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John Chacona writes Posts

What I’ll Do On My Summer Vacation

The solstice may be days away, but with temperatures in the 90s this week, no one in northeast Ohio can deny the early arrival of summer. Man, it’s hard to get anything done when it’s this hot, but that’s not why today’s usual feature post is taking a break. Bigger things are happening in let’s call this land. We’re moving.

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David Janeway Stands On Detroit Piano’s Higher Ground

For more than a century Detroit’s factories have sent tens of millions of vehicles into the world. That’s remarkable, but so too is the city’s assembly line of great jazz pianists: Hank Jones, Barry Harris, Tommy Flanagan, Alice Coltrane and Geri Allen. Lesser-known, but equally polished are figures such as Terry Pollard, Johnny O’Neal, Bob Neloms and Kirk Lightsey. Add 69-year-old David Janeway, who will appear at BOP STOP on Friday with Robert Hurst and Billy Hart, to that distinguished list.

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Countdown: Where To Go & What To Hear In NEO June 6-13

photocredit: Thom Kerr

Friendly experiencers,

Forget the headline of this post. The question this week is how to decide where to go & what to hear Friday night. Between an A-list Jamey Haddad quartet hit, a night of Roma jazz in beautiful CVNP and a powerhouse band led by saxophonist John Petrucelli, that’s a tall order. And that’s only if you won’t be at The Treelawn for Fred Hersch (see you there?). Still, this is a good problem to have and there is no wrong answer to this question. Whichever you choose, let me know what you heard and how you liked it. I’ll open the comments to this post, but please keep it clean and respectful.

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Stars Align For Fred Hersch at The Treelawn

Fred Hersch
photocredit: Roberto Cifarelli

Silent, Listening, Fred Hersch’s affecting new recording, begins with a moody cover of “Star Crossed Lovers,” an Ellington/Strayhorn composition that was also on Hersch’s first trio recording as a leader, Horizon (Concord Jazz,1985). But don’t read too much into the programming. In music and in life, Hersch, who will play a solo concert at the Treelawn Music Hall on Friday, takes things a day at a time.

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Countdown: Where To Go & What To Hear In NEO May 30 – June 5

Evelyn Wright
Evelyn Wright

Friendly experiencers,

If you want a wellness check of the local improvised music scene, start with checking the vitals. Return appearance by a touring artist: Check. Exciting new project from ace local players: Check. Free concert: Check and bonus points for the beloved Cleveland artists on the marquee. So things are looking good as northeast Ohio heads into summer and a stacked June calendar is just getting started.

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Stephen Philip Harvey Runs On Big Nerd Energy

Stephen Philip Harvey is a saxophonist, educator, composer, arranger, clinician, label executive, husband and son. Though he just turned 32 last Friday, you have to wonder where he gets the energy.

“I think it’s unfortunately a symptom of high functioning anxiety,” he said with a laugh that belied the sentiment. “Realistically, and emotionally,” he added, “I just really, really love music.”

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