One of my favorite things to do is attend concerts.  

But not just any old concerts in just any old place. I prefer venues where you can truly hear the musicians as well as the vocalist or group. While not a musician myself (I leave that up to my son), I have a good ear for what I like and  have a strong  auditory sensory mode. Thus I am easily distracted by incongruent or collateral sounds. So venue is very important to my enjoyment of a concert. In Omaha, we have one of the finest venues in the country.  The Holland Center for the Performing Arts is a stunning place to hear sounds. My wife and I go there very often. But I wish to go back a ways long before I lived in Omaha to recall an assortment of concerts I have had the good fortune to hear over the years. I will recall them not in any sequential order. I will skip around as I recall with great joy the memories of musicians, bands, and vocalists that I have had the good fortune to hear.


Jazz Goes to College | 1963

Clearly my favorite concert was The Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1963 at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.  It was a winter evening.  Our seats were in center section, 10 rows back (this is the very best place to sit for any concert). Dave Brubeck wore a black suit with a narrow black tie (narrow ties were popular in the 60’s).  His black horned rim glasses gave him an intellectual air. In fact he is an incredibly bright guy.  His drummer was Joe Morello.  Bass was Eugene Wright and of course Paul Desmond played alto saxophone.The Quartet was very popular on college campuses at this time and were at their very best.  It was simply cool.  I have since corresponded with Mr. Brubeck and he has signed several of my favorite things which I have framed and hang in my home theater.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet     

The Dave Brubeck Quartet     

 

But Not for Me | 1963

Another night in this memorable year was also at Augustana College.  The Ahmad Jamal Trio.  This is a concert that I shall never forget.  Israel Crosby on bass and Vernell  Fournier on drums.  They brought cool to an all new level.  Ahmad was then thin and very serious minded.  Very little talk,  seriously focused on the music and it was amazing.  His album BUT NOT FOR ME had been recorded in 1958 and it remains my favorite jazz album of all time.  We again sat in the center section, 15 rows back.  His focus on the high keys and repetitive style is so satisfying to 

Ahmad Jamal

Ahmad Jamal


To Ella with Love | 1968

A cold snowy night in Davenport, Iowa at the Orpheum Theater in February resulted in only 400 brave people showing up to listen to Ella Fitzgerald sing for nearly 2 hours.  She commented on how  small the audience was, but that we were about to hear a great show.  And great it was. I sat center left about 15 rows back.  I have no idea who the musicians were she had brought with her.  Now I am always sure who they are and usually google their names to see where they have been in their careers.  But to say I heard the great Ella Fitzgerald is something I am very proud of.  She is simply the best. No one sings scat better.  Her range is amazing.  And the softness of her voice is what I always have loved about her singing. Such a night.

Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald

 

 

e The Velvet Fog | 1985

Probably the best male scat singer who ever lived was Mel Tormé. I saw him at the Orpheum Theater  in Omaha, Nebraska January 23, 1982.  We sat in the left orchestra section, row R.  Not the best perhaps, but it was unforgettable.  He appeared and was accompanied by Peter Nero, who is worth the price of admission alone.  Bass and drums accompanied them and it was stunning.  The Orpheum is a bit unpredictable when it comes to acoustics, but they sounded great. He was known as the Velvet Fog.  He clearly is recognized as one of the truly great male jazz singers. He wrote The Christmas Song, an American classic. To hear a composer or lyricist sing their own piece of music is to me a memorable experience.

Mel Torme

Mel Torme



Touch of Class | 2006

Michael Feinstein

Michael Feinstein

October 19, 2006 Michael Feinstein appeared at the Holland Center in Omaha with Linda Eder. We had been to his nightclub in NYC in 2001, but had never heard him perform.  Wow.  He has such a command of the Great American Songbook that to listen to him sing lyrics is poetic.  He was an archivist for Ira Gershwin during the later period of his life.  Since then he has been active in saving recordings, sheet music and anything that can be saved in the area of American music.   He writes, sings and is a pianist and he has such a personal connection to what ever he plays that even though he doesn’t have the voice of a Sinatra, he is so satisfying to listen to.   Such a classy man. 

Linda Eder

Linda Eder

Linda Eder is a wonderful singer with a huge background on broadway becoming known for her leading role in Jekyll and Hyde.  The two together were so good.  Great concert.

 

 

He Left His Heart | 2003, 2006

Probably my favorite singer of all time besides Sinatra is Tony Bennett. The singer whom I like the best is clearly Bennett. (Sinatra makes it hard to like him in spite of his genius).  Tony Bennett is a nice man.  Period.  And a great painter.  But his music is incomparable. We have seen him twice.  November 1, 2003 and November 19, 2005.  The most recent concert was by far the best.  We sat orchestra, row M, seat 14 and 15. His voice obviously is not what it was when he was young, but it still catches you off guard how strong it remains.  His highs may be iffy, but to hear this man sing with his history so full of accomplishments made it a night to remember.   He had a wonderful group of musicians with him who themselves have recorded and played with many jazz greats. I missed seeing Sinatra in concert.  I feel so fortunate to be able to have seen Mr. Bennett and Miss Fitzgerald on stage. 

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Drummer Man | 1962

Gene Krupa is considered to be the most famous and perhaps  best drummer who ever lived. By the early 60s he was struggling in his career as most musicians were at that time due to the commercial influence of rock and roll on the recording industry. He appeared in a bar/club in Rock Island, Illinois in the winter of 1962. My friend and I were not yet 21, but we got into this club, ordered a beer and waited for Mr. Krupa to come out and indeed he did.  He played a set that was wild.  He really showed his stuff.  We knew we were watching a legend.  It was thrilling.

After the set, my friend and I decided we might go and try to meet him.  We went to his dressing room and knocked.  We heard a mumble and thought we had been asked in.  We swung the door open to find three guys who looked to us to be pretty tough.  I said, “we wanted to know if we could meet Mr. Krupa.”   One of the guys looked at us and smiled and said, “Mr Krupa might like to meet you if  you’d let him out from behind the door”. In fact, as we swung the door open Mr Krupa had been combing his hair in the mirror on the door and the force of us opening the door kind  of sent him back behind the door and the wall.  He was nice about it and we shook his hand.  What a thrill. We watched the second set before departing into the night, with a handful of memories to last a lifetime.  


A Little Bit Country | 2010

Lyle Lovett always puts together the best damn bands you can find. From his constant sidekick on cello, to the finest guitarists, he knows how to pick 'em. I have seen him twice with the last concert at the Holland Center on July 12, 2010. We sat in row J, center section, seats 107, 108. He writes the most original and fascinating lyrics that either tell an interesting story or are just plain funny.  His voice is very unusual and yet its just so fun to listen to him sing. And in the mean time his bands always kick ass. He has such an unassuming way about himself that it’s impossible not to like  him.  I’d see him again in a heartbeat.   We also saw him at the Orpheum Theater July 29, 1994.   

Lyle Lovett

Lyle Lovett

 

A Big Surprise | 2010

I once saw a DVD of a young beautiful jazz singer named Jane Monheit.   She had this long auburn hair, fresh face, stylish and so innocent looking.  I knew I had to see her if she came to the Holland.    And to the Holland she came.  December 4, 2010.  We sat in the orchestra section, 3rd row, seats 107,  108. When she came on stage, i was shocked to see a dark hair, somewhat tough looking woman with a tattoo or two.  How a few years can change you. But her voice remained as stunning as I remembered it.  

  Jane Monheit

  Jane Monheit

 

New Sounds | 2010

Norah Jones is an enigma wrapped in a riddle for me.  What is she? What is it that she sings? Jazz? Country?  Blues? Pop? She has many sounds that often sound the same. Yet there is something about her that is delightful and listenable. I like her. And at the Holland on March 7, 2010 she was marvelous. Sitting in Row J, seats 117, 118, we found her entire band terrific. I loved her first album and then sort of lost touch with her sound and career. But we jumped at the chance to see her at the Holland. The acoustics at the Holland are so  superb that any artist that you like will sound almost perfect in that venue. And Norah was almost perfect.



Good Night and Good Luck | 2006

A great voice surrounded by a small group of mature musicians is hard to beat.    The clarity of the voice, the sound, the music in an intimate setting is so satisfying.  On December 1, 2006 we sat in the second row, center section for Dianne Reeves, who is a jazz singer extraordinaire.  She appeared in the movie about the life of  Edward R. Murrow and won a Grammy for her CD from that movie.  Sitting so close is like being in a small intimate cabaret  and thus we could hear her voice, watch her eyes, and appreciate every nuance of a great singer as she performed.  It was so neat.  

Diane Reeves

Diane Reeves


The Late Show | 1995

Attending the LATE SHOW  with David Letterman is quite the experience.   You are herded in after standing in line for about an hour and then told when to applaud, and scurried out the minute the show is over.  But in between it's a blast.  I recommend it for anyone.  They use you as part of a prop for the show, but to see Dave and the way it’s done is worth the price of admission (it’s free of course). But the thing that I most enjoyed was the band. Paul Shaffer and the band play every minute the show is not on the air.  And the sound system is simply the best.  The music and the sound quality was so stunning, it’s the part of the show I remember most.  We went to the show September 23, 1998 while spending the week in New York City.

 

 

 

It's About Nothing | 1993, 2006

I remember the first black and white television our family purchased in 1952 like it was yesterday. Since then I have enjoyed many classic programs that have gone down in history as the best of television.  In my opinion there has never been a better comedy series than SEINFELD. We have seen Jerry Seinfeld twice.  Both times he appeared at the Orpheum theater in Omaha.  Both times he was wonderful.  He is never belly laugh funny in my opinion.  I have seen funnier comedians.   But I have never seen anyone as sharp, as cool, as mature, as psychologically healthy as Jerry.  We sat left center row 7, seat 14, 15.  We sat behind two gay guys............. "not that there is anything wrong with that.”

 

 

 

 

Something Blue | 2006

George Gershwin is simply my favorite composer. Yes, there are better ones that are technically superior, but I just love his music.  And RHAPSODY IN BLUE is my favorite work.   And to hear it at the Holland by a really good symphony is a treat. We sat in the second row seat 115, 116.  One might think that is too close, but at the Holland it is not.  And to watch the intensity and focus of the musicians makes it even more worthwhile to sit that close.  What a night it was.

 

 

 

Laugh In Revisited | 2006

I remember LAUGH IN like it was yesterday.  It was so fun and everyone watched it.  It’s iconic. And clearly the two greatest stars to come out of that show were Goldi Hawn and Lily Tomlin.  We were in the second row seats 118,117 to see Lily Tomlin  October 8, 2006.   She came out in what looked like a work out suit.  Very casual. I really wasn’t expecting much.  I was just glad to see her in person.   But she was simply a genius.  She is also an actress.  She proceeded to talk, do one person “skits” and show her skills at making you believe she was anyone but Lily. Being so close as we were, and it being only her on that stage, I loved watching her eyes, her expressions, her timing, her easy manner and her great sense of humor.   She was the best.


The Divine Miss | 2004

We had so looked forward to one day seeing Bette Midler, so when we heard she was coming to the Qwest Center in Omaha, of course we went.  She is outrageous and funny and talented.   She can do anything.  And on this night she did it all.  It was a great show.   But in the cavernous arena of the Qwest her voice bounced around like a rubber ball.  She had a great band with her, but they were hidden away towards the back of the stage where we could not even see them (and we had “good” seats on the side).  Thus it was a big disappointment once again proving to myself that there are just certain places that aren’t worth the time to see your favorite artist.  One day perhaps she may come to the Holland.  Perhaps.

 


Cheers | 2009

In my humble opinion, Bebe Neuwirth is one of the most talented women in show business.  She acts, sings, dances, does Broadway, television, movies, cabaret.........you name it. She did a cabaret act at the Holland Center April 17, 2009.   We sat in the 5th row, seats 110 and 111, center section.   With a small jazz group behind her, she sang the music of Kurt Weill (he wrote Mack The Knife from the Three Penny Opera). While not the most well known composer and lyricist in America, he has written some of the most interesting lyrics in music.   She proceeded to act out each song as though each was a play she was presenting.  It was really amazing to watch her talent.  And being so close, it was like we were in this intimate cabaret setting.  It was delightful.

Bebe Neuwirth

Bebe Neuwirth

 

 

Patricia and Bill Munro | 2010

For those of you who have gotten this far, you might be wondering who "we” are, as I describe the concerts “we” have attended. It has mainly been my partner, best friend, and wife Patricia.   She shares my (or perhaps I should say I share her) passion for music—especially live music.  She too loves jazz, popular, classical, cabaret and an assortment of musical art forms that have drawn us to these wonderful performances. She has impeccable taste, a sharp sense of humor and a keen sense of what she likes and doesn’t like.  And we share so much of these very things.

 

 

Gene Vincent | 1958

Many early rock and roll stars appeared at the “COL”  Ballroom in Davenport, Iowa in the 50’s.  Little Richard and Fats Domino to name a couple.  I saw Gene Vincent in 1958.  It was standing room only.  No assigned seating.  It was pure, raw rock and roll.  He was thin, had an odd sort of hat and was different from all the rest of those early artists who were literally turning the musical and cultural world upside down. BE BOB A LULA was his biggest hit. It remains a great rock and roll tune.  In those days concerts were not as huge and impersonal as they are today.  You could get closer to the stars and while they were huge stars, stardom and celebrity were not like it is now thus they weren’t as full of themselves as they tend to be now. It was a great time for music and for the fans.

Gene Vincent

Gene Vincent

 

 

K.D. Lang | 2008

One of the most versatile performers is someone we were always wanting to see.  And when we heard she was coming to the Holland October 21, 2008, we were truly excited.  I knew her voice would radiate in that setting.  K.D. Lang was everything we had hoped for.  We sat in the center,  6th row, seats 8 and 9.  And it was a love fest as everyone so appreciates and loves this woman.  She is so real and down to earth.  And then she begins to sing......country, blues, jazz, standards.......you name it, and her voice covers it all. It was a grand night.

K D Lang

K D Lang

 

 

 

Chris Botti | New Year's Eve, 2009

December 31, 2009 was a star studded night at the Holland Center.  And Chris Botti was a fitting guest that night.  His music is so romantic, so listenable, so beautiful.  He is handsome, cool, one of Sting’s favorites and just presented a stunning program.  We fell in love again that night. (as we so often do when we feel romance in the air). That may seem corny, but it is true.   And I'm not embarrassed to say it

Chris Botti

Chris Botti

 

 

 

 

 

A Voice Of His Own | 2008

Kurt Elling

Kurt Elling

I had heard of Kurt Elling,  but had never actually heard his voice before this concert.  So I was surprised and perhaps a bit dissappointed when I heard his phrasing and pacing to his songs.  He might sing a standard from the Great American Songbook, but in such a way that you would not necessarily recognize it at first.  His approach is very different yet his voice is wonderful.  He is very unique in every way and I ended up feeling really good about his style. Not my favorite but yet a good change of pace.

 

 

 

Jazz Is |  1988

One cannot love jazz without being familiar with this man Wynton Marsalis.  He is artistic director of Jazz At Lincoln Center and has won Grammy's in both classical and jazz music.  What I appreciate about Wynton is that he works hard to maintain the integrity and history of Jazz in America.  He is hugely committed to educating young people about jazz.  We have seen Wynton in concert on four occasions.  We went back stage on one occasion and met and talked with him.  He brings together the best musicians for any of his concerts.  Our first concert was in Omaha at the Orpheum theater in the 80's.  His brother Branford was with him along with Jeff "Twain" Watts and Marcus Roberts who are both major figures in Jazz.

Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis

 

 

 

 

George Gershwin Alone |  2006

We saw this one man play at the ROYAL GEORGE THEATER in Chicago July 16, 2006.  We went with Jeanette Terry and Gene.  It was wonderful.  Hershey Felder performed on stage as George Gershwin at the piano as he relived his life and played his music thru out the play.  He is a classically trained pianist and could play Gershwin in the exact style that Gershwin played.  It was  a wonderful time.  It was like you Gershwin himself was in front of us.  Wow.

 

 

GERSHWIN ON STEROIDS | 2006

ON MAY 17, 2006 we attended the Holland Center for the Performing Arts where w sat in our regular seats Center, Row B, 115 and 116.  The acoustics at the Holland are so good that even in row B one can feel enveloped by the sounds of this excellent orchestra.  And on this night the focus was on my favorite of all symphonies.  While I understand that many critics much more knowledgable of serious music than I, it never the less touches me in a way that I jump at the chance to hear Rhapsody In Blue.

This night was no exception.  Thomas Wilkins led this symphony with such power and enthusiasm that it was sheer joy sitting there.  It was a grand night.

 

 

 

 

TIERNEY SUTTON  |  2012

One of my favorite things is to listen to a jazz singer in a good setting like the Holland accompanied by a small group of incredible musicians.  On May 4, 2012 we sat in the first row, seats 102, 103 center section to hear The Tierney Sutton Band.  Tierney is a woman who is 50ish who has a wonderful voice and sings jazz as well as anyone.  She comes across rather tough  (we met her after the concert), but she is so so good.  One of our better jazz concerts at the Holland.

Tierney Sutton

Tierney Sutton

 

 

 

A Night To Remember | 2013

Cabaret singing had its roots in the risqué songs and clubs of Prohibition.  Singers backed by a pianist (or at least no more than drums and bass) have since been a mainstay in New York City and other larger cities in America and Europe.  Cabaret has it’s own history, icons and well-known artists of varying degrees of talent, popularity and success.  I’m not certain when or where I became so taken by this specific art form, but it most likely was  the result of simply hearing singers at small clubs and becoming aware of the stunning brilliance and clarity of a wonderful voice supported softly by a simple trio or piano.  To hear great lyrics sung by a great voice that isn’t drowned out by a large orchestra or band is something to behold.

I have seen in performance such great singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Linda Ronstadt, Bernadette Peters to name but a few. I loved hearing them in person and so enjoy a great kick-ass band or the romantic sounds of a violin section.  Yet I must admit, that if I had a choice, I would always prefer to see a singer in a small intimate club with a trio or piano.  I always regret not seeing Bobby Short at the Café Carlyle in New York City.  The best I could do was send him a letter asking for his picture and signature that I have framed in my office.  However I did see another wonderful pianist/singer in 1994 at Bemelman's Bar, which is also in the Carlyle Hotel.  In 1994 and 2001, Pat and I spent time in New York City. Both trips were exciting as we experienced numerous plays, musicals, jazz clubs romantic dinners and cabaret.

Liz Calloway and Anne Hampton Calloway

Liz Calloway and Anne Hampton Calloway

In ’94, a pricey club in Rockefeller Center, 88 floors above Manhattan named RAINBOW AND STARS hosted a variety of famous singers in a most intimate setting.  The club was small with windows from floor to ceiling that gave a breathtaking view of the city lights on this June night. On this night we were graced with the performance of Ann Hampton-Callaway and her sister Liz (who was starring in Cats on Broadway at the time).   Ann was and is one of the most sought after cabaret singers in NYC.  She didn’t disappoint.  It was her last night and her family was there as well as friends who celebrated her performance afterwards.  It was a wonderfully romantic evening.  The sound system at a club like RAINBOW AND STARS is of course outstanding so to hear the voice so cleanly and clearly sing the lyrics of so many great songs was breathtaking.

Another performance that is memorable was the night Pat and I saw Barbara Cook at the Holland Center in Omaha.  Her voice is more theatrical since she has been a mainstay on the stages of the New York Theater for so many years.  But she sang with a small trio of great musicians and we were in the center section, second row.  Oh my God was she good. 

                       Barbara Cook

                       Barbara Cook

More recently Pat and I experienced “the perfect storm” when it comes to cabaret singing.  It happened at the Holland Center For The Performing Arts.  Only this time it wasn’t in the main hall. It was in a smaller venue that holds perhaps 300 people.  It is set up like a true cabaret.  Small tables that sit two with candles and red table clothes filling a dimly lit room.  The room is wonderfully acoustic and the sound system nearly perfect.  We were in the second row, stage right.  People were dressy casual and of all ages.  Waiters brought drinks and hors d’oeuvres if so desired.  The stage had a grand piano and a tall stool with a mike.

Ted Taylor was her accompanist.  His resume’ is tremendous.  He has accompanied Kathleen Battle as well as McNair.  Together they have been guest artists with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and have appeared in Vienna, Rome, London and Prague.  Mr. Taylor is also a well-known classical conductor, appearing with an assortment of symphonies around the country and in New York.  He also studied harpsichord with Anthon Newman.

He and Sylvia came out in grand fashion with he in a tux and she in a long stunning black beaded gown with a feathered boa she had purchased in the Old Market. Since her breast cancer, she has had her hair blonde and it is still short from the chemo.  She raised her fist as she proclaimed victory over cancer. 

Miss McNair sang from the Great American Songbook.  That is my favorite thing to hear in concert.  Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, Johnny Mercer, Rogers and Hart were but a few of the composers and lyricists she sang from.  She also told a very cute story of how she decided to leave the Metropolitan Opera.  In the course of her story she did several brief arias that revealed a voice that was simply stunningly beautiful.  But tonight she sang as a cabaret artist.

                                 Ted Taylor and Sylvia McNair

                                 Ted Taylor and Sylvia McNair

As Pat and I sat there in that intimate venue listening to one of the truly great singers in the world, the clarity of her voice so clear and supported by one of the great accompanist in the world, we looked at each other, touched hands and smiled with great joy and gratitude of our good fortune.   To be so in love, healthy, and share such wonderful music is not something either of us ever take for granted.  And on this night, neither of us did.  It was shear joy.

Sylvia McNair

Sylvia McNair

 

 

Jay Leno | 1990

Jay Leno performed for a solid 2 hours uninterrupted at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha.  This was before he became host of the Tonight Show and before he became "corporate".  And oh was he funny.  Not a single bit of  profanity, yet edgy and so cool.  After the performance Pat and I went back stage and met him and he signed the drinking glass he used during the performance. We were the only ones back there and he was so sweet to us.  I still have it.  We sat in the second row so we're very close to him which makes it even more fun to see his face and nuances of his expressions.  This was truly one of the best comedians we have ever seen other than Seinfeld.  But we have been disappointed since then as he lost his edginess doing the Tonight Show.  Hopefully he will get it back once he leaves TS.

 

 

 

Billy Hart  Paris, France

Pat and I spent some time in Paris and London last year and on May 30, 2014, 2014 while in Paris we saw Billy Hart at the Le Duc Des Lombards jazz club.  It is a very well known jazz club across the Seine from Notre Dame.  It is very small, quaint and totally focused on "listening" to what ever jazz group is appearing.  Billy Hart is a legendary jazz drummer.  It was his group.  The club is so small and tight that I sat next to Bill Hart and easily could have reached out and touched him.  Yet the acoustics are such that it wasn't loud or distracting.  It was truly an experience to be in Paris and experience something that was not touristy and that the Parisians loved.  

     Billy Hart

     Billy Hart

 

 

 

Branford Marsalis | 2012

We had once seen Branford in concert with his brother Wynton over ten years ago, and once Branford took over as musical director for THE TONIGHT SHOW, he had become a recognized star in his own right.  And he had several great musicians with him at this concert at the Holland Center in Omaha.  Row E, seats 115 and 116 were perfect for this great jazz band.  

Branford Marsalis

Branford Marsalis

 

 

Dee Dee Bridgewater | 2010

I was never a huge fan of this jazz singer.  She has had a jazz program on PBS for years but I never paid much attention to her music.  But we went to this concert at the  Holland Center in Omaha on November 19, 2010, Row M, seats 110, 102.  And we were so so surprised and delighted with her range, sound, and style.  It was so good.

Dee Dee Bridgewater

Dee Dee Bridgewater

 

 

 

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest | 2000

The Steppenwolf  Theater in Chicago is a legendary theatre that produces many plays that will go on to Broadway.   I have been there several times.  June 10, 2000 Pat and I went to ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST starring Gary Senise.  While the play is a bit dated, this production did go on to Broadway and Senise was wonderful in the starring role.  Jack Nicholson starred in the movie version.  Our son and his wife were living in Chicago at the time and were with us.  It was a great night.

                               Gary Senise

                               Gary Senise

 

 

 

 

Cecile McLorin Salvant | 2014 |  London, England 

While planning our trip in 2014 to London and Paris, we both wanted to visit some jazz clubs.   Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London is very well known and we happened to catch this new, young and very hot jazz vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant.  The club was large by jazz club standards and a bit plush.  Low lit, candles, and a large stage.  It was clearly a hot spot in London.  Her band was really great and filled with musicians who are all successful in their own right.  She was delightful and the show was wonderful.  The show complemented our visit to London so well.

   Cecile McLorin Salvant

   Cecile McLorin Salvant

 

 

 

 

In The Round | 2015 | London, England

One of my bucket list items has been to see a play at THE OLD VIC in London, England.  In May, 2014 we went to London and the day before the performance I got an email from THE OLD VIC  telling me that some tickets had been released for the next nights performance of CLARENCE DARROW  staring Kevin Spacey.    We called and got second row seats for this sold out performance.  The theater is historical.   The play is wonderful.  And his performance was simply spell binding . It was in the round and when he would come and go, he'd walk right by us.  It was such fun.  It was the best night I have ever had in theater. Unfortunately, the revelations of his sexual misconduct and abuse has most likely compromised his career.  

        Kevin Spacey

        Kevin Spacey


Paris in New York City   May 24, 2016  New York City

Pat and I have seen many musicals over the years.  Yet nothing quite matches this incredible musical based on the movie AN AMERICAN IN PARIS.  But this is so much better.  While I love Gene Kelly in the movie, the two stars of this show are both former ballet stars and yet can they sing.  Amazing talent.  There is ballet, tap and modern dance thru out.  And with the George Gershwin score, its wonderful.  We sat in row f, center section, seats 119 - 120.


Sophisticated Reunion    May 23, 2016  New York City

One of my hopes in life was to get to Birdland, one of the most iconic names in jazz.  We we're fortunate to see a special show that brought together three jazz/broadway/cabaret singers who have been in musicals such as LeMiz Evita and Sophisticated Ladies.  It is a fairly intimate club and we we're lucky enough to be sitting right in front of the stage.  It was a great night of the kind of music Pat and I both enjoy.   It was a fun packed week in NYC as we got around the town via Uber, Taxis and even a Pedi-cab tour of Central Park.  Such a week.

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DANCIN'      MAY 22, 2016        New York City

The New York City Ballet has to be one of my very favorite things.  A full symphony orchestra and the best ballet dancers in the world in the stunning David Koch Theater is an incredible experience.This was our second visit.  The combination of athleticism, grace, timing, movement, and sound has to be one of the greatest forms of art there is.  Again, we we're fortunate to see one of the last performances of Craig Hall.  Wow.  We had great seats:  Row C, Orchestra, seats 7,8.

 

 

 

Steven..Steven....Steven     May 25, 2016      New York City  

 

We had been to the taping for THE LATE SHOW with David Letterman and found it really interesting and fun.  So on this trip we got ticket for THE LATE SHOW with Stephen Colbert. It has to be one of the strangest and fun experiences there is.   Long waits and patience it takes, but once inside the Ed Sullivan Theater it is nothing but great music practically non stop and fascinating behind the scenes kinds of things that makes for a great time.  We really like him which helps but the band led by Jon Batiste is great and they play during every commercial break (and these are longer in the studio than they appear at home).  And the sound system in the studio is really great. And he is very personal with the audience.   

 

 

 

Goin To Dizzy's         May 21, 2016           New York City

 

The day we arrived in NYC we took a Uber and headed up to Coumbus Circle to Jazz At Lincoln Center where DIZZY'S COCA COLA jazz club is located.   It is a modern, relatively new jazz spot.The group was headed by Wessel Anderson and Mark Rapp.  Rap plays a lot of softer, often muted horn (which Pat prefers) and the sound was really great.  The group played in front of a large window that overlooked the NYC sky line.  The lights of the city behind the group added a nice dimension to the club  We got a table in the front row  and  most jazz clubs  allow photography as long as you don't use flash and I had with me my Olympus EM-5 with a low light lens.  It was a fun evening.  

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