Month: April 2005

Come on out to Charley O’s Tonight

Come on out to Charley O’s Tonight

Tonight at 8:00pm, my roomie, Vinnie Sperrazza (drums), best friend, Jacob Sacks (piano) and great friend and darts buddy, Dave Ambrosio (bass) will be playing at Charley O’s in midtown at 713 8th Ave (corner of 45 St., NYC).

I’m not sure what the repertoire will be but, I know it’s gonna sound great. These are some of the best musicians I’ve had the honor to play with and they are the best of friends. If anyone is around and wants to hear some killin’ music, come to the the backroom of Charley O’s restaurant. It’s a weird venue but, the music will be wonderful.

Hope to see you there.

Farewell to the Joe Maneri Quartet

Farewell to the Joe Maneri Quartet

Last Wednesday evening I went to Barbes to see the Joe Maneri Quartet. It was an important concert since it was announced as the final one of three concerts being performed at Barbes. The shows were documented for a DVD that will be released in the near future. The performers in the quartet are Joe Maneri (saxophones and clarinet), Mat Maneri (viola), John Lockwood (bass) and Randy Peterson (drums).

The music was really incredible. It was all free improvisation except for the one poem Joe recited in his own created language. The music was exciting and extremely creative. There were times when I didn’t understand what the hell was going on but the emotion and intensity was so great that you just get swept away by the energy. Mat Maneri (Joe’s son), is not only one of my favorite musicians around but probably one of the most creative and powerful musicians I have ever heard. I call him The Magician because everything he plays is magic. There are some musicians that you meet in your life that just blow you away everytime you hear them. Mat is one of those musicians. (I’m extremely excited that he will be playing with Jacob and myself at the 5C Cafe on Friday, May 6th).

If you are unfamiliar with Joe Maneri, he is a microtonal musician and great composer. Joe teaches micro-tonal music and counterpoint at New England Conservatory. I have had the great privilege to perform one of his vocal works at Tonic last year. It was really challenging to try and sing 6 tones within a half step (crazy!) For half my life I thought a half tone was the smallest interval around. As I continued my musical education at university, I realized that I was living in a small fish tank with those thoughts.

I was MELANCHOLY at the thought of this quartet saying goodbye. But it’s never goodbye. Just: we’ll see you again in another form. I’m sure I’ll be hearing this group in other ways some time again.

Music and Imagination

Music and Imagination

Well, I have just returned from Ann Arbor, Michigan late last night. Jacob and myself did a duo concert at the Kerrytown Conert House “on Saturday, April 9. It was a beautiful old house where the main floor was their performance space and upstairs were teaching studios. The acoustics were so amazing that I didn’t use a microphone. Jacob played a beautiful 7ft. Steinway. It was a wonderful concert. The house was almost full and there were a lot of friends and family who came a long way to see us play (ex. Toronto and Chicago).

The first half of the show we played duo and the second half, we invited two of Jacob’s old musical colleagues, bassist, Tim Flood and clarinetist and saxophonist, Andrew Bishop. The last set were all originals and the first set was a combination of originals, children songs, pop songs and jazz standards.

The whole night was a great success. Jacob and I were excited and very emotional. Everytime Jacob and I get to play in a beautiful concert space on a great piano with an attentive audience, it tends to over whelm us with a lot of wonderful emotions. We promised each other that we would try our best to make sure that this type of performances were more frequent.

The last time we had a great run of concerts was when we did a small Ontario tour to promote our debut CD “Soulmates”. All the pianos were good and we had very attentive audiences. My hope is that this would be the norm for us. It’s starting to look that way.

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