LSM Newswire

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Final Programming for 2009 Ojai Music Festival (June 11-14) Announced




ĺ─˙an electrifying confluence of artists, music, theater and ideasĺ─¨

(Thomas W. Morris)

March 11, 2009ĺ─ý Ojai, Californiaĺ─ÂThomas W. Morris, artistic director of the Ojai Music Festival and Ojaiĺ─˘s 2009 music director eighth blackbird have announced the final programming for the 2009 Ojai Music Festival, which takes place from Thursday, June 11 to Sunday, June 14, 2009. This season, the four-day Festival, which for six decades has become well known for its fearlessness in championing pioneering musical ideas and personalities, pushes the envelope again with programming that reflects the qualities that have made eighth blackbird a growing musical phenomenonĺ─ţgenre-defying variety in wildly collaborative and visually dramatic presentations.

Mr. Morris and eighth blackbird have gathered many of todayĺ─˘s finest musicians, ensembles, and composers for what Mr. Morris describes as ĺ─˙a wild and diverse musical party of extraordinary talents.ĺ─¨ Among them are freewheeling chamber ensemble Tin Hat; the matchless recorder quartet from Berlin, QNG; American pianist Jeremy Denk; composer/guitarist Steven Mackey, actor/singer Rinde Eckert, and renowned sound sculptor Trimpin.

In programming the Festival, eighth blackbird flutist Tim Munro explains, ĺ─˙Variety is important. We talk often about creating a well-balanced mealĺ─ţnot too salty or spicy or sweetĺ─ţwhere all elements combine.ĺ─¨ The result is a Festival of music that is both fresh and familiar presented with a time-honored Ojai Music Festival aesthetic. The centerpiece of the Festival is the world premiere of a work co-commissioned by the Ojai Music Festivalĺ─ţSteven Mackeyĺ─˘s Slide*ĺ─ţa concert-length, multidisciplinary, music/theater work about the seduction and manipulation of the American psyche, which Mr. Eckert describes as ĺ─˙concert theater, distinct from an oratorio for its involvement of the instrumentalists as theatrical role players.ĺ─¨

Also featured in the Festival will be such treasured masterpieces of the repertoire as J.S. Bachĺ─˘s Goldberg Variations performed by Jeremy Denk in his Festival debut, the world premiere of a semi-staged performance of Schoenbergĺ─˘s Pierrot Lunaire directed by Mark DeChiazza with speaker Lucy Shelton doing sprechstimme, and Steve Reichĺ─˘s Music for 18 Musicians.

The Festival opens and closes with concerts that are distinctively the mark of eighth blackbird. The opening concert includes Thierry de Meyĺ─˘s Musique de Tables, John Luther Adamsĺ─˘s Dark Waves, Takemitsuĺ─˘s Rain Tree, and George Crumbĺ─˘s Music for a Summer Evening. The Festival closes with a four-hour Marathon Finale in three parts, featuring all Festival artists in a visual and aural display of fearless virtuosity and unconventional music-making, highlighted by Reichĺ─˘s Double Sextet written for eighth blackbird, Lisa Bielawaĺ─˘s Kafka Songs performed by Tin Hatĺ─˘s Carla Kihlstedt; John Cageĺ─˘s Construction No. 3, as well as a new work by Nathan Davis for Trimpin and his sculptural creations. Capping the Festival will be Louis Andriessenĺ─˘s highly charged Workers Union.

Ara Guzelimian, dean of the Juilliard School and former artistic director of the Ojai Festival, will moderate the Festival Symposium, which takes place this year at the Matilija Auditorium. Mr. Guzelimian will discuss The Creation of Slide with Steven Mackey and Rinde Eckert, The Creation of a Festival with eighth blackbird, and finally, The Creation of a Performance with Jeremy Denk.

Trimpin, the innovative MacArthur Foundation Award-winning sound sculptor/composer/inventor, returns to Ojai with two interactive art and sound installations in Libbey Parkĺ─ţĺ─˙Sheng Highĺ─¨ and ĺ─˙Giuter-Toy.ĺ─¨ He will also be featured in one of three free Ojai bonus events at the Ojai Theaterĺ─ţa sneak preview of an upcoming feature-length documentary. The two other bonus events are ĺ─˙Trembling Airĺ─¨ featuring flutists Tim Munro and Alexis Kenny in a concert showcasing the diversity of the flute and ĺ─˙BREATHtakingĺ─¨ with QNG in a concert of contemporary repertoire for recorders of all sizes and shapes, which includes the world premiere of a work commissioned for them from composer łÔric Marty by the Canada Council for the Arts

Concerts will take place outdoors at the Libbey Bowl under a canopy of live oaks and safeguarded by the sacred ĺ─˙Weddingĺ─¨ tree, a sycamore thought to have taken root when the first ĺ─˙Americansĺ─¨ set foot on our shores. Other events will be held at Libbey Park, the Ojai Theater and Matilija Auditorium, the site of the original Festival concerts in 1947.

Concert Insightsĺ─ţMusicologist Christopher Hailey and featured artists will engage in a discussion about every Libbey Bowl concert one hour before each of those performances.

2009 Ojai Music Festival Programs

Thursday, June 11, 2009

6:00 p.m. Libbey Park

Trimpin will give the first of two free, live demonstrations of two new interactive sound sculptures created for the Ojai Music Festival. The first is ĺ─˙Sheng High.ĺ─¨ Based on the ancient Chinese instrument, the sheng, the music produced by ĺ─˙Sheng Highĺ─¨ is activated by a motion sensor. At the same time, an arm moving over an eight-foot disc on the floor of the instrument allows viewers to see and hear the composition simultaneously. The second instrument is ĺ─˙Giuter-Toy,ĺ─¨ made from modified plastic toy guitars in all colors. The buttons on the toys are replaced with switches and then hooked up to a computer, producing compositions incorporating 80 different sounds, from musical notes to singing, talking, hip hop sounds, drumming, etc. The music is activated by inserting a coin.

8:00 p.m. Libbey Bowl ĺ─ý Opening Concert

The Ojai Music Festival opens with a program demonstrating how nature inspires the creation of beautiful music with John Luther Adamsĺ─˘s Dark Waves; Takemitsuĺ─˘s Rain Tree, George Crumbĺ─˘s Music for a Summer Evening, and Thierry de Meyĺ─˘s Musique de Tables.

Friday, June 12, 2009

1:00 to Matilija Auditorium ĺ─ý Symposium-Session I

2:00 p.m. Ara Guzelimian in conversation with Steven Mackey and Rinde Eckert ĺ─ý The Creation of Slide

2:15 to Matilija Auditorium ĺ─ý Symposium-Session II

3:15 p.m. Ara Guzelimian in conversation with eighth blackbird ĺ─ý The Creation of a Festival

3:30 to Matilija Auditorium ĺ─ý Symposium-Session III

4:30 p.m. Ara Guzelimian in conversation with Jeremy Denk ĺ─ý The Creation of a Performance

8:00 p.m. Libbey Bowl ĺ─ý Tin Hat Sets Stage for Slide* World Premiere

Tin Hat sets the eveningĺ─˘s stage with an eclectic mix of chamber music with their improvisational stamp. The world premiere of Slide follows. An Ojai Music Festival co-commission, composer/guitarist Steven Mackey, actor/singer Rinde Eckert, and eighth blackbird are featured in this audacious music-theater collaboration with the instrumentalists doubling as theatrical role players.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

11:00 a.m. Libbey Bowl ĺ─ý Jeremy Denk Contrasts Bach and Ives

In what he describes as ĺ─˙a painterly contrast,ĺ─¨ pianist Jeremy Denk will pair Bachĺ─˘s ĺ─˙luminous and sereneĺ─¨ Goldberg Variations with the ĺ─˙raucousĺ─¨ Ives Sonata No. 1. Though written a century apart, Mr. Denk calls both ĺ─˙spartan and spiritual.ĺ─¨

2:00 p.m. Ojai Theater ĺ─ý ĺ─˙Trembling Airĺ─¨ ĺ─ý Bonus Event

Flutists Tim Munro from eighth blackbirdĺ─˘s and Australiaĺ─˘s Alexis Kenny play a program that stretches the flute to unimaginable limits, even transforming it into a drumset in Harold Meltzerĺ─˘s Trapset.

4:30 p.m. Ojai Theater ĺ─ý Trimpin Private Screening ĺ─ý Bonus Event

A preview of an upcoming documentary about the life and work of Trimpin is a special presentation for Festival attendees only.

8:00 p.m. Libbey Bowl ĺ─ý Pierrot Lunaire and West Coast Premiere of Quasi Sinfonia

This concert opens with eighth blackbird performing the West Coast premiere of David M. Gordonĺ─˘s Quasi Sinfonia, a modern take on the traditional symphony, which includes such ĺ─˙alternate instrumentsĺ─¨ as harmonicas; pitch pipes; kazoos; slide whistles; duck, deer, and goose calls and three melodicas. It follows with a semi-staged and costumed performance of Schoenbergĺ─˘s Pierrot Lunaire with speaker Lucy Shelton, directed by Mark DeChiazza and described by eighth blackbird as ĺ─˙a work of fevered intensity, dark gallows humor and touching pathos.ĺ─¨

11:00 p.m. Ojai Theater ĺ─ý ĺ─˙BREATHtakingĺ─¨ ĺ─ý Bonus Event

QNGĺ─ţQuartet for New Generationĺ─ţwill showcase the recorder in all its forms in an innovative program entitled ĺ─˙BREATHtaking.ĺ─¨ The program includes two works by Fulvio Caldini, one of which is composed around the medieval melody Beata Viscera; Paul Moravecĺ─˘s Mortal Flesh, based on an ancient hymn; Wojtek Blecharzĺ─˘s Airlines incorporating unconventional sounds and articulations; and the world premiere of a work commissioned for QNG by the Canada Council on the Arts by composer łÔric Marty in which the artists create a surreal soundscape.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

11:00 a.m. Libbey Bowl ĺ─ý Music for 18 Musicians

Music for 18 Musicians, Steve Reichĺ─˘s seminal chamber work of musical minimalism, will be performed by eighth blackbird and friends, a super ensemble created for this occasion by eighth blackbird, who call this work ĺ─˙a pivotal moment in 20th-century music.ĺ─¨

2:00 p.m. Libbey Park ĺ─ý Trimpin Returns

Trimpin returns to Libbey Park for a second free, live demonstration of his newest interactive sound installations ĺ─˙Sheng Highĺ─¨ and ĺ─˙Giuter-Toy.ĺ─¨

4:00 p.m. to Libbey Bowl ĺ─ý Marathon Finale in Three Parts

8:00 p.m. A fitting conclusion to the 2009 Ojai Music Festival is the Marathon Finale, incorporating all of this yearĺ─˘s Ojai artists in performances that include Reichĺ─˘s Double Sextet, Lisa Bielawaĺ─˘s Kafka Songs, John Cageĺ─˘s Third Construction, and Louis Andriessenĺ─˘s Workerĺ─˘s Union, plus a newly commissioned work for Trimpin and his sculptural creations.

The Ojai Music Festival in Californiaĺ─˘s Ojai Valley enjoys a worldwide reputation for providing artists with the freedom to present music they are passionate about in a place so idyllic that filmmaker Frank Capra transformed the area into Shangri-La for his 1937 film Lost Horizon. All concerts take place at the outdoor Libbey Bowl, once marked sacred by the ancient Chumash Indians, where inspiration and creativity still flourish. From its founding in 1947, a healthy spirit of eclecticism and musical daring produced concerts that were fun and inspiring. That spirit was reinforced in 1954 with the appointment of Lawrence Morton as the Festival artistic director. A man of broad musical tastes, Mr. Morton was a visionary whose constant curiosity and unwavering integrity shaped the festivalĺ─˘s future direction. Under his leadership, the Ojai Music Festival developed an enduring concept whereby the artistic director engages a different music director each year, around whose musical ideas that yearĺ─˘s Festival is built. Thomas W. Morris, the Festivalĺ─˘s current artistic director, began his tenure at Ojai in 2004. Among the Festivalĺ─˘s diverse music directors have been such renowned musical personalities as John Adams, Emanuel Ax, Pierre Boulez, Aaron Copland, Ingolf Dahl, Peter Maxwell Davies, Lukas Foss, John Harbison, Oliver Knussen, Kent Nagano, Igor Stravinsky, Michael Tilson Thomas, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mitsuko Uchida, Robert Spano, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, and last year, David Robertson. The Ojai Music Festival is located in Californiaĺ─˘s Ojai Valley, 75 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Grammy Award-winning sextet eighth blackbird is known for its provocative and engaging performances for ever-growing audiences. Combining virtuosity with a fresh sense of irreverence and panache, the sextetĺ─ţcomprising Tim Munro, flutes; Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinets; Matt Albert, violin and viola; Nicholas Photinos, cello; Matthew Duvall, percussion+; and Lisa Kaplan, pianoĺ─ţdebunks the myth that contemporary music is only for a cerebral few. The ensemble is praised for its performing styleĺ─ţoften playing from memory with virtuosic and theatrical flairĺ─ţand for making new music accessible to wide audiences. Since its founding in 1996, eighth blackbird has commissioned and recorded new works from such eminent composers as Steve Reich, George Perle, Frederic Rzewski, Joseph Schwantner, Jennifer Higdon, Stephen Hartke, Derek Bermel, David Schober, Daniel Kellogg, and Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez. The ensemble has won numerous awards and honors, including the American Music Centerĺ─˘s Trailblazer Award and a Meet the Composer Award in 2007, the 2000 Naumburg Chamber Music Award, and was the first contemporary music group to win the Grand Prize at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, Cedille Records has released four albums by eighth blackbird, including strange imaginary animals, which won the 2008 Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance. The group derives its name from the Wallace Stevens poem ĺ─˙Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.ĺ─¨

Steven Mackeyĺ─˘s first musical passion was playing the electric guitar in rock bands in northern California. He later discovered classical music and has composed for orchestras, chamber ensembles, dance and opera. The composer/guitarist/ music educator has received commissions from American Composers Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony, among others. He previously worked with Rinde Eckert on his monodrama Ravenshead, which has been performed over 100 times and was named ĺ─˙Best New Opera of 1998ĺ─¨ by USA Today. Since the mid-1980s Mr. Mackey has resumed his interest in the electric guitar and regularly performs his own work. He recorded his own work on Lost and Found, and other recordings include Tuck and Roll conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas. Both recordings made The New York Times year-end top ten list. Mr. Mackey is professor of music at Princeton University, and as co-director of the Composers Ensemble at Princeton he coaches and conducts new work by student composers.

Rinde Eckert, a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in drama, is a writer, composer, performer, and director. His opera/new music theatre productions have toured throughout America and to major festivals in Europe and Asia. A classically trained singer known for his flexible and inventive singing voice, Mr. Eckert is also a multi-instrumentalist, who has performed in multi-media theater pieces with the Paul Dresher Ensemble and the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, among others. But, in recent years, it is his work as a solo artist that has attracted increasing attention. His modern treatment of a variety of vernacular and classical music straddles the boundaries between time-honored and the new, the mysterious and the familiar, defying stylistic pigeonholes. Mr. Eckert begins a three-year residence at Princeton University in 2009.

Forging a new acoustic sound that defies categorization while striking universal chords, San Francisco-based, multi-instrumentalist Tin Hat makes freewheeling chamber music for the 21st century, combining many genres of music, including southern blues, bluegrass, neoclassical, eastern European folk music, and avant-garde. The ensemble ĺ─ý Carla Kihlstedt, Mark Orton, Ben Goldberg, and Ara Anderson - has garnered widespread critical acclaim for its five CDs and high marks for their captivating performances, sometimes including original soundtracks for classic silent film animation from Russia. Tin Hatĺ─˘s international audiences have grown over the years through many concert tours in the United States and in Europe. Hailed for "interweaving Old World Europe with post-modern America, south-of-the-border sensuality with concert-hall propriety, and odd-metered syncopation with deeply soulful grooves" (The New York Press), the ensemble has created an original American ethnic music.

QNG (Quartet New Generation) are four recorder virtuosos from Berlin who are known to mesmerize audiences with their theatrical flair and innovative programming that juxtaposes contemporary and early music, confirming the recorderĺ─˘s viability as a modern classical instrument. The members of QNGĺ─ţSusanne Frohlich, Andrea Guttmann, Hannah Pape, and Heidi Schwarzĺ─ţperform on more than 20 different recorders of varying sizes and shapes and are continuously searching for new possibilities of sound and expression. With a large repertoire of European works, the collective has begun commissioning American composers, such as Stephen Taylor, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Gordon Beeferman and Nissim Schaul, among others. Founded in 1998 at the Amsterdam Conservatoire and the University of the Arts, Berlin, the quartet in numerous competitions, including the 1996 German Music and 2004 Concert Artists Guild International Competition.

Pianist Jeremy Denk commands a broad and challenging solo and chamber music repertoire ranging from J. S. Bach, through Schubert, Schumann, Rachmaninoff, Messiaen, and Bartok, to Tobias Picker. Mr. Denk earned a Masterĺ─˘s degree from Juilliard and is a double-degree graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory in chemistry and piano. Known for his interesting programming, his recitals have combined Ivesĺ─˘s ĺ─˙Concordĺ─¨ Sonata with the final sonata of Beethoven, and a medley of Bach chorales and chorale-preludes with American Rags and Stephen Foster ballads. An avid chamber music artist, Mr. Denk, has collaborated with the Borromeo, Brentano, Mirłż, St. Lawrence, Shanghai and Vermeer Quartets, and has appeared at all major chamber music festivals. He has played several recital tours with violinist Joshua Bell since their first performance together at Spoleto in 2004. Mr. Denk is also well known for ĺ─˙Think Denk,ĺ─¨ his popular blog.

Trimpin, the Mac-Arthur ĺ─˙genius grantĺ─¨ award-winning sound sculptor, composer, musician, and inventor, describes his work as ĺ─˙an ongoing exploration of the concepts of sound, vision, and movement, experimenting with combinations that will introduce our senses of perception to a totally new experience.ĺ─¨ Although he uses the latest technology available, he works with ĺ─˙naturalĺ─¨ elementsĺ─ţwater, air, light, fire, etc.ĺ─ţand reconfigures them in new and unusual applications, pushing them to the limits. Currently, an artist-in-residence at the California Arts Institute, Trimpinĺ─˘s sound sculptures, both whimsical and serious, have appeared all over the world. He previously exhibited his interactive Conloninpurple installation at Ojaiĺ─˘s 60th anniversary season in 2006

Pianist Amy Briggs is both a leading interpreter of the music of living composers and an artist who brings a fresh perspective to music of the past, with performances as a soloist and chamber musician across the United States, Europe, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, and Asia. As a pianist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestraĺ─˘s MusicNOW ensemble, she has worked with such major composers as Augusta Read Thomas, Pierre Boulez, Marc-Anthony Turnage, Oliver Knussen, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Osvaldo Golijov. Her recordings include two critically acclaimed discs of David Rakowskiĺ─˘s Piano Etudes on Bridge Records with a third to be released shortly; discs of solo and chamber music on the ART and Wergo Records label; and an upcoming album of solo piano tangos from the 20th and 21st centuries. Ms. Briggs earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance at Northwestern University as a student of Ursula Oppens.

Soprano Lucy Shelton enjoys an international career of recital, chamber, opera and orchestral performances in repertoire ranging from the Baroque to the Contemporary. A foremost interpreter of today's composers, she has premiered more than 100 works, many of which have been written for her by such composers as Elliott Carter, Mario Davidvosky, Oliver Knussen, and Charles Wuorinen. International appearances include Pierre Boulez's Le Visage Nuptial under the composer's direction; Kurtag's The Sayings of Peter Bornemisza; Saariaho and Berio with the Ensemble InterContemporain; and staged performances of Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire. A native of California, her primary mentor was mezzo-soprano Jan de Gaetani. She has taught at the Britten-Pears School and in America at the Eastman School, Cleveland Institute, New England Conservatory of Music, and since 1996 has been a resident artist faculty member at the Tanglewood Music Center.

As the child of two Broadway and Hollywood dancer/actors, Mark DeChiazza grew up exposed to theater, dance, film, and the visual arts. Trained as a modern dancer and actor, he has performed all over the world in works of dance and dance-theater. A member of Susan Marshallĺ─˘s company, he contributed to the companyĺ─˘s collaborative creation of work and also collaborated with her on the Leonard Cohen/Philip Glass production Book of Longing and on the eighth blackbird and Bang on a Can work, Singing in the Dead of Night. He has directed at Manhattan Theater Source; pilot episodes of the TV series Selectmen, and the short film Speckĺ─˘s Last. His one-act play The Dead Salesman was performed by Houstonĺ─˘s Theater Southwest. and he has just completed his first full-length play Cut. Mr. DeChiazza is currently a member of Metropolitan Opera Ballet and is directing Phenomenon, which will premiere in 2010.

Thomas W. Morris, recognized as one of the most creative leaders in the music industry, assumed the position of artistic director of the Ojai Music Festival in 2004. His tenure extends through 2011. As artistic director, Mr. Morris is responsible for identifying and engaging each yearĺ─˘s festival music director and working together with each, to create festival programming. In February 2004, Mr. Morris retired as executive director of The Cleveland Orchestra, a position he held since 1987. He served in a number of capacities, including general manager of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1969 to 1985, where he had overall responsibility for the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, Tanglewood, and Symphony Hall. In addition to his Ojai post, Mr. Morris is active as a consultant, teacher, and writer.

Tickets and Information

Ojai Music Festival single tickets range from $35 to $95 for reserved seating; lawn seats are $15. (Reserved section tickets increase the week of the Festival.) Series tickets are also available and range from $150 to $309 for a full series and $125 to $255 for a mini series. Ojai concerts take place at the Libbey Bowl at East Ojai Avenue in downtown Ojai.

Tickets for the Festival Symposium on June 12 in Matilija Auditorium at Matilija Junior High School are $30 in advance or $35 the day of the event. Matilija Junior High School is located at 703 El Paseo Road.

The three June 13 bonus events all take place at the Ojai Theater at 145 East Ojai Avenue and all are free. For the 2 p.m. Trembling Airĺ─¨ and 11 p.m. ĺ─˙BREATHtakingĺ─¨ events, subscribers and donors will be given first-priority seating, and the balance of the tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserved seating for the Trimpin private screening at 4:30 p.m. is available only to Ojai Music Festival attendees and donors.

To purchase tickets, to make reservations for the Trimpin bonus event, or for additional information, call 805-646-2094. Or visit

Concierge Service

Ojai Music Festival provides a complimentary Festival concierge service for accommodations and assistance with other Ojai activities. The Festival also has special room rates for patrons at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa and other participating hotel partners, including the Su Nido Inn and Casa Ojai. The direct line to the Festival concierge is 805-646-2094, Ext. 110.

*SLIDE is a co-commission of Stanford Lively Arts at Stanford University, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at University of Maryland, Meet The Composerĺ─˘s Commissioning Music/USA program, Charles C. Jett, Nancy R.G. Church M.D., and Herb and Belle Goldman, The Modlin Center at The University of Richmond

The 2009 Ojai Music Festival, Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University, Corporate Funding by The Boeing Corporation, and The Music Department at Princeton University

SLIDE was commissioned as part of a national series of works from Meet the Composer's Commissioning Music/USA program, which is made possible by generous support from the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Francis Goelet Trust, the Helen F. Whitaker Fund, Target, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Nothin' But The Blues with Byron Stripling

Jazz and Blues Master Byron Stripling to Perform with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Vancouver BC ĺ─ý The Orpheum stage comes alive with the Blues on November 21st & 22nd at 8pm when the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra presents trumpet virtuoso/singer and Vancouver favourite, Byron Stripling, in Nothinĺ─˘ But The Blues. With triumphant technique, charismatic charm, and a larger-than-life stage persona, Stripling has won over audiences world-wide. This is one concert sure to please both Jazz/Blues enthusiasts and casual listeners. This concert takes place as part of the London Drugs VSO Pops series.

ĺ─˙Byron Stripling wailed New Orleans-style but also negotiated bebop runs like Kenny Dorham and had theĺ─Âaudience shouting for joy with his earthy blues singing.ĺ─¨

- Denver Post

ĺ─˙ĺ─Âa towering and powerful trumpet player, who has been compared to a later Louis Armstrong.ĺ─¨

- Los Angeles Times

Byron Stripling has quickly become a favourite of Vancouver audiences, holding them in the palm of his hand with his enthusiasm, sense of tone and timing, and an authenticity rarely found in any but the true Jazz/Blues masters. From his early Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra days to present day, Byron Striplingĺ─˘s musicianship and timeless appeal keep audiences coming back for more. Check out Mr. Stripling at

Stripling is joined by dazzling trombonist and longtime collaborator, Wycliffe Gordon, one of the preeminent jazz musicians of our time. Vocalist Dee Daniels is also featured in this concert along with organist Bobby Floyd and drummer Ted Moore.

Jeff Tyzik, the VSOĺ─˘s Principal Pops Conductor, wields his baton for this celebration of the Blues. Tyzik has earned a reputation as one of Americaĺ─˘s foremost pops conductors and is in high demand as a guest conductor across North America. Like Byron Stripling and Wycliffe Gordon, Jeff Tyzik is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music in New York. After graduating, he spent the next few years working with jazz legend Chuck Mangione and experienced his big break ĺ─ý the chance to co-compose a trumpet concerto with Allen Vizzutti to be recorded by pops legend Doc Severinsen. A few years later he was hired as Principal Pops Conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra ĺ─ý a position he has held for 12 years now. A skillful musician and conductor, Tyzik is known for his commitment to music of all genres and his engaging rapport with diverse audiences.


London Drugs VSO Pops Series

Nothinĺ─˘ But The Blues

Friday & Saturday, November 21st & 22nd, 8pm, Orpheum Theatre

Jeff Tyzik conductor
Byron Stripling trumpet/vocalist
Wycliffe Gordon trombone
Dee Daniels vocalist
Bobby Floyd organ
Ted Moore drums/principal composer

Tickets: $25 to $78.50 (Senior, Student and Subscriber Discounts Available)

Tickets available by phone at 604.876.3434 or online at

Series Sponsor:

London Drugs

Radio Sponsor:



Jeff Tyzik

Jeff Tyzik has earned a reputation as one of America's most innovative pops conductors. Described by the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle as ĺ─˙among the best pops conductors in America,ĺ─¨ Tyzik is recognized for his brilliant arrangements, original programming, and engaging rapport with audiences of all ages. Principal Pops Conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra for over a decade, he also serves as Principal Pops Conductor of the Vancouver and Oregon Symphony Orchestras.

In twelve years with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), Tyzik has developed an incredible relationship with devoted Rochester audiences, who appreciate his creative pops programming. Over the course of his tenure, he has written over 160 works for the orchestra. A consummate musician, Tyzik is so appreciated in Rochester that the RPO has taken the unusual step of inviting their principal pops conductor to appear as a guest artist in the orchestraĺ─˘s subscription series calendar on a regular basis, where he has performed works by some of the greatest American composers to critical acclaim, and where he led the premiere of his own Trombone Concerto, which was funded by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts. Recently, Tyzik recorded a disc of works by Gershwin with pianist Jon Nakamatsu and the RPO on the Harmonia Mundi label, to be released in spring 2007.

ĺ─˙His concert is the kind of thing thatĺ─˘s likely to give classical music a good name, perhaps even make it seem, dare I say, relevant,ĺ─¨ writes John Pitcher of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (February 3, 2006). ĺ─˙Whatĺ─˘s great about Tyzik is his way of making any concert (classical or pops) seem contemporary and approachable without sugarcoating anything, without dumbing down the musical experience.ĺ─¨

Highly sought after as a guest conductor, Tyzik has appeared with orchestras including the Cincinnati Pops, the New York Pops, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to his commitments in Rochester, Vancouver, and Winnipeg, during the 2006/07 season, he performs with orchestras across North America including Dallas, Detroit, Elgin, Hartford, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon and Toronto, as well as the Naples Philharmonic and the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa).

A native of Hyde Park, New York, Tyzik began his life in music at nine years old, when he first picked up a cornet. He studied both classical and jazz throughout high school, and went on to earn both his bachelorĺ─˘s and masterĺ─˘s degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied composition/arranging with Radio City Music Hallĺ─˘s Ray Wright and jazz studies with the great band leader Chuck Mangione, both of whom profoundly impacted him as a musician.

Tyzik spent the next few years working with Mangione, soaking in every part of the music business. He became a skilled record producer, while continuing to be active as a performer and arranger. These experiences led Tyzik to one of the great early opportunities of his careerĺ─ţthe chance to co-compose a trumpet concerto with friend and virtuoso trumpeter Allen Vizzutti to be recorded by pops legend Doc Severinsen.

After that first recording project, Tyzik worked closely with Severinsen on many projects including orchestrating many of the great band leaderĺ─˘s symphony orchestra programs, and producing a GRAMMY Award-winning album, The Tonight Show Band with Doc Severinsen, Vol. 1. To this day, he credits Severinsen as his greatest musical and professional inspiration.

As an accomplished composer and arranger, Tyzik has had his compositions recorded by ensembles including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Summit Brass, and his arrangements have been recorded by groups including Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the RPO, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and Doc Severinsen with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London. He has also produced and composed theme music for many of the major television networks, including ABC, NBC, HBO, and Cinemax, and released six of his own albums on Capitol, Polygram and Amherst Records.

Committed to performing music of all genres, Tyzik has collaborated with such diverse artists as Tony Bennett, Art Garfunkel, Dawn Upshaw, Marilyn Horne, Arturo Sandoval, The Chieftains, Mark O'Connor, Doc Severinsen, John Pizzarelli, Billy Taylor, and Lou Rawls, and has created original programs that include the greatest music from jazz and classical to Motown and swing.

Actively sharing his passion for music with others, Tyzik has been recognized for his community service and educational work by Rotary International, the Monroe County Music Educators, and the Rochester Philharmonic League. He is also the recipient of the Arts & Cultural Council of Greater Rochester's 2002 Performing Artist award.

Tyzik currently serves on the Board of Managers of the Eastman School of Music, and as a board member of the Hochstein School of Music and Dance. He lives in Rochester, New York, with his wife Jill.

Byron Stripling

With a contagious smile and captivating charm, trumpet virtuoso, BYRON STRIPLING, has ignited audiences internationally. As soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra, Stripling has performed frequently under the baton of Keith Lockhart, as well as being featured soloist on the PBS television special, "Evening at Pops," with conductors John Williams and Mr. Lockhart. Currently, Stripling serves as artistic director and conductor of the highly acclaimed Columbus Jazz Orchestra.

Since his Carnegie Hall debut with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops, STRIPLING has become a pops orchestra favorite throughout the country, soloing with Boston Pops, National Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, Seattle Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Utah Symphony, and The American Jazz Philharmonic, to name a few. He has been a featured soloist at the Hollywood Bowl and performs at jazz festivals throughout the world.

An accomplished actor and singer, STRIPLING was chosen, following a world wide search, to star in the lead role of the Broadway bound musical, "Satchmo." Many will remember his featured cameo performance in the television movie, "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles," and his critically acclaimed virtuoso trumpet and riotous comedic performance in the 42nd Street production of "From Second Avenue to Broadway."

Television viewers have enjoyed his work as soloist on the worldwide telecast of The Grammy Awards. Millions have heard his trumpet and voice on television commercials, TV theme songs including "20/20," CNN, and soundtracks of favorite movies.

STRIPLING earned his stripes as lead trumpeter and soloist with the Count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Thad Jones and Frank Foster. He has also played and recorded extensively with the bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Dave Brubeck, Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, Louis Bellson, and Buck Clayton in addition to The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, and The GRP All Star Big Band.

STRIPLING enjoys conducting Seminars and Master Classes at colleges, universities, conservatories, and high schools. His informative talks, combined with his incomparable wit and charm, make him a favorite guest speaker to groups of all ages.

STRIPLING was educated at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and the Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michigan. One of his greatest joys is to return, periodically, to Eastman and Interlochen as a special guest lecturer.

A resident of Ohio, STRIPLING lives in the country with his wife, former dancer, writer and poet, Alexis and their beautiful daughters.

Wycliffe Gordon

Wycliffe Gordon enjoys an extraordinary career as a performer, conductor, composer, arranger, and educator, receiving high praise from audiences and critics alike. Gordon tours the world performing hard-swinging, straight-ahead jazz for audiences ranging from heads of state to elementary school students. His trombone playing, hailed as "mixing powerful, intricate runs with sweet notes extended over clean melodies," has been universally hailed by jazz critics. Gordon received the Jazz Journalists Association 2002 and 2001 Award for Trombonist of the Year, the Jazz Journalists Association 2000 Criticsĺ─˘ Choice Award for Best Trombone and has been nominated for the Jazzpar Award.

In addition to a thriving solo career, he tours regularly leading the Wycliffe Gordon Quartet, headlining at legendary jazz venues throughout the world. Gordon is a former veteran member of the Wynton Marsalis Septet, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and The Gully Low Jazz Band, and has been a featured guest artist on Billy Taylor's "Jazz at The Kennedy Center" Series. Gordonĺ─˘s extensive performance experience includes work with many of the most renowned jazz performers of the past and present.

Gordonĺ─˘s musical prowess has been captured on numerous recordings, including nine solo CDs and three co-leader CDs. His latest solo effort, ĺ─˙Cone's Coup,ĺ─¨ is scheduled for release in May 2006. Gordon is featured on numerous recordings with The Wynton Marsalis Septet, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and numerous others as evidenced in his extensive discography. Wycliffe Gordon is also a gifted composer and arranger. He was commissioned to compose a vibrant new score for the 1925 classic silent film "Body and Soul" (notable as the screen debut of Paul Robeson), which was premiered at the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestraĺ─˘s 2000-01 season opening night performance at Avery Fisher Hall. Gordon's "I Saw The Light," a musical tribute to Muhammad Ali, was commissioned and premiered by The Brass Band of Battle Creek in March 2004. Both works are scheduled for release on DVD in summer of 2006.

Gordonĺ─˘s compositions have been performed by The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The Wynton Marsalis Septet, The Wycliffe Gordon Quartet, The Brass Band of Battle Creek and numerous other ensembles, and performed in programs throughout the U.S. and abroad including concert halls in New York, Los Angeles, Aspen, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Germany, London, Finland and Switzerland. His compositions are also featured as a part of the PBS series "Marsalis on Music." Recent concert seasons have included premieres of compositions by Mr. Gordon for a variety of ensembles both in the Unites States and internationally. The first in a series of print editions of his big band, small ensemble and choir compositions will be available in fall of 2006.

Gordonĺ─˘s television appearances have included the Grammy Awards, the PBS special documentary "Swinginĺ─˘ with the Duke," and two Live from Lincoln Center broadcasts with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra ĺ─ý "Uptown Blues, Ellington at 100" (a collaboration with the New York Philharmonic) and "Big Train." Gordon also appeared in Ken Burnsĺ─˘ documentary "Jazz." Other television appearances include "A Carnegie Hall Christmas Concert" and "Live from Lincoln Center: The Juilliard School at 100 Years." Gordon is featured in BET's 13-part series "Journey with Jazz at Lincoln Center" and was guest artist and commentator in NPR affiliate WVIA's special program on Tommy Dorsey (along with the late Skitch Henderson, just days before Henderson's death). Gordon also appeared with the Wynton Marsalis Septet in the feature film "Tune In Tomorrow" starring Peter Falk, Keanu Reeves and Barbara Hershey.

Gordon is rapidly becoming one of Americaĺ─˘s most persuasive and committed music educators. He currently serves on the faculty of the Jazz Studies Program at The Juilliard School, a position he has held since the founding of the program. His work with young musicians and audiences from elementary schools to universities all over the world is extensive, and includes master classes, clinics, workshops, childrenĺ─˘s concerts and lectures ĺ─ţ powerful evidence of his unique ability to relate musically to people of all ages. Gordon is currently working on a collection of trombone quartets, trios and duos to be entitled "Trombone Majesty," with expected publication in late 2006. In addition, his first method book "Wycliffe Gordon's Suggested Studies for Trombone," a compilation of the materials, exercises and approaches he uses in his teaching and in his own practice regimen, will be released in January 2007. Gordon teamed with trombonist Joseph Alessi of the New York Philharmonic and students in both of their studios at Juilliard in creating and presenting the master class "Two Sides of the Slide" for Jazz at Lincoln Center. The master class is available in its entirety as part of a streaming video series offered by the Education Department of Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Gordon is the youngest member of the U.S. Statesmen of Jazz, and in many tour performances has served and continues to serve as a musical ambassador for the U.S.
State Department.

Born in Waynesboro, Georgia, Gordon was first introduced to music by his late father, Lucius Gordon, a classical pianist and teacher. His interest in the trombone was sparked at age twelve by his elder brother who played the instrument in his junior high school band. Egged on by sibling rivalry, Gordonĺ─˘s relentless pleading of his parents led to his first trombone. A year later, an aunt bequeathed Gordon her jazz record collection, and so began his passion for jazz music.

Mr. Gordon endorses Edwards trombones and Monette mouthpieces.

Dee Daniels

Dee Daniels offers the jazz aficionado an ultimate treat - jazz served up with full-bodied silky tones that soar to the height and captures the depth of her four-octave range. Her warm presence and performance ability is evident, whether fronting combos in intimate Jazz clubs, big bands, or symphony orchestras in concert halls.

Daniels' style was born in her stepfather's church choir in Oakland, California, honed through the R&B era and brought to full fruition during a five-year stay in Europe from 1982 to 1987. During those years, she had many wonderful opportunities to perform with such 'Legends of Jazz' as Toots Theilemans, Johnny Griffin, Ed Thigpen, and Monty Alexander to name but a few.

Two other personal highlights while in Europe include having had the opportunity of singing the Blues with the late, divine Sarah Vaughan in The Netherlands, and singing Gospel with the late great Joe Williams in Germany.

Dee's international career includes performances in eleven African countries, Australia, Colombia, Hong Kong and Japan, as well as in North America and many countries throughout Europe. She has cultivated a diverse career that has seen her on the theatre stage in the musical comedy, Wang Dang Doodle, and the starring role in the 2001 Calgary Stampede.

She has also established herself as a jazz vocalist in demand by the classical music world. She performs her Great Ladies of Swing and The Soul of Ray: The Music of Ray Charles POPS programs with symphony orchestras across Canada and the USA.

A respected vocal clinician and mentor, Dee sincerely believes in sharing her knowledge and experience with young singers/musicians. In 2001, she established the Dee Daniels Jazz Vocal Scholarship at the Capilano College in North Vancouver, BC. Also in 2001, she was the recipient of the FANS Award (a North Vancouver, BC Arts Council presentation); was nominated as Vocalist of the Year, and her Love Story CD was nominated for Best Jazz CD of the Year by West Coast Music Awards. In 2002 she was inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame and a plaque was installed on Vancouver's Walk of Fame.

In 2003 she received the prestigious Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and was inducted into the University of Montana's School of Fine Arts, Hall of Honor. Dee has served on the Advisory Board of the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival since 2000

Bobby Floyd

The passion with which Bobby Floyd plays piano, organ and keyboards are the result of his natural ability discovered at the age of two, his love of music, and years of practice. Whether performing jazz or gospel, as a soloist, with a trio or big band, his feel is unique and inspirational leading him to many distinguished appearances around the world.

Bobby has performed extensively in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan. Touring events include major jazz festivals, concert halls, and numerous night clubs with Ray Charles, Jeff Tyzik, Chris Howes and Sarah Morrow. The prestige associated with Floyd's international appearances can also be witnessed at home.

In his hometown, Columbus, Ohio, Bobby has been a feature with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, The Columbus Symphony, and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra sharing the stage with Dionne Warwick, Doc Severinson, Artural Sandaval, Faye Robinson and many others. He has also appeared in a variety of performances opening for Spyro Gyra, Smokey Robinson, Stanley Clark and George Duke, as well as accompanying other artists like David "Fathead" Newman, Bobby Watson, Greg Osby and Billy Hart.

Bobby has completed three recordings: Interpretations, Setting the Standards, and Floyd's Finest Gift. His next project, soon to be released, is a live performance recorded in Spain. Other accomplishments include recording and composing on several of Vince Andrews' and Chris Howes' projects. He has also recorded with Gerald Levert ("Groove On") and Faye Robinson ("Remembering Marian Anderson"). Additionally, he is featured on a Rusty Bryant album, Rusty Rides Again, which received five stars in Downbeat magazine. Bobby Floyd currently performs with his band (Derek DiCenzo - Bass/Lead Guitar, Reggie Jackson - Drums). Members of the group add just the right mix of talent and experience to create the elements necessary to produce an appealing sound that goes well beyond live entertainment.

Ted Moore

Since graduating from the famed Eastman School of Music, Ted Moore has pursued a career which has taken him to many parts of the world with many different artists. He is leader and composer for his own Brazilian jazz group, Brasilia, which released its first CD, River Wide, to national critical acclaim. He has performed with Stan Getz, Paul Winter, Marian McPartland, Phil Markowitz, Eric Gale, Jack Wilkins, Gene Bertoncini and Joey DeFrancesco to name a few. On tour, Ted has performed throughout the US and Canada, as well as in Japan, Spain, England and Holland. He also spent two years living in Rio de Janeiro, performing as percussionist with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, and playing with many well-known Brazilian jazz artists. He has played in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Cathedral of St John in New York, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, and in Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Currently, Ted is Director of the Jazz Department at UC Berkeley in Berkeley. CA

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Le 6e Gala du Lys Blues attendu par l'industrie du blues au 400e de Qułębec

Gala du Lys Blues

6e łÔdition

Annonce de la programmation du 6e Gala du Lys Blues

Le 6e Gala du Lys Blues attendu par lĺ─˘industrie du blues au 400e de Qułębec

Montrłęal- Cette annłęe, cĺ─˘est lors des festivitłęs de la fłüte du 400e anniversaire de la Ville de Qułębec que le 6e Gala du Lys Blues aura lieu, le 28 septembre 2008, au thłęłótre petit Champlain de Qułębec.

Seize trophłęes Lys Blues seront remis aux laurłęats du blues sĺ─˘łętant dłęmarqułę au courant de lĺ─˘annłęe dernił«re. Les rłęcipiendaires, łęlu par la voix du public via le, proviennent de tous les coins du Qułębec, cłęlłębrer le blues qułębłęcois.

Bob Harrisson, porte parole de lĺ─˘łęvłęnement, est fier de sĺ─˘associer łŢ lĺ─˘effervescence du Blues qułębłęcois. La relł«ve est trł«s rafrałĂchissante. Plusieurs laurłęats de Lys blues catłęgorie relł«ve, des annłęes prłęcłędentes, sont aujourdĺ─˘hui bien connus du monde artistique. On a quĺ─˘łŢ penser łŢ Jonas Tomalty (2003) mieux connu aujourdĺ─˘hui sous le nom de JONAS, est aujourdĺ─˘hui un artiste accompli.

Cĺ─˘est toujours sous la barre de Martin Lachance, animateur de lĺ─˘łęmission Sous un ciel blues de CHAA FM, que le Gala 2008 se dłęroulera. Vous pourrez voir six reprłęsentations de groupes Blues du Qułębec dont le Bob Harrisson Band pour ne nommer que celui-lłŢ. Ces groupes vous prłęsenteront des exclusivitłęs musicales qui seront entrecoupłęes des prłęsentations de trophłęes.

Cĺ─˘est beaucoup pour encourager la relł«ve que les organisateurs du Gala poursuivent dĺ─˘annłęe en annłęe. Les deux organismes, Le Net Blues et le Gala du Lys Blues de concert sĺ─˘efforcent dĺ─˘aider les nouveaux venus dans le monde de la musique blues. Dĺ─˘ailleurs, un DVD du Gala 2006 est toujours disponibles au, les fonds de la vente du DVD sont un financement direct au gala 2008.

Les billets pour assister au Gala sont en vente sur le rłęseau Billetech.

Date : 28 septembre 2008

Endroit : Thłęłótre du Petit Champlain, 68 rue du Petit Champlain, Qułębec (Qułębec) G1K 4H4 billetterie : 418-692-2631

Heure : 19h30

Un des grands rendez-vous culturel de lĺ─˘automne, le Gala du Lys Blues 2008 saura vous faire vibrer sur des rythmes fous. Prłęsentłę au Thłęłótre du Petit Champlain, cette annłęe, il met en scł«ne des artistes qułębłęcois de partout en province. Ce Gala a dłęjłŢ łętłę applaudit par plus de 5 000 spectateurs de tous les coins du Qułębec.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lloyd Gregory and his band featuring Nicolas Bearde to appear at Biscuits and Blues - Sunday 7/27/08 8PM and 10PM

Lloyd Gregory is enchanting audiences with his full rich sound!

Lloyd Gregory and Band will appear at Biscuits and Blues 7/27/08, 8PM and 10PM

Lloyd Gregory and his band will

feature Nicolas Bearde

will be performing at

Americaĺ─˘s Nr. 1 Blues Club

Biscuits & Blues

San Francisco

Sunday July 27, 8PM and 10PM

$12 per ticket

About Lloyd Gregory

When you think of that certain style of classic jazz guitar that is smooth, soulful, melodic, flowing and immediately likeable, you think of names like Wes Montgomery, Barney Kessel, George Benson, Kenny Burrell, Earl Klugh and Larry Carlton. Now Lloyd Gregory has taken his place on that list of illustrious jazz guitarists. On his fourth album, Free Fallin, Gregory tips his hat to those who influenced him while carving out his own distinctive style that also includes hints of his R&B roots. Lloyd Gregory is taking out time from recording his next album to play at Biscuit & Blues in San Francisco featuring great international and local artists, such as Tony Lindsay, Kenny Washington, Frankye Kelly, Fred Ross, Darlene Coleman, Janice Maxine, Glen Pearson, etc.


About Biscuits and Blues

Located in the heart of San Francisco's historic Theater District, Biscuits and Blues is a West Coast musical landmark where every seat

provides an up-close, absolutely live music experience. Our all-ages supper club is a great place for the whole family to encounter

America's greatest musical heritage! Biscuits and Blues offers world-class musical venues with great food and a friendly family-oriented atmosphere that is perfect for a romantic date or a family outing. It is located in down-town San Francisco with easy access and lotĺ─˘s of parking in the neighborhood.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Listening Party : The Unmistakable Mick Hucknall Honors Legend Bobby Blue Bland


Solo Debut From Simply Red's Mick Hucknall Pays Tribute To Bobby "Blue"
Bland On Rhino CD Due June 17

LOS ANGELES -- One of the most distinctive vocalists in Britain tips his
hat to one of the greatest from the American South with the June 17
release of Mick Hucknall's TRIBUTE TO BOBBY. The solo debut from the
leader of Simply Red features sizzling versions of songs popularized by
the great Bobby "Blue" Bland.

TRIBUTE TO BOBBY was recorded last summer at Hucknall's home studio in
England with longtime collaborator Andy Wright behind the boards. While
the12 songs on the new collection benefit from 21st-century production,
Mick's worldly wise delivery ensures they remain grounded in the
emotional honesty of the blues. TRIBUTE TO BOBBY will be available at
all physical retail outlets and at for a suggested list
price of $18.98, or online from all digital outlets for $9.99.

Fittingly, TRIBUTE TO BOBBY opens with Hucknall's insistent take on
"Farther Up The Road," which had been Bland's first #1 R&B single in
1957. The CD draws heavily from the legendary bluesman's '50s and '60s hits
for Duke Records, including "Stormy Monday Blues," "Chains Of Love," "I
Pity The Fool," and "Cry, Cry, Cry." It's a body of work that is among
the most respected in blues history, and Mick's passionate
interpretations of these classics do them full justice.

From Simply Red's first U.S. #1 single, 1986's "Holding Back The Years,"
it was clear that Mick Hucknall possessed one of pop's great voices;
TRIBUTE TO BOBBY makes it clear that his contemporary take on soul has
always been two steps from the blues. The heartache and resolution in
the music of Bobby "Blue" Bland are fixtures of modern life in the urban
jungle -- whether that be Bobby's home turf of Memphis or Mick's in

"His music has this sophistication to it, a jazz tinge," explains
Hucknall of his affinity for Bland's brand of blues. "There's also the
darkness of his lyrics -- Bobby sings with a really twisted pain and
sorrow. He's one of the vocalists who influenced my singing style long
before I became a slave to pop success."


Track Listing
1. "Farther Up The Road"
2. "Ain't That Lovin' You"
3. "I'm Too Far Gone (To Turn Around)"
4. "Poverty"
5. "Yolanda"
6. "Stormy Monday Blues"
7. "I Wouldn't Treat A Dog (The Way You Treated Me)"
8. "I'll Take Care Of You"
9. "Chains Of Love"
10. "I Pity The Fool"
11. "Cry, Cry, Cry"
12. "Lead Me On"

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