Win FREE TICKETS to “It’s a Jazzy Christmas” at St. Rose’s Massry Center on Sunday!

November 28th, 2012, 11:00 am by Greg

The Peanut Gallery Jazz Band is back again!

One of the surprise hits of last year’s Nippertown’s holiday season, the Local 518 all-star jazz trio – featuring pianist and host David Gleason, bassist Mike Lawrence and drummer Pete Sweeney – returns to the College of Saint Rose’s Massry Center in Albany on Sunday (December 2) for two shows.

The core of the unforgettable, family-friendly afternoon is the marvelous music of Vince Guaraldi – made famous in those “Peanuts” holiday specials – but you’ll also experience a stage full of Christmas decorations, an audience sing-a-long and a healthy dose of humor. And let’s not forget the milk-and-cookies reception for the kids, too.

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LIVE: “Jazz Mentors and New Voices” @ Athens Cultural Center, 5/5/12

May 22nd, 2012, 4:00 pm by Greg
Adam Siegel, Mike Lawrence and Rhys Tivey

Adam Siegel, Mike Lawrence and Rhys Tivey (photo by J Hunter)

Review and photographs by J Hunter
Additional photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

I’m in lock-step with Planet Arts svengali Thom Bellino when he says “(This) has always been a good area for jazz, but right now I think it’s terrific!” It’s not just that major musicians have come out of upstate New York, while others now call it home; it’s because the cadre of Greater Nippertown jazzers that have maintained the fire for decades is being augmented by a stream of young players that now make “young lions” like Brian Patneaude and Keith Pray seem like seasoned pros (which they are). Bellino pulled together both sides of this happy situation to begin the latest edition of PlanetArts’ “one2one” concert/discussion series.

The theme for the night was “Jazz Mentors and New Voices”, and the SRO crowd stuffed into the Athens Cultural Center’s main gallery had fine examples of both: On the Mentor side, Bellino and Michael Benedict have been working together for the last two years (most recently on the drummer/educator’s latest Bopitude disc “Five and One”), while Joe Finn’s been working his own side of the street for quite some time, giving us hollowbody guitar goodness through his own band and recording String Theory. As for New Voices, altoist Adam Siegel has been dive-bombing this area for over a year – primarily with various iterations of Joe Barna’s Sketches of Influence – while trumpeter Rhys Tivey is a former student of Benedict’s who will soon be graduating from NYU. Mike Lawrence has a foot in both categories: A great young bassist who’s played with Bopitude and Yuko Kishimoto, Lawrence is an educator at Schenectady High School.

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Be Here Now: Bopitude @ The Linda, Friday 6/10/11

June 8th, 2011, 1:00 pm by Sara
In the studio with Michael Benedict

Mike Lawrence, Chris Pasin, Michael Benedict, Bruce Barth and Brian Patneaude

Last January, jazz drummer Michael Benedict rounded up some heavy hitters and a who’s who of Nippertown jazz musicians and headed into Cotton Hill Studios in Colonie. Andrzej Pilarczyk hung out in the studio with the band and filed a two-part, behind-the-scenes, in-the-studio report for Nippertown: Part 1 and Part 2.

The results of their labors is “Bopitude,” which is the name of the band as well as the title of the CD released on Tuesday by Planet Arts, the Grammy-award winning jazz label based in Catskill.

Benedict teams up once again with his studio line-up of trumpeter Chris Pasin, tenor saxophonist Brian Patneaude, bassist Mike Lawrence and pianist Bruce Barth for a CD release celebration at The Linda at 8pm on Friday (June 10). Tickets are $15.

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