Musician

  • Interview with Joyce Valentine

    1-19-16 Audio Interview

    Two and a half year old Joyce Valentine would stand by the piano and listen to her music teacher mother give lessons. Although shocked when she heard little Joyce playing the song she’d just taught to her seven year old student, Mom began to teach her remarkable little girl and by the time Joyce was three she was playing and singing on the radio, and by four she was performing on The Children’s Hour. Not surprisingly from then on Joyce’s life has been about playing the piano. Listen to her talk about the up’s and down’s, and all the hard work. Hear her describe how, while a student at the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri at Kansas City she was asked to learn the Beethoven A Major Piano and Cello Sonata overnight, because none of the professors wanted to try it and how that experience introduced her to a lifelong friend Cellist, Debbie Brooks. And listen to these remarkable musicians play one of Joyce’s original compositions in their joint creation of the CD Reunion.

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  • Interview with Justin Lucero

    12/15/2015 Audio Interview

    Justin Lucero says he was always “bossy,” always telling his siblings and friends what to do and how to do it. He was addicted to anything Disney but had no access to theater and never imagined being – what he became – a theater director. A talented saxophonist, he was unable to make music his college major because his parents insisted that he major in “something to do with computers,” an area that neither he nor they knew anything about but which his parents apparently thought would make him able to support himself. A series of accidents and unforeseen opportunities lead Justin to a discovery of theater and on his ironic journey towards his final goal. Listen to the hilarious and serendipitous events which lead him to work, right out of conservatory, with Timothy Sheader, one of London’s foremost directors and winner of back to back prestigious Olivier Awards, then later spent four years with the El Paso Opera. Yearning for more training Justin applied for and was accepted to the first director training position at the Asolo. There w he assisted Michael Donald Edwards, Frank Galati, Peter Amster, and Greg Leaming. Greg was so impressed with Justin’s work that he has assigned Justin to direct The Liar, the second production of the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training season which opens on December 30th and runs thru 1/17.

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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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  • Audio Interview with Mike Lang Re-run Part 2

    10-6-15 Audio Interview Part 2

    In part two of my interview Mike Lang talks about how he evaluated his choices as a musician, how he discovered that there was a career for recording musicians, how he found his way into it and became one of its most successful players. Playing Jazz with Paul Horn, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Milt Jackson, Lee Konitz and Arturo Sandoval, Rock and Roll for Phil Spector and Marvin Gaye, more than 2000 film scores for Lalo Schifrin, Henry Mancini, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, James Newton Howard, Elmer Bernstein, Hans Zimmer and accompaniment for Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Diana Krall, John Lennon and Frank Zappa, to name a few. Listen to this self-deprecating man talk about his remarkable career saying “when people say I’m a legend, I say I’m a myth.” There is nothing mythical about Mike Lang, he is the real thing. At the end of this interview listen to him play an original piece on his own piano in his own living room, a rare opportunity.

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  • Audio Interview with Pianist Mike Lang Re-Run part 1

    9-29-15 Audio Interview Part 1

    Pianist Mike Lang is a professional recording musician who has played with virtually everyone in virtually every genre of music. In this first part of my interview listen to the way his life in music began. Mike’s parents say that he asked to take piano lessons when he was four and a half. Serendipitously his early teachers taught him about a wide variety of music. His first teacher’s favorite pianists were Jose Iturbi and Liberace, so she had him playing written (classical) pieces and also popular music, and she taught him to play chords and begin to improvise. Mike says it was “a magical way to start because it set the tone for me being able to be about more than one thing in music.” Then he studied with the brilliantly eclectic George Tremblay who not only introduced him to a wide variety of musical styles but subjects as diverse as Shakespeare. Mike calls these “auspicious experiences” because they prepared him for a career which would include playing incredibly diverse music. Listen to this charming, thoughtful man talk about his philosophy of being in the present and the impact that philosophy has on his playing, also hear cuts from his only solo album, Days of Wine and Roses – the classic songs of Henry Mancini.

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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 Billy Marcus

    8-4-15 Audio Interview

    Although both of his parents were professional musicians Billy Marcus didn’t touch a piano until he was 16 years old and his study of the instrument was sporadic and haphazard. It took him a long time to realize that he was, and then to identify himself as, a musician. But his talent would not be denied and a musician he most definitely is as the South Florida Jazz Hall of Fame recognized when they inducted him. Listen to this funny self-deprecating man talk about the roundabout way he discovered his career and hear a cut from his CD – The Billy Marcus Trio. Also go listen to him live on Thursday nights at the Allegro Bistro 1740 East Venice Avenue, Venice, FL (941) 484-1889 and Friday nights at Fandango 1812 S Osprey Ave. Sarasota, FL 34239 941-954-5400.

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  • Audio Interview with Katherine Michele Tanner

    6-30-15 Audio Interview with Katherine Michele Tanner

    Katherine Michele Tanner is an artist in the truest sense of the word. Raised by a family that encouraged all of the arts she was able to pursue every one of her passions. As a result she is an exceptional actress, dancer, musician (violin and piano), playwright/composer, singer and painter. Submerged in, and bouncing back and forth between her passions Katherine radiates a breathless exuberance and joy. Listen to this unique woman talk about her life which is brimming over with creativity and productivity and come see her extraordinary performance in The Amish Project at the Banyan Theater from 7/16-8/2.

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  • Audio Interview with Will Luera and Hunter Brown

    07-07-2015 Audio Interview

    Will Luera, is the Artistic Director of the Florida Studio Theater Improv troupe. Will had no intention of having a career in theater or improvisation. He majored in physics and computer science in college and spent most of his working life in the computer field. But an announcement for an audition which required no script caught his attention and getting cast changed his life. While working at his “day gig” Will continued to pursue improvisation in every way he could. And now he gets to spend all of his time developing the Florida Studio Theater troupes’ expertise at improvisation and play on stage himself. Listen to this thoughtful man talk about the impact that experiencing improvisation has had on his life and he believes on the lives of all who practice it.

    Hunter Brown is the accompanist for the Florida Studio Theater Improv troupe. In contrast to Will’s journey, Hunter seems always to have known that his life would be about music. Although he was home schooled he was able through “dual enrollment” to enroll in the music classes at the local middle school and when he was in high school to enroll in the music classes at a local college. Only just having graduated from high school Hunter is already making money as a musician. Listen to the ironic way he became the accompanist to the improve troupe – when the only improve he’d been exposed to was “Whose Line it is Anyway.” And hear him talk about the complex role he plays in the improve process.

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  • Audio Interview with David Lutken

    6/16/15 Interview

    David Lutken is anything but the charming hayseed he may appear. With a BA in the classics – mostly Greek – from Duke University (his father told him not to study something that would get him a job but to get an education, and by the way to study the “hardest thing they’d got” – would that we’d all had David’s Dad) and a graduate degree in acting at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. David is a skilled actor, musician, musical director and playwright, but primarily David is an entertainer. Like the epic poets he studied -Ovid, Vigril, Homer – and Woody Guthrie put David in front of an audience and put a guitar in his hand and sit back and enjoy yourself. Currently you can enjoy David in Woody Sez, a musical biography of Woody Guthrie which David wrote based on Woody’s writings as well as his music, at the request of Harold Leventhal – Woody’s manager. It is playing at the Asolo Repertory Theatre until June 21st. Listen to this unusual man talk about how he “evolved” into the multi-tasking artist he is and hear him sing his favorite Woody Guthrie song – Pretty Boy Floyd.

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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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  • Audio Interview with Eleonora Lvov

    12-23-14 – Audio Interview

    Eleonora Lvov began life under the grand piano in her parent’s one room apartment in the then Soviet Union. With two virtuoso pianists for parents little Eleonora spent her days surrounded by the glorious piano music her parents played. Soon she was being helped on to the piano stool, her fingers placed and her training begun. Is it any wonder therefore that today she too is an internationally acclaimed virtuoso pianist, concertizing widely in the US, Europe and Russia – and a master-teacher on the University level, as well as to all ages in her own studio in Sarasota. Listen to this exuberant woman talk about her relationship to the music she plays and her dedication to transforming her audience. Hear her play an excerpt from George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in a cut from one of her numerous CD’s. And come hear her in person at her annual concerts for the Unitarian Universalist Churches:

    • Sunday 1/4/15 at 4:00 PM at
      322 15th St W
      Bradenton FL 34205
      (no charge)
    • Sunday 1/18/15 at 4:00 at
      3975 Fruitville Rd
      Sarasota FL 34232
      ($15.00)

    For more information you can call her at 941-359-0235 or go to her website www.eleonoralvov.com

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  • Interview with Lynne Jackson

    10-7-14 – Audio Interview

    Lynne Jackson is a rebel. She attended the prestigious Longy Music School where she did well in everything except playing the pieces she could never find “the discipline” to practice. Finally abandoning the attempt, she ran off to join the legion of dropouts living on the Boston Commons, sleeping in the Arlington Street Church and experiencing the joys and consequences of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Listen to the serendipitous way her life turned around; how she met and married Mike Palter, how, with him, she became one of the most affecting performers of the American Song Book. Hear her talk about the pivotal choice she and Mike had to make, a choice which lead to the birth of their son David, a miracle she was told could never happen, how they created the Jazz is a Rainbow program and came to have “the best of both worlds.”

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  • Interview with Lynne Jackson and Michael Palter

    9-27-2014 Audio Interview

    Lynne Jackson and Michael Palter were awarded the Paul Re Lifetime Achievement Award for their many humanitarian projects over the years, including the creation of Jazz is a Rainbow. Their original song “We Dream a Brighter Day” was performed at the United Nations. Their compositions have been sung in churches, synagogues, events and concert halls around the world. And as the quintessential jazz duo they have been delighting audiences for years. Listen to this talented, dedicated couple talk about the circuitous route their lives to t get them to where they were always meant to be.

     

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  • Interview with Bobby Brader

    8-5-14 – Audio Interview

    Bobby Brader became a musician by accident. Although he didn’t play an instrument a clerical error put 13 year old Bobby in advanced concert band. He didn’t want to be in band and planned to quit as soon as possible. Just as he was about to quit the band director asked him to demonstrate a scale on the trumpet. Bobby says that he didn’t really know the scale and that it must have been an angel who entered his trumpet and played it correctly. However it happened in that moment Bobby was captured by music. He still expected to pursue his dreams of becoming an aviator or even an astronaut until another surprising experience showed him his true path. While taking a chemistry test – a subject he liked and was good at – Bobby realized that his head was filled with music, thought “you are not going to be an aviator – you are going to be a musician!” And the decision was made, his fate was sealed; Bobby Brader would be – is a wonderful musician. We in Sarasota have been fortunate to have him here playing in every possible venue. And as he sets off to increase his skills by taking his MA in Film Composition we get one more chance to hear him play and learn what he has to share about the history of music. Come to see Bobby’s farewell concert at the Venice Theater, 140 Tampa Ave, Venice FL 34285 Sun 8/10 2PM and/or Thurs 8/14 8PM – Tickets ($15.00) can be purchased on line at www.venicestage.com or by calling the box office – (941) 488-1115. And listen to Bobby talk about how he discovered his “obsession” and how he balances his love of music with his equally powerful love of his family and friends.

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  • Interview with Pianist Mike Lang (Part 2)

    6-24-14 – Audio Interview Part 2

    In part two of my interview Mike talks about how he evaluated his choices as a musician, how he discovered that there was a career for recording musicians, how he found his way into it and became one of its most successful players. Playing Jazz with Paul Horn, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Milt Jackson, Lee Konitz and Arturo Sandoval, Rock and Roll for Phil Spector and Marvin Gaye, more than 2000 film scores for Lalo Schifrin, Henry Mancini, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, James Newton Howard, Elmer Bernstein, Hans Zimmer and accompaniment for Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Diana Krall, John Lennon and Frank Zappa, to name a few. Listen to this self-deprecating man he talk about his remarkable career saying “when people say I’m a legend, I say I’m a myth.” There is nothing mythical about Mike Lang, he is the real thing. At the end of this interview listen to him play an original piece on his own piano in his own living room, a rare opportunity to hear this extraordinary musician at work.

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  • Interview with Jazz Pianist Mike Markaverich

    6-10-14 Audio Interview

    If you live in or around Sarasota Florida you and have probably heard extraordinary Jazz pianist Mike Markaverich play. 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 to the Venice Art Center – 390 Nokomis Avenue South, Venice, FL on Tuesday, 6/10/14 from 2-4 PM for a very special event; the recording of the Mike Markaverich Trio with Ernie Williford, on Bass & Vocals & Johnny Moore on Drums. All those attending may sign up to receive a free copy once the recording is released. Admission is free.

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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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