On Stage: Roth, Tuk, Levins featured in Flash Rooptop shows

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

Bryan Tuk Complex

This will be a big weekend for the Kennett Flash (102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, 484-732-8295, http://www.kennettflash.org) with a trio of shows featuring highly respected veteran music acts – Arlen Roth on June 11, Bryan Tuk Complex on June 12 and Levin Brothers on June 13.

It will be a hometown gig for Bryan Tuk, a Bucks County native who has been a long-time resident of Kennett Square.

Tuck actually has three careers. Peers in one of them help people rap to the beat while peers in the other help people beat the rap. In the third, he helps people beat to the beat.

Tuk is a top-flight drummer who was a music major at West Chester University. He is also a lawyer albeit a business lawyer rather than a criminal lawyer (so, no raps to beat for his clients). Tuk also gives percussion lessons to student musicians at his company Groove KSQ.

The Kennett Square based Law Offices of Bryan Tuk, PC, focus on business and start-up law, non-profit organizations, and arts and entertainment law.

The Bryan Tuk Complex, also based in Kennett Square, is a high energy large ensemble playing hits from the 1970s and 1980s while infusing elements of jazz, funk and rock into the band’s signature powerful sound.  The performers in the band are drawn from the region’s best jazz programs, including West Chester University, University of the Arts and Temple University.

The band performs live in several different formats – quartet, trio and large band. With the pandemic restrictions starting to fade away, everyone will get to play in Saturday’s show, which is part of Kennett Flash’s “Rooftop Series.”

“This will be the first one back for the large group,” said Tuk, during a phone interview Monday evening. “There are 14 people in the big line-up.”

The roster for Saturday’s concert features B.D. Lenz (guitar), Brian Bortz (bass), David Mattock (organ), Kellina Holt (vocals), Patrick Conlon (trombone), Eddie Otto (trumpet), Bryan Cowan (saxophone), Connor Devlin (tuba), Zach Prowse (trumpet), Jonathan Katz (saxophone), Vinny Shickora (trumpet), Tony Gairo (saxophone), Sam Yoder (trombone), and Tuk (drums).

“The core group is the quartet which is B.D. Lenz (guitar), Brian Bortz (bass), David Mattock (organ) and me,” said Tuk, who earned his law degree at Temple University.

“The last gig for this group was November 2019. So, we’ve been looking forward to this for quite a while. Calling it a big band is a misnomer. It’s really a rock band with horns. Our repertoire includes songs by Paul Simon, Tower of Power, Stevie Wonder. It’s very much late ’60s/early ’70s.

“It’s a group of bandleaders and composers. So, there is no shortage of material to go along with our covers of band like Blood, Sweat & Tears.

“We enjoy playing songs people aren’t going to play live. They are hard songs to play.

“I’ve been teaching drum set and marching for a long time and my students come out to our shows. Once we get this band in front of them, they really have a good time.”

Tuk has drawn some of his band members from his alma mater.

“I graduated for West Chester University in 1996,” said Tuk, a graduate of Central Bucks East High School. “A lot of my band came from WCU along with University of the Arts and Temple.

The Bryan Tuk Complex’s debut recording was the “Liftoff” EP in 2019. It was followed by the “Life in High Gravity” LP – also in 2019.

“The ‘Liftoff’ EP came out in early 2019,” said Tuk. “It was an instrumental EP – a power trio more like the blues, Clapton and Hendrix.

“The album came out late 2019 and was a big band record. We recorded it at SpectraSound Studios in Quakertown with Jim McGee. It was a 14-piece band.

“Our plan was to work on our second album in 2020 and then go out on tour. When COVID came, everything got shut down.”

Now, the Bryan Tuk Complex is back in action – and heading to a rooftop in Kennett Square.

Video link for the Bryan Tuk Complex – https://youtu.be/QXlIKTlhLXU.

The show at Kennett Flash will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25.

Arlen Roth

The weekend run of ‘Rooftop Series” shows gets underway on June 11 with Arlen Roth – a name familiar to guitar fans around the world.

The legendary guitarist is considered one of the most influential guitarists of all time.

Roth, who will turn 70 next year, is an American guitarist, teacher, and author. From 1982-1992, he was a columnist for Guitar Player magazine and those ten years of columns became a book, “Hot Guitar.”

He grew up in New York in a family that was immersed in the arts. His father Al Ross, who lived to be 100, was a cartoonist for The New Yorker Magazine and many other publications over a 75-year career. Roth had three brothers, all of whom became cartoonists.

Al Ross was also a great painter and fine artist, and he was the one who encouraged Arlen to become a guitarist when he saw Arlen playing along with the Flamenco records he would play in the Bronx apartment.

“Guitar was always a sound that was around in my house,” said Roth. “We lived in an apartment in Brooklyn and my father listened to a lot of flamenco music. That was an influence on me.

“I got a violin when I was young. My brother had a guitar with two strings, and I’d just noodle around with it. I was studying violin in school and my dad said – forget violin, go with guitar.

“So, I went down and studied guitar with a Bohemian woman in the Village. In 1964, I bought my fitst guitar at Ben’s Music on 48th Street. It was an Ideal four-pickup Japanese guitar with a Stewart amplifier. The guitar had a lof of chrome and lots of pickups.”

Music was there but Roth’s family was mainly into drawing and art.

“I used to do cartoons,” said Roth. “I’d make up my own cartoon books. My father was a single panel cartoonist. I liked that and also liked comic books.

“I did cartoons for a long time and then I got into photography. I’m the only one in the family with ear so I also got into music.”

Roth attended the High School of Music and Art in New York City from 1966-1969 as an art student. He then studied at the Philadelphia College of Art from 1969-1971.

“I studied film and photography at the Philadelphia College of Art,” said Roth. “I had a band – Steel – who lived with me. We were playing everywhere. In 1970, we went to the town of Woodstock to get heard.”

In 1970, Steel put on the first Woodstock Reunion concert to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the festival in Bethel, New York, where Roth lived every summer since he was born.

“We put on the first anniversary show,” said Roth. “Steel was the only band and played four hours every day.”

Roth’s reputation started to grow and soon his talents were in demand.

He began to record and tour with acts such as Happy and Artie Traum, Eric Andersen, Paul Butterfield, Art Garfunkel, Janis Ian, John Prine, Helen Schneider, Pete Seeger, Phoebe Snow, Dusty Springfield, and Loudon Wainwright III. He toured with the Bee Gees, Simon and Garfunkel and Duane Eddy.

From then on, his CV continued to grow and become more impressive.

In 1976, he appeared in the Bob Dylan film “Renaldo and Clara” performing with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Patti Smith and Phil Ochs. He is featured performing on his 1953 Telecaster with Patti Smith in the 2019 Bob Dylan/Martin Scorsese film “Rolling Thunder.” Roth’s version of “Scarborough Fair” is featured on the soundtrack of the film, “Lost in Translation.”

Roth’s first book, “Slide Guitar,” was published by Oak Publications when he was 21. He has since published numerous well-known books such as “How to Play Blues Guitar,” “Nashville Guitar,” “Arlen Roth’s Complete Electric Guitar,” “Arlen Roth’s Complete Acoustic Guitar,” “Rock Guitar for Future Stars,” “Heavy Metal Guitar,” “Hot Guitar” and “Masters of the Telecaster.”

He released a “Slide Guitar Summit” album in 2015 featuring duets with guitarists Sonny Landreth, David Lindley, Greg Martin, Lee Roy Parnell, Jack Pearson, Rick Vito, Jimmy Vivino, and Johnny Winter. This is said to be Johnny Winter’s final recording.

Roth is a Telecaster enthusiast who wrote the book, “Masters of the Telecaster,” detailing the techniques of many famous Telecaster guitarists.

He has performed and recorded with Rory Block, Cindy Cashdollar, Ry Cooder, John Entwistle, Danny Gatton, Vince Gill, Levon Helm, Albert Lee, David Lindley, Don McLean, Steve Morse, Phil Ochs, John Sebastian, James Taylor, Kate Taylor, Livingston Taylor, Rick Wakeman, Joe Louis Walker, and Steve Wariner.

Roth has released 16 solo albums starting with “Guitarist,” which came out on Rounder Records in 1978 and won the Montreaux Critics Award for “Best Instrumental Album of the Year” in 1978. His most recent LP is “TELEMASTERS,” which was released on Aquinnah Records in 2019.

He was voted in the Top 50 Acoustic Guitarists of All-Time by Gibson.com, and in the Top 100 Most Influential Guitarists of All-Time by Vintage Guitar Magazine. From 2007-2012, Roth was also the creator of more than one thousand online lessons and blogs for Gibson Guitars.

Roth’s next album will feature duets with another rock/folk legend who got his start in the Village in the 1960s – John Sebastian, former frontman/multi-instrumentalist of The Lovin’ Spoonful.

“It’s a duet album with John and me playing all Spoonful songs,” said Roth. “I always loved the Spoonful with John and guitarist Zal Yanovsky – and The Byrds with Clarence White.”

The concept was to record instrumental treatments of the great songs of the Lovin’ Spoonful, with just two guitars, bass, and drums.

“The album is titled, ‘John Sebastian and Arlen Roth Explore the Spoonful Songbook,’ and it will be released on September 25,” said Roth.

Roth might even treat fans to a preview of a song or two from the LP when he plays the Kennett Flash this weekend.

“I do some shows with a band, but this show is just solo,” said Roth. “I’ve got to pay my rent this month and they’re not paying me enough to bring extra musicians.”

Video link for Arlen Roth — https://youtu.be/MY9_cKckm48.

Video link for Arlen Roth and John Sebastian — https://youtu.be/bUST4pDKjIM

The show at Kennett Flash will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30.

Capping off the weekend of wonderful music will be a concert by Levin Brothers on June 13. The quartet will also be performing on June 10 at the Sellersville Theater (24 West Temple Street, Sellersville, 215-527-5808, www.st94.com).

Levin Brothers

Levin Brothers is an all-star band with music that spans genres effortlessly and is built on the nucleus of Pete and Tony Levin.

After decades of playing with first class musicians in all genres — jazz, fusion, rock, pop and world music — and after guesting on each other’s projects, the two brothers finally decided to have their own jazz band.

“Until 2014, we had played together on sessions for other musicians,” said Pete Levin, during a phone interview Tuesday evening from his home in Woodstock, New York. “We had also played on each other’s albums.

“In 2014, Tony said – we’ve never done a project together from scratch. He had a lot of compositions, and we also wrote some original songs.”

After writing material for the album for several few years, the brothers enlisted some top music talent to join in the recording — guitarist David Spinozza, sax player Erik Lawrence and drummer Jeff Siegel. Steve Gadd appears as a special guest on the album, playing drums on two songs, “Bassics” and “Fishy Takes a Walk.”

“Levin Brothers” was released on CD and LP by BMG Records. It was also a gold album — the vinyl edition was pressed on gold vinyl.

The LP was recorded at Scott Petito’s NRS Studio in the Woodstock area. The songs were all written by the brothers except a King Crimson song, “Matte Kudasai.”

Covering a King Crimson song comes naturally for Tony Levin. He has been a member of the pioneer prog rock band since 1981 and has been a part of 25 King Crimson albums.

Tony Levin is one of the most recorded bass players in history of music and is the bass and Chapman Stick player for Peter Gabriel and King Crimson. He has played on notable recordings for John Lennon, Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Carly Simon, and many others, as well jazz artists Buddy Rich, Gary Burton and Chuck Mangione. He currently records and tours with Stick Men, Levin Brothers, King Crimson and Peter Gabriel.

After graduating from the Juilliard School, Pete Levin became a synthesizer specialist in the New York City recording studio scene. Over the years, he has done session work on hundreds of jazz and pop recordings and performed with many artists, including Gil Evans, Jimmy Giuffre, David Sanborn, Annie Lennox, Charles Mingus, Jaco Pastorius, Lenny White and Paul Simon. Additionally, Pete Levin has released nine solo albums.

Siegel, a veteran of the New York Jazz scene, has worked with an impressive list of jazz artists. A member of Sir Roland Hanna’s Trio from 1994-1999, Siegel has performed and recorded with jazz legends such as Ron Carter, Kenny Burrell, Lee Shaw, Jack DeJohnette, Benny Golson, Frank Foster, Helen Merrill and Mose Allison.

Ciampa, a contemporary jazz guitarist, has recorded and toured with some of the best-known jazz, pop and rock stars, including Harry Belafonte, Jon Lucien, Dave Matthews, Mark Egan, Bill Evans, Al MacDowell, Ornette Coleman, Lew Solof, Pete Levin, Tony Levin, Lenny White.

“Since our debut album, we’ve made two live albums,” said Levin. “The first was ‘Special Delivery.’ We recorded it at three venues on the Spring 2017 Tour – Natick, Massachusetts (Center for the Arts), Schenectady (The Van Dyck) and Rochester (The Lovin’ Cup).

“The second we recorded on the 2019-2020 Winter Tour at Daryl’s House in Pawling’s, New York. That was our last show before the pandemic stopped everything. We had all kinds of tours planned – the Far East, Europe and South America.”

The tours got wiped out – and so did the release of the album.

“The album sat on my computer for a year,” said Levin. “We wanted to wait to release it until we could tour to support it. We got this June swing together quickly when things began to re-open. I pulled the album out, re-mixed it and it’s ready for release. We still haven’t decided on a title.

“The pandemic was tough on everyone. But we got through it and we’re all healthy. We all survived. Unfortunately, some of the venues didn’t survive – like The Iridium in New York and also The Jazz Standard.”

Now, the band is heading out on its eight-show “Vaccinating Rhythm Tour” with a foursome that includes a pair of Jeffs — Jeff ‘Siege’ Siegel on drums and Jeff Ciampa on guitar.

Siegel, a veteran of the New York Jazz scene, has worked with an impressive list of jazz artists. A member of Sir Roland Hanna’s Trio from 1994-1999, Siegel has performed and recorded with jazz legends such as Ron Carter, Kenny Burrell, Lee Shaw, Jack DeJohnette, Benny Golson, Frank Foster, Helen Merrill and Mose Allison.

Ciampa, a contemporary jazz guitarist, has recorded and toured with some of the best-known jazz, pop and rock stars, including Harry Belafonte, Jon Lucien, Dave Matthews, Mark Egan, Bill Evans, Al MacDowell, Ornette Coleman, Lew Solof, Pete Levin, Tony Levin, Lenny White.

“We’re returning to Kennett Flash and the Sellersville Theater,” said Levin. “We played there on our last tour so we can’t play the same set list. We’ve got a new batch of compositions.

“Thew music scene is very different now. In 2015, we were more of a ’50s cover band with a jazz theme. Now, our music has gotten more electric — prog rock with jazz overtones. It’s going to be challenging.”

Video link for Levin Brothers – https://youtu.be/yIrmVuHlE10.

The shows are all part of Kennett Flash’s “Rooftop Series.”

The venue’s website posted the following message:

About The Kennett Flash Rooftop Series:

All Rooftop Events are Rain or Shine.

Concert will take place on the Rooftop of the Kennett Square Parking Garage at 100 East Linden Street.

Seating will be BYOChair – Socially Distanced Pod Seating for your groups.

No Food or Drink and No Coolers.

Masks required for entry.

Temperature Checks and Health Screenings upon entry.  If you aren’t feeling well, stay home and we will refund your ticket purchase.

The Levin Brothers show at Kennett Flash on June 12 will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $40.

The quartet’s show at the Sellersville Theater on June 10 will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $29.50 for in person and $21.50 for Livestream.

Other upcoming shows at the Sellersville Theater are Carbon Leaf on June 11, Time Traveller on June 12 and Amy Helm on June 13. Helm will also be performing on June 12 at the Arden Concert Gild (2128 The Highway, Arden, Delaware, ardenconcerts.com)

Brad Trackman

Just prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, Brad Trackman headlined a show at the Candlelight Dinner Theater in Arden, Delaware. Now, the popular comic is coming back to the area to headline a show on June 10 at Punch Line Philly (33 East Laurel Street, Philadelphia, 215-606-6555, http://www.punchlinephilly.com).

Trackman is a national touring comedian who has been featured as a stand up on CBS’s “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” “Comics Unleashed” with Byron Allen, “Star Search” with Arsenio Hall, AXS TV’s “Gotham Comedy Live,” NBC’s “Later,” and MTV’s “The Buried Life.

He has also been featured “New Joke City” with Robert Klein, NBC’s “Friday Night” and numerous appearances on Comedy Central.

Trackman also had his own commercial campaign on Spike TV where he played the fictitious Presidential Candidate Biff Wolanski.

The pandemic shutdown slowed Trackman’s career but didn’t come close to bringing it to a halt.

“I think I fared well compared to my peers,” said Trackman, during a phone interview Monday evening from his home in Mount Laurel, New Jersey.

“I’ve been doing corporate shows via virtual conferencing – shows for Comcast, United Way and insurance firms. I was working a lot from my home. I’m still doing them but, slowly but surely, I’m getting back to doing live shows in front of live audiences.”

Performing online via formats like Zoom is an acceptable substitute but lacks the audience-performer interaction.

“You have to learn how to navigate it,” said Trackman. What I do is as close to performing for a live audience as you can get. One of my contract requirements is that I need 15 people I can see and I need them to be unmuted.

“It kept me going. But, when you’re used to getting feedback from a live audience, it’s tough to do it any other way.

“I also did some isolated live performances. I played Villa Roma Italian Resort in upstate New York – in the Catskills. It kept the muscle going.”

Trackman grew up in Medford, New Jersey and relocated to New York City. After graduating from New Jersey’s Shawnee High School, he moved to Manhattan to study theatre.

“I went to the American Academy of Performing Arts in Manhattan,” said Trackman. “I was living in New York City before I got married. I lived 15-16 years in the city doing stand-up. Then, with a wife, a kid and two dogs, I moved back to Burlington County. We have a house here and it’s a nice location – close to New York, Atlantic City and Philadelphia.

“Back when I finished my studies at the American Academy of Performing Arts, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I graduated with a degree in theater and it was worthless.

“I was selling shoes at Bergdorf-Goodman. I was dating a girl who was a cheerleader at the University of Delaware for four years. She insisted that I stop selling shoes and pursue something creative.”

Theater may not have been the right path for Trackman, but stand-up comedy was.

“I took a stand-up comedy class with Stephen Rosenfield,” said Trackman. “It’s strange. He never even went on a stage but he’s a great writer and I learned a lot.”

Stephen Rosenfield is the Director of the American Comedy Institute. He coaches and directs performers ranging from beginners to Emmy and Tony Award-winning and Oscar-nominated star talent.

The accomplishments of Stephen Rosenfield’s students include starring roles in movies, network and premium cable television series, commercials, Broadway and off-Broadway productions, and hosting their own radio programs.

Trackman started his career in New York City and was a regular at The Comedy Cellar, Gotham, The Comic Strip Live, Carolines on Broadway and Stand Up NY. He also has been a regular in Atlantic City at the Borgota Casino and Las Vegas at Brad Garrett’s comedy club in the MGM casino.

Trackman has also opened for such legendary comedians as Joan Rivers, Robin Williams, Dana Carvey and Weird Al Yankovic.  One of his most impressive appearances was headlining “The Radio Shack Net Together Concert” in Times Square. He was on a Jumbotron which was also simulcast in San Francisco on a Jumbotron there.

“My agent said that they picked me for the Net Together show because I was squeaky clean,” said Trackman. “I’ve gotten a lot of work because I can work clean – squeaky clean. I’ve performed at churches, christenings and synagogues.

“A lot of my comedy us autobiographical stuff. I have a relatable universal connect with my audience. I talk about my wife, having a kid…real-life observational stuff. It’s worked for me because I’ve been working full-time as a comic for 23 years.

“I don’t try to be topical. I like to write stuff for my act that will last for a while rather than something that lasts for a few months or a few weeks.”

Trackman has two comedy albums of him headlining The D.C. Improv which were produced by XM Sirius comedy programmer Joel Haas. Both are critically acclaimed and available on iTunes.

Most recently, he became a published author with a major book deal with Post Hill Press/Simon & Schuster.  He wrote the biography of shock jock Anthony Cumia who was part of the legendary radio show Opie and Anthony.  The book, entitled Permanently Suspended, is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

“I just finished writing my first book,” said Trackman. “Now, I’ve just started writing my first novel which maybe will eventually become a screenplay. That’s how it happens a lot of times – novels become screenplays.”

Video link for Brad Trackman — https://youtu.be/hvxgGevA8Sk.

The show at Punch Line Philly on June 10 will start at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $ 25.

Other upcoming acts at the venue are Roy Wood Jr. on June 11 and 12, Darryl Charles on June 13, and the Philadelphia Comedy Academy on June 14.

The Crossing

The Crossing (www.crossinchoir.org) is a Grammy-winning professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally and dedicated to new music. It is committed to working with creative teams to make and record new, substantial works for choir that explore and expand ways of writing for choir, singing in choir, and listening to music for choir.

As with all entertainment acts, it was hard for The Crossing to maintain a normal schedule of live performances over the last 16 months.

This month, The Crossing has a very active schedule with nine performances in three locations over a span of three weekends. The series, which has the Annenberg Center as co-presenters, is titled, “Month of Moderns.”

“We’re so booked,” said Nally, during a phone interview Monday evening from his office in Philadelphia. “It’s like going from nothing to everything.

“We did ‘The Forest’ last October. We did 10 films, four or five CDs and ‘The Forest.’ The CDs were recorded prior to the pandemic. We did most of the recording in Malvern in ‘The Barn’ at St. Peter’s in the Great Valley.”

The Crossing posted the following message on its website —

“One year after “the cancellation of everything”:
‘The Month of Moderns 2021,’ The Crossing re-imagined, reflecting, rejuvenated. A complete MoM, with three different programs of new works born of our pandemic-time lives, using our Echoes Amplification Kits, which allow an intimate aural experience, while observing pandemic-time protocols.”

“Month of Moderns 1: The Forest” was staged last weekend at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve in New Hope.

“The Forest” focuses on the symbiotic relationship between individual trees and the forest – a metaphor for the relationship between each singer and the ensemble. The libretto is formed from The Crossing singers’ reflections on their isolation during COVID-time, overlaid with texts from Scott Russell Sanders’ essay Mind in the Forest. Each Echoes kit allows singers to stand and safely sing 30 feet from each other and from the audience while listeners walk along a well-worn, mostly flat path of approximately one-third mile lined with speakers.

In October 2020, The Crossing introduced “The Forest” to local fans with two performances at the same location.

“Last weekend was great,” said Nally. “We have 24 choir members, and everybody was back. It did get a little hot, though.”

“Month of Moderns 2: “we got time,” which is also co-presented with Ars Nova Workshop,” will be performed this weekend from June 11-13 at The Woodlands (4000 Woodland Avenue, Philadelphia).

The Crossing is performing the world premiere of Matana Roberts’ work honoring the life of Breonna Taylor, “we got time.” It is a collage of sound that reflects on the world today, positions the loss of Taylor at the center of that world, and asks questions about the meaning of familiar words present in historic documents, event data related to Taylor’s death, and a roll call of the names of Black women lost in similar ways.

The title stems from Taylor’s trial, when grand jurors were told they wouldn’t be able to watch all of the body camera footage due to time restraints, and one juror shouted, “we got time.” The performance is experienced as a socially distanced one-third mile walk through the trees and markers of The Woodlands historic cemetery with timed entry for groups of people.

“This is our first time to The Woodlands,” said Nally. “I’m looking forward to using the place. The piece is a linear walk-through piece. It takes as long as it takes people to walk through it. The choir is singing for 90 minutes. The audience arrives and the path that we’ve mapped brings them around. There is a sense of arrival and leaving.

“It’s a protest piece but it’s also a celebration honoring Breonna Taylor. It is a sound quilt constructed with littles swatches of musical fabric – such as familiar songs and old hymns. Every single minute of the piece will be different for each audience member. It’s about these 24 women – about their hope and resilience – and that tragic ending of their lives.”

“Month of Moderns 3: At which point” will be staged on June 18 and 19 at Awbury Arboretum (1 Awbury Road, Philadelphia). It will feature two world premieres and one U.S. premiere.

Commissioned for this amplified outdoor performance, the world premiere of Wang Lu’s “At which point” explores the emotional peaks and valleys of 2019 Pulitzer Prize winner Forrest Gander’s raw, brutally honest poetry.

The Crossing will also perform a world premiere expanded version of Ayanna Woods’ “Shift,” a multi-layered contemplation on the reimagining of our monuments.

The final piece is the U.S. premiere of David Lang’s “the sense of senses.” The piece explores the power of our five senses and is an apt reminder as we emerge from a time when much of that human connection has been absent.

“‘Month of Moderns 3: At which point,’ starts with Ayanna Woods’ ‘Shift,’” said Nally. “It’s a piece which was written during the pandemic. We actually made a film of the first movement.

“Wang’s piece is set in a Monteverdi (Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi) way. It always feels like it’s moving forward and developing. I really, really love this piece – 20 minutes and it’s all concentrating on the words.

“The piece by David Lang is a concert piece with synchronized singing. It’s taken from ‘Song of Songs.’ It’s a 10-minute piece and it feels very intimate.”

Video link for The Crossing – https://youtu.be/RWANOYFSH-w.

Tickets for all performances are $35.

This weekend’s line-up at Jamey’s House of Music (32 South Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne, jameyshouseofmusic.com) features something familiar and something new.

The show on June 11 will feature the Jackson Taylor Band which is billed as “a young, but experienced blues-rock group based out of the Philadelphia suburbs of New Jersey.”

Maci Miller

On June 12, Jamey’s will host a return engagement by Maci Miller, who just headlined a show at the Delco venue on May 1.

Miller is an expressive jazz singer and talented songwriter. Because of her varied musical background, she is equally comfortable singing an Ella Fitzgerald classic like “Lullaby of Birdland,” “Moje Zlato” (a Croatian wedding song) or one of her many melodic original compositions.

“I was singing into a hairbrush ever since I was able to talk,” said Miller, during a recent phone interview from her home in Bucks County.

As a young girl, Maci discovered her grandparent’s vast collection of vinyl, and after studying every great artist from Ella to Ellington, she honed her vocal skills and made her debut in local clubs and at special events.

“There were a lot of musicians on my mother’s side,” said Miller. “I had a lot of talented uncles who were writers, producers and sound guys. On my dad’s side, there was the Croatian influence. There was always Croatian music being played.

“When I was growing up, I was always singing in choirs and performing at local shows. When I was 20, I got into dinner theater in Harrisburg. Then I joined a funk band named Smooth – a pop/funk band.

“I was in a lot of bands that did wedding gigs. Then, I did a lot of modelling and acting when I moved to Philadelphia. I also worked in New York. After a while, I stopped all the other things and focused on music. It was later that I got into jazz.”

Based in Philadelphia, Miller worked regularly at the casinos in Atlantic City.

“I worked at several casinos,” said Miller. “I performed a lot at the Claridge. I’d listen to jazz a lot on the way home and think – why aren’t I singing this. I really liked old music. I got into Ella Fitzgerald and then dug deeper.”

Miller released her debut album, “A Very Good Night,” in 2001.

“My first album was a big band album,” said Miller. “It was all originals written in ’40s style. My second album, which came out in 2004 was ‘Take A Closer Look.’ It was a pop/jazz fusion album.”

Miller has worked with several music greats including trumpeter Steve Jankowski (Nile Rodgers, Chicago), saxophonist Larry McKenna (Woody Herman, Buddy DeFranco), Dean Schneider (music director for Diahann Carroll), Demitrious Pappas (Smokey Robinson’s music director), and the late George Mesterhazy (Shirley Horn).

Miller’s third album was written for a very specific audience.

“The third album was ‘Butterfly Moon’,” said Miller. “It was a lullaby album for my baby girl, Ruby. We adopted her from Thailand. I made the album so she could get used to my voice before we went to Thailand to get her.

“I didn’t sing for about eight years so I could focus on being a mom. Then, my friend David O’Rourke said – you should sing again. Two years ago, I decided to dip my toe back in and an album came out of it – ‘Round Midnight.’”

On “Round Midnight,” Miller sings 15 favorite standards in an intimate duet format with guitarist David O’Rourke.

“I recorded ‘Round Midnight’ and released it just before the pandemic,” said Miller. “I was four gigs into my comeback and the world shut down.”

Video link for Maci Miller — https://youtu.be/D3ktSJTVxDs.

The show at Jamey’s House of Music on June 12 will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. The show will also be available via Livestream for $15.

Vanessa Collier

118 North (118 North Wayne Avenue, Wayne, www.118northwayne.com) will host Mike Lorenz and Josh Steingard on June 11, the Ben Turner Duo and Jeremy Savo on June 12, Plush in the Box and Matthew Fair on June 12 and the Vanessa Collier Duo on June 16.

Collier, a highly acclaimed young sax player who is adept at both jazz and the blues, is a resident of Chadds Ford.

When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived last spring, it forced Collier to abandon a spring/summer tour after just one show and to push back the release of her new album. It also wiped out a blues cruise in the fall on which she was scheduled to be a featured performer.

Collier released her new album “Heart On The Line” on August 21 – an album that has received rave reviews from music critics and fans alike. Still in her mid-20s, Collier has toured all over the world numerous times and has released three solo albums. With searing saxophone solos, soulful vocals, and witty lyrics, her song writing features a blend of blues, funk, rock, and soul.

Collier’s impressive vocals and stinging saxophone work saw her light up stages as part of Joe Louis Walker’s band in 2012 and 2013.

In 2014, her debut album “Heart Soul & Saxophone” won her accolades as a “Best of 2014 Blues Breaker.” In March 2017, she released her sophomore album “Meeting My Shadow.” Collier’s third album “Honey Up” was released on July 6, 2018.

Collier is primarily a sax player, singer and songwriter but is also well-versed in playing clavinet, flute, electric organ, and percussion.

“When I was little, I really wanted to play piano,” said Collier, during a recent phone interview. “I don’t know why. I started taking piano lessons but didn’t like the teacher, so I quit after six months.

“I saw someone playing sax on television and fell in love with it. We rented a sax for me when I was in fourth grade. That was in school. Then, I studied with a private instructor for a few years. Then, I took lessons with Chris Vadala, who played sax with Chuck Mangione.

“I studied with him for seven years – classical, jazz and funk. He started me doubling on flute and clarinet. I still play those instruments. Mainly, I play sax — tenor, some soprano and some baritone.”

Collier’s previous album “Honey Up” was released almost two years and was nominated for Blues Music Award (BMA) Contemporary Blues Album of the Year.

“That album did well right from the start,” said Collier, who had the front cover picture and feature story in the latest issue of Blues Music Magazine. “It was a Top 5 Billboard Blues Album and was well-received by radio deejays.”

Collier was nominated in 2017 for a Blues Music Award in the “Instrumental — Horn Player of the Year” category. She also won first place in the “Lyrics Only” category of the 2017 USA Songwriting Competition. In 2018, Collier was nominated in two categories at the Blues Music Awards – “Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year” and “Instrumental — Horn Player of the Year.”

In 2019, she was again nominated in same two categories at the Blues Music Awards – “Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year” and “Instrumental – Horn.” She claimed first place in the “Instrumental – Horn” category.

“Honey Up,” which had a three-month residency on Billboard’s “Top Blues Albums Chart,” provides a good look at Collier’s influences.

“With jazz, the first person I was turned on to was Cannonball Adderley,” said Collier. “Other major influences were John Coltrane, Junior Walker, and Maceo Parker. Vocally, I started with Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan and that morphed into Norah Jones and Bonnie Raitt.”

Now, Collier is ready for “Heart on the Line” to take off.

“We had recorded the basics for the new album back in February,” said Collier. “I had planned to put the vocals on it during the Midwest tour even though it would have been hectic. When I came home, I had a lot of time. I put vocals on. I put horns on a few tracks. I spent time with the mixing. It took longer than I had planned. Like my previous albums, it’s definitely a mixture – blues, funk, NOLA – but this one goes rootsier.

Collier recorded the album in January at Hearstudios in Camden, Maine and released it on her own label – Phenix Fire Records.

“It’s the same studio I used for ‘Honey Up’,” said Collier. “I used the same engineer – Mark Wessel. He was a professor I had at Berklee for a course in music production. He really captures each instrument as it sounds in the room and is absolutely wonderful to work with.”

The Vanessa Collier Duo also features stellar guitarist and blues master Arthur Neilson.

In the 80s and 90s, his guitar work became much in demand. Neilson became adept at playing blues, rock and roll, rockabilly and country. At one point, he was gigging in seven bands, including Oxford Blues, Kid Java, Felix and The Havanas and The Guitar Guys from Hell. He also worked with guitar great Otis Rush.

In 1998, Shemekia Copeland hired Neilson to be the guitarist in her band. He has played on many of Copeland’s Grammy nominated albums including “Wicked,” “33 1/3” and “Outskirts of Love.”

Neilson has released three albums under his own name – “a piece of wood, some strings, and a pick,” “Moan & Cry” and “Hell of a Nerve.”

Video link for Vanessa Collier — https://youtu.be/oams93CwIKU.

The show on June 16 will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30.

On June 12, the Steel City Coffee House (203 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, 610-933-4043, www.steelcitycoffeehouse.com) will present Ben Arnold with Erik Sayles. Arnold also has gigs lined up for the Living Room in Ardmore on July 3 and 118 North in Wayne on August 1.

The Ardmore Music Hall (23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, 610-649-8389, www.ardmoremusic.com) will present Spaga on June 10 and 11, Project Logic on June 12 and 13 and Tim Reynolds on June 16.

This is the opening weekend of the second show of the 2021-2022 season of Candlelight Theatre (2208 Millers Road, Arden, Delaware, www.candlelighttheatredelaware.org). The new production is “Beehive: The 1960’s Musical.”

The members of the all-female cast ask audiences to join them for this rollicking musical tribute to the ladies who left their mark on the music of the 60s. With big voices and bigger hairdos,  “Beehive” will have audience members dancing in the aisles and singing along with many of the iconic songs from the past.

The show, which was created by Larry Gallagher, is a celebration of the powerful female voices of the 1960s. This musical review will transport audiences with timeless hits such as “Me and Bobby McGee,” “My Boyfriend’s Back”, “Be My Baby,” “Son of a Preacher Man”, and “You Don’t Own Me”.

“Beehive: The 1960’s Musical” will run from June 12-July 18. Tickets are $65.50 for adults and $33 for children (ages 4-12). All seats are reserved.

The Queen (500 North Market Street, Wilmington, 202-730-3331, www.thequeenwilmington.com) will host Funkitorium on June 11 and Controversy on June 12.

Helium Comedy Club (2031 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, philadelphia.heliumcomedy.com) will host Vinnie Brand on June 10, Gary Owen on June 11-13 and Mitch Fatel on June 16.

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