• Music

    Getting Started with Bluegrass Jams

    Bluegrass is one of the most social, and beginner-friendly styles of music on earth. If you are interested in getting started with bluegrass music, or just looking for some friends to play music with now and then, here are my suggestions. A great place to start is Pete Wernick’s resources for slow jams and total beginners. They are inexpensive and I can vouch for the quality of Pete’s material. I believe you can stream some or all of them. Also, look through Pete’s list of 2-chord songs. Listen to some of them on Youtube (or wherever) and pick a couple you like. Try to learn the songs by just playing…

  • Music

    Getting Started with Tom Waits

    I believe my musical tastes are finally matured such that I can finally appreciate Tom Waits. I asked my friends where I should start. These are my notes from those comments. Places to Start These albums were mentioned as good starting points for the Tom Waits newbie. Closing Time Rain Dogs Swordfishtrombones Nighthawks at the Diner Recommended Progressions “Swordfish Trombones, Rain Dogs, Frank’s Wild Years, Bone Machine” “My recommendation is to start at the beginning with Closing Time and work your way forward in time. Generally speaking the earlier stuff tends to be more digestible to folks.” “Start with Nighthawks and Small Change…then Rain Dogs, Swordfishtrombones, Franks Wild Years, Mule…

  • Music

    The Closing of El Chapultapec

    COVID has permanently shuttered many bars and venues, but the announcement from El Chapultapec in Denver really hits home for me. This unassuming little bar in downtown was a long-standing institution in the music scene, not just locally but nationally too. You could go and hear incredible musicians in this tiny joint any night of the week, most playing not for the patrons but for the love and joy of music. National touring performers have been stopping by El Chapultapec to jam there since it opened in 1933, including Ella Fitzgerald, Chet Baker, Tony Bennett, Bono, Mick Jagger, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, and Jaco Pastorius. But the what really made…

  • Cleveland,  Music

    Born in Cleveland: Henry Mancini

    Henry Mancini (composer, conductor) who is known for things like the Pink Panther and Peter Gunn themes, won a Golden Globe, four Academy Awards, and twenty Grammys and was born in Cleveland’s Little Italy in 1924. His family moved to Pennsylvania when he was five, but pretty cool even so.

  • Music

    My Music

    I am a student of jazz, bluegrass, and American roots music.  I play upright bass in the big band and jazz combo of the Mile High Community Band and I also sit in at a few bluegrass/old-time jams from time to time. I host an outdoor bluegrass jam at Chavez Park (Tennyson St.) in the summertime.  For a list of bluegrass jams in Colorado, see the CBMS jams page.  It’s a comprehensive list, and they do a good job keeping it up to date. For a list of jazz jams in the Denver area, see my Denver jazz jams page.  (I couldn’t find a comprehensive reference elsewhere on the web, so I…