Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lessons From A Street-Wise Professor

I just finished Ramon Ricker’s new book, “Lessons From A Street-Wise Professor: What You Won’t Learn at Most Music Schools”.   As I read it, I kept thinking, “if only this book had been written 20 years ago, when I was cutting my teeth as a young musician.”  (I certainly made my fair share of professional blunders coming out of school, despite having several caring mentors to guide and correct me.)  Ricker covers a very broad array of topics including tax tips, etiquette, career planning, time management, and the ins and outs of musical entrepreneurship.
I highly recommend this book for any young, aspiring, student musician.  Even for those of us who have been around the block a few times there are golden tidbits of information.  The section outlining the career paths of five, selected, successful musicians was especially informative.  I found the story of Jeff Tyzik’s career journey to be especially interesting and inspiring.  It certainly and got my wheels turning.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Jazz Concert

Check out this incredible roster for the upcoming performance on Saturday, June 4th by the Hartford Jazz Society's New Directions Ensemble!

Kris Allen - alto saxophone, Artistic Director
Wayne Escoffery - tenor saxophone
Lauren Sevian - baritone saxophone
Nick Marchione - lead trumpet
Josh Evans - trumpet soloist
John Clark - French horn
James Burton III - trombone
Earl MacDonald - piano, musical director, composer
Dave Santoro - string bass
Jimmy Macbride - drum set

The concert is a fund raiser for the (financially strapped) Hartford Jazz Society.  Six groups will play at the Asylum Hill Congregational Church, 814 Asylum Ave, Hartford, between 6 and 10 p.m.  We will be the last band, hitting the stage at approximately 9 p.m.  As an added incentive to attend, we will be debuting a couple of new pieces (which I am busy writing as you read this).

Suggested donation $25 - but no one will be turned away!
For info, please contact the Hartford Jazz Society, (860) 242-6688.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hartford Jazz Society Fundraiser Concert - June 4, 2011

The Hartford Jazz Society, America’s oldest ongoing jazz society, needs your help. They will be hosting a fundraiser to help in their rebuilding efforts [See my last blog posting for an explanation]. Please join them for a fundraising concert on Saturday, June 4, 2011, from 6 -10 p.m. at the Asylum Hill Congregational Church, 814 Asylum Ave, Hartford.


Suggested donation $25 - but no one will be turned away!
For info, please contact the Hartford Jazz Society, (860) 242-6688.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Keeping The Hartford Jazz Society Alive

A letter from Dan Feingold, President of the Hartford Jazz Society...

To members and friends of the Hartford Jazz Society:

I am writing to inform you of a serious financial setback suffered by the HJS, and to ask for your financial support.

During this 50th anniversary year, the HJS experienced a major theft from its bank account, leaving it with virtually no funds. We have had to lay off our long time secretary, Louise Harris, and our new General Manager, Sharon Steinle, and we have been forced to cancel our spring concerts.

The good news is that the HJS has been a strong and vibrant organization for over 50 years, and we are determined to rebuild and keep going. We are working with the bank and the police to identify and prosecute the culprit. We have instituted internal procedures to ensure that such thefts will never happen again. We are reducing our office overhead, and members of the Board of Directors (all volunteers, and not a wealthy group) have each contributed toward paying immediate expenses. Sharon continues to work with us on a volunteer basis.

Local musicians and HJS scholarship alumni have offered to perform in fund raisers to help restore our bank account. The first fund raising concert will be on Saturday, June 4 at Asylum Hill Congregational Church. Meanwhile, we are entering into collaborations to maintain a schedule of HJS events until we can fund our own events. The Hartford Jazz Society’s New Directions Ensemble, which has independent funding, has performed three concerts in the last four months.

Funding has been committed for Monday Night Jazz in Bushnell Park, so that series, and our September 18 Jazz Cruise/fund raiser will take place.

But we need your support as well. We must produce the cancelled concerts to honor our commitments to the foundations whose funds were stolen from our account, and the musicians who had been scheduled to perform. We must also fund our basic operation until we can secure new grants. This means that we must raise $50,000 more than the anticipated proceeds of the above-mentioned fund raisers: $1,000 for each of our 50 years.

The HJS has been “keeping jazz alive” for 50 years, and jazz lovers have been there to support us. Our trust in your continued support motivates us to continue the Society’s work. We need your support now more than ever.

Daniel Feingold,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Black and White Theology

Are bumper stickers such as these effective in influencing legislators?  Are they designed to endear people, to change their opinion, or help shape the popular consensus?  Is it sending a message of love to all people, including those who have had to make this difficult decision?  Would they feel welcome at a church where this was the car parked beside the main entrance? Is it really this black and white?  These are some of the questions I ask myself on Sunday mornings.