August 14, 2015 |
Get a good look at Danny Kean - pounding the keys as his dog, Mo, snoozes atop his piano, jammed in the bed of his old red pickup truck. Because he won't be in Philadelphia for long. Gray-haired and goateed, Kean may be the last of the hard-core troubadours. He talks fast, thinks deep, and moves on. He has no home, no job, and no money. What he's got is a 1987 Toyota, three-quarters of a tank of gas, and a belief that bringing piano music to people across the continent affords them, and him, a certain kind of enlightenment.
July 29, 2015 |
Some call it a house party, others a "sing-in. " Whatever it's called, the musical event that goes on every Tuesday at D'Angelo's Ristorante Italiano in Center City is hard to fit into two words. Certainly there are other open-mic sessions out there, but none just like this, the only one of its kind in Center City. Every Tuesday night for five years, an accomplished pianist/accompanist named Tom Adams, who has worked closely with the likes of Bette Midler and Cybill Shepherd, accompanies a group of singers, mainly amateur and semipros, who sing songs from Tin Pan Alley and Broadway musicals past and present.
July 26, 2015 |
Funeral services are scheduled Saturday, July 25, for Nicholas Monatesti, 75, formerly of Philadelphia, who died Friday, June 19, of a stroke at Flagstaff (Ariz.) Medical Center. Services are to begin at 11 a.m. at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church, 3205 Chesterfield Rd. Inurnment will be later. Mr. Monatesti lived in Downingtown from 1975 until 1983, moving to Lititz, Pa., and, later, Philadelphia. A little more than a year ago, he moved to Flagstaff, seeking good weather and mountain vistas, and to be closer to his son, Anthony "A.J.
June 13, 2015 |
Muriel Boushell Graham, 90, formerly of Pennsauken, a pianist for Haddonfield Plays and Players productions in the 1970s and 1980s, died at her home in Simpsonville, S.C., on Wednesday, March 4. A memorial service has been set for 11 a.m. Saturday, June 13, at St. Peter's Church, 1 Hartford Rd., Medford. Mrs. Graham was known most recently as the pianist at Inn Philadelphia, a piano bar on Camac Street between Spruce and Locust Streets in Center City, where she worked from the late 1990s to 2005, when she moved to South Carolina, daughter Michelle Dilger said.
May 5, 2015 |
IF YOU NEEDED musical entertainment for a special event, Anthony White would have been your man. Anthony was a child prodigy on the piano, and in later years he was in demand everywhere, from funeral homes to churches to the performance halls where he opened for some of Philly's outstanding musicians. "Anthony was always willing to play for any event you asked," his family said. Anthony Rayvon White, who formerly worked for the Pennsylvania Unemployment Office and the University of Pennsylvania Science Center, a king of the barbecue grill who loved to entertain, died April 23 after a brief illness.
May 3, 2015 |
The sheer number of songs in I Love a Piano wouldn't surprise an Irving Berlin scholar - but their power and number astounded in Ray Roderick and Michael Berkeley's musical tribute. More than 50 selections from Berlin's songbook fill the delightful 95-minute production at the Walnut Street Independence Studio on 3. With a cast led by Ellie Mooney and Owen Pelesh, these songs soared, charmed with their winsomeness, and reminded listeners - with a nostalgic sense of loss - of the age in which Berlin wrote the lyrics and music for most of his greatest hits.
April 25, 2015 |
NEW YORK - The public may go gaga for the museum designs of Frank Gehry, but museum directors prefer Renzo Piano, the Italian minimalist who just completed an expansive new home for the Whitney Museum of American Art overlooking the High Line. Since partnering with Richard Rogers in the '70s on the crayon-colored Pompidou Center in Paris, Piano's firm has gone on to create well over two dozen art museums. In America, the notches on his belt include major designs in Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Fort Worth, Texas.
March 25, 2015 |
Harvey D. Wedeen, 87, of Center City, chairman of the keyboard department at Temple University's Boyer College of Music and Dance for nearly five decades and a force behind starting many of the school's degree programs, died Friday, March 13, at home. Mr. Wedeen became a faculty member at Temple in 1964, and was director of the well-regarded Temple University Music Institute at Ambler from 1971 to 1975 and the music festival's artistic director in 1974 and 1975. He helped establish the school's doctoral program in performance; the master's program in accompanying and chamber music; master's programs in piano performance and pedagogy; the Center City Temple Prep; and a program to bring free music lessons to local children.
March 15, 2015 |
At 21 years of age, Ariana Grande - a four-octave light lyric soprano dubbed the "mini-Mariah" - has the world on a string, a notion she blithely, but solidly, embraced while singing and dancing in front of a sold-out crowd at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday. Grande is a Broadway veteran and has long been a staple of Nickelodeon children's television as Cat Valentine, an adored character in two different series inspiring her young girl fans (and their mothers) to wear lit-up cat ears, just as she does on stage.
February 28, 2015 |
Pianist Marcus Roberts is known for many things: a genius skill that makes him the logical successor to Thelonious Monk's wild style (with a lot of Fats Waller in his stride), an immense love of the blues, technological innovations in regard to composing for the blind, and a soulful sense of tradition and invention. Roberts is also renowned for developing a philosophy in which, in a trio setting, the bass and drums are equal to his piano. Drummer Jason Marsalis and bassist Rodney Jordan are featured equally with the bandleader and are just as liable to set the temperature and mood of a particular performance as is the pianist.