Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Busy Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival Weekend

The Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival lives on in  2012, along with the tradition of most all of the local restaurants and clubs booking in jazz acts over the festival weekend. This year, Mike McShane and I are working multiple projects, which makes for a full weekend for us, as well as a fun one.The events and performances are sprawled all over the Rehoboth/Lewes, DE area. Here is the listing of Shore Jazz and Spontaneous Invention performances (copied from my schedule page): 

 Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival weekend:
THURSDAY 10/11/12: 6-9pm
Shore Jazz at Just in Thyme, Rehoboth Beach, DE
Join John Ewart, Mike Mcshane and Joe to kick off Jazz Festival weekend!

FRIDAY/SATURDAY: 10/12,13/12: 4:30 -7:30 (time tentative)
Spontaneous Invention at Old Bay Steak House, Rehoboth Beach, DE
“Happy hour” spot for Dave Mike and Joe for Jazz Festival weekend
FRIDAY/SATURDAY: 10/12,13/12: 9pm-midnight
Spontaneous Invention at Arena’s, Rehoboth Beach, DE                              
The Energizer jazz band continues into the night (midnight, anyway)

SUNDAY  10/14: 10am-2pm
Shore Jazz at Bethany Blues, Lewes, DE
The Sunday Brunch for Jazz festival weekend!

Check the official Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival website for all else there is to do and see. Hope to see you sometime over the weekend!

"In the Spirit of Dave McKenna" is Now Available!

This recording has been a lifetime in coming, even if only planned for several months. Subconsciously, perhaps, the planning began soon after Dave McKenna passed away in 2008. His uniqueness was brought into stark relief (in my eyes) as tribute concerts served to drive home the fact that Dave playing is inimitable. Even pianists who do what he did don't even come close. What also was impressed on me is that, although I imitate no one, on an organic level, I (in my own may and on my own path) evolved to a similar playing style. Dave's name was the one I heard most often in commentary as an obvious influence on me (at a time when I wasn't even listening to his recordings. That came later). Dave McKenna, in an important way, is in a category with Fats Waller, Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson and others who honed their unique contributions to a point of perfection. Imitators inevitably fall short. Though I am not an imitator, I fall short as well. Also, as I listen to the recording, post release, I'm struck by how much I am playing unlike Dave (I've actually wished, at times, that I had recorded some of the tracks with more of a mindset of imitation. Of course, I would have regretted it if I did). Hard to be objective inside your own head, though. Now that it has been released, the comments I am receiving suggest that I have, indeed, kept it between the foul poles. One thing that seems clear; this is my strongest, and perhaps most focused studio recording to date. It is, indeed, In the Spirit of Dave McKenna that I continue on in my calling.

Spontaneous Invention is Hooked

After a successful and encouraging (and validating) show at the Avalon Theatre's Stoltz Room, the journey continues for Spontaneous Invention. We now have a (once a month) steady at Hooked Seafood and Martini Bar, in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Catch Dave Schiff, Mike McShane and I on October 6 and December 22, and Dave and I (as a duo) on November 17. Stay in touch with Spontaneous Invention at

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Shore Jazz Continues at Jerry's

This (image above) was a familiar sight on Saturday nights in Lewes DE for nearly 2 years. Unfortunately, Beseme closed last year (we played the closing night party on December 17), and for a brief time, Shore Jazz was "homeless" in Lewes. Earlier this year, Jerry's Seafood (2 blocks from the old Beseme location) picked us up for 1-2 Friday nights a month, and so the fun continues. In the "old days", you would usually find this sign on the corner down the street, and almost without fail, weekend visitors (often from the greater DC area) would be intrigued enough to step in to our little scene, along with our local following, becoming a part of it. The rapport with our friends continues, so if you are ever in the Lewes DE area when we are, stop in to Jerry's Seafood. Remaining dates this year are 10/26, 11/9, 11/30 and 12/21.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Full Concert Video

On July 11, 2012, I performed for the Independent Living residents of Oakcrest Village, in Baltimore, MD. It's not uncommon for these communities (especially the larger ones) to run an in-house closed circuit feed, while archiving the performance for future reruns. This was a good performance to preserve, as it was a fun evening for all of us. Thanks to the lifting of time restraints for You Tube video posting, I was able to post this complete performance from front to back. For my (literally) hundreds of postings, this is the first full concert video. The upside is that (again, for the first time), the intereaction from and to the stage (much of this occuring between performance selections) is preserved.
In any concert, selections are chosen with the demographic in mind, This performance of piano improvisation includes:
1) Surrey with the Fringe on Top
2) Maple Leaf Rag
3) Ode to Joy
4) Gershwin Medley (The Man I Love/I've Got Rhythm)
5) "A.D.D. Improvisation"
6) I Can't Help Falling in Love with You
7) Chopsticks
8) Tea for Two
9) Fur Elise
10) Jobim Medley (Girl from Impanema/Wave)
11) Bye Bye Blackbird

 If you find the time, grab a bag of popcorn (or something), and watch the show. if you like it, send it to a friend. Click here to watch on You Tube