Performer

  • 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,

    continue reading
  • Interview with Amanda McBroom, composer of “The Rose”

    8-8-17 Interview
    8-8-17 Actor, singer, songwriter, cabaret performer and playwright Amanda McBroom is best known for writing “The Rose” for which she won a Golden Globe Award and which was a number one hit all over the world for Bette Midler. Amanda then recorded it as did Amy Poehler, Jack Black, Barry Manilow, Judy Collins, Barbara Cook, LeAnn Rimes, Anne Murray, Harry Belafonte, Betty Buckley, Stephanie Mills, The Manhattan Transfer, Donny Osmond, Kurt Cobain, Nana Mouskouri, Conway Twitty and the Chipmunks. With her friend and longtime collaborator Michele Brourman, Amanda has written the lyrics for the Baby Dinosaurs in all of the 16 Universal Cartoon Series The Land Before Time. She’s written two original musicals Heartbeats based on her songs and Woman of Will, based on the female characters in William Shakespeare’s plays. She is currently releasing VOICES, her sixth recording on Gecko, the label she established in 1985. Listen to this exuberant, delightful, outrageous woman talk about creating a life filled with music, art, animals, and gardens; a perfect example of creativity in action

    continue reading
  • 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.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Dewayne Barrett

    1-5-16 Interview with Dewayne Barrett

    Dewayne Barrett knew he was a performer by the time he was four. He was encouraged by a family that recognized and enjoyed his talent – putting him on the kitchen table to do the popular dances and getting him on the Romper Room. Always able to mimic whatever movement he saw Dewayne was offered scholarships wherever he applied; first at the Georgia Ballet Company and the Atlanta Jazz Theater and later with Steps on Broadway. All through high school Dewayne studied dance, voice and acting and remarkably a choreographer saw him dance and offered him a job and a place to live in New York City and Dewayne has been working dancer, actor, choreographer, director ever since. Listen to this charming Southern boy talk about his extraordinary ride, and hear some of the iconic songs from A Chorus Line which he is currently directing and performing in for the Manatee Performing Arts Hall.

    continue reading
  • Interview with soprano Anne Fridal

    12/1/15 Audio Interview

    Trinidad and Tobago dramatic soprano Anne Fridal didn’t start out to be a world renowned singer, but she always wanted to be a star. She would get up on tables at school and recite. She invented people to perform for – her invisible audience. Although she wasn’t invested in her voice she began to win competitions at the age of 8. It took a teacher at Julliard to recognize her potential and simply insist that Anne would be a star and of course she was right. She joined and became a principle with the Living Arts International company with whom she traveled the world (she says that that she has been “everywhere”) mostly amazing audiences with her creation of Serena in Porgy and Bess. When she performed to a packed house at the Opera Singers and Actors Church in Covent Garden in London the audience cheered and a gave her a standing ovation. She will return to London in March to perform with Pegasus Opera. And she will launch her Calypsopera CD at the Trinidad and Tobago Fiesta Plaza. Listen to this high-spirited, vivacious, exuberant, thoroughly delightful woman talk about her extraordinary life and listen to several cuts from her

    continue reading
  • 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.

    continue reading
  • 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.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Dewayne Barrett

    3-24-15 Interview

    Dewayne Barrett knew he was a performer by the time he was four. He was encouraged by a family that recognized and enjoyed his talent – putting him on the kitchen table to do the popular dances and getting him on the Romper Room. Always able to mimic whatever movement he saw Dewayne was offered scholarships wherever he applied; first at the Georgia Ballet Company and the Atlanta Jazz Theater and later with Steps on Broadway. All through high school Dewayne studied dance, voice and acting and remarkably a choreographer saw him dance and offered him a job and a place to live in New York City and Dewayne has been working dancer, actor, choreographer, director ever since. Listen to this charming Southern boy talk about his extraordinary ride. And come see his amazing work at The Players Theater where he directed and choreographed the stunning production of the Broadway musical Catch Me if You Can and to Florida Studio Theater where he choreographed the cabaret piece Never Marry a Girl with Cold Feet.

    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
  • Interviews with Michael James Leslie and David Brietbarth

    2014-03-23 Audio Interviews

    These are two interviews I did last year but didn’t get a chance to air. They are with two incredible performers both of whom created remarkable performances in the 2013 season at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota FL

    Michael James Leslie fell in love with music and singing very early in his life, for which he credits, among other things, The Supremes. But although he had an extraordinary voice and a passion for performing, he was also a loving son who, like his siblings, honored their mother’s wish to use their brains, and became a lawyer. After passing the bar he took a job which made him feel that the law was not for him (listen to the poignant way he discovered this). He took a break and went to New York City, where as he prepared to take the NY Bar Exam, he fooled around with being a performer. Then in the most ironic way (another fascinating story) Michael found himself on Broadway in the first revival of the musical Hair and “never looked back.” Listen to Michael talk passionately about the importance seeing each other’s similarities instead of differences and the joy of living your life based on something you love – instead of what believes most people are doing which is “living dead.”

    David Breitbarth has been a member of the prestigious Asolo Repertory Theatre Company for 17 years and is last year’s winner of the Lunt and Fontanne Ten Chimney’s Acting Fellowship to study with Alan Alda. Ironically David had no interest in acting, or in fact, any idea what he would do with his life until attendance at a “progressive hippy-dippy boarding school, where students were expected to try everything, put him up on a stage.” Listen to this thoughtful, interesting man talk about his career and what it’s like to be a “rep” actor, for whom it is essential to make the others on stage look good, and how that differs from being an actor who must constantly look for the next job. And come to see him in The Grapes of Wrath currently running at the Asolo Repertory Theatre.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Jim Weaver

    12-3-13 – Audio Interview

    Jim Weaver always knew that he was a performer. He knew that it would be challenging but nonetheless knew that it would allow him a kind of self expression that he yearned for. He still remembers the night his Dad took the family backstage to meet James Brown, who picked up six year old Jim and put him on his knee. That event; the lights, the cables, and the way he felt, stayed with him stayed with him. When he was ten he asked his parents for acting lessons and to his surprise they said yes. By the time he was sixteen he’d gotten an agent and his first Broadway show. Over the years he graduated to directing and you can see his work at the Westcoast Black Theater Troupe production of Purlie.

    continue reading
  • Interview with June Garber

    10-1-13 – Audio Interview

    June Garber always knew that she was born to be performer. She had a natural voice (wait till you hear it!) and at four years old would pack her little suitcase with everything she needed to be a star (again wait till you hear what she packed) and go two streets down to “Hollywood.” June knew what she needed to be and do from the very beginning of her life but the circumstances of her life made it very difficult. A step father and later a husband forbid her to sing or perform and as a girl raised in her generation she obeyed. But June never forgot who she was and finally found a way to pursue what she was meant to do. Listen to this inspiring story and to a couple of cuts from her CD and you too will be glad she persevered.

    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 De’Zhon Fields

    8-20-13—Audio Interview

    Class clown and family entertainer De’Zhon Fields always knew that he would be a performer he just didn’t know what form it would take. Without training or a mentor or a teacher or any real direction, with only his certainty that entertaining was what he was meant to do, De’Zhon found a way. At 19 he studied to become a ballroom instructor thinking that whatever he learned he could use. After that he created very successful Karaoke business which lead him to a gig at a Casino in Washington State. There, unexpectedly he found what has become his passion, creating an homage to Sammy Davis Jr.; something it had never occurred to him to do. Listen to this delightful man talk about how he follows where life leads, hear an example of his remarkable voice, and hurry down to see Sammy Tonight.

    continue reading
  • Interviews with Beth Duda and Michael McKeever

    7-30-13 – 2 Audio Interviews First Beth Duda and second Michael McKeever

    Beth Duda still remembers being the tightrope walker in her kindergarten circus show, and cajoling her non artistic family to participate in and be the audience for the shows she relentlessly insisted on creating. But she followed her practical upbringing and became a teacher instead of a performer, until the twists and turns of her life made it possible for her to pursue/combine both of her passions, today she is the Director of Education and Resident playwright at Florida Studio Theater. Listen to this delightful, enthusiastic woman tell her charming story.

    Multi-talented, Michael McKeever decided that he had a better chance of making money as an artist – something he was very good at and enjoyed doing – rather than in the theater where he “soul really was.” He majored in advertising design and did in fact make “stupid money” as an art director. But when life gave him opportunity and he jumped on it. He wrote his first play at 30 years old, and his “soul” must have been right because in the 15 years since he wrote that first play, Michael’s written 21 plays and all of them, including the first one, have been produced. Listen to this exuberant, passionate man talk about the joy of finally being what he was always meant to be. And come to Florida Studio Theater where his play funny, thoughtful, compelling play South Beach Babylon is currently running.

    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 Billie Wildrick

    Brunhilde from Das Barbeque7-3-12 –Interview

    Billie Wildrick can’t remember a time when she wasn’t making up stories, becoming characters and singing all the time. Her Mom would carry little Billie into company so she could sing Thummertime, so it is not surprising that Billie became a performer. And she got lots of breaks as people easily saw her talent and potential. She was spotted by a talent agent in grade school and went to NY for auditions but her Mom wasn’t comfortable with the role of stage mother and brought her home. Right out of college, she was “scooped up” by the prestigious 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle, where she will be performing in her 20th production next year. But even with all her talent Billie’s journey has not been easy. At auditions and certain venues she suffered such severe anxiety, that her body shook and she could not sing “with her voice.” But she has found ways to deal with that obstacle and you can see the glowing result in her performance as Brünnhilde in Das Barbeque currently playing for another 2 weeks at Florida Studio Theater in Sarasota. You can hear her story and hear her singing in this interview, and see a picture of her as Brünnhilde here.

    continue reading
  • 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.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Katherine Michelle Tanner

    3-13-12-Interview

    Katherine Michelle Tanner is one of the lucky ones; with an actress mother, artist father and concert pianist grandmother, she grew up surrounded by, and encouraged to, experience the all of the arts. As a result she’s played with and mastered virtually all of them; a dancer, who convinced her ballet master to take her on before she reached the mandatory age, a pianist, violinist, artist, singer and actor, Katherine is currently part of the ensemble cast of Next Fall at Florida Studio Theater. Listen to Katherine talk about the intricacies of this play – it will make you want to run out and see it and her.

    continue reading
  • Norm Corwin Interview Part 3

    11-08-11 Interview Part 3

    On December 15th 1941, (following the bombing of Pearl Harbor) President Franklin Delano Roosevelt requested that Norman Corwin’s radio play “We Hold These Truths,” become the first radio program to be carried by all the network stations in the country. Written to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, and starring Edward Arnold, Walter Brennen, Bob Burns, Walter Huston, Marjorie Mane, Edward G Robinson, Corporal James Stewart.

    continue reading