Posts Tagged "jazz piano"

1920’s-themed Holiday Party

»Posted by on Jan 24, 2015 in Jazz Piano, Piano Gigs | 0 comments

1920’s-themed Holiday Party

This just may have been the most fun themed party I’ve been to. It was set in the Roaring 20’s with a live jazz band, professional dancers, horse races, photo booths, while I played solo jazz piano in the ‘speakeasy.’ The decorations were superb, the people were a blast and the food was incredible! I hope they do it again next year …

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Jazz Festival in Breda, NL

»Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Jazz Festivals | 0 comments

Jazz Festival in Breda, NL

Happily stumbled across the Breda Jazz Festival today! It was set up in the old downtown area, all outdoors and free. There were 16 stages, each packed with listeners holding beer cups and various finger foods. We hardly made it to those groups though as we were pleasantly sidetracked by a couple of local bands playing in the streets. It was very New Orleans – my favorite. The first was called Rue d’Anvers, and we encountered them marching up to an opening in the square where they set up camp and played a few tunes. They had all my favorite parts of New Orleans street music: tuba bass line, multiple horn harmony sections, and spunky solos. Once they wrapped up, we continued on our way and a few more steps later came across Honkers Brass Band. A...

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Making a Solo Piano Jazz Setlist

»Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 in Music Reflections, Piano Gigs | 0 comments

Making a Solo Piano Jazz Setlist

For my regular weekend gig I play about an hour of jazz standards (mostly) as background music at a restaurant while people eat dinner. After making setlists for weddings, Christmas parties, and stage events, I initially thought that coming up with a setlist for an hour of background music would be easy. It was easier than other types of performances, but it required more thought than I expected. Music contributes to the ambiance of the room and people – whether or not they are paying you their full attention for the hour – are taking it in. They appreciate hearing a few songs that they recognize, such as old favorites that they don’t hear often, showtunes and movie themes, cool piano versions of great folk/rock songs, or jazzy takes on...

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Automated Jazz Band App

»Posted by on Feb 21, 2014 in Jazz Piano | 0 comments

Automated Jazz Band App

I’ve always had a hard time practicing rootless voicings in my left hand. I have no problem playing them with my right hand, but when playing with a bassist the pianist is supposed to play them with his/her left. The difficulty in practicing these voicings is that because they sound very different (dare I say ‘wrong’ to the untrained ear) without a bass note! I tried crossing my hands and playing the bass with my right hand, but that was no good. I was looking into hiring a bassist to practice with me when I learned about the iRealPro app, which basically changed my life. Not only does it have thousands of charts that you can download for free (in the forum), but you can put together your own arrangements right on your phone or tablet. Best of...

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Piano at the Cosmos Club

»Posted by on Jan 13, 2014 in Jazz Piano, Music Performances | 0 comments

Piano at the Cosmos Club

I had the pleasure of playing again for the Brattle Group’s DC office. This year, the party was held at DC’s Cosmos Club – a very elegant and respected Washington establishment. Passing several pianos on the way to the banquet hall, the one that was ready for me was a freshly-tuned Kimball. It was very fun to play, and I went through several jazz and latin standards while guests arrived and got drinks. After dinner, we were treated to a fantastic magic show by Michael Cantor, with card tricks, telepathy and stuffed bunnies. It was a pleasant evening with lots of good people...

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