September 9, 2016 |
As a boy, Eric Wortham II - the Philadelphia pianist who has spent 2016 touring the world in Adele's backing band - went to a church convention in Baltimore. Singing in the choir, he happened to be standing with a view of an organ player who was working the keys and pedals of a Hammond B-3. "I was looking at his hands, and was just mesmerized watching him," recalled Wortham, 33, sitting by a Yamaha grand piano at Chris' Jazz Café ("My favorite jazz club in the city") before his two weekend gigs with the British pop superstar at the sold-out Wells Fargo Center.
August 31, 2016 |
I love hearing about local kids from modest means who defy stereotypes and excel against the odds. Take Dylan Curtis. He's only 11, but he spent his summer working as a professional deejay at a number of high-profile events, including some at the White House. Yup. Dylan, who goes by "DJ D-Ill," performed at Wawa Welcome America! on a kids stage and also did a couple of gigs associated with the Democratic National Convention. His all-time biggest coup, though, was getting a call to perform at a White House state dinner for kids in July hosted by none other than first lady Michelle Obama.
August 9, 2016 |
Replacing Andre Watts in a high-profile engagement has long given young pianists a career boost. Watts' Aug. 17 cancellation with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga (N.Y.) Performing Arts Center, however, comes with extra gravity: The long-admired 70-year-old pianist has prostate cancer. "It's Andre's wish that we be straight about that," said his manager Linda Marder, whose talent roster at CM Artists includes numerous pianists who are guests of the Philadelphia Orchestra. "Men of a certain age have this problem.
July 17, 2016 |
Welcome to the world of "economic disruptors," where a company, technology or way of operation is so different that it forces businesses, governments or individuals to change the way they operate. One of the major disruptors is the so-called gig economy. As with any transformational activity, though, all that glitters is not gold and some will benefit while others fall behind. What is the gig economy? The term borrows from musicians, who play individual "gigs. " That is, they usually, but not always, move from one place to another to perform.
July 16, 2016 |
Philly's Jason Fraticelli is one of those rare session men and local live players who hits all corners of the jazz spectrum with his ax - primarily the upright bass. Along with recording for brand-name nu-jazz lions Melody Gardot, Billy Martin, Robert Glasper, and Cyro Baptista, Fraticelli has tackled eerily elegant, self-penned jazz compositions such as "The Mothers' Suite," with his 10-piece Fresh Cut Orchestra (on 2015's From the Vine ), and worked out the jam-band-jazz with his Wet Dreams band (an eponymous 2009 EP)
June 29, 2016 |
It makes perfect sense: If a band is going to engage in musical grave robbing, who else should be the front man but the coolest ghoul in rock history? Alice Cooper, 68, is touring as the lead singer of the Hollywood Vampires. Joining him in this extracurricular bit of sonic necrophilia are Aerosmith lead guitarist Joe Perry, 65, and A-list actor and current gossiparazzi obsession Johnny Depp, 53. Also in the band, who are to perform Friday at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center and Sunday at Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, is Matt Sorum, best known as Guns N' Roses' drummer.
May 15, 2016 |
It's been some ride for Villanova senior center Daniel Ochefu. He won a national championship with the Wildcats, rode in a victory parade in Center City, rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, and got to be a special guest at several pro games. Earlier this week, he was among the Wildcats who represented the team at City Hall as Council honored their accomplishment. And on Friday afternoon, he graduated. So how did he celebrate? Well, as it turns out, CBS3 sports anchor Don Bell was feeling under the weather.
May 15, 2016 |
Shane Black's The Nice Guys , set in a smog-cloaked '70s Los Angeles and starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe as a mismatched duo of stumblebum sleuths, can't help but evoke other, classic, movies. Robert Altman's version of Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye , shot just a few years before the time The Nice Guys is supposed to have taken place, is one. The Big Sleep another. Chinatown. L.A. Confidential . Who Framed Roger Rabbit , even. It's L.A., after all. It's private eyes.
April 30, 2016 |
For 10 years, ferocious guitar slinger and singer Dweezil Zappa has played an active role in the curation of father Frank Zappa's legacy by selling out Zappa Does Zappa catalog concerts across the globe. Who better to carry on the elder Zappa's adventures in avant-garde jazz/classical composition or fusion-funk grooves? The only problem here is the success of Zappa Does Zappa left Dweezil Zappa, now 46, with a dilemma: He, too, has had a solo career filled with flighty pop and raging rawk-outs.
April 12, 2016 |
Between whitewashed singles such as 1999's "Smooth" and Carnivale-like celebrations such as 2014's Corazón , Carlos Santana all but turned from the mix of incendiary psychedelia, free jazz and wild blues that made up his earliest efforts, like 1970's Abraxas . Afro-Cuban yes, but where was the psilocybin-fueled fury and bliss of yore? Formed in 1966 in San Francisco the first Santana (Carlos with singer/keyboardist Gregg Rolie and conga player Michael Carabello) was as much a soundtrack to that city-by-the-bay's hot summers of love as was the Grateful Dead.