Meg Okura has played with artists as varied as David Bowie, Lee Konitz, Diane Reeves and Cirque du Soleil. The Juilliard-trained violinist even made a solo debut at the Kennedy Center when she played European concert music exclusively. So her versatility is beyond question. But who could have predicted that she would be as adept with deadpan humor as she is with a bow?
Tag: Anthony Taddeo
One of the highlights of a performance by Alla Boara, percussionist Anthony Taddeo’s jazz-meets-Italian-folk-music project, is “Mamma Mia Dammi Cento Lire.” It’s a musical setting of conversation between a young woman, wheedling 100 lire from her mother so that she can go to America to start a new life, and her mother who warns that if she leaves her village the feckless girl will drown when her ship sinks. All this is set to an earworm of a dancing melody. The words, brought to vivid life by Amanda Powell, a superb singing actress, have the sly worldliness and teasing insinuation of opera buffa.
This is the time of year when the live music scene cools a bit, but gentle readers of let’s call this, let nothing you dismay. A sleighful of holiday shows by some of Northeast Ohio brightest vocalists more than picks up the slack. Even if you feel a little Scrooge-y about seasonal favorites, our quartet of singers are here to offer you a cookie tray of holiday treats both salty and sweet. So dig in, dig?
I look at let’s call this as a sort of chamber of commerce for the local scene. It’s important work, especially given the general indifference of the local media to improvised music in the Black American tradition and it’s great fun for me to do, a gateway for this NEO neophyte into the thriving local scene. But two posts a week takes a lot of time to crank out and with holiday travel, my anniversary and listening to catch up with before the yearend polls are due, the next couple of weeks will concentrate on these Countdown previews of upcoming events. Fortunately, there’s a lot to talk about, including more new releases, the first big event at a significant new venue and more. Buckle up. It’s going to be an interesting ride.
Now that Halloween is over and it’s safe to go out again, a cornucopia of jazz and jazz-adjacent events awaits NEO music fans. Grab what’s left of those fun-sized chocolate treats and whatever money remains after Bandcamp Friday (yup, it’s that time again, maybe for the last time), and head out to hear a bountiful fall harvest of sound. Where do you start? Start below.