JCS

  • Interview with Synia Carroll – Finding Sass – Sarasolo

    1—17 Interview

    Synia Carroll knew she could sing. Although delighted when, in the 2nd grade, the Nuns picked her to sing Silent Night in the Christmas pageant– she didn’t think it was anything special – she thought everyone could sing. It wasn’t until her “first grown up boyfriend,” an up and coming rock musician, told her she was a singer that she began to take it seriously. While working as a teacher she found time to sing in a variety of formats – including developing a storytelling career which included movement as well as music. But it was just in the last two years that Synia “found her voice,” and that voice sings Jazz. Listen to Synia talk about her various attempts to define herself as a singer and describe and the challenges she faced when finding herself as the only woman of color amongst a sea of white faces. Listen to cuts from her first CD – in which she is accompanied by the Billy Marcus (named the best musician in So FL) on piano, Don Mopsik (the sage) on Bass and blazing drummer Steve Bucholtz., and come see her perform her first one woman show “Finding Sassy” on Sat Jan 26th 7PM at this year’s Sarasolo Festival

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  • Interview with John Lamb 85th

    12-31-18 Interview

    1-7-19 John Lamb 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 help him celebrate his 85th birthday at The Palladium on Jan 6th at 3 PM with an all-star cast including Nate Najar, “La Lucha” (Alejandro Arenas, Mark Feinman & John O’Leary), Jeff Rupert, James Suggs, Jeremy Carter, Synia Carroll, Bryan Hughes, and a Bass Choir with Steve Boisen, Mark Neuenschwander and Joe Porter. Special appearance by Bob Devin Jones. Jam session to follow show in Side Door led by the Al Downing Jazz Association.

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  • Interview with master bassist Mark Nuenschwander

    10-10-17 Interview
    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.

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  • Interview with pianist extraordinary Billy Marcus

    10-3-17 Interview

    9-13-16 The incomparable Billy Marcus joined the Al Hixon jazz jam team after the unforeseen death of beloved pianist Charlie Prawdzik. Bringing a passion and unique style to his solo’s Billy flawlessly supports the many and varied singers and musicians who perform at the jam. Named Miami’s Best Musician by Miami/South Florida Magazine, some of his credits include playing with Bobby Hackett, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, The Bill Evans Trio, The Horace Silver Quintet, McCoy Tyner, Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Band, Maynard Ferguson, Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins, Scott Hamilton, Al Grey, James Moody, Jack Sheldon, Pepper Adams, Mark Murphy, Eddie “Clean-head” Vinson, Kai Winding, Terry Gibbs, Richie Cole, Buddy DeFranco, The Buddy Rich Big Band, Woody Herman, Grover Washington, Freddy Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, Spyro Gyra, Doc Sevrenson, Ramsey Lewis and Kenny Burell. Billy has appeared in clubs in Miami, Boston, New York Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, Switzerland, Paris, London, Rome, Amsterdam, Zurich, Bern, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Dubai. Listen to this modest man describe his haphazard journey to becoming the remarkable musician he is – and listen to a cut from one of his albums. Come out to see Billy at Al Hixon’s Jazz Jam on Monday and the Allegro Bistro in Venice on Thursday

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  • Interview with Judi and Alex Glover

    5-24-16 Interview

    Judi grew up surrounded by music; her father was a drummer, her older brother, a trumpet player and her younger brother, a saxophone player. So although she also loved to draw, Judi decided that piano would be her instrument. Luckily Judi had a teacher who, while teaching the basics and focusing on a classical repertoire, was also delighted to go along with the jazz exercises and pop songs Judi also wanted to play. And this varied training has made it possible for her to play and teach the classical repertoire and also to play jazz, accompany singers, first and foremost her husband Alex, and play in the pit for musicals. Come see/hear her play the very clever and tricky score for the current Asolo production of the musical Beatsville.
    Periodically in Alex’s life a “guardian angel” came along to help him. First his dad who, by challenging Alex and his sister to memorize the music and lyrics of a song he’d played for them, inadvertently set the stage for him become a singer At eleven years old, having seen The Beatles, Alex and his friend decided to become a band but their parents couldn’t afford to buy them instruments so they began by singing on street corners. The Janitor of their building, believing that they had talent. bought them a guitar and drums. Listen to Alex talk about a life spend in music, both as a performer and later as an agent. And hear cuts from Judi’s and Alex’s CD’s.

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  • Interview with Dick Hyman

    2-28-17 Interview

    2-28-17 Dick Hyman is turning 90! The celebrated pianist, organist, arranger, music director, and composer he is as busy now as he has ever been, and it has been an extraordinarily busy and productive life. He was Artistic director for the Jazz in July series at New York’s 92nd Street Y for twenty years, jazz advisor to The Shedd Institute’s Oregon Festival of American Music, winner of seven Most Valuable Player Awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and an Emmy for his original score for Sunshine’s on the Way, a daytime drama, and another for musical direction of a PBS Special on Eubie Blake, and composer of 11 or 12 scores for Woody Allen movies. Dick was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame of the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies and the New Jersey Jazz Society. In 1995, and will be a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters fellow in 2017. Listen to this gentle, self-deprecating man talk about his approach to music, and hear several cuts from one of his CD’s. Come to the Sarasota jazz festival to help him celebrate his 90th birthday.

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  • interview with Charlie Prawdzik

    8-2-16 Interview

    8-23-16 This show is dedicated to the memory of Charlie Prawdzik, a musician’s musician. Looking more like and accountant than a jazz musician, when Charlie sat down at the piano you had no doubt that the music was going directly from his soul to his fingers. Able to play pretty much any song in any style, tempo, or key, Charlie made virtuosity look easy. And if you were a singer you wanted no one by Charlie backing you up. Listen to this self-effacing man and his wonderful music.

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  • Interview with Tom Renoud

    8-2-16 Interview

    8-2-16 Tom Renoud had fooled around with singing but never thought seriously about a career in music. When, at around 30, he was struggling to support his family he found a saxophone and taught himself to play “well enough to sit in with the guys at the local bar” and “it was fun!” From then on his career just “morphed.” The guys discovered that he could sing, so he did, then he taught himself to play the piano and although he continued to work at his “day gig,” until retirement, music became the passion of his life. Listen to Tom tell this story and hear 2 cuts from his CD In the Bag, and hear why the guys wanted him to sing.

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  • Interview with Len Murphy

    5-24-16 Interview

    6-28-16 Musician, educator, triathlon competitor Len Murphy has spent most of his life making and teaching music. Ironically, although both his parents were musicians and although he was given piano lessons early in his life (unfortunately the teacher rejected him),and although he took the clarinet lessons his dad set up for him which actually liked – it wasn’t until he heard a saxophone playing Jazz ( perhaps that of Stan Getz) that he fell in love. From then on he simply inhaled music. He taught himself the sax, later he would teach himself the flute and bassoon, and chose to skip college a go into the Navy which promised an opportunity to play music – Listen to Len tell of his experiences in the Navy. After the Navy he discovered that playing music for a living was more difficult than he’d thought and with a wife and 1 and ½ children to support, he got a straight job. When a friend casually commented that his Army G.I. Bill would pay for his education (somehow this information had eluded him) he went to college got a BA and Masters and began a career in teaching which would take him to the school in NJ where he spent 30 very happy years. Listen to this enthusiastic, energetic and dedicated a man talk about a life in which he found his passion and never looked back.

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  • Audio Interview Jazz Pianist Mike Markaverich Re-Run

    10-13-2015 Audio Interview

    If you live around Sarasota Florida you and have probably heard extraordinary Jazz pianist Mike Markaverich. Although blind from birth Mike was trying to play the songs he heard on the radio on his toy piano by the time he was three years old. A neighbor generously provided little Mike with his first piano, but pursuit of the music that would become his life, was very challenging. Listen to this extraordinary man describe the dedication with which he pursued his passion, experience his delightful sense of humor, and listen to cuts from his CD “Solid.” And come see him in person Friday and Saturday nights at The Haye Loft 5540 Gulf Of Mexico Drive Longboat Key, 34228

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  • Interview with Pianist Michael Royal (re-run Part 2)

    9-22-15 Audio Interview

    Based in Sarasota Florida, pianist Michael Royal has performed in London, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Athens, Lisbon, Copenhagen, Tokyo, Bangkok, New York, Los Angeles and throughout the U.S. He has worked with Red Rodney, Mel Lewis, Clifford Jordan, George Garzone, Larry Coryell, Emily Remler, Ira Sullivan, and Mark Murphy in addition to his own groups. Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, Michael began improvising at the piano at the age of five. Turning away from the conventional study of music and by fusing and uniting classical and jazz influences, Michael developed his own piano style, his unique brand of romantic jazz. While still performing, composing teaching, coaching and lecturing Michael continues to pursue his independent studies. His repertoire includes Standards from the Great American Songbook, Bebop, Ballads, Blues, and Classical Masterpieces. In this first half of my interview listen to Michael describe his early life and the way he discovered his unique path. Also hear 2 cuts from his CD – TRANSITION – released in 2008 with bassist Richard Drexler and drummer Steve Davis. And come see Michael play every Monday night at Starlight Café 101 Coconut Ave Sarasota 34236 and Wednesday’s and Friday’s at The Haye Loft 5540 Gulf Of Mexico Drive Longboat Key, 34228.

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  • Interview with Pianist Michael Royal (re-run)

    9-15-15 Audio Interview

    Based in Sarasota Florida, pianist Michael Royal has performed in London, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Athens, Lisbon, Copenhagen, Tokyo, Bangkok, New York, Los Angeles and throughout the U.S. He has worked with Red Rodney, Mel Lewis, Clifford Jordan, George Garzone, Larry Coryell, Emily Remler, Ira Sullivan, and Mark Murphy in addition to his own groups. Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, Michael began improvising at the piano at the age of five. Turning away from the conventional study of music and by fusing and uniting classical and jazz influences, Michael developed his own piano style, his unique brand of romantic jazz. While still performing, composing teaching, coaching and lecturing Michael continues to pursue his independent studies. His repertoire includes Standards from the Great American Songbook, Bebop, Ballads, Blues, and Classical Masterpieces. In this first half of my interview listen to Michael describe his early life and the way he discovered his unique path. Also hear 2 cuts from his CD – TRANSITION – released in 2008 with bassist Richard Drexler and drummer Steve Davis. And come see Michael play every Monday night at Starlight Café 101 Coconut Ave Sarasota 34236 and Wednesday’s and Friday’s at The Haye Loft 5540 Gulf Of Mexico Drive Longboat Key, 34228.

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  • Interview with Lillette Jenkins-Wisner

    Sept 8, 2015

    90 year old Harlem born Lillette Jenkins-Wisner well give her farewell performances at Ruth Eckert Hall in Clearwater, Florida. Dubbed Queen of the Keys, Lillette is an internationally renowned concert pianist and vocalist. At 3 years old she could “play anything she could hear.” and she began her career at the age of six. Initially trained as a classical musician she developed a strong interest in Gospel, Ragtime, Jazz and Popular music. Lillette traveled all over the world with the USO during 3 wars. She has always had a demanding schedule of concerts, shows, round-the-world cruises and club performances. She has shared the stage with Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, Lena Horne and more recently Billy Joel. She performed on Broadway, in movies and was a regular on the TV Soap Opera All My Children. She has won many awards including most recently the Sachmo Award.

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  • Audio Interview with Robbie Rose

    8-18-2015 Audio Interview

    From the age of 3 keyboardist/composer Robbie Rose knew his life would be about music. He thought all the music he heard was magic and “why would you do anything else, when the music was so good.” Growing up near Detroit – he knew that the people making this magic were essentially his neighbors, which just confirmed for him that making music was the only career he could imagine. He began “noodling” on the piano as a toddler and surprised his parents by spontaneously playing As Time Goes By at 5 years old. Robbie attended a brand new avant-garde high school where he studied music theory in a class which began with 40 students and ended with 3, Robbie being one. Listen to this exuberant, passionate, candid man him describe the rigorous training he received there, the various skills he’s developed over the years, the important, difficult lesson he learned about “trying” and hear his original composition for Hammond Organ – the title cut from his CD Hot Sauce.

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  • Audio Interview with Eddie Tobin

    8-11-2015 Audio Interview

    Multi-genred, very talented pianist/entertainer Eddie Tobin just always loved music. He didn’t take piano lessons until he was in college, he just began to “mess around with it” very early – learning to play the songs he liked. Although a serious jock, he played virtually every sport, he just always loved music. In college he tried to major in Business but soon discovered that he didn’t like it. He did finally major in Music at Miami State but even then he hadn’t decided to make his life as a musician. He just always loved music. Listen to the sweet way he talks about music and his haphazard journey to becoming a professional musician, and hear a cut from his CD Cheek to Cheek. And come to hear him play and sing Sun afternoon at the American Legion 2000 5th ST. W., in Bradenton and Sun evenings at the Surf Shack on St Armand’s Circle, and Mon and Tues at Euphemia Haye, 5540 Gulf of Mexico Dr. Longboat Key, 941-383-3633, Wed and Friday at Amore also on Longboat Key and on Thursday at Madison’s with the Ventura’s.

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  • Audio Interview with Dave Morgan

    5-19-15 Audio Interview

    Triple threat musician Dave Morgan sings and plays the Drums and the Vibraphone. He began his musical career as a toddler when his mother told him to find a 3rd part harmony to the song his mom and dad were singing and he never looked back. He was drawn to the drums in school and having decided at 40 that he needed another arrow in his quiver he took up the vibraphone, although he thought it might take him 20 years to master it. Now when you see Dave on stage he might be playing either the drums or the vibes and or singing with or without one or the other. He’s a wonderful musician and delightful man. Listen to him tell the story of a life dedicated to making the best music he can.

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  • Interview with Dick Hamilton

    5-27-14 – Audio Interview

    When I say that Dick Hamilton is a musician, I’m not telling you nearly enough. By the time he was two his mother could control her toddler by simply putting on some music, he would stop whatever he was doing mesmerized. Dick Hamilton simply fell in love with music and immediately wanted to create the sounds he heard. Listen to this self-effacing man describe the way he relentlessly pursued this passion which lead him to a career as a studio musician and composer in Los Angeles. Then listen to a cut – I wish I had the time to play more – from his solo (and I do mean solo) album, called Album Myself on which wrote all the songs and played every instrument;
    Piano, Electric Piano, Guitar, Upright Bass, Keyboard Bass, Drums, Percussion, Flute, Alto Flute, Soprano Sax, Trumpet, Alto Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Alto Flugelhorn, Alto Horn, Trombone, Valve Trombone, Baritone Horn and Moog IIIC Modular Synthesizer (1968 vintage – no computer or sequencing to produce the few (italics mine) instruments he didn’t own such as Tuba and Clarinet.

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  • Interview with Graham Dechter

    3-27-12 – Interview

    Family stories say that at the age of 2 or 3 little Graham Dechter would sing along with the records his parents played or the music his film arranger Dad was composing. “It just came naturally” he says. It was not that he thought of becoming a musician, it was that he always was a musician. And he discovered his own way to make music. His first piano teacher objected when ­­five year old Graham refused to bring in the Bach piece he was asked to learn and instead brought in a John Williams film score – Raiders of the Lost Ark. So Graham changed teachers. And although he learned piano and violin it wasn’t until he picked up the guitar – “just to fool around with,” that he discovered his instrument. Listen to Graham talk about the way he learned to play by ear and the unique way he found to play the guitar which is “not how any other guitar player plays” and of course listen to a cut from his CD where he is backed by jazz greats John Clayton on bass, Jeff Hamilton on Drums and Tamir Handelmen on piano.

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  • Interview with Jazz Musician Benny Green

    9-27-11

    Benny Green is in love with jazz music. A student of the roots of jazz, Benny says that while the people who created it were often despised, their music was beloved, even by those who despised its creators. And so he calls it a “victorious music.” As a small child Benny picked out notes on the piano that he heard on the Thelonious Monk records his father loved to play. His fate was sealed – he would be a jazz musician – the real thing. Benny says he was fortunate enough to be “lead” to teachers, mentors, and “musical parents” like Ray Brown, Oscar Peterson Freddie Hubbard, Art Blakey, and Betty Carter, who validated his place in jazz music. Listen to this gentle yet passionate musician talk about the music and the culture of jazz, and hear his remarkable fingers on the piano when I play a couple of cuts from his most recent CD called Source..

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  • Interview with Jazz Pianist Eric Scott Reed

    8-30-11

    Interview with the talented and engaging jazz pianist Eric Scott Reed who made the seasoned musicians at the Newport, CA Marriott Jazz Party take notice by playing both rapid fire jazz and achingly sweet melodies, like his version of the classic Thelonious Monk tune ‘Round Midnight’ from his tribute album to Monk called The Dancing Monk, which I will play as well original compositions from his CD Stand. Two year old Eric began fooling around with his neighbor’s piano while they were babysitting for him. He was always surrounded by the music his parents loved and his experience with his neighbors piano led him to try to play whatever he heard on the radio or the record player. He would pick out the notes he heard and it wasn’t long before he was playing full songs. His parents finally decided to give five year old Eric piano lessons. Listen to Eric talk about his parents, who although raised poor and black in the south, were able to give him and his siblings love, acceptance, discipline and faith. And in Eric’s case to have nurtured a thoughtful and talented professional musician who is dedicated to sharing the gift of his music in every way that he can.

     

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