30 episodes

Have Podcast, Will Travel. What's your story???

Tales from the Jazzside Tales from the Jazzside

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    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

Have Podcast, Will Travel. What's your story???

    Tales From the Jazz Side with Garfield Moore episode #23

    Tales From the Jazz Side with Garfield Moore episode #23

    Tales From the Jazz Side with cellist/composer/educator Garfield Moore.



    I have known Mr. Moore for quite some time and have had the privilege to perform with him on only one occasion. And that one time, the plethora of knowledge that I gained in that interaction still sits with me today as I progress into new territories of music. Where do I start with the history of this fascinating and seasoned artist? Well, I trust this interview will provide you with some insights. I was very excited to have my long-time friend share his story with you.



    African Americans are not greatly represented in the classical work. Most people do not know that there are more than 300+ Black classical composers and musicians, both deceased and alive. Mr. Moore has been one continuing the slow ever-emerging rise of African Americans breaking the barriers in classical music. Less than 2% of musicians in American orchestras are African American, according to a 2014 study by the League of American Orchestras. Only 4.3% of conductors are black, and composers remain predominantly white as well. Read this interesting 2019 blog post article from NPR – Why is Classical Music So White by Tom Huizenga.



    I as well as thousands of others have had the immense privilege to experience his unique artistry. It has been written that his repertoire is vast, expansive, diverse and eclectic and I would definitely agree with that.



    From the age of 13, when he premiered the Cello Concerto of the great English cellist and Composer, Colin Hampton with subsequent critically praised performances of Concertos of CPE, Bach, Boccherinin, Ibert and Dvorak straight through to include serving as Principal Cellist for the Pacific Philharmonic, the Santa Cruz Symphony, the Alvin Ailey Ballet, Opera Ebony, the Universal Chamber Orchestra, the West End Symphony and the Musical Heritage Society, these are only a few listing of Mr. Moore’s prolific and cumulative career.



    I cannot think of a more appropriate, beautiful human being and phenomenal artist to expand our Tales stories into its new phase of exploration.



    As with all of my guests, there is much to discover about Mr. Moore and I can’t put it all here, but you will find it on his website: Garfield Moore.

    • 52 min
    Tales from the Jazz Side with Simi Stone episode #22

    Tales from the Jazz Side with Simi Stone episode #22

    Tales with singer-songwriter/musician/visual artist Simi Stone



    I can’t think of a better way to start my first interview for 2023 than for it to be with the talented, admirable and notably beautiful artist Samantha Molly Lou Sernaker (aka Simi Stone). I have never performed with Simi but I am a fan of both her music and visual artworks. I find that it can be very difficult to find people, whom you can immediately say to yourself – wow, this person is a free and pure spirit-being. Someone who is the embodiment of grace, compassion, love and determination. Simi Stone is one of those people. Not only does she walk the walk, but she talks the talk, all of which you can recognize in her creative endeavors. Her fearless and unflinching dive into the deepest parts of herself encourages us all not to fear what life has to bring but, by working on ourselves and never giving up we can find the self-care and happiness we seek. It is this piercing vulnerability that endears her to anyone who encounters her. And particularly, it is in her performances that you can feel this memorable magic.




    “My songs tend to reflect the conditions of being alive.  The feelings come first, then the words. Human beings fascinate me.  How to find peace.  How to hold on to yourself. Love, despair, and healing inspire me.  Ultimately, I want to make people feel joyful from the music.  Healed by the music,” 
    Simi Stone



    Her career is also a reflection of the progressive and unique person that she is. Besides being one of the first African Americans to navigate the waters of the punk rock era in NYC, her musical associations help lead to the formation of the Afro-punk movement which became the staple of the New York City late-night dance scene. There you could find her making solo appearances with her electric violin set to dance music. Her transition took on a more gritty and rock & roll sound, leading her to form the band Suffrajett. Touring and playing every club under the sun from east coast to west coast, including House of Blues in L.A, Chicago and NYC’s famed Bowery Ballroom, CBGBs and several Summer Stage events with Joan Jett, The Roots, and Erika Badu.  



    In addition to her creative partnership with producer David Baron, over the last few years, Simi has found herself as a guest vocalist on two of Natalie Merchant’s albums: the 2014 self-titled Natalie Merchant, as well as Paradise is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings in 2015, and touring, performing, and recording with The New Pornographers, Natalie Merchant, Neko Case, Conor Oberst, Gipsy Kings, Simone Felice, and Amy Helm. Simi’s backing vocals graced the stage on David Byrne’s 2018 world tour.



    Aside from her musical accomplishments, her visual artwork has been gaining momentum and interest in the art world since she began firmly focusing on pursuing painting in 2014. Some of the work created during this period was included in a three-month showcase at the Ardnaglass Gallery in 2016.  Even though she is still performing, she has been dedicating more of her time to painting artwork pieces for gallery shows in the Hudson Valley.



    There is much to discover about Simi Stone and I can’t put it all here, however, to find out more about Ms. Stone, listen to her music and view her art, visit Simi Stones’ website.

    • 59 min
    Tales from the Jazz Side with Vashon Johnson episode #21

    Tales from the Jazz Side with Vashon Johnson episode #21

    This episode of  Tales will be coming from bassist and composer Vashon Johnson.



    I must admit that it has been a long time since I last aired the show. I recorded this podcast over five years ago and never got around to launching it. But we are back now and ready to hit the road and get some great interviews from some incredibly talented musicians and artisans. happy that my first show for this “come back” is with my “little brother”, Vashon Johnson.



    I’m excited to have as my guest on this episode of tales not only a friend from way back in the day, but someone I feel is like a younger brother. I met Vashon Johnson through my husband Travis Shook when they both were playing with Betty Carter. Since then his career has blossomed and his musical journey has taken him into territory that is definitely not considered jazz. As always and for all of the guests on this show, I have the utmost respect and admiration for this young man’s talent and determination. When an artist explores their love and passion for their craft, so much so that they begin to explore all the possibilities the creative course has to offer and then some, that’s when I know that the exploration itself is the evolution of the performance.



    So much has transpired in his career over the years and our interview was a wonderful way for me to catch up to the happenings in his life. I am very proud and thankful that he took time out to do the show. I have only one regret and that is I should have used the power cord when recording the show because the battery ran down and we lost a bit of the show, only a tiny bit though. What does that mean? It means that I will have him again on the show and we can get his parting words of wisdom.



    About Vashon Johnson



    Crediting significant influences in his life, his list is topped by his parents and Mr. Weber, his grade school band director. Regarding his artistry, it’s bassists like Byron Miller, Darryl Jones, Angus Thomas and Tom Barney among his motivators and mentors.



    The BeginningAt a very early age, Vashon Johnson discovered his profound love of music. By seven years old he began taking formal training in classical piano and continued over a span of eight years. His musical prowess developed quickly and steadily. At 10 years old, Vashon was a trombone player by position in his grade school band, but he was a bass player at heart. He literally pleaded with the band director for a spot as a bassist. After some rapid-fire progress, shortly after entering Gwendolyn Brooks Junior High School in Chicago, he was selected as a member of its award-winning jazz ensemble. Vashon continued to hone his craft throughout high school, excelling in music performance and theory. He was the recipient of many “Outstanding Performer” awards and played in numerous all-state music ensembles.



    Vashon and BettyShortly after graduating from high school Vashon connected with one of his friends who had a gig with the legendary Jazz Singer Betty Carter. Betty had a reputation for graciously affording young artists an opportunity to prove they had the chops for live performance. With a spirit reminiscent of his plea to the band director a few years prior, Vashon vigorously petitioned Betty for his chance on stage with her. Evidently, this impressed Betty, as she called him up from the audience to play in her showcase, saying “Honey you gotta speak up if you want to be a star!” Afterward, she extended him an invitation to join her band (the youngest of them all) on a European tour. All in all, it turned into a fascinating two-year excursion, for which Vashon credits a significant amount of his musical maturity. “It was a life-changing experience in many ways. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was evolving into what I call a “complete musician”. He ca

    • 1 hr 30 min
    Tales from the Jazz Side with Lionel Cordew, episode #20

    Tales from the Jazz Side with Lionel Cordew, episode #20

    Tales is coming to you with guest artist drummer/bassist/guitarist/ composer  Lionel Cordew.



     My guest this month is another accomplished player that I have had the honor to work with while out on the Michael Franks tour. One of the first impressions you may get when first meeting Lionel Cordew is his open and easy going manner, his willingness to cooperate and to go beyond what is required in order to do the best job that he can. And man, can he do the best job. In fact not only is it the best job, but it is an exceptional job. And you don’t have to take my word for it. His resume speaks for itself. In his career so far he has toured, performed and/or recorded with Mike Stern, Kyle Eastwood, Michael Franks, Gino Vanelli, Angelique Kidjo, Lonnie Plaxico, Cassandra Wilson, Roberta Flack, Bill Evans, Gato Barbieri, Chico DeBarge, Kelly Price, Warren Hill, Jon Lucien, Nelson Rangell, Special EFX, The Fantasy Band, Leni Stern, Kirk Whalum, Mark Johnson, New York Voices, George Jinda, Chuck Loeb, Marion Meadows, Christoph Spendel, Chieli Minucci, Mike Stern Band, Wayne Krantz, Regina Carter, and others. His tours have taken him from throughout the United States, to Southeast Asia, Europe, Japan and South America.
    Mr. Cordew grew up in Queens, NY and until recently I wasn’t aware just how many prolific musicians were born, grew up and or lived in this unassuming borough of New York. Joining Lionel we have James Brown, Illinois Jacquet, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgearld, Lenny White, Marcus Miller, Omar Hakim, Najee, Lena Horne, Billy Holiday, Clarence Williams and his wife Eva Taylor, Count Basie, Clark Terry, Tony Bennett, Fats Waller, Dizzy Gillespie, …..
    So its safe to assume that Lionel’s musical influences were not only interior experiences, growing up in a gifted musical family with his brothers as inspiration, motivation sprinkled with a little competitive spirit, but also exterior ones, his neighborhood/community surrounded by prodigious musicians that provided him with a daily diet of musical sustenance. This symphonic immersion from inside and outside is conspicuous when you hear him play because not only did he cut his teeth on drums, but he also learned how to play all types of percussive instruments, as well as guitar and bass.
    This interview is a little different than the ones I’ve recorded in the past in that I ventured into the technical, the mechanics of the instrument, such as drum configurations. I also realize that you can spend years around someone and always discover something amazing and new about them. What better way to come out of a hiatus than to interview Lionel Cordew, a true professional, talented, perceptive musician who has sp

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Tales from the Jazz Side Episode # 20

    Tales from the Jazz Side Episode # 20

    Guest drummer, percussionist, bassist, guitarist, composer, Lionel Cordew, rich musical heritage as been a key component in his multifaceted musical career.
    My guest this month is another accomplished player that I have had the honor to work with while out on the Michael Franks tour. One of the first impressions you may get when first meeting Lionel Cordew is his open and easy going manner, his willingness to cooperate and to go beyond what is required in order to do the best job that he can. And man, can he do the best job. In fact not only is it the best job, but it is an exceptional job. And you don't have to take my word for it. His resume speaks for itself.
    Visit Tales From the Jazz Side website to listen and read more about guest Lionel Cordew.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Tales from the Jazz Side with Jimmy Haslip, episode #19

    Tales from the Jazz Side with Jimmy Haslip, episode #19

    Tales is coming to you with guest electric bassist/composer/arranger/producer, Jimmy Haslip.



    Back in August while playing with Michael and the band in Los Angeles, I had an excellent opportunity to invite this extraordinarily talented and humble gentleman to do an episode of Tales. We conducted the interview backstage after the show. Amidst the noise of the guys packing up and chilling out at the same time, I was able to find out even more information on this fascinating and hardworking musician.



    I first met Jimmy back in 1993 when he was still performing with the Yellow Jackets and I had begun touring with the Michael Franks band. As a longstanding member and co-founder of the Jackets, Jimmy took an amicable hiatus from the group in 2013 to use the time to pursue other artistic challenges and most importantly, to focus on his family. From my own personal experience, when you are a successful touring musician you can spend 10 months on the road, so it made sense after touring and playing with the Jackets for 30 years, the time had come for Mr. Haslip to take a break. But Jimmy didn’t take “a break” per se, instead, he only decided to take his brilliance and imagination and apply it to the new musical avenues that opened before him.




    “Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.”
    Winston Churchill



    I clearly remember when I first launched Tales from the Jazz Side, in June 2013, with Michael Franks being my very first guest, and how grateful I was and still am, to him for sharing his time, life and brilliant mind. Each month I would work on getting guests for the show, recording them, a lot of times while I was on the road with the band. Periodically, Michael would ask me how the show was going and if I needed any help. On one of our backstage chats, he mentioned Jimmy Haslip as a possible guest and offered to connect me to him. The rest, as they say, is history.



    In looking back over the past two and half years of episodes and all of the great stories shared by the guests on those past shows, it seems that what has been a reoccurring point, centers around the necessity for focused discipline coupled with hard work. If anyone represents that ideal it is certainly Jimmy Haslip. Next to Buddy Williams and the late James Brown, he has to be the hardest-working man in show business. Besides his willingness to work smart and diligently, Mr. Haslip is a living and brilliant example of someone, whose love for music, for creating value in life and art, is the guiding force that motivates and inspires him to constantly embrace new challenges. As you listen to this interview you will wonder, where does he find the time? Well, he does find time for his craft as well as for his beautiful wife and family.



    What an honor and a privilege to close out and open the year with this month’s guest. Jimmy Haslip, is a musician steeped in the old tradition, while simultaneously breaking ground for new tradition. A true innovator. And that is a very rare thing these days.



    Happy Holidays and thank you all for reading and listening!!!!!

    • 55 min

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