Latest News, October, 2011
Here’s a photo taken backstage at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York City at a Marian McPartland and Friends show on September 19, 2011. Marian was in great form at 93 and 1/2 years! She played two tunes in each of two sets.
The “Friends” were jazz musicians brought together by Jon Weber, jazz musician extraordinaire who is seen in In Good Time talking and playing some of Marian’s “Portraits” tunes. Shari Hutchinson, producer of Piano Jazz, was there as well and helped organize the event. Marian played “Sweet and Lovely” as her opening tune with her Trio. Jon Weber then joined her for a 2 piano duet of “I’m Old Fashioned”. Marian had her harmonic touch on display. She even wove in a witty musical quote of “Chatanooga Choo Choo” in her solo. I think Marian was more even more energized for the second set starting at 10:30PM.
“Friends” included musicians: Bill Charlap, Mulgrew Miller, Larry Willis, Kenny Barron, Helen Sung, Grace Kelly, Dado Moroni, and up and coming young jazz musicians. Dizzy’s artistic director, Todd Barkan, was the evening’s enthusiastic emcee.
It was amazing to sit backstage and talk with a musician who then would go out and burn up the stage with their performance. One example is Helen Sung. We talked about how she was gathering her energy having just flown in from the West Coast on a red eye special. Then she went on stage and played a phenomenal piece. I think it was James P. Johnson composition or something written in homage to him. But it was a solid knockout performance and elicited wild applause. Later Bill Charlap performed an exquisite rendition of “All The Things You Are”. Backstage, as Bill played, all the musicians grew silent and listened attentively. Bill ended the tune with a quick version of “Kaleidoscope”, Marian’s theme song for Piano Jazz. Everyone broke into applause for this nice nod to Marian. Backstage Marian gave a warm smile. I felt I was witnessing a special moment and it was a privilege to be there.
Screenings in Maine in October at USM, UNE, and Bowdoin and then I go on tour in the Mid-Atlantic states as part of On Screen/ In Person. I’ll have 7 in person screenings in 13 days in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. Then back to Maine for the weekend of November 18 at the Movies at the Museum. On December 4 I am at Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville. The last scheduled screening this year is on December 10 at Port Washington Public Library, Port Washington, NY. This is the only screening Marian will attend. Port Washington is where she lives. I am very much looking forward to that screening.
Thanks for your support. I hope to see you at a screening.
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