Tuesday, July 29, 2014


My wife sleeps in our parents' spare rooms,
Her work's bloodless compulsions bar her from our children.
Bilingual strangers swarm our home,
Destroying, laughing,
Cursing, building.

Here in the mountains, small, pajama'd gods, Norse, momentarily coexist,
Spawning and coercing a paper world, a fantasy's shadow, and more real.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Amazing Trumpeter Allen Vizzutti Performs Wednesday (4/23/2014) in Auburn

Allen Vizzutti with the Airmen of Note, from jazzybugler's YouTube channel.
There is contrary opinion on everything, but even as a saxophonist I feel pretty secure in stating that Allen Vizzutti is one of the world's greatest trumpet players. His mom thinks so (see bio below), but she's not the only one.

He performs Wednesday night (4/23) at 7:30 PM with the AU Jazz Band and the AU Symphonic Winds in the Auburn University Student Center Ballroom. The address is 255 Heismann Dr. This is the building kind of on the Heismann-sculpture side of Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Ballroom is on the third floor. Doors will open at 6:30. Tickets are $10/$5. Here's the event page on the AU Music calendar.

In addition to being able to do things with the instrument (musical things) that really shouldn't be possible, Vizzutti is also a passionate educator. He seems just as comfortable working with junior high school band students as performing with the world's top orchestras. He'll do a masterclass, open to the public, Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 PM in Goodwin Recital Hall (320 W. Samford).

To recap:
  • Masterclass Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at 3:00 PM at Goodwin Recital Hall - free
  • Concert Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at 7:30 PM at the AU Student Center - $10/$5 <= seriously


Why should we go to this thing?


Silly question? This is an opportunity to hear great art music at a level we don't get to hear too often in our rural Alabama community. Ok, but it is also an opportunity to let the AU deciders know that we, in fact, are a rural Alabama community who is interested in more of this. That is, if we are.

It is not often that faculty get permission to spend the money to bring someone like this in. Jazz-wise, it's been decades (citation needed). But I'm not seeing the appropriate media promotion for an artist appearance of this stature. I have to assume that this is due to lack of budget, even with sponsorship help from Gadsden Music Company and Yamaha.

Point being, if we turn out, it presumably could support the case for greater budget allocation for more visits by the world's top musicians and artists. Let's turn out.

Besides the obvious help of music chair Sara Lynn Baird, thanks are due to saxophone/jazz instructor Mike Pendowski for making it happen. Trumpet professor Mark DeGoti has been a huge support to the cause, has a deep respect for Vizzutti's talent, and even uses the trumpeter's method and étude books for his students.

It's Where, Now?


If you haven't been to the new Student Center, it's easier to find than you might think. The Jordan-Hare Stadium Parking Deck is the closest parking area, and after 5 pm, it's free in spaces marked A, B or C, which I think is most of the deck. For GPS users, the deck is located at 425 Heismann Dr., but you can also get to it by turning north off of Samford Ave. onto Duncan Dr. (at Telfair-Peet Theatre) toward the stadium. Duncan becomes Varsity Dr. for a blip, and the parking deck is at the end of that road.

Tickets are available at the door. You can also pick them up Tuesday and Wednesday (4/22-4/23) until 5:00 PM at the Music Office in Goodwin Music Hall (320 W. Samford). Good luck parking to pick up a ticket at Goodwin or for the masterclass. Actually, you can get a visitor's pass pretty easily at the AU Parking Services (330 Lem Morrison Dr.) which will help you get pretty close. Best, though, to have a friend drive you to the door or ride a bike.

More about the Artist 


There's plenty on Vizzutti's website to read and hear if you need more convincing. But I wanted to include one of his bios here. I'm partial to a good bio, and tend to skim over most of them or skip them completely when they are crammed with schools and venues and awards. The one I put below is refreshing.

Allen Vizzutti’s Favorite Bio (from vizzutti.com)


Allen Vizzutti has never been in prison. He has never jumped out of a flying airplane. He has gone swimming with sharks in the South Seas, which prepared him for later life in Hollywood.

He attended college at the Eastman School of Music, which proved to be a very positive springboard from which he dove into the weird and twisted world of professional music. It was there he met a marvelous and beautiful pianist named Laura who married him much later - after listening to 17 years of his begging.

Allen grew up in Montana, USA, land of the grizzly bear, full sized pickups, cattle, sheep, rednecks, watery beer, cowboy boots and the right to bear arms but not arm bears…. and he still managed to become a musician. His Dad did not own any guns, did not chew tobacco, and did not rope cows. He owned a music store and taught Allen to play trumpet. There were no beatings involved. Allen’s Mom helped too, and if you had asked her she would have told you Allen is the best trumpet player in the world.

Mr. Vizzutti has never really been employed. After the last note of the last piece of any given concert he is unemployed again. So he has learned to play some jazz and some classical and some other stuff that we don’t know how to describe, with the hopes of staying busy. Along with having written a few books and lots of confused music he is almost successful enough to be deemed ‘successful’. Almost.

After hearing Mr. Vizzutti in concert, listeners in 60 countries and every state in the USA have asked the question, “What the heck was that?” His many CDs in varied styles have been ignored worldwide. He has performed on 100’s of movie sound tracks but not ‘Star Wars.” They recorded that in London so don’t ask him about it. “Motel Hell”? Now that’s another matter. He played on that. “Back to the Future”? Yup.

His educational video called “Steps To Excellence” is now an out of print classic. An updated podcast version can be viewed at yamaha.com. [This link -- bit.ly/1hlbMdr -- might get you to it. -PM]

Mr. Vizzutti is proud of and outclassed by his wife and collaborator, Laura. She plays music beautifully and is a lot better to look at than he is. They live in Seattle, have 3 pretty cool offspring and no current pets. Marcella the rabbit was choked by a dog, Fluffy the fish was found floating upside down and subsequently flushed, and Hobs the hamster, was smacked in the middle of the night by Grandma, in her bedroom, with a shoe.

Though these artisans of hand crafted musical instruments are loath to admit it: Allen Vizzutti is a Yamaha performing artist.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sundilla Acoustic Concert Series presents Darryl Purpose in Concert 5/2/2014 (Press Release)

I'm posting this straight from the performer's news release. Sundilla will have an earlier concert this Friday (3/28) by Gretchen Peters. I posted about it here. This series is one of our community's treasures. I think it's still largely unknown around here. Any ideas why?


"Darryl Purpose ends a seven year silence with a stunning ten-song comeback" -A.W., Maverick Magazine

Friday, May 2nd at 7:30pm / 450 Thatch Ave., Auburn, AL 36830 (Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship)

Tickets $12. Limited number of $10 Advance tickets available at Spicer's Music and Mama Mocha's Coffee
Sundilla: 334-741-7169 / www.sundillamusic.com


Listen to Tracks from the new CD "Next Time Around" 

When Darryl Purpose was 16 years old, his mother put a book called Beat the Dealer in his Christmas stocking leading to a celebrated career as a professional card player.

After years of playing in casino’s across the country, Darryl switched gears, took time to walk across the country for peace and, in 1996, he began to tour nationally as a solo singer-songwriter. Eight years, six CD’s and a thousand-plus shows later, in 2005, he inexplicably set down his guitar, taking a much needed sabbatical in the rocky mountains.

Now, after years away from the music scene, Darryl Purpose is back! With a new energy and a new flair for connecting with audiences. In 2012, Darryl recorded his first CD of original material in 10 years - “Next Time Around”, produced by Billy Crockett for the Blue Rock Artists label. Called “a masterpiece” and “Purpose’s best effort yet” by Dj’s [sic].

Live performance is his strength as he connects his audience to his songs with a storyteller’s heart. And, oh, by the way, in 2009, Darryl was inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame, one of only 17 members.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sax Quartets, Jazz at the Musuem (Expires 4/3/2014)

Below is from an e-mail update I sent out tonight. To get on my e-mail list and avoid missing an update in case I forget to post it here, click this link and fill out the form.

Saxophone Quartets Performing for Lunch Music 3/20

Thursday (3/20) three sax quartets from the AU sax studio will perform a free concert at noon for A Little Lunch Music. There's an interesting (*I* think) post about that on the museum's blog at this link: Auburn Students Bring Saxophone Quartet Music to A Little Lunch Music. For those interested in saxophones, ragtime, Gershwin, 20th-century music and a little percussion, you should come out. For others, consider that last sentence to be your "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here" sign. The café will be open from 11-2.

Next Thursday, 3/27, Duo Amico will perform. Read their impressive bios on the schedule page for A Little Lunch Music.

Fine Tuning Weekly Jazz at Museum

As I mentioned last week, the weekly jazz continues at the museum. This (3/20) being the third Thursday, jazz will be in the lobby from 6-7, with the Third Thursday Poetry Series (JCSM Welcomes Poetry Series) meeting from 7-8. And integrating new programming into an established system can cause some blips. One of which is that both jazz and café will be unavailable after hours on March 27 due to a long-standing private reservation of the space.

So the upcoming after-hours jazz at the museum is...
  • Dan Mackowski (guitar) and Sam Altonji (bass) on 3/20. Some press reports included me, but I have an conflicting gig that day.
  • Closed on 3/27
  • Dan, Jason DeBlanc (bass) and myself starting April 3, and that should be the personnel throughout April


 That's All I Have

There's more going on, but I can't get to it right now. My Event Sources page will help you find it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Gretchen Peters Plays Sundilla Series 3/28/2014

"Hello Cruel World" by Gretchen Peters from recent CD release of same name. Video is from Gretchen Peters' YouTube channel. Click here for more about the CD on her website.
Below is a partial post by Bailey Jones who runs the Sundilla Acoustic Concert Series. Click the link at the bottom for the full article on Sundilla's website.


The insert-your-favorite-adjective-for-“GREAT” Gretchen Peters will make her Sundilla debut on Friday, March 28, in what is sure to be an evening of music that will never be forgotten. Showtime at the [Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship] is 7:30; admission at the door will be $15, but a limited number of $12 advance tickets will be available at Spicer’s Music, Mama Mocha’s Coffee, and online at www.sundillamusic.com.
We’ll have free coffee, tea, water and food, though as always attendees are welcome to bring whatever food or beverage they prefer.

Gretchen Peters
The Associated Press says “This is not jukebox music – the stuff that exists to fill in the pauses in conversation. This IS the conversation.” Since arriving in Nashville in the late-80s, Gretchen Peters has become one of the most successful, and revered, songwriters in music...
[click here for full article]

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Classical Soprano, Guitar, Jazz and Blues in Coming Days (expires 3/13/2014)

Below is an update of an e-mail I sent out Monday. If you want to get those e-mails, you can sign up using the form at right or by clicking here.

AHS Grad, now Professional Soprano Kathleen Buccleugh Performs Thursday

Kathleen Farrar Bucccleugh
Not too long ago, Kathleen Buccleugh (ancient Scottish spelling of "Buckley") was a student at Auburn High. Thursday, the prodigal singer returns with a couple of music degrees and a lot of opera, recital, sacred, and new-music experience under her belt. AU piano faculty Laurelie Gheesling will join her for A Little Lunch Music at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, and AU student and special guest Hunter Hayes will share a Mozart piano sonata. Here's a post I did for the museum's blog: A Little Lunch Music: Can Journalism for Truckers Inform Opera Singing.

Classical Guitarist Francois Fowler Plays Goodwin

Classical guitarist and composer Francois Fowler will perform Thursday night (3/6) at 7:30 PM. His bio boasts performances throughout North America, national and international awards, and faculty credit at Youngstown State University in Ohio. Here's a link to my post with video of him playing one of his own compositions.

AU Spring Break Lunch Music Added - Marc Karam Returns 3/13

We will do a concert during AU's Spring Break for A Little Lunch Music, and the Museum Café will be open. Performing on that date (3/13) will be vocalist and pianist Marc Karam. The weather forced a change in his February concert from 2/13 to 2/14, and we heard about several who, having not heard of the date change, came to a closed museum! So we're bringing him back. Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art website is here.

Classical Guitar, Jazz, Blues in the Coming Days

Weekly jazz continues at the museum from 4:45 to 6:00 PM. I'll be there March 6 with guitarist Dan Mackowski and bassist Jason DeBlanc. Previous blog post about this new endeavor here. At 5:00, the film Aquí y Allá (Here and There) begins in the museum's auditorium, so you'll have to choose. See the trailer and read the synopsis at the museum's film page. I think the scheduling overlaps will improve as time goes on.

Atlanta blues singer Francine Reed will perform for the Columbus Jazz Society's quarterly concert on March 11 at 7:00 PM EST. A good way to get a taste of her amazing voice through the years is through YouTube search results. She toured with Lyle Lovett back in the day, and has a long list of great jazz artists she has performed with. The CJS website has all the info.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Guitarist, Composer Francois Fowler to Play Goodwin Hall Thursday, 3/6/14

Francois Fowler performing his composition, Meditiation. Video is from GuitarDana's YouTube channel.
Guitarist Francois Fowler is completing a short concert tour of colleges and universities in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, and South Carolina. He will play Goodwin Hall (map) on Thursday, March 6, 2014, at 7:30 PM. The recital will feature bluegrass music, Spanish music, music by J.S. Bach, and three of Fowler’s own compositions including his latest, Wavelength Sonata. Click here for the event page with full program info.

From his bio...

Guitarist Francois Fowler has given recitals in the United States, Canada and Mexico...is the recipient of national and international prizes...A faculty member at the Dana School of Music (Youngstown State University, Ohio)...For more information please visit www.francoisfowler.com.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Museum Now Hosting Weekly Jazz Every Thursday Evening

Last year, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art changed its hours to include being open late every Thursday night. It added Thursday-night programming like films and lectures and opened the café serving drinks and appetizers.

Starting last week, it started hosting jazz every Thursday for the after-hours patrons. The music starts at 4:45 and continues until the film or lecture for that night begins, usually 6:00. Charlotte Hendrix did a post about this on the museum's blog here: Bring your friends (and the weekend) a little closer

[UPDATE 3/12/2014: Start time for jazz is now 6:00. End time will usually be 8:00 except on the third Thursday when there's an open poetry group, the Third Thursday Poetry Series that meets in the café at 7:00.]

[UPDATE 3/20/2014: Unfortunately there will be no jazz or café after hours on March 27, 2014 due to a private event. This will not affect normal 10-5 museum operations and programs.]

Guitarist Dan Mackowski, bassist Jason DeBlanc and myself will be the regular trio for the event, though that will morph from time to time.

For instance this Thursday (2/27), I will be playing at the Saugahatchee Country Club with the Mary Slaton Trio for the Lee County Literacy Coalition's event (details at this Auburn-Opelika Tourism calendar page). But Dan and Jason will play duo jazz at the museum.

Dan plays jazz standards like no one else in town. He approaches them with a finger-picking style, using lots of open strings, creating an ambient sound that fills up the reverberant museum halls. It reminds me of the way Bill Frisell plays.

Above is embedded a track of Dan playing his original piece, "Before the Fall." It's more of an ambient improvisation, and not exactly the kind of thing he plays when he's doing jazz. But you'll get the idea of his style.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Gospel Jazz at the Museum Tomorrow (2/20), Langston Hughes Jazz-Poetry Event Tonight and Tomorrow (2/19-20)

The David Banks Gospel Jazz Ensemble returns to A Little Lunch Music tomorrow. There should soon be a post from me on the museum's blog with a little more info. If it doesn't turn up, the free concert will be noon to 1:00 PM in the auditorium at the Jule Collins Museum of Fine Art.

There's some video of David's group in a previous post of mine, where I talked about his weekly Jazz-Up Weekend e-mail list that you should subscribe to.

I just returned from rehearsing with them in Columbus. Aside from the easy-going jazz-Gospel arrangements and a David Banks original, come enjoy the violin solos of Janie Weise and the versatility of trumpeter Michael Johnson. Johnson also plays a mean keytar solo, and will trade scat lines with vocalist Rusty Taylor! David's wife Barbara Banks will also be in the group sharing lead vocals with Rusty. It will be fun.

Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Ron McCurdy in Auburn for Black History Month

Tonight I will actually be going to something as an audience member, which is very rare for me. It's strange that it's rare, especially as much as I seem to profess arts advocacy, but there it is. I'll be at the Foy Union Auditorium to hear actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner read the poetry of Langston Hughes for Hughes's Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods for Jazz. It will feature the Ron McCurdy Quartet.

I would have worked harder to publicize this earlier if when I called the other day, they hadn't told me there were only four tickets left out of 400ish. More about what you'll be missing on McCurdy's website FBS MAL and at this Wire Eagle news story:

Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Ron McCurdy Quartet to perform Langston Hughes’ ‘Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods for Jazz’ at Auburn University

Maybe I'll review it.

[UPDATE (2/19/2014): I should have publicized this better, as there were hundreds of seats available at the performance. Next time, I won't trust that everyone will claim their reserved tickets to a free show. The good news is that from the stage, Dr. McCurdy announced that the group will repeat the performance in Tuskegee tomorrow night, 2/20. I am looking for details, but can't find them.]

Friday, February 14, 2014


Eleven years ago,
There was a moon.
It's still there.

May 28, 2013

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Two Bands Will Perform for Auburn Knights Orchestra's Valentine Swing Dance

Once again, The Auburn Knights Orchestra (auburnknights.com) will hold its Valentine's Day Swing Dance, this time at the Downtown Event Center in Opelika. I wrote about the group's dances in a post last December, and the terrifically successful formula will be the same. Free dance lessons start at 7:00 PM, and the music goes from 8:00-11:00. Admission is only $10.

This time, the Auburn Knights Alumni Association has organized a band for the event to split the work with the current band. I'll (AKO '87-'88) actually be with the alumni band starting at 9:00. The current AKO will do sets at 8:00 and 10:00.

Here's a link to the event page at the Downtown Event Center.
Here's a link to the Facebook event page.

Classic Romantic Songs in French, English and Arabic for Valentine's Day Lunch Music

Marc Karam
From Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art:

Rescheduled from Thursday because of weather, on Friday, February 14, from noon to 1:00 p.m. in the Martin-Perricone Auditorium, A Little Lunch Music welcomes back pianist and vocalist Marc Karam. It’s Valentine’s Day! The free concert will include love songs in three languages. Songs like “La Vie en Rose,” and “Speak Softly Love” will share the program with French and Arabic songs you may have never heard. Thank you to our sponsor, Sue Haygood.

Read more at this link to the museum's blog:
"A Little Lunch Music" Rescheduled for Friday, February 14.

If you would, please share this Lunch-Music change to as many people as you can. With such short notice, and with Thursday's concerts being regular for so long, it will need a little extra attention.

Cut and paste below for a Facebook status:

A Little Lunch Music at the museum was rescheduled for Valentine's Day this week! Marc Karam will sing classic, romantic songs in English, French and Arabic. More here: http://bit.ly/1g3ncDy

On Twitter, tweet this:

Free Valentine's Day concert @JCSMAuburn noon-1pm! Marc Karam sings classic romantic songs in 3 languages. Café open. http://bit.ly/1g3ncDy

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Brooklyn-based band, The Lone Bellow, Play Opelika on Feb. 22, 2014

The Lone Bellow performing on NPR Music's YouTube channel.
Cottonseed Live Presents The Lone Bellow (thelonebellow.com) in Opelika, Feb. 22 at 8:00 PM at the Lebanon Arts District, 715 N 1st Ave. This will be the band's only southeast date until May, 2014. At right is video of them doing an NPR Tiny Desk Concert.

One special guest will be Jen Coates, and another will be The Hedgerow Folk (Facebook page, YouTube video). Tickets are $17 at the box office at the Arts Association of East Alabama. Call 334.749.8105 or order online. More information is at the Cottonseed Live page here: http://www.eastalabamaarts.org/performance/cottonseed-live/

The Lone Bellow
Cottonseed Live is a monthly concert series in Downtown Opelika presented by Cottonseed Studios & East Alabama Arts.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

More about Emory Musicians at Lunch Music Thursday (2/6/14) and Tzu-yi Chen's Carnegie Hall Effort

My last post (link here with video!) mentioned the great fortune we have of being able to welcome William Ransom and Yinzi Kong to A Little Lunch Music Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014. Below is a link to a post with considerably more information, including the full program, that I did for the museum's blog:

A Little Lunch Music Welcomes Violinist and Pianist from Emory University, Additional Music from Tzu-yi Chen.

Note that as the title suggests, Tzu-yi Chen will be providing some additional music at 1:00 since last week's lunch music was cancelled due to weather. Click the link to find out what she'll play!

And here is a link to the museum's A Little Lunch Music schedule page where you can read the artists' full bios. If you are reading this past the date of performance, the bios will have been removed. Once it's over, I intend to post an archive of the season somewhere on this site that shouldn't be too hard to find.

Tzu-yi Raising Money for Carnegie Hall Performance

Tzu-yi Chen
Many of us are very familiar with Tzu-yi and her amazing talent. You can search this blog for several references to her ever since she started playing concerts for A Little Lunch Music as a Columbus State University student.

She has now graduated with her Artist Diploma, and is a busy working musician in Columbus. She is also navigating the harrowing process of gaining residency in the US while she builds a performance career.

Part of that career involves recently being accepted to participate in a performance series at Carnegie Hall. The effort is with Distinguished Concerts International New York, and involves fairly significant cost. It was scheduled for last year, but has been postponed until this fall.

A deadline for part of the participation fee is coming up next week. If you would like to donate to this effort, make checks to...

International Friendship Ministries (ifmga.org)
3404 University Ave. // Columbus, GA  31907
Ph: 706-653-0097 // e-mail: office@ifmga.org

Note in the memo of your check that the gift is to support Tzu-yi Chen. She is on staff at, and is co-founder of, the Ministries' art school. Below is her updated bio.


In 2006, Taiwanese pianist Tzu-yi Chen joined the ranks of some of history’s greatest musicians, receiving the Premier Prix upon graduation from the Paris Conservatory. Ms. Chen performs actively as soloist, collaborative artist, and church musician, and has been invited by Distinguished Concerts International New York to debut at Carnegie Hall in October 2014. In 2012, she appeared in a series of concerts in Taiwan and was featured performing Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra.

She believes that it is her passion and diligent work ethic that has afforded her many notable awards in the United States, Russia, Germany and Taiwan. Among those recently are first prize in the Georgia Music Teachers National Association upper college level (2013), first prize in the Atlanta Music Club Scholarship Competition (2012), first prize in Columbus State University’s concerto competition at its Schwob School of Music in Columbus, Georgia (2012), and fourth prize in the Darmstadt International Chopin competition in Germany (2009).

In 2011, Ms. Chen obtained her Master of Music in piano performance and “Solistexamen,” the highest diploma of piano performance in the National Karlsruhe Music University in Germany, where she held a lectureship of piano as well. In 2013 with a full scholarship, she completed the Artist Diploma program at CSU. There, she served as graduate teaching assistant to Van Cliburn gold medalist Alexander Kobrin. After graduation, CSU immediately hired her as a staff pianist and also as Piano and Violin Instructor in its Preparatory Division.

Ms. Chen is a co-founder of the International Friendship Ministries Arts Academy in Columbus.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Weather Forces Cancellation for AU, A Little Lunch Music 30-Jan-2014

William Ransom (from Lynwood Jordan's YouTube channel)
The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art is owned and operated by Auburn University which has cancelled normal operations for Thursday, January 30, 2014. AU News Alert page is at ocm.auburn.edu/news/alert. We will reschedule pianist Tzu-yi Chen, a favorite of the series, and will get that word out as soon as possible.

Lunch Music and Auburn Chamber Music Society Sharing Ransom and Vega

Vega Quartet performs with pianist William
Ransom Thursday night, 2/6/14. Violist
Yinzi Kong (far left) performs with Ransom
the same day at noon for A Little Lunch
Do make plans on coming to A Little Lunch Music's free concert next week (6-Feb-2014) at noon, as we will have Emory University faculty pianist William Ransom and Vega Quartet's violist Yinzi Kong performing as soloists and together.

The amateur video embedded at top is of Ransom performing Chopin.

That same night at 7:30 PM, Vega (websiteFBS) and Ransom will do music for piano quintet and string quartet at Goodwin Hall as part of the Auburn Chamber Music Society's series. The evening concert is a ticketed event. Relevant links again: AU music calendar event page / ACMS 2013-14 brochure

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Violin-Cello Duo Tomorrow (1/23/2014), More Lunch Music Updates

Robin Scott and Ahrim Kim
Great news for A Little Lunch Music this week. Firstly, Montgomery Symphony Orchestra cello fellow Ahrim Kim will be returning to the series tomorrow with 2012-2013 violin fellow (and husband) Robin Scott. They played on Valentines Day last year, and I wrote a little bit about that over on the new blog of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, the series's home. Here's that post: Violin-Cello Couple Returns to "A Little Lunch Music"

The great Taiwanese pianist Tzu-yi Chen will return on 1/30 to perform, among other pieces, Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. We'll feature the paintings of Manuel Díaz during the concert.

Also, we've just finalized plans for a sister event to the Auburn Chamber Music Society's concert the night of  2/6 (see below). Pianist William Ransom and violist Yinzi Kong will perform for the series that day. Except for a couple of string quartet performances, this will be the first time for A Little Lunch Music to feature the viola!

There's more here on this site about A Little Lunch Music. See tab links above or click here. A full schedule on the museum's site is here.

More from William Ransom and Yinzi Kong

Kong is part of the Vega QuartetFBS which will join forces with Ransom on 2/6 at Goodwin Hall for a couple of piano quintets. Here's a link to the AU music calendar event page for the ACMS concert (warning: huge block o' text).

And here's a link to a PDF of the ACMS brochure for 2013-4. For more information about the evening concert or to reserve tickets, call Virginia Transue at 887-9379. As always, the noon concerts at the museum are free to the public.

Great Music for Clarinet and Piano at Goodwin Hall Thursday (1/23/2014)

Lisa Oberlander and Yien Wang perform the third movement of Poulenc's Sonata for Clarinet and Piano.
Lisa Oberlander is the clarinet professor at Columbus State University's Schwob School of Music. As do all of the faculty over there, she has an impressive résumé and a nice website at lisaoberlander.com.

Lisa will be performing in Auburn at Goodwin Hall (map, directions and parking), Thursday night (1/23) at 7:30 PM with pianist Tatiana Muzanova. Admission is $10/$5.

Lisa performed for A Little Lunch Music at the museum back in 2011 with the Fountain City Ensemble. Terrific player, of course. This will be worth dealing with campus parking on a cold night.

Muzanova is graduate teaching assistant to Alexander Kobrin, head of piano at CSU. Video at right is Lisa performing part of a Poulenc sonata with pianist Yien Wang.

What's on the Program?

Lisa Oberlander
That Poulenc will be on the program, as well as music by Robert Schumann, Roger Zare (b. 1985), and Johannes Brahms. Click here to see more about the performers and the full program on the AU music calendar event page.

You can hear a basset clarinet (huh?) version of the Roger Zare piece, Nocturne étincelant, on the composer's website. It's a lovely piece and here's the link: http://www.rogerzare.com/etincelant.htm. Lisa will play the version for B-flat clarinet. That's the regular one. :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

David Banks's Weekly "Jazz-Up Weekend" E-mails

The David Banks Gospel Jazz Ensemble at The Loft in Columbus, Georgia.
Gospel-jazz pianist David Banks sends out a weekly Jazz-Up e-mail about jazz events in the extended area. Mostly Columbus, Auburn-Opelika, Tuskegee, Montgomery, and occasionally bigger events in Birmingham, Atlanta and beyond. He keeps a standing-event page current on his website at www.drdav.org/music.

I probably won't stay on top of it well enough to always post his e-mails here, but below is last week's minus what's already past. If you want to get on his list, e-mail him at dbanks8@gmail.com. David brought down the house last year about this time at A Little Lunch Music, and will be returning on February 20, 2014.


Through The Week

Tuesday Jane Drake jam session at 8th and Rail in Opelika from 7-10p CDT, no cover

Standing Events

Every Tuesday, Jane Drake jam session at 8th and Rail in Opelika

Every Thursday, "A Little Lunch Music" series, Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn, 12 noon CDT

Every Thursday, Jazz at the Blu Room Montgomery

Every first Friday, Satin Soul at the Event Center Downtown in Opelika, Alabama. Doors open 8 pm , show 9 pm CDT. 

Every Friday - Jazz at the Loft in Columbus

Every Sunday - Jazz at Cafe' 1048 Montgomery

Every Friday and Saturday (most of the time) - Jazz at Piccolo's in the Hotel and Conference Center, Auburn, Al

Every 3rd or 4th Sunday - Jazz Jams at the Shakespeare Museum, Montgomery

Every Sunday - Smooth Jazz with the Silent Threat Band at The SUITE 5300 Sidney Simons Blvd Columbus Ga 31904 (762)821-1209.  - No cover

Be sure to listen and support:

Ray Murray's jazz radio show Saturday nights at 10:00pm CST on Troy Radio WTSU 89.9, WRWA 88.7 and WTJB 91.7

WVAS Jazz Radio, Montgomery, Alabama, 90.7fm - 24 hour jazz

Hallelujah 104.3 FM, Montgomery, Al - Mainly Gospel station - they are starting to incorporate old school and jazz into their playlist


Columbus Jazz Society www.columbusjazzsociety.com

Columbus River Center - http://www.rivercenter.org/

Montgomery Alabama Performing Arts Center http://www.mpaconline.org/events/

Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, Birmingham http://www.alysstephens.uab.edu/

Opelika Alabama Performing Arts Center http://www.eastalabamaarts.org/

Patrick McCurry's Blog: [you're already here]

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Spring 2014's A Little Lunch Music Opens This Week (1/16)

Christina Fallows performing Ludwig van Beethoven's Sonata No. 24 in F# Major, Op. 78 - "À Thérèse"
The spring 2014 season of A Little Lunch Music begins this Thursday (1/16) from noon to 1:00 PM with pianist Christina Fallows. For more about the series, click the Lunch Music Schedule tab above.

A student at Auburn, Christina has performed for us before. A senior now, she is finishing her studies with Jeremy Samolesky and is preparing for graduate auditions and her final recital. Thanks are due to Lynn Barstis Katz for sponsoring the performance.

The video at right is from Christina's YouTube channel.

The museum has a new blog, and there's more about Christina on a post from me there at this link: "'A Little Lunch Music' pianist hones performance skills at Auburn."

Click here to view the still-developing spring schedule on the museum's website. Anyone want to play next week?

Five Ways to Hear about Lunch Music Concerts

Christina Fallows
The museum's electronic newsletter, the E-Muse, is moving to a monthly schedule (click here to sign up if you haven't already). With so many great things going on at JCSM, it may not always have details on A Little Lunch Music.

If you depend on more frequent concert notices, below are some options.
  1. BEST OPTION: The museum has added a new blog to its website, and there is a way to subscribe to get e-mail notices when blog posts are added. We will post concert announcements there. Click here to see the blog and its simple signup form.
  2. I have created a personal Everything List to send out news on all of my projects including A Little Lunch Music. Click here to use a form and to read more about what I'll be sending out.
  3. The Opelika-Auburn News has been very supportive of the series (and the arts in general) and has been graciously printing our announcements most Wednesdays in the Community section.
  4. The museum's Facebook page includes A Little Lunch Music in its events. If you are on Facebook, Click here to go to the museum's Facebook page, and "like" the page. You'll get reminders in your news feed of all of the museum's great events including A Little Lunch Music.
  5. If you are on Twitter, you can follow the museum @JCSMAuburn. I am there @luncharm.
To recap, the five ways are JCSM Blog, My Everything List, the O-A News, Facebook, and Twitter.

See you there!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sundilla Opens 2014 Friday (1/10) with Pierce Pettis, I'm with Farnz on Thursday (1/9)

S/S Pierce Pettis plays Sunilla Friday night (1/10)
I'll be at Mama Mocha (414 S. Gay St.) Thursday night (1/9) from 6-8 PM playing with singer/songwriter Dan "Farnz" Schwartz and drummer David Zuwiyya. I sat in with them for the first time at Eighth & Rail in Opelika the night of the LSU game (fall something, 2013). Dan has a huge book of original songs and also covers some blues, rock and 50s music. He's a strong guitarist and keyboardist, and presents his music so matter-of-factly that it's easy to miss how intricate and thoughtful it is. Stylistically, there are occasional notions of punk and country music but I'd put him in the rock category if I had to.

Here's a CD Baby link to a ton of Dan's songs to sample and download. Come check out his honest and often very funny perspective on life and love. I'm checking on whether coffee drinks will be served. Probably so.

Sundilla's 2014 Series Opens Friday with Pierce Pettis

The embedded video at the top of this post is of singer/songwriter Pierce Pettis MAL. Pettis will appear in concert on Friday (1/10) to kick off the Sundilla Acoustic Concert Series's third decade in Auburn. The concert will be at the Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at 7:30 PM. Admission is $15 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased for $12 from Spicer's Music, Mama Mocha and online at www.sundillamusic.com. There will be free coffee, tea, water and food, and the series invites people to bring whatever food or beverage they prefer. Below is from series coordinator Bailey Jones at Sundilla's website.
There are certain performers who, when they express an interest in coming to Sundilla, you say “Yes!” and then start doing whatever you can to make it work. Pierce Pettis is one of those performers. If people ever found out that we could have booked Pierce but didn’t, it would be time to join the Witness Protection program. He’s just that popular… and with good reason.

Pierce is adored by both critics and public alike, is one of this generation’s most masterful songwriters. His music is distinguished by his uncanny ability to capture universals in human experience by drawing on the humor and trials in daily life. Pettis’ music can simultaneously pull on our hearts and keep us laughing. The beautiful harmonies, inventive yet subtle percussion, strong guitar, and Pierce’s rich vocals are a constant throughout his body of work. Read more.