Links beyond this blog have been known to expire, sometimes rather quickly. I wish things weren't this way (but they are). I will do what I can to choose wisely (but don't say you weren't warned). Click away!
Received this righteous blast this morning from a patron on our e-mail list.
"Your message states 'It might seem a little like United Kingdom month at the
Celebrity Series, what with the Camerata Ireland, The Royal Scots
Dragoon Guards , and The Chieftains all scheduled. Even the bluegrass
family band Cherryholmes is known to do a bit of Irish step dancing in
their show.' HOWEVER, IRELAND IS NOT PART OF THE UNITED KINGDOM!"
Oh, Maureen, you are so right. I was a fool when I wrote that Ireland is part of the UK - forgive me Paddy Moloney! - and I'm a red-faced fool now. Thank you for calling me out. I only hope the good folks at O'Connor's will still serve me my bangers and mash with a smile.
No matter what I said, Cherryholmes does do some mean Irish step dancing, which is extraordinary when you consider they are originally from California (which is not part of the UK, by the way).
If you aren't yet familiar with the bluegrass family band phenomenon known as Cherryholmes, then this eight minute audio clip from NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday from '06 is just the thing to get you up to speed (I've pointed you to the home page for the story, you need to click on the link near the top left once the page loads for the eight minute clip.) In addition to the story, you can listen to several audio clips of the group's performances on the page, too.
It took a little while, but I finally did get confirmation of Alfred Brendel's encores from his recital on Friday evening (I knew I should have elbowed my way to the head of the line...). They were as follows:
1. J.S. Bach, "Andante" from Concerto nach Italienischem Gusto, "Italian Concerto"
2. Liszt, “Au Lac de Wallenstadt” from Années de pèlerinage, Première Année – Suisse
3. Schubert, Impromptu No. 3 in G-flat major from Four Impromptus, Op. 90 (D. 899) 3. Schubert, Impromptu in A flat Major, from Four Impromptus, Op. 142, No. 2 (D. 935)
Mr. Brendel came off stage following each piece, stood for a beat, wiping his brow with a handkerchief, turned on his heel and strode back out on stage. No muss, no fuss. It was impressive, and made the process seem athletic.
UPDATE: I made a mistake on Mr. Brendel's third encore. It was indeed a Schubert work. See above.
Here's a good video quality excerpt from a produced overview of The Chieftains. Not sure of the year, but speakers include fiddler Martin Fay, since retired from touring, and the late harpist for the band, Derek Bell.
The Chieftains will be in Symphony Hall on Friday, March 14. You can find a list of special guests and buy tickets here.
Trumpeter John Brunious, a fixture at the helm of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for 20 years, has died at age 67. His funeral will take place this Friday, February 22. He will be honored with a jazz funeral second line procession this Saturday, February 23 at 1pm.
The Celebrity Series presented Mr. Brunious and the Pres Hall band countless times over his tenure, always in Symphony Hall. I remember a touching moment when the band played a post-Katrina benefit to open our 2006-2007 season. The band played a beautiful show, complete with wacky old cartoons on a giant screen and a thrilling guest appearance by Ellis Marsalis. The band came to the Cajun dinner that followed. John Brunious sat for the entire dinner with his trumpet on the floor beside his chair, "I don't let it out of my sight," he said. The silver-plated Conn trumpet had been a gift from the Tipitina's Foundation several months earlier. Brunious had lost six trumpets to Katrina's floodwaters and had himself been rescued from a second story window.
My favorite quote from Mr. Brunious came from Ben Jaffe as quoted in the group's press release on Brunious's passing: ‘There’s another Louis Armstrong somewhere out there in New Orleans. I’m going to find them and teach them all I got.’