The musical handyman

This evening, the guest performers playing with the Butler Symphony Orchestra for their concert titled “Jazz” were Joe Negri and his trio. Joe’s a well-known and uber-talented jazz guitarist, and an exceedingly nice person. He soloed on a number that is a signature tune for him, an adaptation of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee. Here’s a clip […]

Kooky Christmas #14: “Be-Bop Santa Claus” by Babs Gonzales

Digging into some jazz for number fourteen in the Kooky Christmas Countdown: “Be-Bop Santa Claus” by Babs Gonzales “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” the poem by Clement Clarke Moore, has inspired many a kooky reading for entertainment-type purposes. One that I particularly enjoy is Babs Gonzales‘s version, “Be-Bop Santa Claus.” It’s laden with fifties-era stereotypes, […]


YaH44xvC-gI Butler has a terrific symphony (and I’m not saying that just because I built their website). Every performance I attend, I leave thoroughly pleased and impressed. One thing they do exceptionally well is identify terrific soloists to join them. Tonight, their guests were the Capitol Quartet, a group of saxophonists from Washington, D.C., who […]

Klezmer clarinet and Harlem piano fuse in Uptown Pittsburgh

Suzanne Ortner and Tom Roberts, incredible stride piano and klezmer clarinet Friday, January 25th at James Simon’s Sculpture Studio/Loft 305 Gist Street, Uptown, a few blocks from Birmingham Bridge off Forbes/Fifth Avenues, Tel: 412.434.5629 (Location & directions) Doors open at 7pm Music at 8pm Donation suggested: $10 Good food and drinks provided–bring more if you’d […]

Holiday Music Countdown: Number 3, all the paper, tinsel, and the folderol

We’ve nearly made it through the month-long countdown of my favorite holiday songs, and now we come to the best of the best. (Find previous holiday countdown posts here.) 3. Merry X-Mas (To Whom It May Concern) (Miles Davis with Bob Dorough) In 1962, at the age of 36, Miles Davis was already a music […]