A musical blog with Jazz Update
I'm feeling really musical today. It's about 4 a.m. as I write this. I've been playing music on the Internet for like three hours. (Be warned. Turn the volume down low so your boss won't hear you partying with me when you hit the links in this post.)
A few years ago, I wrote a story about a band camp for adults called Maryland Summer Jazz. Nationally-renowed saxophone player Jeff Antoniuk, who lives in Annapolis and teaches at Towson University, each summer spends two weeks helping amateur musicians master their instruments. I was turned on to Antoniuk and his group, the Jazz Update, by our friend Mike, who has taken it upon himself to educate me about jazz so that I will understand the recent exploits of my very talented teenage son, an amazing cellist who has now decided that he wants to be Victor Wooten and play electric bass guitar in a rock band. More on that another time.
Anyway, Jeff Antoniuk and the Jazz Update is playing tonight from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. at U-topia at 14th and U Street NlW. (No cover charge!) According to an e-mail from Antoniuk, the gig (Don't I sound jazzy?) was set up by the group's drummer, Tony Martucci, to give local fans a chance to check the band out before they head off to Alaska to headline at the Juneau Jazz & Classics Festival. They are also celebrating the release of their second CD, "Brotherhood," which dropped yesterday.
"If you're into Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, you're gonna love this special D.C. gig," the e-mail said. I love Miles and the Monk, so I'm planning to be there. And I love U Street! I've always fantasized about the days when it was common to see music greats like Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway playing clubs along that corridor.
Getting into jazz is new for me--part of my reinvention.. Playing it full time was part of the reinvention of Stan Hamrick, 53, of Springfield, who plays bass in a band called The Potomac Jazz Project. Hamrick attended the band camp and has worked extensively with Antoniuk. A lawyer by trade, in 1995 he created a company to help law school students study for the bar exam. When Kaplan, a subsidiary of the Washington Post, purchased his company a few years ago, he decided to work full time as a musician.
His group, which has released two CDs-- "The Scenic Route" in 2007 and "Bop, Ballads and Blues" last year-- performs three to five times each week at D.C. area venues. Friday, they're scheduled to play at Salsa Thai on U Street from 8 to 11 p.m. On Saturday, they'll be at Extra Virgin in Shirlington Village in Arlington from 7:30 p.m. until 11:30, Hamrick said.
Hamrick said he plays music because he wasn't ready to retire and like many Baby Boomers, he decided to indulge in his passion after winding down with his first career. "I really felt I had no choice," he said. "I had worked on music for so many years because I love it. I felt I had to do it. I didn't want to go fishing or play golf everyday."
So, maybe if I learn how to play an instrument or get vocal coaching, I can reinvent myself as a jazz singer. Imagine me, a white gardenia in my hair, a slinky white dress hugging every curve, pouring out my heart in a song as ice cubes tinkle against crystal and soft laughter wafts through the air...
Maybe I'll work on that, right after I master this blogging thing.
Avis Thomas-Lester| May 18, 2010; 9:04 AM ET Save & Share:
Previous: Bikini dreams | Next: I'm getting tweet-wise
The comments to this entry are closed.