Archive for December, 2011

Year in Review

Monday, December 26th, 2011
“I believe one must live in a region for a considerable time and absorb its character and spirit before the work can truly reflect the experience  of the place.”
Ansel Adams


Syracuse University Hill

Syracuse University Hill

Homecoming Queen (of Comedy)

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

Last lady standing: Jessiemae Peluso performs at Justin's Grill

Last lady standing: Jessiemae Peluso performs at Justin’s Grill

Along with homeboys Dan Frigolette (Baldwinsville High grad) and Moody McCarthy (Corcoran High grad),  Jessimae Peluso (Henniger High grad) turned the Friday before Christmas at Justin’s Grill into a laugh factory.

I saw Frigolette and McCarthy when the visited for a show last year and again they delivered laughs from the moment they hit the stages.  This was the first time I’d seen Peluso, as well as the MC Yannis Pappas however, and they were comical.  I particularly enjoyed when they each hurled hilarious verbal assaults at a lone (female) heckler to the delight of the packed crowd.

Some of  humorous anecdotes also included Peluso calling her new meal plan and McCarthy’s revelation  on the availability of real fruit cobbler(s).

TSAS: The Sounds at Sitrus

Saturday, December 24th, 2011
Rick Balestra and his trio play the Sitrus Lounge at the Sheraton Hotel.

Rick Balestra and his trio played the Sitrus Lounge at the Sheraton Hotel Friday night.

Facts and the Stories We Tell

Friday, December 23rd, 2011
“We develop the capacity to influence the stories we tell ourselves, so that they empower rather than undermine us.”
Tony Schwartz

Today I heard a wonderful story on NPR’s Tell Me More about an exhibit for the work of Charles “Teenie” Harris, a great visual story-teller. Thanks to some help  from the Carnegie Museum of Art’s Tey Stiteler, I got to check out a photo of Albert Mills, who was the first African-American detective in Pittsburgh.  Mills later retired to the Syracuse-area and I knew him from my previous job.

Here is a photo Stiteler found.

Neighborhood in Transition (part 10)

Saturday, December 17th, 2011
Syracuse Stage (construction)

Syracuse Stage (construction)

Generations of Art & Activism

Monday, December 12th, 2011
George Kilpatrick and his sister at the Opening of "Child of the Universe" at CFAC

George Kilpatrick and Sherri Kilpatrick Duchenne at the Opening of “Child of the Universe” at CFAC

I got a chance to check out the inaugural show for mixed media artist and activist, George Kilpatrick, Sr. on Saturday. The show,held at the Community Folk Art Center (CFAC), was attended by community members, artists, as well as the Kilpatrick family.

Media personality George Kilpatrick, Jr. opened the show by reading a poem his dad wrote called “The Artist.”  George’s sister Sherri Kilpatrick Duchenne also told a story about how her dad taught the family to harness the  power of the pen.

George Kilpatrick, III, a student studying at Howard Unviersity, representing third generation of the family, sang a soulful rendition of “Yesterday,” which reminded me a lot of the Donny Hathaway version.

Unplugged: George Kilpatrick, III, sings "Yesterday" by the Beatles

Unplugged: George Kilpatrick, III, sings “Yesterday” by the Beatles

The show is on display for the rest of this week.

Griot Vanessa Johnson presents George Kilpatrick, Jr. with a quilt

Griot Vanessa Johnson presents George Kilpatrick, Jr. with a quilt

Talking all that Jazz

Friday, December 9th, 2011
Noah Kellman, musician, blogger, CNY-native (circa 2005)

The Superfriends: Noah Kellman, musician, composer,  blogger, plays on stage with Spencer Murphy and Nick Frenay (circa 2005).

I got a message yesterday that pianist Noah Kellman, a musician and young veteran of the local jazz scene will be writing a blog for the CNY Jazz Arts Foundation.  I first heard him play on one of the scholastic stages for the Jazz in the City (now the Northeast Jazz & Wine) with Nick Frenay and Spencer Murphy.  Since then Kellman, now an award-winning pianist and composer, has shared the stage with Nicholas Payton, Antonio Hart and he’s even played the Grammys.  Talk about a rising star. It will be good to read an insider’s perspective on the local jazz scene from an accomplished home-grown talent.