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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


Please email me at Info@Bmansbluesreport.com

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

News from Stephanie Trick

Newsletter header

Dear Friends,

Happy Holidays!

I just returned from a marathon tour in California -- four fantastic weeks of concerts and festivals.  Highlights included the West Coast Ragtime Festival in Sacramento, the San Diego Thanksgiving Dixieland Jazz Festival, and a fascinating visit to a unique liberal arts college in the high desert of California, just east of the Sierra Nevadas.
West Coast Ragtime Festival
One of the largest festivals of its kind, the West Coast Ragtime Festival always presents some of the best performers of early piano styles, such as Brian Holland, Carl Sonny Leyland, Frederick Hodges, and others.  All of these pianists and I have much respect and admiration for the musical genius of Dick Hyman; here's a composition of his that I performed that weekend.  I also had the opportunity to play a couple of sets with the fantastic drummer Danny Coots, who brought a lot of great swinging fun to the stage.  Here's our version of "Boogie Woogie Stomp," a hot number by Albert Ammons.

On the last day of the festival, I was delighted to again be master of ceremonies for the annual youth concert.  Young performers of stride and ragtime gave formidable interpretations of Fats Waller, James P. Johnson, and Scott Joplin.  It was easy to see how this music will not only be preserved in years to come, but taken to new heights by these inspiring young artists!
College Visit and Concert
Deep Springs College
With members of the Deep Springs community, November 22, 2011.
After the West Coast festival, we headed to Deep Springs College.  This is truly a one-of-a-kind liberal arts college dedicated to instilling a life-long desire in its students to be of service to mankind.  Duties on the campus and ranch, with its awe-inspiring views -- including harvesting crops, herding cattle, and cooking meals (I can attest to how delicious they are!) -- are balanced with a rigorous academic program.  Most continue after their time here at top universities like Princeton, Brown, and Yale.  I was honored to be asked to play for these students who really seemed to enjoy listening to the music of the 1920s and '30s.
San Diego Thanksgiving Dixieland Jazz Festival
Barry Glover
With Barry Glover, the grandson of James P. Johnson.
After Thanksgiving, I spent the weekend in San Diego performing at the big Dixieland jazz festival there.  I love being a part of jazz festivals because I'm able to hear great bands and share sets with other pianists and musicians.  This time I had the pleasure of sharing a duo set each with two stellar pianists, Carl Sonny Leyland and Chris Dawson.  Sonny is one of the leading exponents of boogie woogie.  I love his exciting style, and it's hard not to smile when I play with him.  Doing a duo set with Chris was a treat, because I was already a big fan of his elegant, swinging playing, and we had a ball together.

Another highlight of the festival weekend for me was meeting Barry Glover, grandson of one of my idols, James P. Johnson.  I even got to play a couple of his grandfather's pieces for him!
Nouveau Stride Downloads
Stride sister Lorraine Feather and I got together for a day of rehearsal while I was in southern California.  We've completed some of the tracks for our upcoming album, and the first one will be available for purchase and download on iTunes in the very near future.  Then one more will be released each month until the complete album is finished.  For more information, please see nouveaustride.com.  Stay tuned for more news soon!
Online Radio Interview
Susan Brender recently interviewed Frederick Hodges and me for her weekly show called "V for Vitality" on womensradio.com.  In the episode titled "Masters of Stride Piano," Frederick and I have a conversation about what it is that draws us to early piano jazz.
Tour Finished with House Concerts
For the last week of my California tour, I was able to team up with Paolo Alderighi, the terrific swing and stride pianist from Italy, for a series of duo concerts in the L.A. area.  We had fun putting together several house concert programs that featured our individual styles, as well as a number of four-hand duets.  Get a taste of them here.  I am so grateful to the gracious hosts and sponsors of all the concerts we were able to share during the last week of this amazing California adventure!

I'll be enjoying a little time off for the next couple of weeks, but also learning new material for projects coming up in the next year.  I hope you have a happy holiday season and a new year filled with blessings!

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