Five Firsts: Mike Dimin

February 22nd, 2013, 10:00 am by Greg
Mike Dimin

Mike Dimin

NAME: Michael Dimin
BAND AFFILIATION: Many. Besides being a solo bassist (yeah, you heard that correctly), I also perform with the jazz trio A3, an Americana/Roots ensemble Kylie & the Sympathetic Strangers, an Irish band Emerald Dawn (when they can afford me), as well as my long-standing bass-and-percussion duet with Brian Melick.
INSTRUMENT: Electric Bass

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WASInnervisions by Stevie Wonder. I am much prouder of that, then the first single I ever bought (which shall remain nameless). Just admitting that I bought an album dates me.

Read the rest of this entry »


Bang a Drum! Play Samba in Troy…

January 21st, 2011, 2:25 pm by Greg
Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius

Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius

Pianist, composer and world music enthusiast Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius, and her ensemble Heard recently released their new CD, “Karibu,” and it’s garnering rave reviews. Now she’s all revved up about a new musical project:

Hi, Music Lovers!

I’m trying to get the word out about something exciting whose time has come – the formation of a samba drum group in Troy! To be led by Jim Weber of Great Barrington, founder of the Berkshire Bateria, a group which I’ve been a member of for many years.

Jim is a great bandleader with loads of enthusiasm and great energy, and he has built his group up in the Berkshires to be a high-quality, authentic, Rio-style “escula de samba” that performs all over New England and the Northeast. He has studied in Brazil, (moved his family down to Bahia for a number of months) and visits there yearly; builds a lot of his own instruments (surdos, etc.); and runs this whole operation out of a great space in downtown Barrington affectionately called Sambaland. Read more about Jim in the bio below…

Upon receiving my very own surdo (a big bad *@! Brazilian bass drum) for Christmas, before I knew it, Jim and I were talking about getting things going in Troy.

Read the rest of this entry »

CD: Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius & Heard’s “Karibu”

December 3rd, 2010, 5:00 pm by Greg

Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius and Heard: Karibu(, 2010):

When I reviewed Heard’s four-song EP, “Adhiambo,” earlier this year, I remarked that the more classically influenced instrumental “La Lluvia” didn’t seem to quite fit in with the other three songs on the disc.

Heard’s full-length debut – which features the four tunes from the EP as well as five more tracks – solves that problem perfectly.

The nimble, lilting fusion of jazz, classical and world music strikes a delicate balance with a subtle shifting of musicians throughout the disc. Some tracks – like “La Lluvia” and the traditional “Mbizerere” from Zimbabwe – feature only two or three musicians. Others – including the welcoming title track – feature six or seven musicians, each contributing marvelous music to the mix.

Read the rest of this entry »

CD: Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius & Heard’s “Adhiambo”

April 19th, 2010, 1:54 pm by Greg

Adhiambo(, 2009):

Pianist-composer Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius has been exploring the fascinating hybrid of jazz, classical and world music for years, having made her debut as the lead of Jupiter Circle nearly a decade ago.

This 20-minute, four-song EP continues down that same path with sparkling results, as she leads her latest ensemble Heard – featuring clarinetist Jonathan Greene, bassist John Menegon and the percussion tandem of Brian Melick and Zorkie Nelson.

Woodbury Kasius describes the quintet’s sound as “new world jazz,” and the first three tracks delve into the world of Afro-Brazilian music of gently percolating, swaying rhythms and breezy, sun-kissed melodies. Woodbury Kasius handles the vocal chores on the title track, while Nelson takes over the microphone for “O Fecha.” The third selection, “Malakia Mlongo,” is a lilting instrumental.

The disc’s closing track, “La Lluvia,” is also an instrumental, but a bit of a curve ball. Recorded by Woodbury Kasius with cellist Jeffrey Parker and flutist Rebecca Kleinmann rather than Heard, the trio slides into a more contemplative mood with the musical emphasis leaning more toward the classical end of the musical spectrum. It’s a beautiful, meditative composition and marvelously played, but it sounds a bit off the path in the context of the other three tracks on the disc. Perhaps in the context of a longer, full-length release, the track wouldn’t pull focus quite as much as it does here.

Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius & Heard will be performing a free lunchtime concert at 12noon on Tuesday (April 20) at St. Paul’s Church in Troy. The ensemble is also scheduled to play at Justin’s in Albany at 9:30pm on Friday, April 30. Admission is $5.

Cartoonist John CaldwellCaffe LenaJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantHolly & EvanAdvertise on Nippertown!Mohawk Hudson Humane SocietyG.C. Haymes