Musician

  • 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.

    continue reading
  • 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.

    continue reading
  • 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.

    continue reading
  • 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

    continue reading
  • 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.”

    continue reading
  • 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.

     

    continue reading
  • 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.

    continue reading
  • 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.

    continue reading
  • 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.

    continue reading
  • 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.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Jay Dodge

    3-11-14 Audio Interview
    Until he saw Wirlie Morris (who produces for Charlie Wilson) play the bass Jay Dodge thought he was going to be a baseball player. But there was something so mesmerizing about the way Wirlie played that Jay immediately picked up a bass and started to fool around with it. Then a miraculous thing happened; listen to Jay describe how his pastor laid hands on him and pronounced that he would play the bass. The rest is history – well baseball was history anyway. As he progressed on the bass Jay knew for sure that he had found his destiny. Listen to him tell the story of how, although he had never musical directed, he became the Musical Director of the West Coast Black Theater Troupe in Sarasota Florida. Today he is also the company’s Project Manager. Currently Jay is Musical Directing the WBBT production of Harry and Lena. Listen to this gentle, thoughtful, optimistic man talk about his life and his relationship to music.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Wayne Adams Part 2

    11-12-13 Audio Interview 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
  • Interview with Wayne Adams Part 1

    11-5-13 – Audio Interview 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.”

    continue reading
  • Interview with Joyce Valentie

    9-3-13 — 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.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Elliott Raines

    7-16-13 – Audio Interview

    Elliott Raines grew up in what says is “now called the East Village, but when I grew up was called a slum.” Second generation, born to parents who believed in giving their children a “well rounded education,” Elliott studied piano and music theory, spent a year at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and most of his high school years in Drama Club, chorus and plays. He got a BA in Theater and an MFA in Acting, taught acting at his alma mater, and had some success as an actor. However at age 28 Elliott realized that the thing he hated most was looking for work, and acting – no matter how successful you are – is always about looking for the next job. Having realized this Elliott promptly went to Law School. He spent a career in law – with forays into acting and directing. And now having retired is once more able to pursue his passion for the theater. Elliott is currently directing The Boys Next Door at the Players Theater.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Zak Edwards

    6-18-13 – Audio Interview

    Do you like toe-tapping music, incredibly clever lyrics, and exuberant choreography performed by a remarkably talented ensemble? Then run right down to Florida Studio Theater’s Gompertz Theatre to see The World Goes Round a revue of John Kander and Fred Ebb’s music – much of which will be familiar to you as it comes from Chicago and Cabaret and many other of their splendid musicals. And in that delightful revue (which has been extended through June 29th) you will see the very talented Zak Edwards who says he was “always a musician,” having begun piano lessons at 5 years old and performing professionally by the time he was in the 4th grade. Listen to this skilled performer talk about his recognition of what he was meant to do and be, and hear his interesting explanation of what it means to be the dance captain of a show.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Mike Markeverich (re-run)

    3-26-13 Audio Interview

    If you live in or around Sarasota you and have probably heard extraordinary Jazz pianist Mike Markeverich 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 and experience his delightful sense of humor. Also listen to cuts from his CD “Solid” You can hear Mike play solo piano Thursdays & Fridays: 5 to 8 PM, @ Caragiulos Restaurant, 69 South Palm Avenue, 941-951-0866 and Saturdays & Sundays: 7:30 to 11 PM: @ Euphemia Haye Restaurant, 5540 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key 941-383-3633. On Wednesday April 17, 2013, the Munchtime Musicales Concerts will be presenting the Mike Markaverich Trio with Ernie Williford, Bass & Vocals & Johnny Moore on Drums, @ David Cohen Hall, from 12 to 1 PM.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Jgar Hellwig

    3-5-13 – Audio Interview

    Jgar Hellwig discovered very young that he was “different;” he liked to invent characters, have conversations with the trees and talk to his imaginary friend. Even though his family was “not artistic,” they appreciated, enjoyed and encouraged his talent as a performer and by the time he was twelve he was playing the guitar and entertaining his family and friends with his remarkable voice, which he understood even then, was his “ticket.” Although he had a teacher who criticized his voice Jgar was able to overcome this criticism and continue to do the thing which brings him not only work and recognition but extraordinary pleasure – sing. Listen to him tell his story and hear that remarkable voice in a cut from his CD. Also come see and hear him as the outrageous Miles Gloriosous in the delightful and hilarious Manatee Players production of “A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to the Forum.”

    continue reading
  • Interview with Michael Rice

    12-18-12 – Audio Interview

    Michael Rice’s parents brought a piano for his older sister but it was little Michael who at 5 was immediately drawn to it and immediately began to pick out songs. Since then, when it comes to music, Michael has done it all. He was a music therapist ; he played in the most famous piano bars in New York, he accompanied cabaret acts and ballet classes. But he was also passionate about composing and so adapted and wrote the music and lyrics for Berthold Brecht’s “The Good Woman of Szechwan.” And also for a pastiche play called “American Beauty” which including pieces by Pulitzer Prize winning author Romulus Linney and Drama Desk Award nominee Jack Hefner. Michael began his musical director career as part of the original creative team of the musical “Nunsense,” which won four Outer Critics circle Awards, and went on to become the second-longest-running Off Broadway show in history. Today Michael is, for the second time, Musical Director for the Musical 1776, this time at the Asolo Repertory Theatre. Listen to this delightful, ingenious man talk about the way he followed his heart. Knowing from the age of 5 that he was born to make music and taking every opportunity to do just that.

    continue reading
  • Interview with David Brunetti

    11-20-12 – Audio Interview

    David Brunetti’s musical ability came easily and naturally. He was only 5 when the church gave his family a piano and he immediately sat down and began to “pick out songs.” Despite his obvious musical talent David “wanted to be Al Pacino,” so he majored in acting, but although he tried to create a career as an actor he just kept getting jobs as a musical director. Finally realizing that he could combine his two talents, David created a coaching practice called Acting Songs, in which he teaches actors, singers and “regular people” to act their songs; to bring their songs to life. He wrote a book about his technique and while based in New York he teaches all over the world. Every year David teaches a master class in “acting songs” at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training in Sarasota, FL. This year you can observe this master at work and benefit the Conservatory at the same time.

    continue reading