It can be argued that Booker T and the MGs ushered in the age of modern soul music in 1962 with their huge instrumental hit, “Green Onions.” Booker T Jones’ distinctive bedrock grooves on the Hammond B3 organ propelled that classic and other Stax hits like “Time Is Tight” and “Melting Pot.” Jones was hugely influential in popularizing the organ as a rock-n-roll instrument. He has had a long and successful career in the music business, working as a bandleader, composer, and record producer.
The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies are a band with multiple personalities. They are typically lauded for their authentic jazz and swing-era shows devoted lovingly to particular period pieces: “A Jazz-Age Lawn Party” consisting of Roaring 20’s and Cotton Club–era material; a swanky “Live at the Sands” tribute to the Rat Pack; and a World War II “Christmas Canteen” show that is part Tiki bar, part Benny Goodman, and part 1942 radio broadcast from Guadalcanal. However, the group actually originated in 1989 as a band of bad-boy punk rockers.
“Curtis On Tour” is shorthand for the Nina von Maltzhan Global Touring Initiative of Philadelphia’s famed Curtis Institute of Music. Students hone their artistry at Curtis, which offers real-world, professional touring experience alongside celebrated alumni and faculty. The Vera Quartet will perform with faculty pianist Meng-Chieh Liu. The program will include selections from Beethoven, Franck, and Hertzberg. While in our area, the visitors will offer demonstrations and master classes at several local schools as part of Civic Music’s in-school program.
Israeli pianist Ran Dank, a protégé of famed pianist Emmanuel Ax, has won virtually every major prize available to a young musician in his own country. Korean-American pianist Soyeon Kate Lee, who is married to Dank, has played with the Cleveland Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. She is the co-founder and artistic director of Music by the Glass, a concert series in New York City. The duo will perform individually and together, sometimes using two pianos and sometimes playing four hands.
Russian-born Svetlana Shmulyian and her all-star jazz swing band have won an enthusiastic following through their appearances in the Back Room, New York City’s only remaining Prohibition-era speakeasy. The lively ensemble transports their audiences, moving seamlessly from sophisticated, tender works to rowdy, exuberant, foot-stomping pieces that are utterly contemporary. The band’s diverse set list is enhanced by superb musicianship and Svetlana’s engaging vocals.
The Band of Heathens was voted “Best New Band” at the 2007 Austin Music Awards. Their 2008 self-titled studio album went to #1 on the Americana Music Association’s radio charts. After appearing on Austin City Limits with Elvis Costello, the band earned nominations for best New Emerging Artist and Best Duo/Group by the Americana Music Association. Recently, the Heathens went into their hometown studio in Austin to record their own version of the classic Ray Charles album, A Message from the People.