Music Feed

Forty plus ukulele players strum and sing along

Phoenixville ukulele event singing strumming
Robert Vince used to play the tuba but once he had kids it wasn’t practical to practice such a loud instrument after bedtime. Listening to the late Canadian musician and songwriter Stan Rogers sparked his interest in acoustic, folk style music. He took up the ukulele to make music he could share with his kids. Now he sometimes leads the Maine Line Ukulele group and his five year old has begun strumming on the ukulele. Suzanne Kane, a music therapist by trade, picked up the ukulele a couple years ago and began attending sessions to learn the instrument. Now she, too, leads the monthly sessions. She gravitates toward upbeat "high vibe, positive, good message" songs like Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" and "I melt with you" by the Modern English. Both ukulele-ists each led a hand-picked set at the group's premier spring event at the Steel City Coffee House in Phoenixville Pa on Sunday March 11th.  Watch ukulele playing and the stories of two who became group leaders here.

 


Career day features sound engineer, pet groomer, funeral director and more

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Career day pet groomer
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Career day sound engineer motion
 And concert sound engineer Barbara Adams wowed students when she told them she once worked with Kanye West (before he became famous). She talked about what her job is like - lots of heavy lifting and much more. And to illustrate the science of sound and hearing she disassembled a speaker. Students excitedly bunched around to see the diaphragm pulse to Michael Jackson's "Beat It."
 

Street musicians serenade holiday shoppers in Chestnut Hill

Street musician chestnut hill coffee

Street musicians Tahir Jamal and Carty Brown (above) both grew up in Northwest Philadelphia. On a temperate fall day Jamal was outside Kilian Hardware improvising on his keyboard while Carty Brown, on the guitar, tried out instrumentals he just recently composed outside the Chestnut Hill Coffee shop. Watch music video and interview of Chestnut Hill street performers.

Street musicians chestnut hill

Tahir Jamal (drums) and Eddie Flotte (guitar) entertain passersby on Germantown Avenue. Watch video of street musicians playing What a Wonderful World.

 


Bethlehem and Sad Patrick play music for public

Bethlehem and Sad Patrick

If you've ever had a butterfly collection, "Sad Patrick" says, you know the butterflies didn't die naturally- they were either stuffed in a jar and suffocated or stabbed with a pin. The realization gave Patrick the idea to title a love song, "Jar and Pin." He accompanies vocalist partner Bethlehem on the guitar at an impromptu concert on Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, one recent summer Saturday afternoon. Watch music video here. The duo cover "You are So Beautiful" here.

Bethlehem and Sad Patrick


Merry Pranskters and Pure Jerry reincarnate the Grateful Dead

Pure Jerry pays tribute to Grateful Dead with Merry Pranksters

Watch video here. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" author Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters went around the country in the drug fueled 1960s in a school bus encouraging people to decide their own reality and have creative fun. At their inaugural event On July 1 at the Alma Mater restaurant and bar, the self designated Neo-Pranksters continued that tradition. Throughout an evening that started out with the political satire of the local G-town troupe, segueing into sexy burlesque dancing and rounded off with partygoers grooving to the Grateful Dead tribute band, "Pure Jerry" as psychedelic art was projected on the walls, the colorfully adorned Neos offered facepainting, fortune telling and coloring. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merry_Pranksters

Burlesque dancer gets made up


They Could Not (keep him in the grave)

They could not (keep him in the grave)A 78 year old retired Pittsburgh public school music teacher who goes by Frank Lavelle  serenaded the public with "They could not [keep him in the grave," popularized by Sandi Patty and other praise songs Friday evening, the first day of the city's arts festival. Lavelle, who looks and sounds more than a little like  the older Frank Sinatra , regularly performs at nursing homes. And in the summer months, when he's so inclined as he was Friday evening, wheeling a cart bearing a powerful Bose amplifier, he broadcasts religious gratitude in his sonorous voice through the Pittsburgh cultural district. Watch video here.


Singing without her ukulele

Julia Weekes loves to sing with a musical instrument and to bash out non-ukulele sounding songs like hard core rock on the ukulele she got from a jazz bass player friend of a friend who was giving out ukuleles to all his loved ones. She immediately fell in love with the instrument, which felt, to her from the outset like she was playing a heart that had been plucked out from the chest. At a Bar Mitzvah luncheon, your correspondent imposed on her to sing some impromptu Radiohead and more as if she were playing along with her uke. Your correspondent would like to video her singing these songs with her uke. Watch video here.


Al-Bustan showcases Arab art and music at Morris Arboretum

From the Al-Bustan website "We are thrilled to return to Morris Arboretum where Al-Bustan Camp started back in July 2002. In fact, it was Morris Arboretum’s beautiful gardens that inspired the name Al-Bustan (Arabic for “the garden”). Join us as we literally return to our roots in celebration of Arab heritage.

Guests will enjoy music and hands-on activities in traditional Arabic art:  geometric pattern-making with Al-Bustan Teaching Artist Tremain Smith and Arabic calligraphy. Tours highlighting trees in the Arboretum’s collection that originate from Arab countries will be offered throughout the day." Saturday September 20, 2014

Watch video collage of day's events here.

Watch musical performance and interview with musician here.

Watch video interview with Arabic calligrapher here.