Lark and Thurber Headline Full House at Musical Masterworks Weekend Concerts

Musical Masterworks played to a full house in its February 9th concert at the First Congregational Church in Old Lyme last weekend. The beautiful meetinghouse, built in 1910, has incredible natural acoustics that make it a great spot for the chamber music presented by the 29-year old organization. Artistic Director Edward Arron presided over the event, in a pre-concert talk as well as introductions to each musical piece during the concert. Arron is an engaging and affable speaker and educator, and these qualities translate into his cello playing. His character on cello is that of a considerate, attentive conversationalist who

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Surveying the Jazz Scene in Southeast Connecticut

I went to hear a good bit of jazz in the last month. All jazz. All different permutations. James Baldwin wrote that Jazz – all black American music – has at its origins a necessarily laconic expression, encoding what it was saying with circumspection. It needed to say things without being universally understood. It still does that, often with an extravagant filigree of virtuosity. It misdirects attention from the thing that is really being said, or the thing that is too painful to be said outright. “Tell all the truth but tell it slant,” Emily Dickinson advised readers in a

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Clare Byrne Tonight at Nightingale’s Cafe

Guilford-based musician and songwriter Clare Byrne will be appearing this Friday at Nightingale’s Acoustic Cafe in Old Lyme. Take a look at our interview with Byrne — now a regular arts columnist for CT Examiner — earlier this summer. Byrne will be appearing solo, with a guitar, a piano, and “lotsa songs, just some old, some new, some borrowed, many blue.” 7:30 – 9:30PMNightingale’s Acoustic Cafe68 Old Lyme StreetOld Lyme, CT

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Delfeayo Marsalis Tears into Old Lyme’s Side Door

Delfeayo Marsalis and his New Orleans-based Uptown Jazz Orchestra tore into the Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme on Thursday January. The ten-man band wouldn’t wait even for Side Door owner Ken Kitchings to finish his introductions. The procession started in the hall, wove through the sold-out room and up onto the stage. Marsalis called out, “Hello Old Lyme! What I’d like to know is, where’s New Lyme?” Kitchings called back, “You’re making it!” Yes indeed. Marsalis and his brilliant Crescent City players helped nudge that idea just a little closer to reality in a show filled with the

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Vince Ector’s South Philly Groove at the Side Door

Philadelphia, land of the Schuykill River, home of the “South Philly Groove” as defined by Vince Ector, a dynamic jazz percussionist and leader of Organatomy Trio +, a quartet that rolled into the Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme on Friday night. Ector was incredibly relaxed, dressed in an impeccable pink button-down shirt, introducing a song late in the second set by Burt Bacharach. “See, people think that jazz musicians just like jazz. It’s not true! I love pop music. We stole this song. Did all sorts of things to it — we polluted it — and now, here

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Johnny O’Neal Leads Fierce, Playful, Eclectic Night at Old Lyme’s Side Door Jazz Club

Johnny O’Neal — finishing off a busy year of touring with his last gig of the decade at the Side Door in Old Lyme — presided at the piano with grace, ease, and rippling arpeggios. Like a ringmaster in a silver sparkling suit, he led Mark Lewandowski on upright bass and Itay Morchi on drums through dynamically arranged songs, sometimes at scorching paces. But subtlety was an even more notable feature. During piano passages of stunning delicacy, O’Neal turned out deep pockets of finesse, hush, stillness, and blues. Born in Detroit, O’Neal has had a long and tumultuous career, playing

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Max Creek Brings Joyous Jams to The Kate

The Connecticut-based group known for an eclectic musical style mixing rock, jazz, soul, country and Calypso with jams in the vein of the Grateful Dead and Phish is playing The Kate Friday, December 6, 2019 at 8:00 pm. The 250-seat venue is located on the Main Street of Old Saybrook.  With a steady grouping since the mid-1970s of guitarist Scott Murawski, keyboardist Mark Mercier and bassist John Rider, Max Fish got its start almost a half-century ago in Hartford before current drummer percussionists Bill Carbone and Jamemurrell Stanley were born. According to Rider, the band was started to “give people

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Eric Lichter Makes Music and Family at Dirt Floor in Haddam

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HADDAM — “My parents had an incredible record collection and we had music all the time… in the car… at home. They had Crosby, Stills and Nash, James Taylor, the Eagles, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Dan Fogelberg,” said Eric Michael Lichter showing us around his studio at Dirt Floor Recording & Production on Monday afternoon. A small framed photo of Randy Newman hangs on the wall of the vocals room, one musician who has inspired Lichter since he was a kid. “When I was in middle school and kids my age were listening to Iron Maiden and Judas Priest and

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Saxophone Quartet Premieres Two Pieces for MMModern in Old Lyme

OLD LYME — Imagine four classically-trained saxophonists playing contemporary compositions together, with most pieces performed from memory, and you’ve got “a chamber ensemble for the 21st century” known as the Project Fusion saxophone quartet.  The quartet formed while the players were students at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, said Michael Sawzin, the group’s tenor saxophonist, in a phone conversation with CT Examiner and Musical Masterworks President Alden Murphy on November 6.  The group will perform two world premieres, among other contemporary work, on Friday, November 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the Lyme Art Association in Old

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Musical Masterworks Opens Season October 19 & 20… Beethoven’s String Quartets a High Point

The 29th season of Musical Masterworks will come to a crescendo with a special celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, featuring all of Beethoven’s string quartets in two three-day weekends of music March 13-15 and May 1-3. For the two Beethoven weekends, the series is adding a Friday concert in addition to the usual Saturday and Sunday schedule in order to fit in all 16 of Beethoven’s string quartets, said Ed Arron, cellist and artistic director of Musical Masterworks in a telephone conversation on Oct. 8. The theme of friendship extends throughout the season, which kicks off on October 19 and

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