Friday, May 31, 2013

Hard Rock, swing and rock....

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 5/31/13

Yes. The Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood has live music in the casino itself. Last night, in a small lounge off the casino floor, music started at 5PM.  Debbie Orta performed with her husband Nicky on bass and Mel Olmar at the keys. Debbie does American songbook and originals. She, Nicky and Mel do swing. Just before the start of the second set, trumpeter Jack Siegel and his wife, Sheila arrived. Jack uncased his flugelhorn and sat in with the group. They had me clappin' and tappin'. I took the opportunity to chat with Sheila about how she and Jack met.

They each had daughters. One little girl was 8, the other just 5. The girls were friends. One day, Sheilas daughter, told her that the two of them wanted to be sisters and Sheila agreed to be introduced to Jack. They hit it off. Jack says the "closer" came when he invited her out to dinner. She suggested a restaurant to which she had a money saving 'coupon'. Jack says that sealed the deal. This fall they will celebrate their 30th anniversary. The casino itself houses many food opportunities as well. Among them is their premier steak house "Canyon Ranch". It has an ample lounge bar which features Dale Powers and his band on Wed., Thurs, Fri. and Sat. Someone once asked me what the band played. You name it. Ask for Beatles, Ellington, BeeGees, or Prima. Rock 'n Roll, Swing, JAZZ, BLUES, Latin or Dale's originals. They can do 'em all.

Last night had Johnny O on Latin percussion which includes congas, bongos, timbales, claves, tambourines and assorted shaking stuff. He also sings and did a great "Don't Get Around Much Anymore". That song came out when I was little and I always thought the lyric said "Mister Saturday Dance". That was before I started to like girls. On drums and vocals is Mr. Lou Abbot. The cat does sing. He listened to the best and picked up plenty of know-how. Frank, Mel, Bobby. He's got a little of each of them. On Bass, Matt Bonelli.

Educator, past BeeGee instrumentalist and all around great guy. Every once in a while they allow him to sing. Dale plays keyboard and has added an additional board to his stage. He is a showman and really can entertain an audience. He is trying to cover all the bases and has picked up playing guitar and country songs. Personally, I prefer the real Johnny Cash. That's not fair. His efforts were enjoyed by most of those there. My barmaid last night was named Clara. If I were 30 or 40 or better yet 50 years younger-------------I managed to lose $5, a quarter at a time and left in a real good mood. Lots of good stuff tonight. Check the listings and make your "cherce". I am not telling where I will be, because then all you guys will be there and I won't get my choice of seating.  See ya  
Al's Disclaimer:
A short note: The reason I write this is because I love music and words. I do not book acts. I do not promote acts. I do not accept invitations to review artists. I go to venues of my own choice. When and where is not influenced by anything other than who I would like to hear that night or day. If I don't like what I hear, I won't write about it. When I like it I let you all know. I never mention a name without asking permission. "Pardon me, Miss. Would you like to dance?"       

 ~ ~ ~
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Steve Hecht, Director of Piedmont Talent , Passes

Steve Hecht, Director of Piedmont Talent in Charlotte passed away earlier after a fight with cancer. 

Director, agent, and founder of Piedmont Talent in Charlotte, North Carolina, the 51-year-old Hecht oversees a diverse roster that includes such legendary acts as: Johnny Winter, James Cotton, Guy Davis, Candye Kane, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, Magic Slim & the Teardrops, and Sugar Blue.
Founded in 1989 and with a staff of 6, Piedmont Talent also handles: the Heritage Blues Orchestra, Davina & The Vagabonds, the Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Rosie Ledet & the Zydeco Playboys, Mike Zito, Karen Lovely, Shakura S'aida, Smoking Joe Kubek & Bnois King, Debbie Davies Band, Samantha Fish, Homemade Jamz’ Blues Band, Nora Jean, Eden Brent, Phil Wiggins & Corey Harris, Southern Hospitality, James "Super Chikan" Johnson, the Royal Southern Brotherhood, Southern Hospitality, Joe Krown Trio with Walter "Wolfman" Washington & Russell Batiste, JP Soars, Cassie Taylor and the Soul Calvary , Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets, Blues & Burlesque 2012 and others.
Born in New York City in 1962, Hecht graduated from the State University of New York in Binghamton, earning a BA in philosophy. While at college, he worked as a blues radio DJ, and promoter of blues and folk shows at the school. Following college, he signed on as a booking agent at Concerted Efforts in Boston.
A relentless blues and roots advocate, Hecht is on the advisory board of The Blues Foundation, having served two terms on the board of directors. As well, he is a two-time recipient of the Keeping The Blues Alive Award given out annually by The Foundation.

Were You There??? Memories of Ft. Lauderdale's SunTrust Jazz Brunch Jan 4, 2009

First Sundays on the riverfront in Fort Lauderdale have become a jazz institution over the years. Fluctuations in the public and private support of this event have affected the presentation and promotion over the years, but not the presence. Jazz & Blues Florida certainly misses the 'good ol' days" of distributing REAL paper copies of the monthly printed edition of HOT HOUSE FLORIDA to all of our friends that turned out for this event month after month, year after year!
Make it a cultural excursion into the city - it's all right here on the waterfront!

Looking towards downtown....

And a shot over towards the Esplande stage...

Frank C. up in the Peck Courtyard keeping the people happy...

From the top of the PAC steps...

From the top of the PAC steps...

Nice boat!

Tony & Gloria share the Connie H. stage...

Tony & Gloria's stage really attracted a crowd!

gee, I don't know...

It looks like a buidling to me, but the sign says it is the Riverfront, so it must be that!
(Beware edge of the sidewalk on the south side!)

The Sunday crew...Frank, Charlie, Wendy & Dave...

Fishing anyone?

Nice. Very nice...

Moose, alone on stage...

Moose of the Bulletproof Band making some $$$ - buy those CDs folks!

Be sure to sign up for our email list!

Davis & Dow on the main stage..

The lovely and talented Julie Davis...

Frederico Britos - one of the finest musicians in the world!

Kelly Dow & Paul Shewchuk at work!

Waterfront kind of day in FLL!

Can you imagine? They never had a single child take the plunge!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Toots Lorraine & The Traffic to Open Arts Garage Summer Season This Saturday - SOLD OUT!

South Florida Debut of

At Arts Garage

Arts Garage has searched far and wide
to bring you the best in jazz & blues that
you will only experience here first!

Groove to a focused blend of classic vibe with the smoky milieu of west coast blues, Blue-Note jazz and swing jump blues and swing at the South Florida Debut of Toots Lorraine & The Traffic.
Smokin’ hot blues, jazz and swing that will move your spirit and leave you beggin’ for more! Toots sang her heart out while the band behind her rolled out some of the hottest blues heard in these parts in a long time.” The Florida Times Union

“She could be nick-named ‘Torch Song Toots.’ Toots Lorraine & The Traffic deliver up the blues with a strong dose of swing and jazz.” – Springing the Blues

Arts Garage
180 NE First Street, Delray Beach FL 33444
$25-$35 Adv/$5 more at door. Limited seating.

BYOW ~ Bring Your Own Whatever!
Bottle of wine or other favorite beverage
hor d’oeuvres or munchies
making the cultural experience affordable to all

Upcoming Summer 2013 Arts Garage Performances

“Hearing ’Sinatra at the Sands’ marked a moment in my life where I knew this was what I wanted. The way Basie would swing and Sinatra could sing…” -Gianni Bianchini

Gianni was born and raised in South Florida and began playing piano at age 4. Through the influence of his family and friends he quickly began playing jazz and by the time he attended Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach Florida, he had already began performing jazz concert regularly in the South Florida area. Recalls Gianni, “Every time I would go for a drive with my dad when I was kid, he would always play Frank Sinatra, Oscar Peterson, Nat King Cole and many other artists that influenced me as a musician.”
Throughout the music industry, the group has been hailed as the “Buena Vista Social Club of America.” Since its inception, this traditional Cuban Son ensemble has taken audiences back in time to the nostalgic era of early Cuban popular music, combining the structure and elements of Spanish canción and guitar with African rhythms and percussion instruments of Bantu origin.

“A Cuban jam band through and through…offers sumptuous son that any of the masters might envy. They seriously light it up.”—Miami New Times
Directed by bassist and composer Chuck Bergeron, South Florida Jazz Orchestra is a modern big band comprised of many of the best jazz and studio musicians and jazz educators in the southeastern part of the United States. The band’s eclectic repertoire includes original compositions and exciting new arrangements, all influenced by the diverse musical experiences of the South Florida musical community.

One hell of a big band.JAZZIZ Magazine

Fiery redhead, blues-rock singer-songwriter and keyboardist Haas, will knock you out of your seat and keep you utterly mesmerized with her powerhouse belt, unpredictable antics, soulful piano playing, and uncannily honest lyrics. Having been compared to the likes of Regina, Janis, Fiona, Tina and Liza, she is sassy, sexy and, at times, unabashedly dramatic. Her voice and soul reflect Janis Joplin, the lyrical wit and catchy piano licks of Regina Spektor, the sassy, classic spunk of Tina Turner and the unashamed angst of Fiona Apple. 

This powerhouse blues band from New York City is led by singer, songwriter, producer and harp master Mike Markowitz. The band is well-known for its flawless, high energy blues sound, modeled after the great Chicago bands of the 50's. They have played nearly every major metropolitan area in the United States and Canada, some of the toughest hangouts, as well as the most sophisticated stages in the world, never straying from their course of delivering hard back-alley blues and rough rock and roll.

Little Mike Markowitz is a mean harmonica player who cut his teeth in New York City in the late 1970's and early 1980's, backing up legendary Bluesmen Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, and Jimmy Rogers and touring through Europe and the US. He then moved to Florida, and continued to perform and record through the early 2000's. After a hiatus from music, during which he raised his family near Gainesville, Florida, he's back - playing high-energy blues live again. Little Mike & The Tornadoes performance at Arts Garage will be the first show in south Florida in ten years, which will be followed by their 2013 European Tour which will include headlining the annual blues festival in Lisbon Portugal.

Nate Najar is an American jazz guitarist, composer and producer delivering melodies that delight the human spirit. Channeling the essence of Charlie Byrd, Najar’s expressive blend of phrasing, groove and rhythmic refrain delivers compositions informed with his passion for all music, from traditional jazz to blues, gospel, and sizzling Brazilian beats. Featuring Alejandro Arenas on upright bass and Mark Feinman on drums.

“Charlie was my guy… There was just this elegant simplicity in his playing; it always seemed like just the right way to do it.”– Nate Najar

Gypsy jazz in the style of Django Reinhardt/Hot Club of France, central Florida’s Cook Trio is composed of brothers Ian and Jason Cook on guitar, and Kyle Jones on upright bass. With myriad influences from Coltrane to Monk, their music brings an American perspective to France’s classic Jazz Manouche.

“Outstanding guitar work will blow you away.” – Orlando Weekly

“Haunting and beautiful.”—

Guitar master Thomas is best known as a founding member of the gutsy blues-rock foursome  Smokehouse - the genre of Florida swamp blues, a killer variation of Louisiana blues. Robert’s sound is influenced by many of his heroes including Lightnin’ Slim, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, and Lazy Lester.

“… an eclectic gumbo of Delta hooks, Louisiana merriment, and top-notch musicianship.”Living Blues

The comparison is inevitable. On a passionate mission to nurture the musical legacy left by Puente Sr., Latin jazz Mambo king Tito Puente Jr. carries his father with him – imprinted on his physical being and locked in his soul. It’s in his looks, his joy, and his music.

“My father is a great inspiration for why I perform. It’s a wonderful feeling and people remember this. He is the only and true influence for why I do what I do.”– Tito Puente, Jr.

Performing together for over 30 years, Nakasian and O’Brien have entertained audiences all around the world as featured artists. Pianist O’Brien brings spirited tempos and seasoned pure style as he sets the standard from ballads to bebop. Featuring vocals by Nakasian who evokes Fitzgerald and Vaughan, and their 19-year-old daughter, jazz singing sensation Veronica O’Brien.

“Vocal virtuosity…broad range of material that showed [Nakasian’s] assurance on easygoing ballads, soft, Brazilian scat singing, and punchy pep songs.” – The New York Times

Blues for the 21st century, featuring Longineu Parsons and Ted Shumate, that will take you from Louis Armstrong to Howlin’ Wolf to Miles Davis to Jimi Hendrix and beyond. Parsons has been hailed by critics internationally as one of the world’s finest trumpet players. He also performs on recorder, flute, percussion and is a vocalist. Acclaimed worldwide, guitarist Ted Shumate has performed and recorded with some of the most famous musicians in the history of jazz and blues.

“Professional, classy, smooth, sophisticated and urbane.”Jazz & Blues Florida Magazine

Linda Witsell continues her traditions of communing and jamming on straight-ahead jazz and contemporary styles. Linda is something of an inconspicuous insurgent in the regional jazz kingdom. Her adeptness on flute is sweet and particularly outspoken. She’s got big, healthy, highly individual ideas on flute, and about how to push jazz beyond its own boundaries.

7/19-8/11, Wed-Fri, 7:30pm | Sat, 2pm | Sun, 7pm

Featuring 24 of Garland’s greatest hits, including “Get Happy,” “That’s Entertainment,” “The Trolley Song,” and of course, “Over the Rainbow.”  An unforgettable musical portrait of a child actor turned Hollywood star who captivated a nation with her spectacular talent and tumultuous life.  “My history of my life is in my songs.“– Judy Garland

Summer Tune-Up | A Play-Reading-Concert Series ($15-20)
Thursdays, 7:30pm, 6/5, 6/13, 6/20, 6/27

Arts Garage Summer Tune-Up series is a new initiative of The Theatre at Arts Garage to provide the greater Delray Beach community with an immersion into the newest work in American musical theatre being written today.  If you are a musical theatre fan, but are tired of a constant diet of the old “war-horses,” and have been wondering what our best and brightest young musical theatre talent has been creating, these four new musicals, performed in a play-reading concert format, with scripts in hand, will illuminate the innovative musical and playwriting styles that are coming from the minds and imaginations of these extraordinary playwright/composers.

Set in the ‘60’s to a foot-stompin’ country-pop score, this feisty new musical tells of family, fortune, patriotism, and romance.

A brand-new theatrical song cycle about six mixed-up strangers in a room, on an inner quest to feel “something like okay.”

“A high-decibel romantic comedy with a seriously unnerving edge….” –The New Yorker

A dark musical comedy about an extremely serious subject in an unexpectedly imaginative and funny way.

About Arts Garage
Arts Garage is the venue of choice for a diverse array of local, national and international performers, as well as the preferred destination for those in search of arts seekers and aficionados. Established in April 2011, its mission is to collaborate with emerging artists and cultural innovators to facilitate an exchange of art and ideas and present cutting-edge, interdisciplinary performances and exhibitions.

Located in the heart of Delray Beach, at 180 NE First Street in Pineapple Grove on the ground level of a parking garage, Arts Garage seeks to transform Delray Beach into a boutique metropolitan city through arts and culture. The venue’s casually intimate ambiance reflects the feel of its City, and the Garage’s BYOW policy is avidly applauded.

For more information on Arts Garage, performances and booking tickets, visit the organization’s website:
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Last call for SUMMER SAVER promotion package for June through August at only $125 – A $319 savings!

What are you doing to make your summer better, gig-wise or business-wise?

Summer is upon us and Jazz & Blues Florida understands what that means for the Florida music scene, so we are offering a super promotion package to provide a competitive edge to see you through the summer.  We are still taking orders  ( until Thursday, May 30, 2013) at 10pm for as many orders as we can process and still get the June edition out on time (12:01am, June 1st). It takes about an hour to process each order, so can handle only about 5 more orders. For those that don’t get in this month, we will be offering a similar package for a later three month period, depending on banner space availability. Our limit is 15 banners per page, so there is a good chance we will sell out in some areas like we did last summer.

Don’t let summer happen to you! If you have seats to fill for shows, gigs to get booked, CDs to sell, tickets to concerts to move, or festival attendees to reach, this program and this price is YOUR TICKET. Reply to this email NOW to get things in place. 

Need a nudge? Take a look at this page and think about what it would take to generate this much activity/traffic/distribution on your own:


Quarter Page Display Ad in Jazz & Blues Florida ezine w/ Facebook integration ($60)
Listing page side banner (Static) ($50)
Banner development  ($30)
Email blast/News blog posting w/ Facebook integration ($60)
Premium Listing ($8)

Quarter Page Display Ad in Jazz & Blues Florida ezine w/ Facebook integration ($60)
Listing page side banner (Static) ($50)
Premium Listing ($8)

Quarter Page Display Ad in Jazz & Blues Florida ezine w/ Facebook integration ($60)
Listing page side banner (Static) ($50)
Premium Listing ($8)

Sub Total:  $444
Summer Saver Package Discount: $319
Total Cost (prepaid current accounts only) $125

Looking forward to working for you!


Jazz & Blues Florida
(561) 313-7432

 Did you know that as Florida’s ONLY promotion platform for live jazz & blues:
o       We have the most comprehensive festival page for Florida jazz & blues:
o       We have the most complete listing of Florida jazz & blues performances: 
o       We have the most comprehensive and active news blog for Florida related jazz & blues news:
o       We have the largest listing of current releases from Florida jazz & blues artists:

o       We have the most complete and current listing of Florida jazz and blues associations and radio/broadcast programs:

First performance review...but not the last for Al!

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 5/30/13

This was written a long time ago, after a performance by Bette Midler at the Greek Theater in Hollywood CA.

     Sunday night, I was fortunate enough to experience and be part of one of those rare moments when an entertainer and an audience share one another's love. My friends, my wife Rose and myself arrived at the Greek a little earlier than we usually do. It was raining. We parked and sat in the car, talking about the good B.B.Q. dinner we had just consumed. When the rain let up, we took up a position on a bench to enjoy a favorite pastime---people watching and making appropriate comments. "Look at that hair!!!"---Why do the fattest girls wear tank-tops?" ---"Definitely high!!!!"---"She can't own a mirror"---"Definitely Gay!!!"---"Positively Hollywood"---The T-shirts, as usual made great statements about the Southern California lifestyle. The saying seen most often by far---"BETTE! I LOVE YOUR TITS"---It was universal. Regardless of sex or sexual orientation. Guys, gals, straight and gay all seemed to have this 'thing' for Ms. Ms's, boobs. The audience weren't the only ones to admire her breasts. The inimitable Bette Midler did 15 minutes on the subject herself.  An amazing performance. One minute her mouth was full of whorehouse and the next she was the complete vocal artist. Costume, choreography, interpretation, voice---all creative and perfect---a visual and audible sensation.

She completed her performance and then did the encore the audience demanded with their rousing applause. She sang "The Rose".  Unending, enthusiastic applause brought her back again. She repeated the song, explaining that it was the only thing she had left that they were prepared to do. She asked that we sing along if we cared to and many people did. Bette Midler sings the s--- out of that song. The audiences response to this second encore was even greater than before. No one had left. (unusual for L.A.). Almost everyone was on their feet, applauding, loud, hard and untiringly. Ms. Midler returned to the center of the stage. The applause thundered down. She took the mic in her hand and it seemed she was looking each  and every one of us in the eye. Bette asked, "Where were you the last 3 nights?". Again she explained that "The Rose" was the only encore and to please sing along. She counted it and the band picked up the melody and the rhythm---She and the audience started the lyric. Bette sang the first verse with us, then she stopped and motioned the band to "bring it down". The combined voices of the audience showered Ms. Midler with love. She lowered her head and covered her eyes with her hands. The last notes faded into the now clearing night. She bowed long and deep and looked up---no act---no show biz---no big ending---just Bette Midler and an audience. She ran off, head held high. I wiped a tear from my eyes.  
Al's Disclaimer:
A short note: The reason I write this is because I love music and words. I do not book acts. I do not promote acts. I do not accept invitations to review artists. I go to venues of my own choice. When and where is not influenced by anything other than who I would like to hear that night or day. If I don't like what I hear, I won't write about it. When I like it I let you all know. I never mention a name without asking permission. "Pardon me, Miss. Would you like to dance?"       

 ~ ~ ~
Traveling to catch some of Florida's good music? Check out these places and rates!
Compare hotel prices and find the best deal -
 ~ ~ ~

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