Friday, August 31, 2007

Gotta see it to believe it

Check out the size of these two drum sets. Just looking at them is mesmerizing. The drummers are Terry Bozzio and Chad Wackerman, formerly of Frank Zappa's band. On occassion we have two drummers in our student ensembles. If you fall into that category, don't get any ideas. There'd be no room left in our rehearsal hall for the rest of the band! Thanks to Night After Night for bringing this to my attention. Thought I'd pass it along.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Back-to-school Listening

Since the Portsmouth kids are heading back to school tomorrow, it's time for some serious listening. Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter's recording of the Berg Violin Concerto, the most important violin concerto of the 20th Century, is a personal favorite of mine. The concerto is a true Masterpiece, one of those pieces of music everyone should hear, even if it is not your cup of tea. And it is a must-know for every aspiring violinist. Open your ears, your mind, and enjoy.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Super Happy Fun

Yesterday PMAC hosted its second annual Super Happy Fun Day. This carnival themed event is our annual open house, a day when we provide an introduction to PMAC for community members who are just discovering us while welcoming our current students back for the coming year with games, music, food and fun. The teacher dunking booth was once again a big hit - and new this year, our instrument petting zoo always had a line of young children eager to blow into a trombone, bow a violin or strum a guitar (a dozen instruments were on hand to try including a timpani drum!). Face painting, an art mural, and water games were popular with the kids, while many parents enjoyed getting out of the heat while taking tours of our air conditioned school. Two adult student ensemble performed - the Flute Choir and the Blues Band - performing musical heroics in nearly 100 degree heat. As we gear up for a new school year, it is always best to start things off with a day of fun and fellowship - thank you to the many, many people who turned out to make this our best open house ever! The photo above shows piano teacher Adam MacDougall being dunked!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Recommended Listening for the Week of 8/13

While most seem to agree that Miles' Kind of Blue is the greatest jazz recording of all time, don't forget the rest of his expansive catalog. This is one of my personal favorites, with Monk's Well You Needn't among the classic cuts. Check it out.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Performing in Downtown Portsmouth

Last night Jose (drums), Nate (bass) and I (sax) performed in downtown Portsmouth on the Vaughn Mall "stage". We were worried about a rainout all week, and it even rained most of the morning. But come afternoon the skies cleared, and we had a sunny, beautiful evening in the mid-70s. Couldn't ask for better weather. The gig was part of a concert series sponsored by The Wire newspaper and RiverRun Bookstore. I don't think I can recreate the setlist perfectly from memory, but we played the following:

  • Blue Monk
  • All The Things You Are
  • Stella By Starlight
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Straight, No Chaser
  • Gathering in Blue
  • Doxy

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Fourteen Wonderful Years

Katie and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary yesterday with a much needed night out. We shopped downtown, had a fabulous dinner at Cafe Medditeraneo and then caught the latest Harry Potter flick. It was a wonderful evening. She is as beautiful as ever. I am looking forward to the next fourteen - no, fifty-plus years!