The King of Nouveau Swing Donald Harrison, Jr. brought his bold sax (plus dance moves) to Syracuse last week and spiced up the Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival like a plate of red beans and rice. His band members, average age about 19, were the perfect compliment and despite the rain, they belted out enough flavor to make Clinton Square sound more like Congo Square…at least for an hour or so.
Archive for July, 2009
The entire list is too long, but here are some of my all-time favorite radio personalities then and now: Frank Ski (Baltimore), Donnie Simpson (Washington, DC), Red Alert (New York), Lady B and Georgie Woods (Philadelphia), DJ Showcase and Rick Wright (Syracuse).
I must add Texas Fred aka the Zydeco Cowboy (Washington, DC) to my list. I’ve checked out his show on the internet for the past few years and he delivers a unique experience over the airwaves.
My friend Jonathan Stephens III sent me this tribute to his cousin Leonard Stephens, Jr., who passed away last week. Leonard was a talented song-writer, producer and a master on the steel pedal guitar.
Props to the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet (pictured are members Nick Frenay and Chad Leftkowitz Brown) the young cats who served as the defacto house band for the Northeast Jazz & Wine Fest late night jam sessions at Jazz Central over the weekend.
SIF Advisory Board member and photographer Alton Ritter shot a lively campaign for The Shoe Crush. See the pictures here.
Sax man Marion Meadows said he’s wanted to perform in Syracuse for a long time, sick especially since his sister lives here. He finally got his chance last night during a sizzling performance for the Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival (formerly Jazz in the Square). During the set Meadows did a roll call of musicans that have influenced his band, people such as Grover, Ella, Miles, Coltrane, James Brown and some others. Then before bringing the house down, he asked a simple question: “What happens when some Funk falls into your cereal?”
The crowd in Clinton Square for the festival concert got the answer, but Meadows added a cresendo later when his band brought their steady rhythms to Jazz Central for an intimate late night jam session (which typically follow the festival performances).
In addition to his quartet, Meadows vibed with musicians such as Eudy Ferdandez and The Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet, featuring Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, Noah Kellman, Nick Frenay, Zach Brown, and Corey Fonville.
Joe Magnarelli also joined the session, which funked up the house til well past midnight.
Karen Lee, head of the Karen Lee Group, offers advice for looking better in photographs.
“I was lucky to be doing the right thing at the right place at the right time.”
–photographer Julius Shulman
I met designer Pamela Williams last week during her first annual “Elegance from the Soul” Fashion Extravaganza. She explained that about 3 years ago she was diagnosed with stage-4 colon cancer and put her dreams of fashion and design on hold. During the recovery she was encouraged by video producer and friend Jay Dunmore to rekindle her dreams and career aspirations. So with faith and the strong support of her family, including husband Steven and son Melvin Eisland (aka M. Island), and a cadre of friends, she organized the show.
Williams hopes that in addition to highlighting fashion and designers from around the region, the show will also be a catalyst to raise awareness of cancer.
The show featured a typical runway scheme along with live music. “It was amazing,” Williams said of her son M. Island’s performance. She particularly enjoys his song You Can Make It.
Syracuse’s the Blacklites also performed.
At the close of the show Williams shared her experience and brought many people in the audience to tears. Williams recommended early detection to detect and manage cancer. (She says a portion of the proceeds from the show will be made to the American Cancer Society)
You are truly Friends of God for helping me make this happen, she said.
For a first show the execution was great. I asked Williams how she could top this performance: “Come to next year’s show,” she said.
The dream continues.