At this point, Dave Rempis, who will appear with drummer Tyler Damon at Saturday gig presented by New Ghosts, is a known quantity in Cleveland. By his own count, the Chicago multi-reedist said, “I must’ve played there 12 or 15 times. It’s often more than once a year. Oh man, the list goes on and on.”
The legendary Patti LaBelle has been on stages large and small since Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House. As a performer, she’s done it all and seen it all, but she couldn’t have expected what happened at her 2015 performance at the Ohio State Fair in 2015.
“She called a group of guys [on stage] as a thing in her show,” Dane Vannatter wrote me in an exchange yesterday. “She asks them to sing, they can’t, and the audience laughs when she says, ‘Well then dance!’”
Vannatter was one of those guys, but when he opened his mouth to sing, the great soul diva fell silent. She couldn’t have known that Vannatter had been on a few stages himself, and when she gathered herself to address her unexpected guest, all she could say was, “You better sing, fool! My God!”
Being a creative musician in Chicago almost demands a willingness to play anything, everywhere with everybody. Percussionist Tim Daisy and saxophonist Ken Vandermark, who will appear at Convivium 33 Friday, Jan. 13, embody that imperative as well as anyone, having collaborated with hundreds of musicians, movement and visual artists on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet despite lengthy resumes that suggest an affinity with musical speed dating, the two are just as committed to long-term relationships, especially their own.