12-12-17 Part – 2 In this second part of my interview, Wayne Adams continues to relate his remarkable life. Listen to him describe his delightful meeting with legendary acting teacher Maggie Flannigan; and how his production of Ralph Pape’s Say Goodnight, Gracie directed by Austin Pendleton, resulted in his determination to bring Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company to Broadway; first in the production of True West with John Malkovich and Gary Sinise and then in the Lincoln Center production of And a Nightingale Sang with , Joan Allen. Wayne says “I’m interested in being the human being that I am,” and he reminds us that “life is taking chances, not doing what someone else thinks you should do but doing from yourself honestly according to your own instincts.” Listen and be inspired.continue reading
10-10-17 Interviewcontinue reading
10-10-17 Outstanding bassist Mark Neuenschwander is one of the busiest musicians in in Florida and, luckily for us, he sets aside one Monday a month to share his remarkable talent – and wicked wit – to join Al and Billy at 15 So – and accompany the fortunate singers and musicians who perform there. Mark has played with Billy Eckstine, Cab Calloway, Rosemary Clooney, Michael Feinstein, Atlanta Ballet, Tampa Bay Opera, Philharmonia Virtuosi, The Florida Orchestra, Eddie Arnold, Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Andrea Bocelli, Herb Alpert, Yanni, Chick Corea, The Moody Blues and the 5th Dimension as well as over 140 national Broadway touring shows He is also respected as an educator/clinician. Ironically Mark never expected to live a life dedicated to music, it seemed to sneak up on him. Self-effacingly, Mark says that he wasn’t born to do this. Continually told how smart he was, Mark believed he had to be an engineer or a physicist or a combination of both, but music just kept getting in the way. Mark’s is the story of a man who kept trying to be what they told him he should be, but who kept bumping his head against what he actually is – until finally realizing and allowing himself to embrace and enjoy the “tremendous” joy of doing what he loves to do and getting paid for it. Listen to this candid man describe his, not a straight line journey, to becoming the musician he always was. And hear his solo on a cut from a CD with pianist Johnny Varro.
9-26-17 2-21-17 When John Lamb plays everyone stops to listen. His solos may be poignant or whimsical, achingly simple or blindingly complex, but you don’t want to miss a note. A highly respected musician who spent three years touring and recording with the legendary Duke Ellington band, he is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Sarasota Jazz Club’s “Satchmo Award” for service to jazz as both a musician and an educator. In his 80’s he is arguably the busiest musician in South Florida. But despite his success and accolades he remains kind, generous, charming and self-deprecating, dedicated to sharing his extraordinary talent and knowledge and making the world a better place which, by his very presence, he already has. Listen to him describe the way he constructs his solos and come here him at Al Hixon’s Jazz Jam on Monday nights.continue reading
9-12-17 Saxophone/flute/clarinet/piccolo artist, clinician, educator, music editor and recording artist Pete BarenBregge didn’t intend to become a musician. In school he joined the band “just because” and was given the clarinet because he had “long fingers.” Playing the clarinet was “okay,” but when his band master gave him a saxophone and introduced him to jazz, he found what he was meant to do and he “jumped in with both feet.” From then on Pete’s life revolved around his music and he became nationally known as a jazz musician. He was a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, (GRAMMYS), and the board of governors for the Washington, D.C. chapter of NARAS. He was musical director of the Columbia Jazz Band, and Musical Director of the prestigious United States Air Force Band’s Airmen of Note, where he performed as lead jazz tenor saxophonist during his 20-year military career. With the Frank Russo Group he recorded two CDs which received rave reviews in DownBeat and Jazz Times magazines. Listen to this soft-spoken, multitalented man describe a life dedicated to making, sharing and teaching music in every venue possible and listen to cuts from one of his highly praised CD’s – Point of Grace.
9-19-17 Roy Gerson,continue reading
6-27-17 Joseph Holt is the Artistic Director of Choral Artists of Sarasota (formerly Gloria Musicae) as well as the Artistic Director of Artists Series Concerts, he is a virtuoso pianist who played all over the world, Before coming to settle in Sarasota Joseph performed with the United States Army Chorus in Washington, D.C., before U.S. Presidents and other dignitaries. He held the position of Associate Music Director for the illustrious Choral Arts Society of Washington for 15 years and led the ensemble in the Family Christmas Concerts at the Kennedy Center. Joe was apparently a hyper active child, who was “scattered all over the place” and “something of a hellion.” So much so that a committee was formed in the church where his father was pastor to pray for “the soul of little Joey Holt.” Hoping that an extracurricular activity would give him an outlet (focus) for all his energy, Joey was given a choice of several activities; little league, cub scouts or piano lessons. Even though his family didn’t own a piano and he had to practice on a paper keyboard, with a little encouragement from his grandmother, a pianist herself, Joey choose piano. And from the very first lesson it was clear that the Joe and the piano were linked. Listen to this still exuberant man describe his amazing career, what’s next for the organizations he shepherds and get a preview of the glorious music you will hear at this year’s Choral Artists of Sarasota Fourth of July concert.continue reading
conductor, pianist, chamber music performer, arts administrator, educator and arranger.