"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Music

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning

The example posted by Cheri Lucas Rowlands was a Northern California foggy dawn.

A sunrise – a perfect beginning.

A baby, just born.

The first page of the dictionary.

The first page of the new calendar.

Once you start, more come to mind.

Beginning= possibility?  A new start.

I did not search the archives for beginnings but put the iPhone to use at breakfast-

My Saturday morning.

Here’s the beginning -

Coffee and English Muffin

The special English muffins a surprise in the Christmas mail from Ben and Susan, thanks

A New Page

A newly sharpened pencil ready to begin……

a journal entry, a letter, a poem, a novel, a list-

A single match

Begin with a single match…………..

Middle CMiddle C- “Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start….” “When you sing you begin with Do Re Mi”

Yarn BowlThe beginning of a ball of yarn in my new yarn bowl :-)


Strip District World Festival

I was going down to the Strip to work on an ongoing photography project I started.

Seemed like a good day to go as I was in town, no school on Sunday and the weather was perfect.

As soon as I neared the Strip, I saw an incredible amount of traffic backed up and some tent tops.  Parked immediately instead of trying to get closer and walked the rest of the way. Here’s what I saw

Strip District World Festival- A Community Event    

Tavern 19

Food-

I ate a  delicious Baklava from Taverna 19, a new place with Greek food and dancing at night. (Right across from Primanti’s)  I had already eaten lunch at home. Who knew?

Manuela

Manuela the Caricaturist

music

Dance to the Music

SteelDragon

Steel Dragon Kung Fu members dance the Lion Dance

Steel Dragon (2)

Steel Dragon (1)

This note from Chris at Steel Dragon   the dance is actually a LION DANCE

I would like to mention that actually we did a lion dance today. The MC confused the name of what we were doing. Our name (as you know) is Steel Dragon (or Gong Lung in Chinese). What we did was a lion dance. The actual name of the one we did  today is “Eight Immortals Carry the Mountain to Fill the Eastern Sea”, which is a story from a classic novel called the Eight Immortals Cross the Sea. 

Incidentally, Dragons have many more people than lions (7-100 people vs 2 in a lion) and when you see the head, you can tell their different. If you want, you can check out the video we just posted which has clips from lion and dragons dances on it (plus I just edited so I love when people look at it :-) ) The link is on our website under videos. (see  link)

music (6)

Steel Dragon (3)

Look behind you!

music (5)

Alex and Ben were the Lion with Steeler Colors

music (7)

music (8)

music (9)

music (1)

sunseri

Two Pound Pepperoni Roll and Mr. Sunseri

BLack and Gold

Schorin’s has everything

Price Bennett

Mr. Bennett Price

world Festival Strip


Bagpiper on Penn Avenue, Saturday Night

Unexpected bagpipe music emanating from Penn Avenue near the Car Park, on our way to the Fireworks Night at PNC Park-

Steve pulled over to the curb.  I got out of the car.  Placed a bill in her case on the walk and asked if it would be all right to take a photo.  She nodded.

A student at Carnegie Mellon University, piping for the Tartans, practicing, playing cool music for downtown Pittsburgh

AND imprinted on her card-

Bagpiping for Western Pennsylvania, (and doing a great job of it, too)

and at the bottom-  Weddings, Funerals, Military Functions, Anniversaries, Birthdays, Social Events, Group and Individual Instruction.  Solo and Band Prizes -US Canada and Scotland   I believe it!

….. Her name is Liz Cherry and she is skilled in the way of the pipes!

Bagpiper on Penn Avenue

Bagpiper on Penn Avenue (1)

I crossed Penn Avenue and took this view, to capture the surroundings.


Play Me, I’m Yours – Omaha Nebraska – Guest Post

Omaha Piano

Guest Poster JB Writes from Omaha

This morning I took my usual walk through Memorial Park and the Rose Garden and came upon this piano sitting all by itself at the top of the Memorial Park, overlooking Dodge Street.

 

Omaha Piano

 

 A jogger happened to come by, sat down and played a number of tunes so I asked if it would be OK to photograph him. He said his goal was to find each painted piano throughout the city and play them.  

 

back of piano

On the back of the piano is a bag filled with leaf-shaped paper cut outs – and a request that you write one phrase or line from a favorite song and then pin it on the piano back.  These will be collected and the artist will compose a piece utilizing them.  

To read more about Play Me I’m Yours Project click here to read the article at Omaha.Com

Thanks J for the great post today.


Peter Celebrates the Big Five O (+)

Stuffed grape leaves, and fancy cheeses.  Goat cheese and fig jam on bruschetta.   Green grapes.  Some bubbly to toast.   M and D brought the most drinkable wine.  A secret in the carafe, a blind test.  Carlo Rossi. No kidding. Beat out the pricey Portuguese wine.  What do we know?

Dates and nuts in a chocolate South African pudding recipe, topped with whiskey whipped cream, created by his wife Janice.  Happy Birthday to Peter.  Live music at a party makes the evening rhyme. Marc on harmonica and Peter and Doug on guitar.  Kim sang a number with the lyrics on her cell phone.

A fun surprise party.  Well done, J.

 

 


Music and Chocolate Cake in Zagreb, Croatia

So I got home from my weekend in Ohio, Sunday night with no chance to photograph the neighborhood for the weekly photo challenge as it was dark outside.  Changing the clocks didn’t help me with enough light by the time I pulled in the driveway

-but in my inbox I found a message  from my son Matthew who lives in Zagreb, Croatia (9 years already!)

The  subject of his email:  Guest blog :-)                  The dilemma of what to post?                    SOLVED!

—————————————————————————————————————————–

Dear Ma, 
Yesterday I spent the evening with the Kaplowitz family.  My dear friend Joe Kaplowitz is pretty much the only American I know over here and he invited me over for an American-style chocolate cake.  Not only is he a brilliant jazz musician but he is quite an accomplished baker to boot!  His beautiful wife Lela is a marvelous singer and they recently came out with a big-band album of original compositions called With Every Breath that you can hear (and buy!) here
 
After enjoying a generously-sized hunk of cake chased by a glass of milk, Joe, Lela, their daughter Lucija and I played a cut-throat game of Name That Tune. Lucija is also a budding musician, so as you might imagine the competition was pretty stiff.  Then we headed to the parlor for a concert.  Joe and Lucija, who plays the violin, teamed up for a set of traditional Croatian melodies played over some soulful blues piano.  
Perhaps I was witnessing the concept for the next album being born.
Joe’s cake was so tasty that I plan to go back over tomorrow for another sliver.  
In keeping with the spirit of the blog, will get the recipe tomorrow and send it to you!
 
Love, Matthew
p.s. Here is the recipe, just in from Zagreb this morning    

 
only got 3 stars but i thought it was fabulous!

Kaplowitz Family

 
 

Lala Loved the Ukelele!

Laura really, really wanted a ukelele.  She thought her husband was getting one for her.   He gave her birthstone earrings instead!

She and James came to Mark and Erika’s today  after having been at James’ family Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. We had a festive time opening presents and watching the kids play with their new toys.  Preparing a nice dinner, too.

So this was one of the fun moments of Christmas for me.  She wasn’t expecting her mom to get her a ukelele.  But I did!

Thanks Pittsburgh Guitars on Carson Street, SouthSide!

The man who sold it to me suggested I put her face on the box on top of the model’s and I added James’ face from a photo I cut up of the two of them.

He told me he was selling at least a ukelele or two every day.  This one came with a gig bag and a tuner.

It was just a good time as I sat on the floor, grabbed the camera and caught her excitement.  Laura learned a couple of chords and Matthew accompanied her on the guitar.  Seeing her so excited felt wonderful.

(and yes that is Cardinal Donald Wuerl, born in Pittsburgh,  in the right hand corner of the television and the photograph)

Laura got her Ukelele


Bumper Stickers Gone Wild

At the red light, waiting to go into the Liberty Tunnel.                         I blurred the numbers on the license plate.

Bumper stickers have been around a long time but I haven’t seen them on too many cars lately. Until I drove home from school.


Music Makes the House Come Alive

 

 

 

 

Saturday night, Christopher Mark Jones accompanied by David Hart on Mandolin.Expert musicians played two sets to an appreciative audience.  Their music made the house come alive.

Laura and James came in from Columbus to help host. I couldn’t have done it without them.  We made a Gourd Tree on the cupcake stand my friend Joanne sent last birthday. I baked a New York Cheesecake, the kind with no crust where you start at 500 degrees then turn it down to 225 and let it bake undisturbed into the night after you turn the oven off.

L said it was the best house concert she had ever attended!  Everyone seemed to be in agreement that it was a wonderful concert and lively evening.  Friends and neighbors joined in singing a few choruses with the sing along portion and the house lent itself  with a warm, welcoming spirit and ambience.

They left their umbrellas at the door.  The threat of five days of rain with Sandy coming up the East Coast didn’t prevent anyone from coming.

It was a lovely, musical event.  Thanks to Christopher and David!   The candles provided a warm glow.


Piano Recital Played from an iPad

Shot with my iPhone after the piano recital, no camera with me tonight-

The music filled the beautiful church, St. Andrew’s in Highland Park.  Pianist Linda Morgan-Ellison played Haydyn, Liszt, Schubert and Debussy Saturday evening. I can’t imagine the number of hours and weeks she had to practice the complicated pieces. She played expertly.

The concert was dedicated  to the  memory of her friend, Bernadette G. Callery who passed away a few months ago.

At the reception in the Parish Hall was a photo of her friend, propped up under a gorgeous bouquet of dark red roses.   I was told the name of the color of roses was Black Magic. Lots of candles flickered in the window sills as some form of bubbly spirits was poured into stem glasses.  There was cake, cheese and fruit to share after the recital.

We were talking afterwards and my friend V recognized the first musical piece by Haydyn as the opening and closing credits for the 6 Part BBC Mini-Series Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth.

After the concert, several members of the audience gathered around the piano to try to figure out how she was playing from the iPad.

Ahhh, there was a foot pedal to scroll to the next page of score.  Her husband told me it was an app you could buy for $4.99, called forScore app.  Amazing!

We met another pianist, Henry Spinelli,  who will play a recital at St. Andrews on March 16th at 3 PM.

Friends of Music and the Arts at St. Andrews sponsors many free musical events throughout the year.


Price Bennett- Street Musician on Liberty Ave

Price Bennett appears
Monday- Fridays Smithfield Street/Downtown
Friday and Saturday Night- Carson Street/South Side
Saturday Daytime Strip District
and he gave me his email if you wish to contact him
pricebennett38@yahoo.com
I watched him  lick his finger and and slide it across the head of the drum. In this article they call it  a moose call.

Vanessa’s Party Shoe Presses the Piano Pedal Plus Nina’s High Heel, Too

Young and trendy.  Stylish and chic.  These fancy shoes separate the youthful fashionable and the older woman’s footwear.   I wore brown clogs. Quite a different look!

It was a good party. The live music made it great. The singing, the piano playing. The friends. The snow was falling as the night wore on.  We’d seen a bad pileup on Bigelow Boulevard and the exit ramp due to black ice on our way to the party. Wondered if we should turn around and go home and avoid the first treacherous driving of the season.

But we were almost there so went forward with the evening’s plans-

the weather discussion goes on forever around these parts and it is usually not good

……Vanessa said she is 5’1″ and that these shoes are really comfortable.  I had to ask.  I was fascinated with the glamorous high heel.

I can’t even imagine.  She seemed to maneuver perfectly. Vanessa and Nina sang and Luke played the piano and sang, too.  He can transpose into any key.  Incredibly talented young man looking at colleges now.

I had asked to blog the women and they agreed but didn’t get permission to show Luke on the blog.   Nina has a website here.   I’ll email and ask so it may be up with the three of them.

Vanessa sitting down and Nina standing


“Suburban 2-Step” Songwriter at Club Cafe – Live – Friday Dec 2nd- Pittsburgh PA

If you want to hear some good music in Pittsburgh this Friday night, head down to the Club Cafe on South 12th Street for the Early Show.

 Christopher Mark Jones- Songwriter will be performing with the band.  You might remember two of his tracks from his Heartland Variations CD were featured in the poet bio I filmed- Michael Wurster: CIty Books Session.

Christopher’s new CD Suburban 2-Step will be released in Spring 2012.

Eve Goodman will be performing with John Caldwell, too.

You can listen to some samples here and also see another photograph I shot of Christopher.  Tickets are $10 at the door. Show is 7-9 PM.


Michael Contemplates the Jukebox

Still in the COSI Progress exhibit.  Last week we had a nice day trip to downtown Columbus, driving around the city to check out Laura and James wedding venue, reception and the hotel where we’ll be staying.  When we went through the Columbus Science and Industry center the kids showed me their favorite room.  There is a vintage soda fountain and in one corner the jukebox and the other corner a pinball machine which you can play if you have a dime.

Actual VINYL plays inside this gem of a coin-operated jukebox Seems everything is moving to a digital file.  Records, 8-tracks. cassette, CDs.

He was taking it all in......


Vinyl DOORS Playing on Record Player

Jim Morrison and the Doors recorde on a turntable.

Panza Gallery- the night of the Big Love show.

I wanted to post this picture  and you may remember the floor from another post of the portrait class that meets on Monday nights.  Panza Gallery (in Millvale)  had a cool show called Big Love, no artwork was priced over $100.  i saw the record player spnning and I had to photograph it.  Fun night.

33 1/3

Laura said on Saturday night she wanted a record player.
I’ve been told that CD’s are going to be obsolete-
soon it’ll be all digital files, nothing to handle.
No vinyl in a cardboard sleeve. Cool graphics.
A paper insert with a center hole.
The act of placing it onto the spindle.
Ease it down onto the turntable.
Lift the arm and place the needle at the beginning.
Wait a few revolutions for the music to begin.

Pittsburgh Guitars on Carson Street, South Side, Interior and Exterior Shots

Floor to ceiling guitars!

Two more weeks of class, so two more posts of South Side after my Wednesday late afternoon adventures.  It was raining.  Had a single slice at Sola Pizza again. Then found my way into Pittsburgh Guitars. Floor to ceiling. Acoustic, Classical, Electric, (even a bright pink one!) and the cutest GuitarLele you ever saw on the wall.  The guitar bodies gleam. And of course every accessory for your instrument–metal, nylon strings, capo, picks, gig bags and cases, amps and cords and straps and music and whatever else you might need or want .  Did I mention knowledgeable staff?  Sam helped me.   ALL musicians. You can meet the entire Pittsburgh Guitars staff on their website.  Not a big box store.       Personalized attention. No pressure, No rush.      They know they have a good thing and isn’t it great to handle and play before you buy?  Superior to  internet ordering.    They have a very creative website which is extensive and fun.   You can go in and play the different instruments and check out the sound (please ask for assistance! on yellow tags like baby road signs)      If you don’t play guitar yet, it is not too late to start!

1305 East Carson St.


Guitarist Shohei Toyoda Plays at Scottie’s Coffee and Tea House on High Street in Worthington OH

Saturday night.  Where we ended up after driving around the city, and dinner out with James (my SIL2B) and my sister Mary in from NYC to visit the family in Columbus. Mark and Erika had gone out and had a sitter so we went out, too.   Cocoa and coffee, lemon poppyseed  cake and finger-picking acoustic music we enjoyed so much that Mary bought 2 CD’s, one for Matthew in Croatia and one for James, who picked this spot to round out our evening together.  Scottie’s Coffee and Tea House was a welcoming venue and the live music was a bonus.  Shohei Toyoda played well to an appreciative crowd, lots of energy and enthusiasm and lively music.  Great sound. Played some of his own compositions and they were quite good.   I asked him if I could blog him during the break and he agreed.

Live Music

Sitting with family
sipping a hot drink.
Listening to live music.
Makes for a satisfying
Saturday night.

He ended with a cool rendition of Classical Gas


Peter King to Open for Jeffrey Gaines-Feb 26th-7 PM-Club Cafe Pittsburgh

Peter King on guitar at the coffee/ice cream shop on Saturday afternoon.

Aspinwall Beans “N” Cream was the scene last Saturday.  Cool decor, lots of record album covers and posters and photos and Beatles memorabilia adorn the walls of the coffee house. Fun to watch a lava lamp in the corner.  Peter added an expertly played instrumental combining three classic jig and reel tunes, complete with an occasional foot tap that made one want to get up and dance along to the beat. Peter invited harmonica player Marc Reisman to join him onstage for a few numbers and the two paired nicely.  Peter will open for singer-songwriter Jeffrey Gaines, whom the Chicago Tribune calls “extraordinary and timeless,” at Club Cafe on Feb. 26 at 7 pm. Check out  Peter King website and see the photos I shot for his latest CD cover.   For tickets write to info@peterkingmusic.com ($13 in advance). If you live locally, Peter teaches guitar lessons privately and at Chatam University. You can contact him and sign up now to learn to play away the winter blues.


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