Musician

  • Interview with actor, singer, dancer, musician Kyle Branzel

    7-30-18 Interview

    Actor, singer, dancer, musician, educator Kyle Blanzel realized that he was performer when his 2nd grade costar, Mrs. Claus, sang his line instead of hers and he went on with the show, just like a professional. Years of training and understudying Joe Kinosian, one of the writers of Murder for Two, in the National Tour of the show, made him the absolutely best choice to portray the role/s (12) he is currently playing in the Florida Studio Theater production. Don’t miss this!

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  • Interview with Paul Helm – Murder for Two

    7-23-18 Interview

    7/23/18 Pianist, singer, director, actor, musical director Paul Helm was lucky. From the elderly babysitter who convinced his parents to give four year old Paul piano lessons, to the choir teacher who “saw something in him,” to the agent who having seen Paul on stage, pursued him until Paul agreed to leave his beloved Wisconsin and make the leap to New York City, Paul has been led to the career which he “loves” and which although often difficult, he “wouldn’t have it any other way.” Listen to this enthusiastic young man talk about his work and don’t miss his delightful performance in the wacky and wonderful musical “Murder for Two” at Florida Studio Theater.

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  • Interview with Musical Director Justin Cowan

    7-2-18 Interview

    7/2/18 Justin Cowan is the Musical Director for Always Patsy Cline which is currently playing to several times extended audiences at Florida Studio Theater. Although he never planned to be a musical director people continually urged him to join the choir, audition for a Community Theater production and finally made it possible for him to get the education he wanted, but could not afford. Whether chance, fate or coincidence someone was always there pointing him in the direction he is delighted to have gone. Listen to this gregarious, charming man talk about how he was “led” to where he was meant to go, how that experience informs his commitment to teaching, and made him the perfect person to bring out the Patsy in Meredith. Also listen to one of the songs for the show

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  • Interview with Musician Jerry Bilik

    1-15-18 Interview

    5-28-18 Jerry Billik is a composer, arranger, songwriter, conductor, and director of stage productions. Although he downplays his skill and accomplishments Jerry’s career is extraordinary. A musical virtuoso by the age of 13, he has composed more than 50 pieces of music, from popular ballads to marches to his ‘Symphony for Band’. His concert march “Block M” composed for the University of Michigan Marching Band when he was a senior there has been voted by band composers as one of the top 100 marches of all time. He wrote the “M Fanfare” which is still played by the University of Michigan marching band prior to their playing the famous fight song. He has worked with many popular artists, including Danny Kaye, Dick Van Dyke, Leonard Bernstein, Barbra Streisand, and Neil Diamond. He has arranged music for several television series and serves as Vice President of creative development for Disney on Ice, having arranged all the music for the Disney on Ice shows, which he also writes and directs. Listen to this self-deprecatory charming man tell delightful stories of a life spent with music and theater like the ironic reason he taught himself to play piano.

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  • Interview with Actor Joe Casey

    4-2-18 Interview

    4-2-18 Actor, singer, dancer, musician Joe Casey brings his talents once again to Florida Studio theater’s cabaret, this time in Blue Suede Shoes where he gets a chance to play guitars and sing Elvis’s songs. In this interview Joe tells us that he was interested in everything; he wanted to be a scientist and a detective, he picked up the piano and the guitar, he painted in oils, and wrote music. Finally unable to choose amongst his interests Joe decided that as an actor to he could be all of these things. Listen to this charming, clever man tell the story of his path and come see him do justice to Elvis and all the other early Rock and Roller’s, in FST’s Blue Suede Shoes.

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  • Interview with Drummer Bob Fuhlrodt

    3-26-18 Interview
    3-26-18 Bob Fuhlrode got a drum when he was five years old and immediately he began, not only to play it, but to keep good time. He commandeered a pot to act as a sock cymbal and began to jam with his grandfather’s friends. He “picked-up” the piano and created an ”act” in which he moved from boogie woogie on the piano to drum solos, and with this “act” he won the Horace Heidt completion 4 times winding up playing at the Hollywood Bowl when he was just 11. Listen to how he accompanied 14 year old Johnny Mathis on piano when he was just 12 and all the other interesting stories of a life lived in love with music. Then hear how he discovered another passion. And come hear him play with the Don Stuart Band at the Phillipe Creek Gazebo on 3/29 at 12:00 admission is free but bring a chair or blanket.

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  • Interview with the extraordinary Wayne Adams Part 2

    12-12-17 Interview

    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.

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  • Interview with the extraordinary Wayne Adams Part 1

    12-5-17 Interview

    12-5-17 – Part 1 – Actor, Director, Broadway Producer, Lighting Designer, Art Gallery Owner waiter, server in an upscale tie store and more, octogenarian Wayne Adams did everything with passion, commitment and panache. Adopted by an extraordinary couple who wanted him to experience everything and encouraged him to “be himself, and to take responsibility for everything he attempted,” Wayne has done just that. A musician, an artist and an actor.As a boy, Wayne majored in commercial design and minored in history of architecture at Ohio University, and although he never took a “theater course” he was in 11 productions during his four years at school with the result that when he graduated he knew that after his mandated stint in the air force he would go off to NY to pursue a career as an actor. Listen to the remarkable diverse jobs he tackled – all with the same commitment to excellence and hear how he discovered “what it really means to be an actor.”

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  • Memorial for Musician, Arranger, Trumpet Player Lew Gluckin

    10-17-17 Interview

    11-14-17 When Lew Gluckin was ten or eleven his father took him to see Trumpet virtuoso Louis Armstrong play and that experience dictated the rest of Lew’s life. He visited a friend who had a bugle and when he blew it, although he didn’t make much of a sound, he thought he could be good at it. He got his first trumpet at around twelve and not only taught himself to play, but over his career taught himself to arrange, copy and compose. Lew says “everybody knew me” and so in addition to the bands he played with, including Larry Elgart, Peter Duchin, Woody Herman, and Art Mooney, he was called on to play Jingles, Broadway Shows, Rock and Roll records and to back up artists like Liza Minelli. Listen to this funny, self-deprecating man talk about the career of a man who never had formal training and played with, hung out with, wrote for or rubbed shoulders with the greatest musicians of our time including Herbie Hancock, Mile Davis, Doc Severinsen, Phil Wood Jazz singer

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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 Master Double-Bass Player John Lamb

    9-26-17 Interview

    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.

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  • Interview with Jazz Pianist Roy Gerson

    9-19-17 Interview

    9-19-17 Pianist, arranger, educator, contractor Roy Gerson began picking out songs on the piano to amuse his blind grandmother when he was two years old, and he was playing with his father’s friends band when he was seven. His life was filled with music; studying classical music with his teacher and teaching himself jazz by listening to the music in his house and playing with the band. Although he “never had a plan,” it was always clear that music and specifically the piano would have a place in his life. Listen to the way a life that “never had a plan,” evolved into a life dedicated to making music; he arranged for Natalie Cole, and Lionel Hampton. Performed for Dustin Hoffman, Harvey Weinstein, Dan Rather, John Tuturro, Al Roker, Geana Davis, Donna Karen, Jeff Zucker, Patrick Swayze and Tony Bennett who was so impressed he managed Roy and got him his first album – That Gerson Person And hear cuts from tha Gerson Person and his other CD Gerson Swings Disney which includes vocals by Rosemary Cloney, Michael Feinstein and John Pizzarelli

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  • Interview with Jazz Musician Pete BarenBregge

    9-12-17 Interview

    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,

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  • Interview with Joseph Holt – Fourth of July Concert

    6-27-17 Interview

    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.
    conductor, pianist, chamber music performer, arts administrator, educator and arranger.

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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 virtuoso pianist Joseph Holt

    5-16-17 Interview

    5-16-17 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. He 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 hear him play the compelling “Dance of the Giving Maiden,” live.

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  • Interview with Trumpet Player, arranger, composer, copyist Lew Gluckin

    4-25-17Interview

    4-25-17 When Lew Gluckin was ten or eleven his father took him to see Trumpet virtuoso Louis Armstrong play and that experience dictated the rest of Lew’s life. He visited a friend who had a bugle and when he blew it, although he didn’t make much of a sound, he thought he could be good at it. He got his first trumpet at around twelve and not only taught himself to play, but over his career taught himself to arrange, copy and compose. Lew says “everybody knew me” and so in addition to the bands he played with including Larry Elgart, Peter Duchin, Woody Herman, and Art Mooney, he was called on to play Jingles, Broadway Shows, Rock and Roll records and to back up artists like Liza Minelli. Listen to this funny, self-deprecating man talk about the career of a man who never had formal training and played with, hung out with, wrote for or rubbed shoulders with the greatest musicians of our time including Herbie Hancock, Mile Davis, Doc Severinsen, Phil Woods, Bob Brookmeyer…

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  • Interview with Musician Zoe Lewis

    3-7-17 Interview

    3-7-17 Zoe Lewis says she never had any choice but to be a musician, she was simply pulled to it. Today she plays the piano, guitar, ukulele and clarinet as well as the washboard and spoons – often playing several of these at one time. Virtually constantly in motion Zoe sings her quirky, interesting, extremely smart and often funny songs, and spontaneously (she never has a script or a set list) tells stories, all the while attempting to interact with the audience. She is trying to build community and when you are in her audience you want to be part of Zoe’s community. She is also a traveler, she has been in countless countries and virtually all of the United States –“soaking up” the interesting sounds and stories of the places she is visiting. Born and raised in a tiny town in England Zoe benefited from the unconditional love and encouragement her elderly parents (her mother was 51 when she was born). She was endowed with the belief that should do and be whatever when found it in her heart to do and be. And what she found in her heart warms ours.

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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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