Thursday, March 30, 2017

KEVN BACON

Catching up with Kevin Bacon. (Colonial Theater Phoenixville, PA)

Monday, March 27, 2017

STEVE HACKETT









The great Steve Hackett and his band during their recent visit to Reading, PA. Photos by Rob Nagy 2017

BILL HALEY

We are nearing completion of our promotional trailer for our impending music documentary. Won't be long before Graham Nash adds his narration. The dream is getting closer!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

RANDY BRECKER AT THE BERKS JAZZ FEST



 

Randy Brecker Joins an All- Star Line up

at 2017 Berks Jazz Fest


By Rob Nagy

Widely regarded as one of the jazz community’s most coveted treasures, Grammy Award winning trumpeter and flugelhornist Randy Brecker, now 71, continues to thrive as a solo artist and a highly sought after session player and collaborator.

An artist whose masterful playing knows no boundaries, Brecker’s talent has found him routinely delving into the world of jazz, rock and R&B with ease, working alongside such luminaries as Charles Mingus, Stanley Turrentine, Jaco Pastorious, Bruce Springsteen and Frank Zappa, among many others. Brecker is without question a legend in his own time.

With the 27th Annual Reading Berks Jazz Fest approaching, Brecker returns to the area for what is sure to be another memorable appearance.

“The Berks Jazz Fest has become really important,” says Brecker, from his home in New York City. “I’ve played there many times, too many to count or remember. It’s developed into a great event. The crowds are so knowledgeable and it’s such a great hang. I get to see musicians I only get to see once or twice a year. The whole thing is really a big thrill. The musicians enjoy the fans, the fans enjoy us, and it’s just one big happy family. It’s such a great time.”

“I can guarantee you for this year’s Berks Jazz Fest we have a great band that we are dedicating the whole show to my good friend and guitarist Mike Stern,” adds Brecker. “He was supposed to be there but recently had an operation to fix his shoulders and the nerve in his hand from a bad fall months back. He’s healing and we’re hoping he will be out there soon and we’re dedicating the whole concert to him.”

“I really hope everybody comes out to the concert,” says Brecker. “I think we have something really good planned. We’re doing a little of everyone’s tunes all played together throughout the years so I think it will really be something special.”


Born and raised in suburban Philadelphia, Brecker grew up in a musical family, and first picked up the trumpet at age eight. Routinely exposed to the works of Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie, courtesy of his father, the seed was planted for what has ultimately blossomed into an astonishing career.

“I came up playing a lot of different styles of music in Philadelphia, which was really a melting pot of all kinds of music from the Philadelphia Orchestra to American Bandstand,” recalls Brecker. “All those great artists from South Philly and singers that came through. Of course all the great jazz musicians that came from there, blues, rock, R&B. By the time I left Philly I had a lot of different styles under my belt so I became flexible as a player and enjoyed different styles of music. I’ve never stuck to one format or another. In other words, I try not to put the same record out year after year so they’re all kind of different.”

A graduate of Cheltenham High School, Brecker relocated to New York City following his studies at Indiana University performing with a variety of orchestras before ultimately expanding his creative energies into the world of jazz, rock and R&B.

Forming the infamous Brecker Brothers in 1975 with his brother, the late Michael Brecker, the group released six albums on the Arista record label garnering seven Grammy nominations before disbanding in 1982. Reuniting in 1992 their “Out of the Loop” (1994) album release was a double Grammy winner. In 2012, Legacy Recordings released the boxed set “The Brecker Brothers – The Complete Arista Albums Collection.”

Randy Brecker earned his first Grammy award as a solo artist for his album release “Into the Sun” (1997). Subsequent album releases “34th N Lex” (2003), “Randy Brecker Live with the WDR Big Band” (2007), “Randy in Brazil”(2008) and “Night in Calisia” (2012) all yielded additional Grammy honors.

“When I was young my expectation was just to move to New York and be a free-lance trumpet player,” recalls Brecker. “That’s really what I did for 20 years. I was sucked into the music scene in New York pretty quickly. There was a lot of studio work. I had no idea the bulk of my work would be doing sessions and writing sessions and playing on other people’s records. Eventually I got tired of doing stuff for other people and wanted my own home base and started writing my own music and try to form my own conception which was far more successful than I ever imagined in my wildest dreams partially because we had a hit single in 1975 called “Sneakin’ Up Behind You.” That also pushed our performing career along with a studio career. When I look back on it, it seems like it’s somebody else’s life.”

“I wish I had more of an ego,” adds Brecker. “The trumpet will keep you humble. It’s a difficult instrument and some days it works and some days it doesn’t. You just have to put the time in. It certainly doesn’t get easier as you get older. It just keeps you humble. You got your good days and bad days.  Sometimes you win. Sometimes the trumpet wins. It goes back and forth your whole life and then you die and the trumpet wins.”

For a complete list of concerts, venues and ticket information for this year’s Berks Jazz Fest that runs from March 31 to April 9, 2017, visit www.berksjazzfest.com.

To stay up to date with Randy Brecker, visit www.randybrecker.com

http://www.tickettoentertainment.com/blog/2017/03/23/philly-native-randy-brecker-talks-about-his-early-days/

GUITARIST CHUCK LOEB RETURNS TO BERKS JAZZ FEST


Guitarist Chuck Loeb Returns to
To the Berks Jazz Fest

By Rob Nagy

While Grammy nominated jazz guitarist Chuck Loeb has not attained the commercial notoriety of some of his contemporaries, his critically acclaimed prowess on the guitar has earned him a place among the elite in the world of jazz.

Recognized around the world for his solo efforts as well as his work with “Steps Ahead” and “Fourplay,” Loeb once again joins a stellar line-up of artists at this year’s impending Berks Jazz Fest.

“I think I’ve been playing the Berks Jazz Fest at least the last 15 years. I think the first time was ‘96, ’97,” recalls Loeb while waiting for his flight at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. “Each year I do multiple events at the festival. I feel very at home there. It’s one of my favorite festivals, maybe my favorite festival in the whole world because it’s like family at this point. The folks that put it on are very special people.”

“It spans ten days,” adds Loeb. “I’m playing with Foreplay, doing my own show, doing a show called “Bop” and then the all-star jam. For guys like me that are kind of part of the Berks family, it’s an event. It’s a really important bonding event where you see a lot of the guys, the players are all my favorites. It’s a real homecoming.”

“Any opportunity to get out and play your music for people is important, the Berks in particular, because it’s such a big audience and they do such a good job of promoting it,” says Loeb. “It’s a very important festival in that regard.”

Initially influenced by rock and roll, Loeb’s introduction to the guitar was ignited by listening to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Led Zepplin.

“For me because I grew up being influenced more by pop rock, blues and stuff like that, I discovered jazz a little later,” recalls Loeb. “Jazz incorporates, especially contemporary jazz, a lot of the elements of all those different kinds of music, which I love.”



Discovering the world of jazz at 16, Loeb was drawn to the work of jazz legends Wes Montgomery, Pat Martino, George Benson and John McLaughlin. Ultimately studying guitar at the Berklee College of Music, Loeb headed to New York City in the mid 70’s to pursue a career as a professional musician. Earning his chops performing with Chico Hamilton, Ray Barreto, Stan Getz and Michael Brecker, Loeb released his debut solo album “My Shining Hour” in 1988.

“To define jazz, it’s a little bit difficult to give a definition,” says Loeb. “You can always say that it’s improvised American music, but we incorporate so many elements from across the world that you can’t really limit it to that. Jazz is music based on collaboration, improvisation and creativity at a very high level. It is music that combines rhythms that people can relate to with complex improvisation. I think you draw people in with the swing and the groove of the music and then they are open to hear some of the complexities of the harmony and melody and improvisation that is within that framework.”



It wasn’t until his album release “The Music Inside” (1996) that Loeb attained commercial success when the title track reached Number One on the jazz charts. Subsequent album releases “Moon, the Stars & the Setting Sun” (1998), “Listen” (1999), “In a Heartbeat” (2001), and “All There Is” (2002) earned Loeb much needed exposure. His work can be heard in a variety of TV shows and commercials as well as on the soundtrack for the films “The Untouchables,” “You’ve Got Mail” and “Hitch.”

With more than two-dozen solo, collaborative and compilation releases to his credit, Loeb earned a Grammy nomination for “Best Contemporary Instrumental Album” for his “Unspoken” album in 2016.

“It was very exciting,” recalls Loeb. “I did not win unfortunately. Just to be nominated was great. It was my third nomination. I’ve yet to win one but I look forward to the time when I can go up and grab the little statue. I’m not giving up.”

“I’m starting to rev up over the winter, things have been a little bit slow, but things are starting to heat up now,” adds Loeb. “ I have some shows with “Fourplay” and some of my own shows and I will also work with “Jazz, Funk, Soul” which is myself, Everette Harp and Jeff Lorber and other things here and there.”

“The most important thing is that I want people to come away feeling positive with a smile on their face and song in their heart,” says Loeb. “I want to be able to reach them. Make their day a little bit better…their life as good as it can be and hopefully just make them want to hear more. I would like them to come away thinking, ‘I want to get more of this music’ that continues a relationship with an artist and their fans.”

“I feel very satisfied,” says Loeb. “I feel I get a lot of recognition for what I do. People all across the world know my music.  Of course I’d like to elevate my music and reach more people.  If I were to look back at my career if it ended now I would say I was very happy with where I ended up.”

For a complete list of concerts, venues and ticket information for this year’s Berks Jazz Fest that runs from March 31 to April 9, 2017, visit www.berksjazzfest.com

http://www.tickettoentertainment.com/blog/2017/03/23/chuck-loeb-aiming-at-reaching-the-audience/


MY CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY







Be sure to stop by Steel City (Phoenixville, PA) through the end of April to see my concert photography. By one piece at full price and get the second at half off for the month of April. These same pieces sell in N.Y. and L.A. for $250 to $500.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

THE McLOVINS AT THE ARDMORE MUSIC HALL (Ardmore,PA) 3/18/17









Checked out the McLovins last night at the Ardmore Music Hall (Ardmore, PA) following the Delbert McClinton show. Very impressive band. Solid songwriting and excellent musicianship! Photos by Rob Nagy 2017

MUSIC LEGEND DELBERT McCLINTON






Music legend Delbert McClinton playing to a packed Colonial Theater (Phoenixville, PA) last night. Photos by Rob Nagy

Thursday, March 16, 2017

THANK YOU GRAHAM NASH!






My first round of concert photos are off to NYC, L.A. and Hawaii. A huge thank you to Graham Nash for opening this door.

Monday, March 13, 2017

BOB MARLEY


"The truth is everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for."

Sunday, March 12, 2017

CLIFF HILLIS



Cliff Hillis opening for Nik Everett at the Kennett Flash (Kennett Square, PA) last night. Photos by Rob Nagy 2017

PHILLY MUSIC LEGEND NIK EVERETT



Nik Everett and his band playing a packed Kennett Flash (Kennett Square, PA) last night. Nik is a fantastic songwriter and one of the good guys in the business. It is an honor to be his friend!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

RUSTED ROOT







Rusted Root recently came through town playing a sold out show at the Sellersville Theater (Sellersville, PA). Photos by Rob Nagy

GREG SOVER BAND AT STEEL CITY 3/10/17






ANNA SPACKMAN AT STEEL CITY 3/10/17



Great job by singer songwriter Anna Spackman opening for Greg Sover last night. Photos by Rob Nagy