Our pals the Southside Aces are returning to one of their favorite themes for this month’s ‘second Thursday’ performance at the Eagles Club #34, and that’s the music of New Orleans clarinet legend George Lewis. It may be because the Aces’ clarinet player picks the themes, but either way George Lewis night presents the band at their best.
Lewis was largely unheard outside of New Orleans until the middle of his career, when we went on to become an ambassador of sorts for traditional jazz. From the 1940s until his death in 1968 he recorded and toured, documenting the pre-swing sound with his big sound and distinctive style.
The Southside Aces will perform songs associated with Lewis this Thursday night at the Eagles, starting at 8pm.
A post about a famous cellist as a nod to our friend Aaron Kerr, a cellist and teacher who has hosted his student recitals here at Hymies for eight years.
There’s a controversial movie about the private life of Jacqueline Du Pré, a cellist whose short career revived England’s role in classical music, in particular Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto. Du Pré’s life and career didn’t need to be sensationalized to be interesting, as she was one of those classical musicians whose music spoke for itself.
Du Pré first performed the Elgar concerto at her concert debut in 1962 when she was seventeen years old. She went on to perform it again at the BBC’s prominent Proms summer festival, and a subsequent recording of the piece became an international hit. After this she studied with Mstislav Rostropovich and earned his praise.
She made many famous friends in the classical community — A 1969 recording of Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet featured Du Pré along with her husband Daniel Barenbiom, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zuckerman and Zubin Mehta. It was a classical “super group” along the lines of rock’s Traveling Wilburys, and they performed and recorded several chamber pieces together.
Du Pré was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and her career came to a tragic end. She was so, so young when she passed away, and the loss for listeners like ourselves is enormous. In a short time she truly brought new life into the world of classical music.
Her recordings of Elgar and Schubert are highly regarded. We also love this album of Du Pré and Barenbohm performing Beethoven’s Cello Sonata no.3 in A Major. Regular readers of the Hymies blog know how highly we regard Beethoven’s music — this work, completed at the same time as the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, is unique in the way the cello and piano interact and share the lead role.
Pianist Stephen Bishop-Kovacevich had toured with Du Pré, and had also performed and recorded other Beethoven works at the time of this recording. His 1968 recording of the Diabelli Variations is one of the best. Although he was born in the United States, he has long lived in England. At seventy-seven, he is still performing.
Thursday’s Southside Aces show at the Eagles Club #34 promises to be one of their best – they’ll be paying tribute to legendary New Orleans drummer Paul Barbarin, a man who loved his city and his music so much that he literally played until the moment he died while leading a Mardi Gras parade.
Six bucks at the door gets you an amazing night of New Orleans jazz and a raffle ticket where you can win records from your friendly neighborhood record store.
We didn’t see where photographer Ellen Schmidt was credited for the pictures she took for the Star Tribune, but we really loved them! You can see a slideshow of her photos here. We also started a thread of photos from the block party on our facebook page here.
Thank you all so much for making it a wonderful day — we think it was the gigantic crowd which brought out the sunshine and put spring into gear. We’d like to especially thank, as Dave said when he was introducing Blaha on stage, all of you we see throughout the other 364 days of the year. Thank you for making the record store a special place.