Pyeng Theadgill at Rockwood... by pete cataldo

We warned you last week about the "grove to"sounds of Pyeng Theadgill and if you were lucky enough to be at Rockwood Music Hall last week you could catch them first hand.

This young lady and her group project a sound of smooth jazz and a lot of love for what they do.
Pyeng's vocal range is smooth can be sassy and wide, and a really good feeling comes from her stage presents.
The combination of the music and the way each musician on the stage contributes their talent is really together
or "tight" as they say in the biz.

Up front on vocal and keyboard is Pyeng, giving a lead of confidence in her songs and the feeling for her lyrics. This talented young artist puts emotion into all of her writings and it comes out on stage.

Propeller, from her last album Portholes To A Love & Other Short Stories was my favorite, and I got the feeling that the group really like this one too.

Pyeng also did She Lives With The Sun and The Whole Truth, which will be featured on her upcoming
album to be completed this spring.
Then the group the did a song that was actually untitled, she asked the audience to suggest a title, I would call it
Silky, simply because it was so damn smooth!

Around Pyeng were a very good group of accomplished musicians;
John Shannon, electric guitar...Derek Nieregelt, bass guitar,
Evan Panzer, drums...Kevin Louis, coronet/percussion... special guest, John Caban on dobro.

I thoroughly enjoyed their set.
Pyeng's new album will paint a picture about the environment and "our relationship with it both the outer landscape and the inner emotional one" she hopes we will all be full filled with the release of her new project
and if what I saw last week was an indication I know we will be.

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Pianist Joe Alterman at Cafe Vivaldi

Young pianist Joe Alterman is a treat to see and hear, the trio he had together for the set I attended at
Cafe Vivaldi last week was Jack Nicholson (as good as it gets).

They took me on a tour of music in America over the years, the opening number was reminiscent of a small bistro in the forties Joe was light on the Ivories, added to the bass and drums and I was waiting for Lauren Bacall to walk in.

Then their rendition of the evergreen Time After Time took me to the progressive jazz sound of
the sixties as Joe and bass player James Cammack (who is Ahmad Jamal's bassist) jumped all around the classic melodic line of the tune without losing it at all, this was a terrific piece, it really was impressive.
                                                Me and Joe Alterman at Cafe Vivaldi

They then whaled on a kinda Brazilian tune Menina Flor to feature the South American smoothness
and adding a whole new rhythm to the set. Which they handled very well.

The final number was It Could Happen To You. The trio's versatility was put on display, a great piece to close the set with a mix of all their skills, epically Joe's, he whaled away to close the set, and they were all as clean as could be, some great stuff!
On drums was Alex Raderman who kept the guys together with the skill of a veteran musician, this was quite an experience to me , I love to see the young artist who love and respect the classic sounds and arrangements, and add their own skills to keep them alive. I loved it all. So did the crowd.


Having seen Nikki Yanofsky the previous evening I envisioned the two of them doing a set, all alone
the piano talent of young Joe Alterman and the amazing Nikki!

What about it Blue Note!! 
by,  Pete Cataldo  follow me at


Deb Oh, New Release

Thursday night Deb Oh released her new album, Cold Glory and performed with her band at the Rockwood Music Hall.

What a talented performer Miss Oh! Singer, keyboard, piano and wrote the entire CD. This group of artists has a sound that kept a packed house at the Rockwood Music Hall at full attention. Miss Oh's songs and the very unique group of musicians with her create a sound of rhythm and a beat that holds throughout the entire set. Her vocal range is excellent, her stage presents is captivating and the entire CD
will have you hitting "replay".

The choice of songs and the order in which they flowed through the set was perfect.

The group consists of David Yim on banjo and drums, Alan Jeffries
on cello, Mike Feinberg bass and David Moench guitar.

They create sounds and rhythms that are entirely new and exciting. In fact I have never heard a sound like they project, it's great.
Miss Oh has quite a following, it was the largest crowd I have ever seen at the Rockwood.

She is just as captivating to meet, a beautiful and very talented artist.

Congratulations Miss Oh on a great piece of work!


Nikki Yanofsky, At the Blue Note

WOW,WOW,WOW..............WOW. I can't believe what I saw at the Blue Note in New York City tonight! I have covered Super Bowls, the World Series, Heavyweight Title fights and the Kentucky Derby
and somehow I feel inadequate to put in words what Nikki Yanofsky did to her audience last night.

As I was leaving the bar I heard the manager calling the local roofing company to come and repair the ceiling that Nikki had just blown off. She'll be seventeen next month and she announced last night that she was teaming up with Quincy (I worked with Sinatra, Basie and Michael Jackson) Jones. I can not imagine how good this naturally talented young lady will be in his hands. The sky is the limit! She also announced that this set was being broadcast live all over her country, Canada.

She opened with Duke Ellington's Take the A Train, followed with one of her favorites...Mr. Paganini. About the forth song in she stopped the show with the classic, You've Changed, well at least I though that was the show stopper, until a few tunes later she did a song for the first time, and the entire room came to a focused silence, the cocktail girls, the bartenders and the food servers all focused on her as she did, with full intro I might add, Someone To Watch Over Me. I really was amazed how her phasing and breathing have improved. Her "scatting" is so clean and sharp now and it will only get better, and her range has no bounds. As I was watching I had one constant thought, how good will she be in years to come.
I can't write anymore about the show last night, there are no words, but if you have the chance to see her live do it!
Nikki worked with Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2010.
For 2011 she will be part of a concert series titled Three Generations of Divas, featuring Nikki with Dianne Reves and Jane Monheit. In addition to all this Nikki will graduate from high school this year with her A average.

One last thing I would like to mention about this young talent and her family (mom was there last night) that is, she has already raised over 10 Million Dollars for charity, and is now associated with the Montreal Childrens Hospital and the Children's Wish Foundation.

What a great show! What a great young lady who was introduced as "The Pride of Canada" a well deserved title.
You can listen to Nikki Yanofsky, on this blog, click on "Listen to our friends", on the right margin.

Exciting New Singer-Songwriter

Photo by: Eric Ita
I met Dayna Kovicic two and a half years ago, while I was still teaching at a local Las Vegas music store, Bonnie's Music.

Dayna came in looking for a voice coach. I had just finished a lesson and they brought her back to my studio. There was this tall, beautiful, Keri Russell-haired girl, who had a smile that could light up Atlantic City! She told me she had sung in choir, and her mom always thought she could sing, but had not done anything with it. and was feeling that her corporate job as a rep for Bacardi USA , may not be her destiny.

I had a great feeling about this stranger who was to become a very good friend, and to quote her blog in Reverbnation, "I knew Jessica being my coach was not a coincidence. Just being in her presence the first time was almost too much for me to handle. Her energy had me on the brink of tears."

I played a few notes on the piano to see if she had pitch, no problem there, then we sang a song, and she had this quality I cannot describe, you must click onto her link to hear her. her voice is different. She has an indie, Jazzy, R&B thing going on I cannot quite put into words.

We started with the basics, breathing, and then I moved into my purple studio I had been building in my new house, and we got down to work.

The duo that I had blogged about earlier, worked with Brody Brown, and had given me a relationship with the manager and the agency that I sent her to Los Angeles to meet with. Christopher Brody Brown works with T -pain as well as many others and is a young brilliant, writer and arranger, and producer. Mark Harris and Steve "Biscuit" Walker were the manager and agent team.

Brody and Bruno Mars write together, hence the connection with the girls I coached.

What Dayna did not realize, being so new to the biz of show, was that when she got to the studio on the wonderful exciting Sunset Strip in Hollywood, was that Brody was going to sit at the keyboard and say "OK, what do you want a song to be about?" She thought they were going to magically have a song for her to record. It turned out that they spent the whole evening writing their first song TOGETHER, and she found that the lyrics were coming out of her like water.

She called me from state line, "Are you busy? I am almost home, want to come over and play you a song WE wrote?" I dropped everything and said "Come on over!" This became a weekend event as she went back and forth to write with Brody every weekend!

It blew my mind when I heard this electronic dance tune and her voice ringing through my house.

She has been writing ever since, and even took a trip to Nashville to meet with my friend and producer/writer/pianist, M D for Neil Sedaka, and so many others, Eric Bikales. Erik had produced a country student of mine a few years ago. he found some brilliant songs and the best Nashville studio musicians and I trust him completely. Dayna had heard Cherish's recordings and said "I want to do that!"

Now she is mixing it up with Carrie Underwood's pianist, and film producers, and she is global! All while still holding her job down.

She realizes this business takes time, you have to earn it, and be ready for it, she has to play with live musicians, work an audience, and know herself, musically. Oh, and did I mention she has taken up guitar with Vince Lauria. Now her songs are on paper! Smart girl!

Dayna is committed and studies with me every week, You can never be so good that you can't learn phrasing, and breathing, prolonging lessons has its benefits, and I advise it. I have taken lessons, and I have sung professionally for over 40 years, OK remember I started at 12 !!

When I got into the show "HAIR", at 17, I was already a pro. A lot of my students don't have that work history and have not yet sung with musicians. Dayna will be ready and she will know when it's time, I trust her intuition and she has the smarts to know when it will happen.

Go to and give a listen and a look at Dayna. Your eyes and ears will thank me.

Dayna's hair and makeup by: Natalie Lane


HAIR: Still Going Strong At 40

I had the pleasure and good fortune to be in Los Angeles for two great events in the last month. The first was to see Ben Vereen at the Catalina Bar and Grill in West Hollywood. This was made extra special by seeing that the musical director was my old pianist, Nelson Kole, accompanied by New York bassist, Tom Kennedy.

A special night, indeed, with a lot of HAIR Alumni in attendance to see Ben, as well as Linda Hopkins!

To top off the month was the Red Carpet Event of the Los Angeles opening of HAIR, at the historic and beautiful Pantages Theatre.

They really pulled off a grand night with many of the original tribe members, myself included.

Also walking the Red Carpet: John Savage, Shirley Jones & Marty Ingels, Sofia Milos, Ben Vereen, Jason Alexander, HAIR Producer - Michael Butler, and many more actors of our younger generation. Melissa Manchester with her daughters, and some actors from Borat.

Enjoy some photos from these events and from Las Vegas. I'll be bringing you more news and new band reunions, coming soon, as preparations continue for a Las Vegas Hall of Fame Concert in May.

Jessica Marciel


Jessica Marciel and Melissa Manchester

Red Carpet at the Pantages Theater


Greta's Bakery, really is on the "Edge of Everything"

One of the freshest new groups on the east coast, Greta's Bakery now has their first release!! 

The Edge of Everything, available HERE

These young musicians are in a genre all their own. Even vocalist Greta Panettieri won't name their style, she says you tell me, when asked.

The only name I can put on it is SMOOTH! Changing rhythms, great lyrics and good musicians blended with Ms. Panettieri vocal range is easy on the ears.

The 40 minute album has eleven selections, all will have you hitting the replay button.
The title tune The Edge of Everything is a changing tempo tune with a classic Jazz quality, it tells a lot about the group in that it is fresh, smooth and original. I rarely use comparisons but on this number Greta reminds one of Sade.

What You See Is What You Get, is another tune that has me reaching for the replay button. I love this one. It has kind of a Samba, jazzy rhythm and is a "today" piece for everyone.
The tune that stands out most to me is If This Ain't Love, this one starts out with a La La La La La la intro. by Greta that captures you, then a Bluezy Beat of love lyrics and Greta gets sassy for a while, then the boys get Funky and Greta brings you home with her Angelic range. This is my favorite.
Andrea Sammartino is on the keys and Mike LaValle on bass guitar.

link::Greta's Bakery      'LIKE' Greta's FB page:: HERE

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