Saturday, June 30, 2012

Jason Crane Arrives in Auburn!

Great jazz interviewer and traveling poet Jason Crane is in town! He arrived yesterday to the 104-degree Columbus, Georgia Greyhound station. Last night he read some of his poems at The Gnu's Room, and I caught some pictures, embedded at right. Actually the slide show at right is all my Flickr pictures tagged with "Jason Crane", so by the time you read this, it may have more than just last night.

He also made it to our premier jazz venue, Piccolo, the lounge at the Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center. There was a very good lineup that included Atlanta saxophonist Taylor Kennedy, pianist Jonathan Lynn, bassist Sidney Simmons and Atlanta drummer Jared Lanham on drums. I'm trying to be cool, but Crane with his interview show, The Jazz Session, is on my favorite celebrities list, for sure. We're hanging out, and I'm talking a lot, which is what I do when I'm nervous.

Jason will speak tonight, again at The Gnu's Room, at 7:00 PM. This time, he'll share about his interviews and his tour which started June 1. He keeps his tour diary on his personal and poetry blog. Here's the link to yesterday's entry: "Tour Diary: What's Gnu" at In my last post, I wrote more about tonight's event which will feature some of my original music to Jason's poetry. I would love to see you there!

After the TGR event, we have options for music tonight. Piccolo MAL will have Montgomery saxophonist Coleman Woodson, Jr., headlining from 8-11 PM with no cover. I think there will be jazz* at Auburn's Balcony Bar (114 West Magnolia Avenue) as well to warm up the crowd before 11:00 when Big Deal Burlesque, a New Orleans Burlesque show featuring Roxie le Rouge will begin. I'm dead serious. Here's a link to the Facebook event page. We might also go check out a funk/jam band I've been wanting to hear live but have not yet had the chance, namely, The Good Doctor ( page) who will play at Bourbon St. Bar (103 N. College St.), $5 cover. Why don't our bars have websites?

See you out there!

*UPDATE: No jazz at Balcony Bar. Opening for Roxie will be guitar duo the Tim Friedman Trio. I said that right.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Peter Cho, Nola Pianist, One Night Only! Jason Crane, Traveling Jazz Poet, Two Nights!!

Peter Cho
I don't intentionally refrain from regular posting in the summertime, but with school out, my job as stay-at-home dad tends to preempt just about everything else. So if you want to check the same sites that I do, you can look at my Event Sources page and see what's going on if I'm not up to date.

This week is pretty special for a couple of reasons. New Orleans pianist and Auburn native Peter Cho (website) is in town and will be playing Thursday (6/28) at Piccolo MAL* with Jane Drake (website). In addition to being an extremely busy jazz pianist in New Orleans, since leaving Auburn Peter's career has touched some really interesting areas. Most has been in college administration, but also in rebuilding the city after Hurricane Katrina and some international musical diplomacy. He'll be there 8-11 PM with Jane. There's no cover, so support jazz at Piccolo by eating the lounge's good food, having some drinks and please tip the servers well. Plus I just got an e-mail from the Hotel advertising Peter and Jane. It's the first one I've seen where they're promoting Jane's weekly Thursday shows! Do it again, please.

Before I get to the other really special thing, since I'm writing about Piccolo, for the rest of the weekend there we have Atlanta saxophonist Taylor Kennedy (MySpace page) on Friday and Montgomery saxophonist Coleman Woodson, Jr., on Saturday. Friday and Saturday's sidemen vary from night to night. Both nights are from 8-11.

Sunday morning will be jazz brunch at the hotel's restaurant, Ariccia, 11-2. I know regular brunch guitarist Patrick Bruce is off the grid for the summer, so I'm not sure who's up that day.

*You can turn off Piccolo's website's auto-load music by clicking the little speaker thingy in its top-right corner.

Jazz or Bust

The other really special thing is that Jason Crane is coming to Auburn! I gushed about him in my last post, but now we have actual dates and plans. He'll be at The Gnu's Room for two nights in a row. Jason is a published poet and will do a poetry reading On Friday (6/29) at 7:00 PM. Most of his poems don't have a whole lot to do with jazz, except for the fact that a few of them seem to lend themselves pretty well to being set to jazz. I know that because over the past three weeks I have written music for three of his recent ones for a small jazz group.

I'll be performing these with the aforementioned Jane Drake, guitarist Taylor Pierce and bassist Sam Altonji on Saturday. We'll pepper them through an interview format for Jason's second presentation at The Gnu's Room that night, also at 7:00 PM. Kyle Gassoitt ( page) will be our host. We'll record the event, and it will likely show up somewhere on-air in the coming days.

The poems we'll do are on Jason's blog at Below are links to the three if you're interested. Friday will be the beautiful and stark purity of a man alone reading his poetry. Saturday we'll glitz it up with music and microphones.

"uh thin philm of heir" (link)
"the short kiss goodnight" (link)
"props" (link)

Other stuff

I am barely able to do this much of a post, so I'm not even going to look at my websites to see what's coming up. I'll tell you what I know. I'll be playing jazz at Hamilton's on Magnolia FBS Monday (7/2) from 6:30 - 9:00 PM with guitarist Taylor Pierce. Also, check out the Columbus Jazz Society for its July 8 event with Hotlanta Dixieland Jazz.

Now I'm off to The Market at Ag Heritage Park because it's only 93 degrees out today. (Hey, Jason, it will be 101 Saturday!) Pray I can get some sleep. This composing music thing is a ridiculous time-suck while being awesome at the same time.