual Jubilee CityFest ended last week, so you shouldn't have all that to compete with to get to the show. This is a free, outdoor event.

For an opera fix, try the CSU Opera and Musical Theater Sampler at RiverCenter's Studio Theatre in Columbus on Sunday (5/29). I'll say again that Columbus State has a rapidly deepening music program. If you haven't checked out anything over there, please make plans to do so. Among other things, they run LegacyLive! which is a high-end chamber music series. It should start back in the fall.

Also on Sunday night (5/29), 1048 Jazz and Blues in Montgomery hosts a weekly jazz jam session.


For a pretty good drive to what I would imagine will be a pretty good chamber music concert, on Friday (5/27), the Alabama Symphony is presenting the first of two Summer Serenades at Brock Recital Hall on Samford University's campus in Birmingham (event page). Key performers from the Alabama Symphony Orchestra will do the Dvorak Wind Serenade and Mozart's Serenade No. 10 (Gran partita). Just to clarify, this is not a full orchestra concert. These are chamber pieces for smaller groups.

On Friday (5/27) and Saturday (5/28), musical theater superstar Patti LuPone will sing with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. I doubt that you can get tickets to this, but that's just a guess. Here's the event page.

Then this Saturday and Sunday (5/28-9) is the Atlanta Jazz Festival. Click here for the Main Stage performers. Every unencumbered jazz musician, educator, student and fan should try to get up there for at least one of these shows. A favorite pick would be violinist Regina Carter, a very big deal. See video at right of her latest project, Reverse Thread. Other picks would be vibist Warren Wolf, trumpeter Sean Jones, pianist Gerald Clayton and a Cuban-American project called Ninety Miles.

Also, a listing at Center Stage in Atlanta says that the festival is presenting Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue on Monday (5/30). Here's the event page.

Next Wednesday (6/1), Herbie Hancock plays one night only at the Alys Stephens Center (event page) in Birmingham. It's Herbie Hancock. He's a jazz legend. Here's his Wikipedia page. Here's his official site.

More to come local...
6/2-5 - Jane Drake, et al., at Piccolo, Ariccia (Auburn)
==> 6/6 - Me and Patrick Bruce at Hamilton's on Magnolia (Auburn) <==
6/9 - The Woodfield Trio at the Yellow Hammer Restaurant (Waverly)
6/20 - Auburn Summer Jazz Concert at Goodwin Hall (Auburn)

More to come localish...
6/5 - Jazz jam at 1048 Jazz and Blues (Montgomery)
6/12 - Solar at the Liberty Theatre (Columbus)

More to come ATL and BHM...
6/2 - Alabama Symphony players perform Mozart, Dvorak and Tchaikovsky at Brock Recital Hall (Birmingham)
6/3 - Black Jacket Symphony presents Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band with special guest the Alabama Symphony Orchestra (Birmingham)
6/9-12 - Atlanta Symphony Orchestra presents Puccini's Madama Butterfly (Atlanta)
6/10 - Alabama Symphony Orchestra plays Weber, Liszt, Mussorgsky, Dvorak (B'ham)
6/11 - Alabama Symphony Orchestra plays Tchaikovsky (Birmingham)
6/12 - Alabama Symphony Orchestra pops concert (Birmingham)
6/18 - Jazz guitarist Pat Martino at Center Stage (Atlanta)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Band Music Tonight (5/24) in Opelika!

Opelika Parks and Recreation's Summer Swing Series is in progress! Tonight, the Southeast Alabama Community Band will perform under the long-time direction of Johnny Long, Band Director Emeritus of Troy University. Here's a news story on al.com about them. Apparently, next month, they'll be featured on the CBS evening news with Katie Couric.

Show starts at 7:00 PM at Municipal Park in Opelika. Food starts at 6:15. Free lemonade and train rides!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Monday's Auburn Summer Jazz Should Be a Very Good Concert

This could potentially be some of the best jazz in the area since Dave Evans played at Piccolo in January.

At right is a video of Austin-Texas native Russell Haight playing tenor sax on "Giant Steps" in 2009. Haight (pronounced "hate") is the new saxophone instructor at Auburn, and the de facto head of its jazz program. He's a real personable guy and a great player.

I say "de facto head" because he's the only one there who is teaching jazz, and as far as I know, recruiting and otherwise working to build up the jazz program at AU. I hear from students and faculty that he's doing impressive work his first year on the job.

Haight is playing Monday night (5/23) at Goodwin Hall at 7:30 PM with the AU Jazz Quintet. Other personnel on the gig will be faculty members Matt Wood on trombone and Doug Rosener on drums. They'll be joined by students Sidney Simmons on bass and Jonathan Lynn on piano.

With it still being spring, technically (I think it got up to about 90 yesterday in Auburn), but summer in spirit, the program will be a seasonal one including Hubbard's "Up Jumped Spring," Jobim's "Wave" and other sun-and-surf-themed tunes.

Here is the event page for Monday's performance. This will be the first of two Auburn Summer Jazz Concerts. The next will be June 20.

Jazz reminders: Tonight (5/21), 8-11 at Piccolo will be a jazz trio featuring Atlanta saxophonist Kenyon Carter. Tomorrow (5/22) at 3:00 PM **EASTERN TIME**, the Alex Pershounin Jazz Quintet will perform at the Liberty Theatre for a benefit for the theatre and the Columbus Jazz Society in Columbus, GA. More on this and other soon-happening jazz and classical events in my last post.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lounge Piano at the Museum, Jazz Here and Nearby, Birmingham and Atlanta Classial

Mary Slaton at the piano
Lunch at the Museum, Jazz Munchies at Piccolo, Auburn Summer Jazz Concert

This Thursday will be the last free lunchtime concert for the spring series at the museum. Mary Slaton, a skilled pianist in the lounge-piano style, will perform. I'm in her trio (http://www.maryslaton.com), and it's fun. I've never really had to learn all those tunes that everyone else knows. Musicians famously hate to play them because people love them so much and keep asking for them, so we have to play them a lot. But people always ask for them because they're actually great songs. I'm talking about tunes like "Misty;" "New York, New York;" "Feelings;" "I Just Called to Say I Love You;" "The Rose;" "Crazy." I could go on about how I think that all art musicians owe their livelihoods to music like this and should perhaps re-frame the way we think about playing them, but I'll save that for another post. Anyway, Mary will be playing some Mozart, too, so there you go. Plus, she's got a cool little bossa arrangement of James Taylor's "You've Got a Friend."

Thursday night, we'll see jazz vocalist Jane Drake return to Piccolo (click the link to find the bar's appetizer menu) with bassist Sidney Simmons and pianist Jonathan Lynn. Saxophonist La'Roy Bodiford will headline on Friday with Coleman Woodson, III, on piano and Tim Chambliss on drums. I don't know about Saturday, yet, but will post it when I learn. All three nights are 8-11. Here's a previous post where I embedded a YouTube video of Bodiford playing with the Troy University Jazz Band.

UPDATE: Saturday night at Piccolo is Kenyon Carter. I embedded a video of his in a previous post.

On Monday (5/23) will be an Auburn Summer Jazz Concert at AU's Goodwin Hall. I hope to know more soon. Here's the event page.

Columbus Jazz Benefit, ASO and ASO events, Atlanta Chamber Players

On Sunday (5/22), the Alex Pershounin Jazz Quintet will perform in Columbus, Georgia, at the Liberty Theatre. The event, called Jazz at the Liberty, is a benefit for the theatre and the Columbus Jazz Society. Pershounin, head of the jazz program at Columbus State, will be joined by Amy Griffiths on sax, Tyrone Jackson on piano, Trey Wright on guitar and John David on drums. Tickets are $20. There will be a pre-concert jazz talk by Pershounin and a silent auction. The program starts at 3:00 PM. Click here for the Society's home page with more info.

The Atlanta Chamber Players will perform their grand finale, Chamber Music at the Tavern, next Tuesday night (5/24) at the New American Shakespeare Tavern in Atlanta. They'll perform pieces by Franz Schreker, Ned Rorem and Brams. I've not been to the Tavern, but it boasts Original Practice Shakespeare productions and advertises a "British pub menu and libations." Sounds awesome. Here's the event page.

This coming Thursday (5/19), Saturday (5/21) and Sunday (5/22), The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will do Mendelssohn's Suite from a Midsummer Night's Dream, Britten's Spring Symphony and Rachmaninov's Spring Cantata. This is a choral concert with featured grammy-award-winning soloists and others with impressive résumés. The event page lists Stephen Powell, Jessica Rivera, Kelley O'Connor and Anthony Dean Griffey as featured soloists. The Atlanta Symphony Chorus will join in and the Gwinnett Young Singers as well. Sounds big. They'll also play a world premiere of a new fanfare by Robert Pound. Well, they'll world premier it on Thursday. On Saturday and Sunday, they'll just play it.

The Alabama Symphony Orchestra continues its Beethoven Festival. I listed a schedule summary in another post.

There may be more going on, but the baby woke up and is yelling at me. If there's time, I'll post more later.

Music...of the fuuuuturrrrrre

May 27 - Montgomery Symphony presents Free Jubilee Pops Concert (Montgomery)
May 27-8 - Patti LuPone sings with the Atlanta Symphony (Atlanta)
May 27 - Alabama Symphony presents Dvorak and Mozart (Birmingham)
May 29 - CSU students present Opera and Musical Theater Sampler (Columbus)
May 29 - Wynnsong 12 simulcast: The Bolshoi Ballet presents Coppelia (Auburn)
June 1 - Herbie Hancock at Alys Stephens Center (Birmingham)
June 2 - Alabama Symphony presents Mozart, Dvorak, and Tchaikovsky (Birmingham)
June 6 - I'm playing jazz at Hamilton's on Magnolia with guitarist Patrick Bruce (Auburn)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Percussion Concert Pictures from 4/21 at the Museum

I've posted some pictures to Flickr from the April 21 performance by the Auburn University percussion studio. I was very impressed. They did a marimba trio by Rudiger Passawar that sounded great. I don't otherwise know the composer, but his piece reminded me a little of Bob Mintzer's sax quartet writing. At least, it used that same kind of harmonic language. An Eric Ewazen marimba-piano duet was very good. Shelby Blezinger's marimba solo was tremendous.

I liked everything they did, though when Hunter Jackson and Aaron Locklear did their djembe duet, you could tell they were holding back. There were concerns about the volume level in that boomy room, but the drum work from the group was nowhere near as loud as even one of the marimbas. That surprised me, and I loved it. The sound just filled the room and surrounded my head...probably not just mine.

If you get a chance to hear them, go. I'll keep an eye out for their performances. The variations in instrumentation makes it interesting, and the students' talent, brought out in large part by percussion professor Doug Rosener, makes it good.

Click the picture below to see a slide show of all of the pictures I've taken from the spring series. I have more in the camera of the AU bassoon and sax groups from April 28 and the recorder show from May 12. I know you've been wondering.

Marimbist Performing

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Atlanta Sacred Chorale in Montgomery Tomorrow

I just learned that tomorrow (5/15) at 4:00 PM, at Memorial Presbyterian Church in Montgomery, the Atlanta Sacred Chorale will perform a program called Tune My Heart as a vespers concert. If you miss it and really wanna go, they'll do it again as their season finale in Atlanta at Emory University on 6/4 at 8:00 PM EST. I think it might be free at Memorial Pres., but I haven't confirmed that.

Here's the event page for tomorrow's concert.
Here's the event page for the June 4 concert.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Summary of Yesterday's Missing Post

Blogger's still not able to fix their problem, so I've salvaged an old draft of the vanished post from yesterday.

This Sunday (5/15) at 2:30 PM, Liana Gourdjia, the Montgomery Symphony's violin fellow, will present her final recital here at the end of her two-year fellowship with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra (event page).

The Pershounin Project is playing jazz at The Loft in Columbus right now (5/13), until 9 PM EASTERN TIME.

La'Roy Bodiford is playing right now at Piccolo with Tim Chambliss on drums, pianist Kermit Orr from Goodwater, and bassist Sidney Simmons. Tomorrow it's Coleman Woodson, Jr. on sax, Kermit on piano again and bassist Robert Morgan. Both nights go 8-11.

Ariccia will continue its Sunday jazz brunch (5/15), from 11 am to 2 pm, with the Jack Dresher trio. Personnel is Jack on Bass, pianist Joe Thomas and drummer Sam Frederick.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will also do a family-friendly concert called The Composer is Dead with music by Nathaniel Stookey on Sunday (5/15).

The Alabama Symphony will be kicking off its Beethoven Festival in Birmingham tonight (5/13) and going through May 22. They are doing five dates, eventually making it through all of the symphonies and the Choral Fantasy with one encore presentation of No. 9.

Friday, May 13 - Symphonies 1, 2 and 7
Sunday, May 15 - Symphonies 4 and 3
Tuesday, May 17 - Beethoven Chamber Music
Thursday, May 19 - Symphonies 8, 6 and 5
Saturday, May 21 - Choral Fantasy and the Ninth Symphony
Sunday, May 22 - Ninth Symphony encore

Here's ASO's complete schedule page with links to more details.

Music...of the fuuuuturrrrrre

May 19-22 - Jazz at Piccolo, Ariccia (Auburn)
May 19-22 - Atlanta Symphony does Mendelssohn, Britten and Rachmaninov (Atlanta)
May 22 - The Alex Pershounin Jazz Quintet at the Liberty Theatre (Columbus)
May 23 - Auburn Summer Jazz Concert (Auburn)
May 27 - Montgomery Symphony presents Free Jubilee Pops Concert (Montgomery)
May 27-8 - Patti LuPone sings with the Atlanta Symphony (Atlanta)
May 27 - Alabama Symphony presents Dvorak and Mozart (Birmingham)
May 29 - CSU students present Opera and Musical Theater Sampler (Columbus)
May 29 - Wynnsong 12 simulcast: The Bolshoi Ballet presents Coppelia (Auburn)
June 1 - Herbie Hancock at Alys Stephens Center (Birmingham)
June 2 - Alabama Symphony presents Mozart, Dvorak, and Tchaikovsky (Birmingham)
June 6 - I'm playing jazz at Hamilton's on Magnolia with guitarist Patrick Bruce (Auburn)

Blogger Problems

If you happen to be looking at the blog and you're not seeing a music post from 5/12, it's because Blogger hasn't quite fixed a technical difficulty they've been working on. Hopefully, it'll return soon.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Free Lunchtime Concert Today, Jazz at Piccolo, Columbus Jazz Society's Monthly Concert and More

Today (5/5), The Woodfield Trio performs at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. This is my chamber group with Charles Wright on cello and Barbara Acker-Mills on piano. We do some Baroque and Classical period things where I play flute, and I bring out the saxophones for some other pieces. The lobby there at the museum seems to have been made for the timbre of a tenor saxophone...also that of a marimba. When the percussion studio from AU played there a couple of weeks ago, the marimbas really sang, and especially the marimba trio they did. It was a big sound. They did a great job.

Then tonight (5/5), jazz vocalist Jane Drake will perform her weekly show at Piccolo, 8-11, with her trio that also includes Sidney Simmons on bass and Jonathan Lynn on piano.

Piccolo will again feature jazz on Friday and Saturday nights. Friday's headliner is saxophonist Fred Ezekiel from Columbus. This is his first time at Piccolo. I may have played with him once while subbing together on a rehearsal for Columbus's Cavaliers big band. If it's the same guy (pretty sure it is) the few solos he played were really enjoyable. I wanted to hear more.

Saturday at Piccolo will be Kenyon Carter (website), who plays there a good bit. Here he is at right on a clip video from his YouTube channel.

Friday night (5/5), competing with Piccolo, sort of, is Silent Threat in Columbus, Georgia, at The Loft. I don't know the first thing about this group, but will post more info if I can find it. The Loft is still not posting its Friday jazz events on its calendar, but the schedule is posted on the bottom-right of the Columbus Jazz Society home page.

Ariccia will continue its jazz brunch on Sunday (5/8), 11-2. I'll let you know the players if I find out. I think it may be Patrick Bruce's trio, but don't hold me to that. Performing for this Mother's Day Brunch will be the Tim Chambliss Jazz Trio.

This Sunday (5/8), Tuskegee pianist Bill Perry & Timeless will perform for the Columbus Jazz Society's monthly concert at Liberty Theatre. Timeless is made up of Perry, bassist Emory Kidd and drummer Ben Weldon. The show will be 6-8 PM with a jam session from 8-9, so bring your axe. Here is a link to a YouTube video of an interview with Perry. There's a good bit of talking, but the little bit of piano playing at 2:14, 3:27, 5:32 and 6:04 hints at some real skills and a diverse palette.

Next Week...

May 12 - A Little Lunch Music at the museum features flutes and recorders playing baroque renaissance to new music (Auburn)
May 13 - The Pershounin Project will play at The Loft (Columbus)
May 13 - Alabama Symphony presents Beethoven Symphonies 1, 2 and 7 (Birmingham)
May 15 - Alabama Symphony presents Symphonies 4 and 3 (Birmingham)
May 15 - Montgomery Symphony Orchestra's violin fellow, Liana Gourdjia, plays Bach for her final recital (Montgomery)
May 15 - Jazz brunch continues at Ariccia with Jack Dresher Trio (Auburn)

...and Beyond

May 22 - Pershounin Project at Liberty Theatre (Columbus)
May 23 - Auburn University Summer Jazz Series concert (Auburn)
June 1 - Herbie Hancock at the Alys Stephens Center (Birmingham)
June 6 - Me again with guitarist Patrick Bruce at Hamilton's with more duo jazz (Auburn)

Monday, May 2, 2011

May 5, May 12 Lunch Music Schedule Change

We've slightly changed the schedule for A Little Lunch Music for the next two performances. This Thursday (5/5), my chamber group, The Woodfield Trio will perform. Next Thursday (5/12), we're working on a baroque recital with recorders and flutes. More details to come. Click here for complete schedule info. Only three more free concerts before summer break, so come check it out!