An evening with Rolando Morales and Carlos Reyes at Sausalito Seahorse, March 25, 2017

Full Rolando Morales Band will perform at Sausalito Seahorse March 25, 2017
Full Rolando Morales Band will perform at Sausalito Seahorse March 25, 2017

Saturday March 25, “An Evening with Rolando Morales and Carlos Reyes,” Sausalito Seahorse, 305 Harbor Drive, Sausalito, approx. 8:30-11:30pm.  After months away, these two passionate musicians finally return to The Seahorse to put on their unique show at this fun waterfront restaurant and club.  The great Paraguayan harpist/violinist Carlos Reyes and passionate guitarist/vocalist Rolando Morales will play a short set in duet to close out the dinner hour, followed by a concert and dancing to the World Class Rolando Morales Group featuring from the Gregg Rolie Band, the exciting bassist Gary Brown; from Brazil, the amazing drummer from Airto and Steve Winwood, Celso Alberti; from Rubén Blades and Dizzy Gillespie, Nicaraguan Latin percussionist/vocalist Danilo Paíz; from Paraguay, the thrilling violinist and harpist from Arturo Sandoval and Steve Miller, Carlos Reyes; and the powerful Rolando Morales leading the journey on guitar, guitar synthesizer and vocals.   Don’t miss it!   $15.  Make your  reservations at (415) 331-2899. www.sausalitoseahorse.com

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Project Freedom will be performed at Yoshi’s in Oakland May 24 & Kumbaya in Santa Cruz May 25

Project Freedom by Joey DeFrancesco out now!
Project Freedom by Joey DeFrancesco out now!
An homage to John Lennon opens Project Freedom with a gorgeous snippet of “Imagine” (Prelude) with a soaring tribute to J. Rosamond Johnson’s uplifting composition, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” rounding out the purifying package.   DeFrancesco’s new Project Freedom band, The People–a unit he’s currently touring the world with–helps him to see and feel things in a radically different manner than the past.
There’s in-the-pocket drummer Jason Brown who nearly got pigeonholed playing “straight Philly Joe Jones style; nothing wrong with that,” until DeFrancesco helped set him free. There’s guitarist Dan Wilson who has that “George Benson-Wes Montgomery-Grant Green thing down cold, and he comes out of the church, so that’s part of his thing too.”
Joey DeFrancesco
Joey DeFrancesco
DeFrancesco wanted to add a good solid saxophonist to the band for some time, and he found one in Troy Roberts, the man behind the tenor and soprano saxophones on tunes such as the alluringly intuitive “Better Than Yesterday.”
From self-penned titles such as “Karma” and “Peace Bridge,” DeFrancesco is telling a story of love, humanity and positivity at a time of overwhelming negativity, to spread goodness when the news runs rampant with stories of brutality, violence and prejudice.
One song that’s become a centerpiece within the ideology of Project Freedom is the quartet’s lustrous cover of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a song DeFrancesco began improvising as an encore for his 2003 appearance at the Detroit Jazz Festival. “The crowd was perfect, the weather was perfect, the song just came out of me and the next thing you know the crowd is swaying, men took their hats off and women began to cry. Me too. It was a truly sanctified experience where we all became one, transcending music and melody. I wanted to relive that story, that feeling, on Project Freedom.”
Joey DeFrancesco,  is a modern-day avatar of the Hammond B3 organ and the Philadelphia history he shares with his principle instrument. Organ-based blues and jazz started in Philly and DeFrancesco is the first to tell you so.  His  bluesy, blustery sensibility is shared with the men in his family: saxophonist/grandfather Joseph DeFrancesco, and his father–organist “Papa” John DeFrancesco. Jazz lovers also dig DeFrancesco’s second instrument, the trumpet, and the inspiration gleaned from his first big boss, Miles Davis–with whom DeFrancesco gigged when the organist was in his late teens.
DeFrancesco stopped by the City of Brotherly Love to receive a star on the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame alongside local giants such as Coltrane, Dizzy and Nina Simone.
Being a frequent flyer with a globe-hopping world touring schedule has given DeFrancesco insight into differing–but not opposing–viewpoints that he longed to espouse through music. “I always thought that as touring musicians, we were spreading peace. No matter what happens in the world, we keep playing. In a lot of the so-called forbidden places too.
When we’re there, through war and conflict, problems melt away through music. We’re playing for these people, hanging out with them, and we all come together and we’re grooving with each other because of the music. That is true freedom. Music is true freedom.”
Joey DeFrancesco & The People · Project Freedom
Mack Avenue Records · Release Date: March 10, 2017
 
For more information on Joey DeFrancesco, please visit JoeyDeFrancesco.com
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A star is born, Celia Bullwinkel’s first independent video Sidewalk is a winner.

Celia Bullwinkel, creator of Sidewalk
Celia Bullwinkel, creator of Sidewalk

Celia Bullwinkel is perfect for these days as women awaken to the fact that we need to accept ourselves, whether or not men accept us for who we are or who they want us to be.

Such an honest and fun video for women… by Celia Bullwinkel

Sidewalk from Celia Bullwinkel on Vimeo.

Celia Bullwinkel is an accomplished animator

Celia Bullwinkel is an animator who lives and works in New York City. She has worked on feature films (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Chicago 10, Hair High), TV shows (Little Bill, MTV’s Friday, Ugly Americans, Wonder Pets), and far too many commercial projects.

“Alpha’s Bet,” her music video collaboration with visual artist Rammellzee, was exhibited in 2011 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She is a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts animation department, and teaches at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s MFA Illustration program. Sidewalk is her first independent film. She collaborated with composer and jazz artist Joshua Moshier, who is a rising star in his own right.

Joshua Moshier as the composer for her new shortfilm was a great choice

Her collaboration with Josh has certainly given the animation a lot of “legs.” 🙂

Josh has contributed his musical voice to a number of bands including trumpeter Marquis Hill’s Blacktet and the Moshier-Lebrun Collective with saxophonist Mike Lebrun. His music has been profiled on NPR’s JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater and cited by the Chicago Tribune for “considerable lyric grace and compositional forethought.” Josh premiered his extended work, The Studs Terkel Project at the Chicago Cultural Center, commissioned by Chamber Music America’s New Works program and inspired by the writing of the oral historian Studs Terkel. Josh has also worked as a sideman with Milton Suggs, Larry Brown, John Moulder and Dara Tucker. With Mike Lebrun he has released Joy Not Jaded (OA2 Records) and The Local Colorists (Digital EP). Most recently, Josh led a quintet featuring Marquis Hill, John Wojciechowski, Dana Hall and Clark Sommers for a three-night run in Chicago.

Learn more about this delightful duo by visiting: Celia Bullwinkel and Joshua Moshier.

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French Laundry trained Chef Sedlacek delights Jazz Fans at the Blue Note Napa

Spyro Gyra in Huntington, NY ©2012 Brian Friedman
Spyro Gyra in Huntington, NY ©2012 courtesy Brian Friedman

Fulfill your dreams and enjoy intimate shows with amazing performers like Spyro Gyra, Yellow Jackets, Sandy Cressman, Kenny G., and Sacha Boutros, David Benoit Trio, and many more.

Yellow Jackets
Yellow Jackets

Blue Note Napa is a jazz club/gourmet restaurant offers an intimate atmosphere with room for only 150 guests.  The stage is so close to you that you feel as if the performers are playing in your very own living room in the historic Napa Valley Opera House.

Chef Sedlacek brings a level of creativity, an enthusiasm for fine cuisine and a respect for local ingredients that we believe will amaze the local culinary world and make The Blue Note Napa’s restaurant a destination for foodies who don’t even care about the jazz.

The Blue Note Napa is located on the first floor of the Napa Valley Opera House and is a jazz club and restaurant where patrons can enjoy performances of major world-renown artists and as well as local artists alike in an intimate environment. Our club seats less than 150 people. Patrons feel as though they can literally reach out and touch the artist! It is like having an artist playing right in your own living room.

Aside of world famous performers the Blue Note Napa offers a full menu, wine and cocktail list.  Enjoy the booths which are strictly reserved for groups of four or more.  If you come with a date or alone you can enjoy the show at a table or from the bar.

The management is committed to carry on the 35-year Blue Note intimate jazz club experience whilst mixing in Napa’s charm and commitment to great food, beverages and service to create a unique environment different than you will find elsewhere in Napa Valley.

Learn more about the Blue Note Napa here.  More

 

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By raising our awareness we healing as a country

By bringing our country’s unconsciousness into awareness, by becoming aware of our lower drives and desires can we choose use to commit to our higher values and will ourselves to become better as a country.  While it is painful to face our lower drives and the more vile parts of this country it is part of the overall healing process to raise our collective consciousness for a better and more beautiful peaceful world.

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Trump claims he is “the least racist person” ever. Well, how about the Dalai Lama?

Racism or lLove that is the question
Racism or Love that is the question
During Netanyahu’s visit a reporter wanted to know about the rise of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States and concerns that the new administration was encouraging xenophobia and racism.  The NYT reports:  “There is no question that hate crimes and malicious speech have accelerated since the presidential campaign, with Jews among the prime targets. The Anti-Defamation League says anti-Semitic talk in the United States has reached levels unseen since the 1930s. And there have been bomb threats against Jewish centers across the country.”  The NYT goes on: “As for racism and anti-Semitism, he said “bad things” have happened “over a long period of time” and gave no hint of appreciating how his nationalistic, anti-immigrant policies and fear-mongering have been a dog whistle for the alt-right.”
The media discussed this terrible response which did not address the havoc that organizations like Bannon’s media property Breitbart, who is known as one of the wife-beating men in the current GOP administration. Trump chose this racism promoting man as his most trusted advisor.  Trump even is known to sign Executive Orders that were placed by Bannon in front of him, without even reading them, and without informing the National Security Organizations. Bannon calls the shots because Trump chooses this racist to call reign supreme.
Instead of taking the opportunity to reassure the country that he will uphold the US constitution, which does not allow racism, he simply whines about feeling accused.  The President of the US, and the leader of the until recently “free world,”  failed with his answers to this important question. The horrible rise in racism and anti-Semitism fostered and fomented by Breitbart, Bannon and his ALT-Right racist segment of the US population.  The ALT-Right is emboldened by Bannon and his media company. Trump hired him and until he fires him,  Trump is the boss, he is responsible. Bannon created speaking opportunities for racists, Ku Klux Klan Members and people who engage in the Nazi salute.

The dictionary explains: “A racist is a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.”  Trump has claimed in several interviews that he finds being questioned whether he is a racist “offensive.” So why does he keep promoting racists?

Trump was raised by a father who was a registered Ku Klux Klan member, and his grandfather rented out women.  We can realize that many of his attitudes were formed during the pre verbal phase of his childhood. Trump rates women on a scale of 1 to 10, typically considering the age and the women’s bodies.  Not their mind, not their personality, he sees women as possessions and as objects.  He thinks that his being so attracted to women that he is compelled to touch them without invitation, is proof that he “loves” women. He succeeded in frightening and empowering women by the millions to leave the coziness of their homes to actually physically take to the street to protest.

It is quite possible that Trump is completely unaware of his attitudes, or how his actions, words, and attitudes perceived by an innocent bystander.  Clearly Trump doesn’t have much respect for his own voters.

Donald Trump made the following statement in a 1998 interview with People magazine:

If I were to run, I’d run as a Republican. They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.  
                                                           Donald Trump

Trump admires dictators who murder their own citizens, he hired billionaires after claiming through out to the Fox News watching audiences that he would “clean the swamp.” And claimed Hillary giving speeches was proof that she was pro-Wall Street. Now on a near daily basis Trump brings in his “very capable” – often previously accused of fraud – Wall Street friends to run the government. It is obvious that he and his Wall Street Friends rode into the White House by making false promises – Better Healthcare than ACA – Better Paying Jobs – Safe Streets – and a GOP that would be winning so much they would get “tired of winning.”

Meanwhile here is a quote from the Dalai Lama:

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
 ― Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness
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At C’era Una Volta, a romantic night of Italian Food and Opera in Alameda this Sunday, February 19, 2017

Clarissa Lyons by Marielle Hayes
Clarissa Lyons by Marielle Hayes

Why don’t you create one of the most romantic follow ups for your successful Valentine’s effort and bring your loved one to one of the most romantic settings in the Bay Area.  The quaint family atmosphere with amazing art by a word famous artist, whose paintings hang in the San Francisco Opera as well as all over Europe, is complimented by fantastic food, impeccable services which allows you to make your sweet heart feel like a princess or queen, or prince or king as the case maybe.   Being served by people who take pride in giving you a genuine old-world pleasure will create long term happy memories for you both. And if you have been married for along time, you may want to bring your grand children and introduce them to opera in a way that will open up their hearts to the finer things in life.

In 2014 Open Tables voted C’era Una Volta the Best Bay Area Italian restaurant.  It is located on 1332 Park Street, in Alameda and offers parking in the rear of the building.

This weekend there is a fundraiser that provides world class opera singers performances, a four course meal, and the first glass of wine for the small price of  a $95 per person of which $45 will given to the James Toland Vocal Arts programs.  The program cultivates and supports talents who aspire a professional career as vocal performers.

The Artists
Clarissa Lyons – rising star soprano

She will make her Metropolitan Opera debut as Karolka in Janáček’s Jenůfa in October of 2016 and will sing Countess Ceprano in Verdi’s Rigoletto in January and April 2017.

Clarissa Lyons by Marielle Hayes
Clarissa Lyons by Marielle Hayes

Ms. Lyons was vocal fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in both 2011 and 2012.  Highlights from those residencies include performances Ravel’s Trois Poemes de Stephane Mallarmé, Prokofiev’s Ugly Duckling, Chausson’s Chanson Perpetuelle, Monteverdi’s Lamento d’Arianna, and excerpts of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride with Susan Graham and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She and pianist Bretton Brown have appeared in recital at Opera America’s National Opera Center, the WMP Concert Hall in New York City, and the Sunset Center in Carmel, California in the Winner’s Recital for the Carmel Music Society. Ms. Lyons has appeared as a soloist with the UC Berkeley University Chorus, with the Vermont Philharmonic, and San Francisco Choral Society at Davies Symphony Hall in their performance of Mendelssohn’s  Elijah featuring Rod Gilfry.  More

Arnold Livingston Geis – rising star Tenor

Arnold Livingston Geis, tenor, is a Los Angeles based musician and performer originally from Washington State. Geis began his career in Southern California as a church soloist. In 2013 marked Geis’ first season as a chorister in Los Angeles Opera’s performances of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman. He has since performed on the Dorothy Chandler stage in favorites such as Carmen, La Traviata, and Billy Budd.

Geis  sings with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, an opportunity that has lead him to appear at the Walt Disney Concert Hall as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. Geis’ most recent stage credits include Cavaliere Belfiore in Il viaggio a Reims, Chevalier in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, Laurie Lawrence in Little Women, and Ferrando in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte.

He is honored to have worked under the esteemed conductors Gustavo Dudamel, Michael Tilson Thomas, James Conlon, and Grant Gershon. An active session singer, Geis’ voice can be heard in recent blockbusters such as After Earth, Maze Runner, Godzilla, The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, 50 Shades of Grey, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He holds a BM in vocal performance from Biola University and graduated with his MM in vocal arts from The University of Southern California.

Clara Osowski – Mezzo Soprano

Clara Osowski’s recently completed the Vancouver International Song Institute, the International Workshop on the songs of Edvard Grieg in Bergen, Norway, and traveled to Tours, France to attend the Académie Francis Poulenc. She was also featured in the 2014 Baldwin-Wallace Art Song Festival, in Berea, Ohio and competed in the 2014 International Vocal Competition in s’Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. In 2015, she was the only American to reach the finals of the Das Lied competition under the direction of Thomas Quasthoff in Berlin, Germany. This past October Clara was a finalist in the Liederkranz Foundation in New York City. Numerous festivals have introduced Clara to a number of international artists and art-song masters, including Graham Johnson, Felicity Lott, Francois Le Roux, Julius Drake, Irwin Gage, and Richard Stokes.

Clara Osokowski at the Indiana State Contemporary Music Festival
Clara Osokowski at the Indiana State Contemporary Music Festival

James Kallembach’s Songs on Letters of John and Abigail Adams with the Lydian Quartet on the occasion of the Adams’ 250th wedding anniversary at their historic home in Quincy, Massachusetts, and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee. In addition to her solo work, she participates in a number of ensembles, including Consortium Carissimi, Lumina Women’s Ensemble, the Rose Ensemble and Seraphic Fire.  More

Austin Siebert

Baritone-Austin Siebert just completed the Merola Opera Program and performed the roles of Mr. Gobineau in Menotti’s The Medium and Marco in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. Siebert also covered Dr. Malatesta in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. Additional recent engagements include outreach with the Dallas Opera as Belcore in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Mustafá in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri with Seagle Music Colony, and the German General in Kevin Puts’ Silent Night with Fort Worth Opera Festival. Austin recently earned a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance at the University of North Texas, where he was seen as Dappertutto/Coppélius in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, Pritschitsch in Lehár’s Die lustige Witwe, and the title role in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Mr. Siebert received his bachelors from Northwestern University and is a native of Shelbyville, IN.

 

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