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Tag: Pittsburgh

Countdown: Where To Go & What To Hear In NEO, Feb. 22-29

Ken Vandermark's Edition Redux
Ken Vandermark’s Edition Redux. Photocredit: Alex Inglizian

Friendly Experiencers,

It’s been a minnit, I know, but the last eight weeks has been a bit of a time, which is to say that big changes are afoot, but getting on the good foot, I should have the time and mental energy to resume the coverage here and there’s much to cover on the NEO scene in the very near future. So let’s get right to it.

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Anthony Taddeo’s Jazz all’Italiana Band Alla Boara Sets Sail With A New Record And Tour

Alla Boara

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.

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Kurt Elling and Dan Bruce Turn Up The Musical Voltage This Week

Kurt Elling and SuperBlue at Cleveland Museum of Art

In his 30-odd years on the scene, Grammy-winning singer Kurt Elling has topped the Down Beat Critics Poll 13 times and has received the Jazz Journalists Association Male Singer of the Year award eight times. He’s done this while singing texts written by Theodore Roethke and Walt Whitman, a Monkees hit, one of Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes. Whitney Balliett might have had Elling’s musical choices in mind when he wrote his famous characterization of jazz as being “the sound of surprise.”

Yet none of Elling’s neck-snapping musical eccentricities was as shocking as SuperBlue, which will come to Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art Wednesday.

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Countdown: Your Planning Guide for Music August 24-31

It’s going to be a great weekend for music in NEO, but where to start? Countdown gets you ready with a roundup of some of the most notable music events that you might want to check out. Think of it as your every-Thursday planning guide to a weekend of music and good times.

George Benson, Friday, Aug. 25, 8 p.m., Cain Park, Cleveland Heights

Given his chart success as a vocalist, it’s easy to forget just how much jazz guitar George Benson can play when the spirit moves him. Whether that spirit will be with him at Cain Park is an open question. The smart money will be on a medley of hits with maybe one familiar burner to remind us all that the old man (Benson is 80) can bring the fire that lit up Pittsburgh’s Hill District six decades ago.

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Trading Fours: Your Guide To The Weekend’s Most Interesting Music

Friendly Experiencers,

The response to last week’s Trading Fours post was so positive that I’ll make it a weekly feature on Thursdays. Think of it as your planning guide to a weekend of music and good times.

The Rumble, Thursday, August 3 , 8 p.m., Beachland Ballroom

Fat Tuesday may be six months in the future, but it’s never too early to get your second line strut on, especially when New Orleans funk krewe The Rumble rolls into the Beachland Ballroom. Led by Second Chief Joseph Boudreaux, Jr. of the Golden Eagles (son of Big Chief Monk), this seven-man party machine has the pedigree to turn Collinwood into the Quarter, if only for a night. Crazy Marvin & the Blues Express opens.

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