Posts Tagged ‘Jazz Bridge’


Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Though the years, I’ve had the good fortune of being involved with several charitable causes, including the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis Foundation, Asbestos Victims of America, Mural Arts Program, Shriner’s Lulu Temple, Philadelphia Orchestra, Drexel University, Combs College of Music ,and Breast Health Foundation among them. All were and are good and very worthy causes and I was happy to help.

Then I discovered Jazz Bridge. Rather, they found me. I had known singers Suzanne Cloud and Wendy Simon-Sinkler for years and had heard they were heading up an organization called Jazz Bridge, but that’s about all I knew until several months ago.

The past few years have been challenging for everyone–myself included–especially jazz musicians. Jazz Bridge, I learned, was a non-profit organization dedicated to helping jazz performers in need. I’m told that some folks came to Jazz Bridge for help.

Jazz Bridge came to me, and without going into the particulars, you probably wouldn’t be reading this if it were not for Suzanne, Wendy and the organization. Among other things, they saw to it–quickly and without fuss–that I had the tools of my trade in hand.

Given that I’ve been involved in jazz and the entertainment industry since childhood, and given the challenge of the past several years, I can unequivocally state that what Jazz Bridge does is important, significant, essential, and in many cases live-changing. And life-saving.

For those who may know me only as that “wise guy drummer,” let the record show that I am humbled and honored to be associated with an organization such as this and with the truly wonderful people behind it.

Now, Jazz Bridge seeks your involvement by way of their first “Kickstarter” campaign, which is an effort to raise $6,000 in order to pay venue rentals.One of the missions of Jazz Bridge is to provide performance opportunities for local musicians, and this year they’re doing it with five series that will feature what may come close to 200 players.

To contribute, to help, to donate, to buy tickets to one or more of this season’s many great shows, or to sponsor, go to this link. And do it now.

Again, he goal is $6,000, which, in the grand scheme of things, ain’t much. Especially for an organization that’s dedicated to harmonizing art and life.

A Stellar and Swinging Jazz Bridge Lineup for 2012-2013

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

The 2012-2013 Jazz Bridge schedule of performances for this year and next promises to be among the most exciting in its history, featuring a stellar array of creative, innovative, incredibly talented—and yes, swinging—jazz artists from virtually every genre’.

For further information on the performers, show times, ticket prices and other pertinent details, visit the Jazz Bridge web site at, Jazz Bridge’s Facebook pages, and/or the Facebook pages of yours truly.

Concerts for Collingswood 2012-2013
Shows at Collingwood Community Center
30 Collings Avenue (next to firehouse)
Media, PA

October 4th- Rhenda Fearrington
November 1st- Dan Fogel
December 5th – Sam Reed
January 3rd – Denis DiBlasio
February 7th – Fred Adams Philadelphia Heritage Art Ensemble
March 7th Bob Pollit Quartet
April 4th- Gloria Galante
May 2nd- Barbara Montogomery

Concerts for Media
Shows at Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County

145 West Rose Tree Road, Media, PA
October 17th – Michael Andrews
November 21st- Francois Zayas
December 19th- Father John D’Amico
January 16th- Luke Carlos O’ Reilly
February 20 Marc Adler
March 20 Dave Posmontier
April 17 Tony Miceli and Diane Munro
May 15 Pearl Williams

Concerts for the Arch Street Friends
Shows at Arch Street Friends Meeting House
4th and Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA

October 18th-Jim Ridl/Terrell Stafford (confirmed)
November 15th- Ella Gahnt (confirmed)
December 20th – Bobby Zankel (confirmed)
January 17th- Larry McKenna (confirmed)
February 21st-Tom Lawton
March 21st- Alan Nelson (confirmed)
April 18th-
May 16th- Kevin Valentine (confirmed)

Concerts for Cheltenham
Shows at Cheltenham Center for the Arts
439 Ashbourne Road
Cheltenham, PA

October 3rd– Leon Jordan
November 7th– Tony Williams
December 5th– Jill Salkin
January 2nd- Ed Wise and his New Orleans Jazz Band
February 6th-Paula Johns
March 6th- Nimrod Speaks
April 3rd Denise Montana
May 1st – Kitty Mayo

Concerts for Kennett Square
Shows at Kennett Flash
102 Sycamore Alley Kennett Square, PA

October 3rd– Lee Smith
November 7th – Terri Kleinfelter
December 5th– Tyrone Brown
January 2nd- Dave Wilson
February 6th- Mary Lou Newnam
March 6th- Hot Club of Philadelphia
April 3rd – Eddie Jones
May 1st – Sherri Butler


Monday, July 23rd, 2012

The Philadelphia Jazz Coalition is an organization dedicated to the future of jazz in our city. Their mission is to increase the awareness of jazz by way of live performance and educational outreach, with their goals being to sustain, nourish, preserve and promote the unique history and tradition of Philadelphia jazz.

The concept of The Philadelphia Jazz Coalition–comprised in part of a group of jazz presenters, musicians and promoters–is long overdue, most needed and most welcomed.

Announcement of the actual formation of the Coalition–along with in-depth panel discussions about jazz’s future, and the unveiling of the soon-to-be legendary “Great Day in Philadelphia” photograph—will all take place at a “Town Hall Meeting for Jazz” on July 31st.

It is, without doubt, absolutely essential that anyone involved in area jazz or entertainment be in attendance. This free event takes place at The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts, Broad and Fitzwater Street, and is planned to run from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

The panel discussions will be moderated by veteran television broadcaster Orien Reid. Panelists will include Michael Ricci of, Jazz Bridge’s Suzanne Cloud, Megan Fitzgerald of the Kimmel Center, – Warren Oree and Graziella D’Amelio of LifeLine Music Coalition, Inc.; Patricia Washington from Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing; Jason Fifield, jazz videographer and CEO of SLife Productions; WRTI Radio jazz host Bob Perkins; Clef Club Community Educator Lovitt Hines; saxophonist and Warriors of the Wonderful Sound bandleader Bobby Zankel; and Melanie Johnson, City Representative of Philadelphia.

One of the evening’s other highlights will be the unveiling the “Great Day in Philadelphia” photograph. This photo, which recalls the legendary, “Great Day in Harlem” photograph, was taken by Elena Bouvier last April in front of the John Coltrane House in West Philadelphia.

Ms. Bouvier will award a signed copy of 200 digital prints of the photograph to all who participated.

Those of you who have read this space know that I have returned to my home town of Philadelphia after almost 10 years in southwest Florida. In terms of the jazz community and the business of jazz in Philadelphia, I’ve found that the issues that confronted us 10 years ago still exist. And it’s due time that these issues—such as too few employment opportunities, less than disgraceful compensation, lack of cooperation and unity among club owners and the musical community—be addressed.

The Philadelphia Jazz Coalition, a body of caring and dedicated professionals, has their work cut out for them. They will need the help, trust and support of the community. Let’s give it to them.

For further information on this important event, contact Bruce Klauber at, Suzanne Cloud at Interested parties—and you should be—need to register at Those wishing to hang and to nosh after the event proper should note that a buffet, costing in the $10 neighborhood, will be set out for one and all.

I anticipate seeing each and every one of you there.


Friday, May 25th, 2012

My sincerest and most heartfelt thanks to the Suzanne Cloud and the other movers and shakers behind Philadelphia’s Jazz Bridge, a non-profit organization devoted to helping jazz musicians in need. In addition to being a marvelous singer, Ms. Cloud is one heck of a human being. She–and Jazz Bridge–have helped me personally and professionally. I look forward to helping get the word out about this marvelous organization in the future. I was so moved by what they did for me–and what they do–that I wrote The President. Whatever you may think of the man, he has the good sense to stay away from the tenor sax, which could not be said for another recent President.

This area has recently lost two, great jazz pianists, George Mesterhazy and Don Wilson. Both were players and human beings of the highest order. George could swing and improvise like the wind. Everything he played was joyous. Wilson was quite an individual stylist. Singers, and everyone else, loved him. He was particularly effective at very slow tempos, a quality that few could duplicate, though Trudy Pitts, Shirley Horn and singer Joy Adams came close. The scene here will never be the same without George and Don.

Wilson had a regular Thursday night gig at one of Philadelphia’s premiere restaurants, The Prime Rib, which is also THE place to hear piano greats like Tom Lawton. Taking over the Thursday spot is my friend Andy Kahn.

Andy, by the way, will be involved in a very, very special promotion for Jacob’s Music, which concerns the piano owned and played by one Vladimir Horowitz. Andy Kahn, who also does some work for Jacobs, will be interviewed by Temple University’s WRTI radio about the Maestro and the instrument, and plans to play a few numbers as well. I plan on being there when the interview takes place at Jacobs, and will report to you thusly.

As you likely already know, has reduced the price of everything we have to $10, with shipping free worldwide. I urge you to take advantage of this.

I also look forward to reporting my musical encounter in late June with pianist Peter Beets, who will be visiting these parts shortly.

Atlantic City, a.k.a. “Beirut by the Sea,” continues to get battered by the economy, other gambling outlets, and the sheer fact that A.C. does not yet have it together. A front page story in the Philadelphia Inquirer alleged that mental health organizations and similar organizations in New Jersey and surrounding areas are “dumping” patients and others in terrible need–where else?–A.C. Not surprising, nor is the fact that in the list of top 10 beaches in New Jersey, Atlantic City didn’t make the cut.