Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 157 #200)

Dennis Gruenling!
B1 had a surprise visit from Dennis Gruenling last night! He played some killer stuff and answered a lot of great questions. The conversation focused a lot on improvising and we liked this thought from Dennis:

"Anybody can improvise the first day playing the harmonica, but it may not be something you want to hear. To become a good improvisor, I think, you really need to know the tradition and a lot of pieces that come from the style of music that you want to play."

In addition to being an amazing player, Dennis is also an avid record collector. If you want to hear him dig into his personal collection of rare R&B, jump blues, swing and traditional blues, catch his online radio show Thursdays (1:00pm-3:45pm EST) at: wfdu.fm

Note that if you can't catch him live, the radio station now has two-week archives, so you can go to WFDU.fm anytime and listen to Dennis spin great music.

Thanks for visiting, Dennis!

Announcing the Highway RickEy Blues Jam!
B1's very own tonecup harmonica master, drummer, and vocalist, Highway RickEy, is launching a new Wednesday night blues jam starting January 27! Don't miss this chance to catch RickEy perform and to get out and practice performing your songs live.

Jerry's Sandwiches
1938 West Division Street
Chicago, IL 60622
10pm Wednesdays

The Next Great Ensemble Performance -- Juke!!!
Shoji Naito, ensemble writer extraordinaire, has produced another fabulous group piece for us to perform at the Harmonica Convergence show March 21, 2010, and this time it's Little Walter's "Juke"! Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate. This will be a fabulous opportunity for us to perform on the main stage at the Old Town School, sharing the bill with professional harp players Corky Siegel, Peter "Madcat" Ruth, Joe Filisko and Howard Levy.

Shoji has posted the parts and the song here: Juke.

We will be rehearsing this song every week now, so spend time at home rehearsing.

Other ensemble notes:
  • "Practice" at home; rehearse with the group in class.
  • Spend most of your practice this week on pages one and two.
  • Shoji will not be providing printouts in class. Make your own printouts from the web page and remember to bring them to class.
We hope to also be playing Welcome Table at this event, so refresh your memory on that song too. Welcome Table link.

Class Notes
  • Get your tickets now for the next Harmonica Convergence show featuring Joe Filisko, Howard Levy, Corky Siegel and Peter Madcat Ruth at the Old Town School, March 21, 2010. The show will be a tribute to the great harmonica legend, and longtime Steve Miller Band member, Norton Buffalo. Rumor has it there may be other harp players you know in the lineup, so don't miss it!
Newsletter News!
The newsletter and more is always online! Check it out for more details on newsletter items, a calendar of local gigs, jams, birthdays, archives, links, videos and special features.

We welcome your input. If you're inspired to write a review of a live show, CD, DVD or book, please submit it to us for consideration.

- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew