Tonight I heard Chick Corea & Gary Burton in an intimate venue in DC. What incredible musicians; the precision, inventiveness, and intuitiveness of these two – both for the muse and for each other – is astounding! And the chops, my goodness! I was moved to tears when they played Crystal Silence ( I wasn’t the only one wiping my eyes). For me, this is where my life in jazz began , with the two of them and that seminal album. And here they are today, playing (no exaggeration) better than they ever have, looking better than they have in years (Chick told me he dropped 100 lbs, eating fruit veggies, nuts – Gary just looks exactly the same)…36 years ago, I sold Chick a piano, but that’s a story for another day, as the world turns…I just want to say, thank you, Chick, for being so generous with your music, and for a lifetime of inspiration. I hope you have some idea of the contribution you have made.
This Fall continues to be busy and fun; I have a nice solo gig on a beautiful piano in the Henley Park Hotel (DC), Tues-Thurs, 5:30-7:30, very relaxed, nice old hotel. It’s been awhile since I had to play stream-of-consciousness for 2 hours (keeping the lid closed), and it’s a nice focus for now. The Capital City Voices is in its 3rd season, with a gig at Twins (DC) featuring Sue Terry (Oct. 25), and the next night as a Duo (of which we are fond!) at the Corner Store (DC). January 22, we will be back at Blues Alley (DC). Meanwhile I am making musical friends in the Austin area, where I seem to be gravitating, because my little family is there – more about that later! All in all, glad summer is over, it was too hot ‘n sticky, loving the crispy Fall.
After another wonderful concert at Blues Alley, I will be heading west to JazzCamp West for a week, and then on July 1st, at 4 PM, to Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society ( with Sue Terry, Chuck MacKinnon, Peter Barshay, and Allison Miller – wow! what a band!)
Tickets here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/245743
Then on to Yoshi’s with Sue Terry, July 2nd, at 8 PM
Then to Homer, Alaska!
Halibut Cove Live presents:
Jazz in the Cove @ Quiet Place Lodge, two events to support the Homer Foundation.
This year’s first Jazz in the Cove event will take place Saturday, July 7th, and features the jazz trio of Peggy Stern, Piano, Sweet Sue Terry, Sax and Clarinet, and Bob Ramponi, Bass.
Peggy Stern will also be assembling a local jazz choir in Homer on Sunday, July 8th, with a performance on Monday, July 9th at the Bunnell Street Arts Center.
Just back from Austin (!), where I played a fabulous house concert at Casa Karen. The band was John Mills (sax, flute), Pat Harris (bass), Steve Schwelling (drums), with hostess (and fellow Stern girl) Suzi Stern sitting in to sing a few. She wrote some wonderful lyrics to The Aerie, we put it in a new key, and it was revelatory. The whole program was exciting, brand new tune (The Unfound, New Orleans style crazy piece) – we had a lovely audience, with a nice standing O at the end…Nice intro to Austin. Capital City Voices will be at Blues Alley, on Tuesday June 19th, featuring the Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderly songbook, and a bunch of originals. It’s a helluva program, features Jeff Antoniuk on sax, Amy Shook on bass, Frank Russo on drums, and moi.
Blues Alley – December 12, 2012, 8 & 10 pm
Featured Artists: Capital City Voices – Jazz Choir
Guest musicians: Peggy Stern, Jeff Antoniuk, Amy Shook, and Frank Russo
Capital City Voices debuted in a 2011 sellout concert and have been going strong ever since. Scores of well-trained singers provide an eclectic and dramatic listening experience for jazz lovers. Programs feature beloved standards and new works by acclaimed composer Peggy Stern. Top call musicians such as Jeff Antoniuk, bassist Amy Shook and drummer Frank Russo help the choir create a magical and masterful performance.
As a pianist Stern toured much of the world, playing with myriad jazz greats. Her compositions exhibit a deep knowledge of world music. She attended Eastman School of Music and the New England Conservatory, played with many New York jazz masters, then expanded her sound to encompass Brazilian, African, Irish and Cuban influences. “Everything she writes wants to dance,” said Ken Dais of Jazziz.
The Blues Alley show features a version of Paul Desmond’s “Take Five” incorporating several Christmas carols! Holiday favorites such as “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” are sure to please.
Well, things are chugging right along here in DC, my second season in the Capitol.Capital City Voices has expanded to two full jazz choruses, and we will be performing (with Amy Shook, Frank Russo, and co-director Jeff Antoniuk) on December 12th at Blues Alley. The Wall Street Jazz Festival was spectacular this year (Sep 1,2), very inspired and inspiring. Nov. 2-6 doing a mini tour with Bassist Rich Syracuse in IOWA (first time there); we’ll see what we can do about that caucus (!).
Well, we had our 3rd and final concert on Sunday afternoon, and it was really sweet; the choir seems at ease with the music now (just in time to start a new season/new repertoire), and the venue was stupendous. What a great acoustic! And the audience was large and appreciative, the reception was fun too. Nice gig…This Friday RiverJazz+BlueBelles is at BEAHIVE in Kingston, our annual fundraiser for Wall Street Jazz festival, and we are featuring Jay Clayton and special guests – it should be a lot of fun…then after that, for me – a rest! ( for a minute)
We just held our debut concert at Christ Church on Capitol Hill, DC. What a lovely concert! The singers and audience had such a good time; I am feeling like I’m making a nice contribution to the community, in the only way I know – the music. Anyway, Al Wolcott (from River Jazz, Kingston, NY) came down to join the baritones, and Yeva Avakyan flew in from Bangladesh to make the concert. It’s a very nice beginning for this group.
Sue Terry and I played the Kennedy Center (fortress of the Arts!) a couple of days ago, and what fun, and what an honor! Seriously, the venue, and staff were beautiful, gracious, professional, and low-key. No emergencies, pretty mellow. Sue and I were treated like – well, like Artists, imagine that! Musically, it was pretty interesting, because we are a duo, and chose to play acoustically. Everything else in the program had amps and mikes, and I heard the contrast was most interesting! The other thing that stood out, at least on our program, was that we played all original music, with the exception of the combined tune Weaver of Dreams/There Will Never Be Another You, and our tribute to the late great Billy Taylor – his tune, Picture This… other than those, we did what we do, and played outside the box, with our good chemistry and musicianship, we had a ball, if I do say so myself!