Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Money Raised helps feed Homeless

On Tuesday Nov 16th Richard Barnes paid a visit to the John DeBella Show on WMGK to donate $1000.oo to City Team Ministry. DeBella has been helping raise money for Philadelphia charity for years and their Annual Turkey Drop, held at LOVE Park on Tues Nov 23rd was the perfect choice !

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Eddie Lang Day in Philadelphia - a HUGE success !

Imagine walking up to Chris' Jazz Cafe' and seeing a line of people waiting to get in. Not just waiting to get in, but waiting for people to leave ...so that then they would be admitted in ! An interview on WRTI ( Temple) and a one hour show with Marty Moss-Coane on WHYY helped spread the word. A 3/4 page , 2 page feature story on the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer's Entertainment section by Dan DeLuca assured that everyone in philadelphia knew that something truely unique and over due was happening and there was only one place to be Monday night.
An advanced SOLD OUT crowd turned out to pay honor to South Philadelphia's own Eddie Lang and to enjoy 5 hours of music performed by a list of bands and musicians.
The evening started with a welcome speech by Richard Barnes , coordinator of the event ( BlckbrdSocOrch@comcast.net )  and a brief history of Lang's life . This night the music was going to do the talking. Barnes opened the show with "April Kisses" and unknown to the audience , was wearing the Star Sapphire pinky ring worn by Lang that was given to him by Bing Crosby ( see photo above). Barnes also played "A Little Love, a Little Kiss". Joined by violinist Michael Salsburg ( playing the role of Joe Venuti) the duo sailed through "Wild Cat" and were the joined by Ed Wise ( bass) and John Southard ( piano) to perform "Black and Blue Bottom".

Next up was guitarist Pat Mercuri , playing the elegant "Prelude in C#m" ( Rachmoninoff).

This was follwed by a group of students from Wissahickon High School called 521 Swing. They performed 3 songs displaying great talent at a young age, and what children can do when they discover music at a young age.

It was then offically time to start the evening off. Barnes read the Proclamation issued by Mayor Michael Nutter's office declaring it officially "Eddie LAng Day in Philadelphia" and presented it to Lang's nephew Ed Massaro.

And then it happened.. Probably the first time in Philadelphia since the 1930s , "Jazz Age" music filled the street ! Members of Ferko String Band assembled around the main stage while the 11pc Blackbird Society Orchestra watched as they played "Happy Days are Here Again!", "Four Leaf Clover", "Somebody Stole My Gal"....finally they broke into "Idolizing" the 1928 Jean Goldkette classic that featured Lang & Venuti. When they ended their version BSO counted in without missing a beat and presented their 20s style authentic version of the song. On the last chorus Ferko joined back in and together they brought it to a climatic end !

Blackbird Society Orchestra then presented a 1 hour set of obscure tunes from the 1926-31 era of Jazz including "Get Out and Get Under the Moon", "Baby Oh Where Can You Be?", "She's a Great Great Girl", "Variety Stomp", "There Aint No Land Like Dixieland to Me ", "Burnin the Iceburg", "Im More Than Satisfied" and "Happy Feet".

Following BSO was legendary guitarist/singer Marty Grosz joined by guitarist Jim Gicking who performed a 40minute set of solos and duets. Grosz could do no wrong and received a lively ovation .

Up next was Cornbread Five , a smaller version of Philadelphia's Hoppin John Orchestra, led by Mike Hood . Hood also teaches at Wissahicken and directs 521 Swing. Their 40 min set included classic Jazz songs as well as an original written by Hood.

Rounding out the evening was Jef Lee Johnson joined by Jon Dichter. The duo performed a set of songs Lang recorded under the name of Blind WIllie Dunn with Lonnie Johnson. These songs were featured on the 2008 CD on the Range Records label.

Look for next years first "Eddie LAng Jazz Festival" to come to Philadelphia . For more info email me ( see top ) or visit the website as it's updated  http://www.eddielangjazzfestival.com/

Thank you to everyone involved for making this such an amazing evening !

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Eddie Lang Day in Philadelphia - Official Website

I am very happy to announce that we have a venue for "Eddie Lang Day in Philadelphia" !
Chris' Jazz Cafe' will host this Historically Important evening of musical celebration. The evening starts with a historical presentation and recognition at 7:00pm-8:00pm.

 Mayor Michael Nutter's Office has issued an official Proclamation declaring October 25th as "Eddie Lang Day in Philadelphia , and urges all citizens to be aware of Eddie Lang's history-making muscal legacy as well as the rolde of Philadelphia in the developement of early Jazz music".

 Lang's solo recordings, duet recordings and Blue Four recordings, will be presented. Then from 8:00pm to Midnight we have several unique musical performances paying tribute to Lang and the music of "The Jazz Age" !

Located on Sansom Street, just off Broad (behind the Union League) Chris' Jazz Cafe' is  known for presenting some of the finest Jazz muscians in the city, as well as their great menu.
The room seats close to 200 people and every seat is a good seat. Calling ahead for a reservation is recomended apprx 2 weeks before the show. Parking is right next door and another is a half a block away, so that's never a problem.

Admission is only $10.oo  and all proceeds go to the Eddie Lang Music Scholarship Program, designed to help under priveledged children discover music programs and stay off the streets and away from boredom and violence.

Officially on the music roster is :
Richard Barnes & Michael Salsburg playing the Lang/Venuti roles and featuring songs like "April Kisses", "A little Love a Little Kiss", "Wild Cat", "Doin Things" , "Black and Blue Bottom" and more...
Then the Blackbird Society Orchestra ( Philadelphia's Premier 1920s Jazz Band) will take over with their accurate renditions of 1920s-30s songs associated with Lang and others.
This 10pc band plays from Barnes' collection of original stock charts used by many of the great bands of the day. They'll be featuring such classic songs such as "Clementine" ( Jean Goldkette), "Crazy Rhythm" ( Roger Wolfe Kahn), "She's a Great great Girl" ( Roger Wolfe Kahn), "Get Out and get Under The Moon" ( Paul Whiteman ) and many more....
Music like this is seldom heard in Philadelphia and is a must see for jazz and music lovers alike. Great for listening to or Flappin' away on the dance floor !

Guitar great Marty Grosz will perform a set of his favorite songs and explain how Eddie Lang influenced him. This man is a wealth of first hand knowledge and his spoken words and stories are as amusing as his playing and singing is entertaining !

Joining us this evening are special friends and guests from the Hoppin John Orchestra , a Philadelphia area favorite and no stranger to Chris' audiences ! Leader Mike Hood is bringing in his "Cornbread Five" to cover some 1920s-30s classic Jazz tunes !

Mike also plans on bringing some of his students from Wissahicken Schools Jazz Band to show just how talented students can be  when introduced to Jazz music !

Guitarist Pat Mercuri ( you have seen him with the Midori Brothers) will perform some Lang classic solo guitar as well and we're very happy to have him be a part of this evenings "solo" performers !

And we're very happy to have the one and only Ferko String Band joining us !  The music of the 1920s and 30s has always been kept alive in Philadelphia by the traditional New Years Day Mummers Parade .

JUST ANNOUNCED --- Rounding out the evening will be two of Philadelphia's most renowned players , Jef Lee Johnson and Jon Dichter. They will be performing the music recorded by Eddie Lang with Lonnie Johnson from the 2008 Range Records release "Rediscovering Lonnie Johnson".

I would also like to thank our Sponsors ( so far !) and encourage you to visit their websites !

PLEASE ---if you havent already clicked "follow" on the right side of the page , do so and help spread the word!
All proceeds go to charity to help children and music programs. We need your support.