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Posts Tagged ‘jazz’

Byard Lancaster was a Philadelphia legend and internationally-known jazz performer who passed away several years ago. I knew Bayard through my partner Barbara McPherson who met him at the Mt. Airy post office (she is now retired!) where Byard came in and played the piccolo. Barbara started drumming with Byard and I took the video below at City Hall at the African-Carribean Affairs Counsel where they performed each month.

This week we attended a concert that Byard’s sister Mary Annn Lancaster Tyler (an accomplished musician herself) produced at the Settlement Music School in Germantown, Philadelphia. Following are some photographs that I took.

Barbara-and-dancer-on-stage-july-2016

 

Barbara-and-Maryanne

barbara-monette-on-stagebarbara-on-stage-with-dancer-two-july-2016

barbara-walker-song-july-2016lisa-chavous-silence-july-2016

barbar-on-stage-piano-july-2016

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ken-ulansky-blur

jeannie-brooks-sepia

jeannie-brooks

hands-on-keyboard

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Clef Club Student Ensemble pianist at Restoration

Clef Club student ensemble at Unitarian Univeralist Church of the Restorationlit chalice -- UU Church of the Restoration Philadelphiaclose up of trombonehands of piano player-- Clef Club Student Ensemble at Restoration ChurchSteve Turre playing conch at Chicken Bone Beach in Atlantic City

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For my fifty-sixth birthday, my partner took me to Relish, a celebrated jazz club in Philly, to see The Sherry Butler Quartet.  The evening was enchanting. We had dinner (Southern style, delicious, very large portions) and then saw the show.  Sherry Butler is a Philly institution — extremely powerful — and her quartet was pretty awesome too.  My favorite song of the evening was Four Women originally done by Nina Simone.  Nina lived in Center City Philadelphia and we saw her on Penn’s campus decades ago when we were freelancing for the concert producer. Philadelphia has quite a jazz history!

Sherry is a customer Barbara first met at the Mt. Airy Post Office and she also performed at the Unitarian Universalist church in Philly on Stenton Avenue last year.

Relish is an experience not to be missed — we’re planning to go back soon.  Here are some photos from the evening.

Sherry Butler singing at Relish

Sherry Butler Quartet at Relish

vocalist and keyboardist of Sherry Butler Quartet

Sherry Butler Quartet at Relish

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Monnette Sudler in concert at the UU church on Stenton Avenue

Monette Sudler and

Lynne Riley on Alto Sax

"Ladies Night Out" Luciana Padmore on drums

Just last weekend at the Unitarian Universalist* Church of the Restoration on Stenton Avenue in NW Philly, Internationally renowned Monnettte Sudler and her band “Ladies Night Out” played a dynamite concert to a full house. The concert was part of Philadelphia’s Official Jazz Appreciation Month in April.  “Ladies Night Out” includes Lynn Riley on saxophone and flute, Noriko Kamo or Organ and Luciana Padmore on drums.

It was a big weekend at Restoration with guest minister, African American UU historian and author Mark Morrison-Reed was also at the church for a reading, workshop and as a guest minister.  He also gave the sermon at the morning service at the Unitarian Society of Germantown on Lincoln Drive in Philadelphia.  To read my Huff Post piece that mentions Mark’s most recent book  The Selma Awakening, How the Civil Rights Movement Tested and Changed Unitarian Universalism, (2014, Skinner House Books), click here

*Unitarian Universalism is a faith that encompasses all religious/spiritual backgrounds (including atheism, agnosticism and Buddhism) in a “free and responsible search for truth and meaning”.

Monnette Sudler and

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Just the other night, I attended a concert of love songs in an art gallery in Old City Philadelphia. Many of the songs were composed by Michael Biello and sung and played (on the piano) by his partner Dan Martin.  Dan was joined by Robin Burdulis on percussion and Tony Pirollo on Cello.  It was a truly magical evening.

Robin is an old friend – and through her my partner, Barbara, and I, have become acquainted with Dan and Michael’s moving theatrical and musical work over the decades.

Robin and and Barbara -- Poopsie and Boom -- together again!Entire group -- Dan Martin and company

Dan Martin at pianoguest at concert -- fabulous outfitRobin's hand on drumOld friends at the gallery

Just last year, I joined a church for the first time in my life.  This prompted a few long term acquaintances to remark, “Janet? Janet joined a church?”  One was talking to my partner who later rolled her eyes at me and said  “I wonder why she said that?”  Guilty as charged.  I was one of the seven percent of Americans raised without religion. So why ruin a good thing? I wanted to learn about the nature of belief — plus it’s a great community — truly  diverse.  It’s a Unitarian church — specifically Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration in East Mt. Airy. I’ve met lots of people from various religious and a-religious backgrounds — agnostics, atheists, Buddhists, Christians,  Jews. One thing we all have in common is that we are all thinking and questioning people.  I’m even in the company of some long-time fellow travelers.

One of the activities that I’ve been involved with is the  Jazz  Vespers  series. This last month featured  “Pluto is a Planet,” a LGBT jazz group that played original  compositions and jazz standards by LGBT  greats, including Billy Strayhorn who composed the popular standard “Take the A Train.” The concert prompted me to look up Strayhorn. Here’s what I found on LGBT History dot com:

Strayhorn, 1915 – 1927, was best known for his collaborations with Duke Ellington. According to LGBT History Month dot com, Strayhorn was openly gay. There has been speculation that his sexual orientation prompted him to avoid the spotlight. He was active in the U.S. civil rights movement.

“Although Strayhorn and Ellington collaborated on numerous piece, Strayhorn remained fairly anonymous and was rarely credited or compensated for his work,” according to LGBTHistory.com.

Below are some photos that I took of Pluto is a Planet.

Pluto is a Planet

Pluto is a Planet

To learn more about the Jazz Vespers series at UUCR, click here 

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