Loida Liuzzi



Jennie Booth, Artist, Activist

Artist; One who is adept at something.
Activist: One who supports or opposes with vigor a
controversial issue.

It always seems to be the artists or musicians who lead the way on "rights" issues.

That is my friend Jennie Booth. Living in New York she is someone I think you should know. She has been a long time
advocate of rights for women, a subject that for all of history
has been largely ignored by those in control (MEN).
In her art and with her voice she has spoken to this issue.

I spoke with her this week and got some great insight from her
and in addition I asked her, if you were leaving the planet and could take only one piece of art, which would it be?
Then I asked if you could live 100 years ago or 100 years from now which would you chose.
Her are her eloquent words...


I dislike talking about myself. That may not be the best thing in a career field that has become all about who is the loudest and most repetitive advertiser. I don't even want my artwork to directly speak about me. Though you can find me peaking out from between layers of symbols in my work, my paintings are not about ME. I address issues that are not reflective of one cultural viewpoint or one history. Why this abstraction? The big picture encompasses the smallest most obscure picture.

Homosapien Sapiens are not as evolved as we would like to believe. Yes, we've created some pretty fancy technologies and toys, but our ability to use them is paramount to putting a running chainsaw in the hands of a four year old. Harm is done.

Seeing the harm hurts me to the core. I reject the harmers, the harm, but I have not found a way to turn away.

I entered in to visual art as a way to spend hours and hours quietly, productively alone. Each painting is a personal challenge, a puzzle to solve. I hope people who see my work are brought to a place new and yet familiar, puzzling yet understood.

______Q: If you were leaving the planet and could only take one painting with you, which would you take?

My first thought about leaving the planet and taking one painting with me was ---Can I take a book? History of art without the words. Hundreds of color true plates. I would need a trolley cart to carry it. I wouldn't want to pick just one. One would, by nature of its tactile presence, slowly undermine the wealth of art images I carry in my head.

…OK... Van Gogh. Cypresses? Starry Night. The Universe itself on a lush 2d surface.

------Q: If you could choose to live 100 years ago or 100 years from now, which would it be??

I would choose to live 100 years in the future. Implicit in that is the optimism that 100 years in the future would exist. How would it feel to be cognizant in Primordial Stew 2.0? Interesting thought. Resounding quiet. Other galaxies' stars would shine through. I hope a few problems might be solved in 100 years time.

Woman's Rights. You know that 100 years from now question? Where will women be in 100 years? Sometimes my women friends, and a few male friends have a conversation that goes something like this…."Why do men hate women so much?" Cause they've got to hate women in order to carry through all of the mythologies and traditions, unwritten rules and legislation that have ruled Earth since history. There is a continued will to keep women in a category just outside of human. Why?

And many women do go along with it. Befriend your jailer and hope for an extra piece of bread?

The truth is that no problem found on Earth will be solved until women are given equal status as human under law and tradition. Global warming, Hunger, War, Terrorism, you name the impending catastrophe and I will pinpoint its cause to woman's inequality. There is no real effort to solve these problems because to do so would mean a massive redistribution of wealth and power. Who ever does that willingly?

The work pictured above is; "The Universe Gets A View"
Here is Jennie's inspiration for it... 

The Universe in her iconographic form. A woman/girl in a red skirt, the international symbol for "female". The red of her skirt the embodiment of manifest physical life. She stands atop a mountain of hands in the desert. It is a mountain of effort, of work itself, holding her up. And a mountain of reaching...longing. To her left and right are yucca trees. Their seedpods are eyes whose tears of compassion bring life to the desert.

In 2007, I participated in a fantastic artist residency program in Tularosa, New Mexico called Mano Y Mente. It was my first time in the Southwest and I just loved the landscape there. (I am trying to find a way back to that area!) I was fascinated by the broad plains of desert, the incredible skies and the yucca plant, which I learned is much taller that the plant you actually see jutting out of the sands and soil of New Mexico.

We spent time painting and drawing at White Sands National Monument, (with all of its heavy implications) and I learned that as the sands sweep over the area, they slowly bury the plants, but the yucca plants stubbornly reach for the sun and life. Their roots run far beneath the sands bringing structure to the desert and ways for water to be saved. I saw this as an analogy for compassion and forbearance; the will to survive in the face of deserts that intend only to cover and bury. This felt like the struggles of women and to that end the struggles of our natural world to maintain its equilibrium in the face of the sweeping disregard of humanity.

This Universe carries a heart (compassion, love) under her arm and a brain (wisdom, knowledge) on her head. She looks out over the Universe, which is in the end, Herself. 

Other OP/ED by: R&B Songstress Arika Kane        
                  follow me:   Pete Carma 


Kristin Hoffmann, Is For "Real"

"Real" is the CD, Kristin Hoffmann the singer songwriter and it's loaded with great tunes.

As I listened to the raw passion of her lyrics blended
with a power in her voice and an excellent interpretation
on the CD, I can't wait to see her at Caffe Vivaldi,
in New York soon.

A student of classical piano, guitar and opera at Juilliard pre- college and NYU, Kristin says the opera training made her voice what it is today and she marries the two in to the contemporary sound she projects so well.

Kristin had previously wrote, produced, engineered and recorded her first CD, "Divided Heart".

Real, The title cut Kristin says is all about being true to yourself.
"I Declare" and "Home" I thought were outstanding tunes.

"Home" is a great piece of poetry put to music so well, that talks of a young artist's struggle to make their way.
....so find the fire that still burns, and find the heart that still yearns... as sung from the heart by Kristin,
makes one think of being in the Big Apple, performing and wondering about your future.

"I Declare" a spiritual song that deals with mistakes, a broken heart and dreams, again well put to music and an emotional interpretation by Kristin. These two were my favorites from "Real".

Kristin says she likes to make her audience look inward and go to places they would not normally go..
guess what, she really can do that to you, well at least she did it to me!

Kristin will be at;   Skipper's Pub, North Port, NY, April 9th at 9 PM
                                Caffe Vivaldi, NYC, April 16th, 9 PM

       listen to the CD, Real...    http://www.kristinhoffmann.com/music.html
       by Pete Cataldo,     follow Pete  www.twitter.com/petecarma


Shayfer James:  Live at The Watermark, Asbury Park, NJ

Audrey Rodgers

It was my absolute pleasure to witness Shayfer James and his band give one of the most riveting performances I've seen in quite some time.  The performance took place at an ocean side venue in Asbury Park, NJ called the Watermark.

I'd heard about their performances from friends in Manhattan, but had never been able to make it up to the city for a performance.  Knowing the album well already, I was overjoyed when I heard they were coming to perform just a few miles from my apartment.

What I witnessed was frankly uncanny.  Shayfer began the set with Tombstone Road, a track from his album 'The Owl & The Elephant'.  The energy on stage was incredibly high, which drew in an audience comprised of Shayfer's fans, but also locals and patrons there to see other performances.  By the end of the first chorus, the entire crowd was moving to the music in some form or another.   Shayfer's vocals sounded better than on the album in my opinion, and that is saying a lot as the album is truly amazing.

His glare and grin seemed to be directed toward everyone at once, like one of those portraits in a haunted house.   Shayfer's performance was, as his bio says, "theatrical but never contrived".  It is obvious that this guy has his feet planted firmly in two dimensions at all times.  Odd but totally captivating.

At first I assumed the energy would be a bit lower than your usual band performance as all the members are seated, but this was not at all the case.  Dante Edmont on Organ, and Melodica had an endearing quirkiness to him, coming off as straight from a Charlie Chaplin movie.  Mr. Jeremy Gillespie played bass in the cool and collected manner I always look for in a bass player, but with a distinct element of brooding.  Dusty Bones' performance on drums made clear why he is referred to as such.  He seemed to rattle and flail like some skeleton in the proverbial closet, with snake like movement accentuating dramatic cymbal flourishes.

Slower songs like Insincerely Yours made up for pace with unbridled passion and stellar performance by all the members while up-tempos boasted bombastic rhythms that kept bodies moving.
I was excited to hear that Shayfer is recording a new album with the live band, though I would have been even more excited for a sneak peek at a new song!  Guess a girl can't everything!

To truly sum it up: this is one of the best under the radar live bands out there, and Shayfer is, and yes I know this sounds extreme, one of the best songwriters of our generation without a doubt.  I have no doubt we'll all be hearing a ton about the new album, and hopefully even the current one "The Owl & The Elephant".

You can learn more at www.shayferjames.com (The art on this site is worth a thorough look, with imagery hidden on every lyric page and all the sub pages.) and www.facebook.com/shayferjamesmusic
                                                                   art by..Sarah Zar

There's a free download on the "Listen" page. Click the gramophone on the upper left corner of
www.shayferjames.com to find it!


The Most Popular Unknown Artist On The Planet...Ivete Sangalo

The New York Times said of Ivete Sangalo..
."Only the language keeps her from being the most popular
 female performer internationally".

Born in Juazerio, Bahia on my birthday, May 27th (Gemini)
she has made her mark throughout South America, Spain and Portugal. She has been compared to Shakira or Beyonce,
I don't see that at all. 

Ivete is able to attract all ages of fans with her class and maturity, but yet projects a very young and exciting stage presence.

She has sold 14 million CD's, and has taken her record company, Universal back to the #1 spot since 2007.

Here concerts are a Festa (also the name of one of her platinum albums) and the title song that was #1 in Brazil in 2001.

Her concert in New York's Madison Square Garden in December drew 14,500 fans, the record for a non- English speaking concert, the previous record was a mere 4,500.Considering Ivete plays only venues with a capacity of 20,000 or more outside the United States the 14,500 must have seemed small.

As a teen she played the violin. As she became a vocalist she was signed by Sony Music in Brazil and became their top selling artist when her 2005 album "Supernovas" went triple platinum.
Sony formed a band for her called Banda Eva prior to her going single, and she sold 4 million CD's as it's lead singer.

I tried to get an interview with her in New York in December, all I could get was a spot in a group of  writers to ask questions, that was fine with me.
I can tell you the energy she threw out to her fans from that big venue was thrown back to her with just as much love.
The musicians she had with her worked their butts off, she never stops on stage and as I witnessed you won't have a problem with the language, the Bahia Rhythm will win you over!

I would compare her more to Cher, keep in mind Ivete is twenty years her junior, Ivete like Cher has command of the audience before she hits the stage, reputation and a string of hits and an aura of
professionalism and love for her work, have gained her the affection of millions.
Actually the "audience" is not a proper term, they sing along with every number and are really part of the show.

I hope she comes back to the States again soon, I want to take some friends to see her.

here is a shot of Ivete for you...

by pete cataldo   follow Pete www.twitter.com/petecarma


Champian, For Everyone! ...by pete cataldo

That's Champian Fulton, jazz pianist and vocalist.

After listening to a sample of Champian's repertoire I feel like I was at a Master Class on the History of Jazz. Very impressive!

Here is a very brief BIO because I want to get to her music.
Piano at 5, vocals too, her dad Stephen was a jazz trumpeter and Champian was influenced by him and his friends, the great Clark Terry and Major Holley. So she was a jazz brat, and that's good news to all of us who love the sound! She came to New York from Oklahoma in 2003, again good news for us!

A Master Class it was, here's why; Her life long exposure to jazz is her strong point because she is not trapped in one sound. She took me from the gutsy blues of the 30's to the pop cross over sounds of the 50's
and a bit of the progressive jazz of the 60's and all with her own interpretation and style.

Champian says she is a perpetual student of jazz piano and vocals, which tells you of her dedication to her work.

Here is some of what I heard; "I Can't Face The Music".
A gutsy, bluesy tune that shows off her skills as a vocalist
as well as on the keys. It took me back to a day when the lyric and the music blended to set a mood of  well,  you judge from the words....I can't face the music...without singing the blues..
What a great number this is.

"They Didn't Believe Me"...Here the multi-talented Champian "swings". While listening I could just picture her in front of Stan Kenton's big band just whalin' out this classic tune put to the swing beat.
A fine rendition of the tune itself and the "swing era".

If you like the pop/jazz cross over sound there was Champian doing "Exactly Like You, & Tea For Two.
With a sassy affection for the classic lyrics she takes these two perennials to their height. 
Some unbelievable "real jazz" improvs on the keys and her great vocals blend into a lesson in the genre.

Then the topper, "Fried Bananas". An instrumental that is, I don't know, let's say it reminded me of the
progressive sounds of the 60's. A group of talented jazz musicians taking turns jumping all over the melody
however, most importantly NOT losing the listener. This was a piece that stopped me cold.
This talent ensemble consisted of; Frank Wess tenor sax, Jimmy Cobb, drums, Paul Gill, bass
Illya Lustak, guitar and Stephen Fulton on flugelhorn and of course Champian on piano.
This is a really enjoyable piece for me, clean, crisp, smooth all the things that make great JAZZ!


I asked Champian if you were leaving the planet and could only take one album with you which would you take...she answered Charlie Parker's Bird With Strings.
I also asked if you could have any drummer and bass player to accompany you living or dead who would you choose, her answer was a good one...Sam Jones & Louis Hayes.
Champian's latest CD is; "The Breeze And I"  available on Itunes & Amazon.com
treat yourself to a visit to her site    http://www.champian.net/
                                 follow Pete      www.twitter.com/petecarma



Amy Regan is "Gonna Get Better"

Cool, cute, talented, songwriter, musician and Jersey Girl,
Amy Regan.
I first heard her on Face Book through a mutual friend who had
posted her new tune, Wise Love.
A graduate of Skidmore College, Amy taught herself piano at eleven, then got a guitar at thirteen, heard the Beatles and her course was charted.

Her EP is Gonna Get Better, a great choice for a title because you will be hearing great things from her soon.
The title tune, Gonna Get Better is great, up tempo with a heavy back beat number that is an example of Amy's versatility, I think
I hear a little "Janice" in this one.

I read one of her press clips where someone compared her to Laura Nyro, well I agree. 
Her newest tune Wise Love, is a gem. As Nyro did she puts a simple yet poignant  lyric down so anyone who has ever been in love can relate, like..."A foolish love will act out in haste, a wise love knows how to wait"....classically true!

Can't wait to see her in New York soon...
Her next gig....Acoustic Long Island, St James, L.I.> March 2d at 8PM

                                  by pete cataldo   follow Pete  www.twitter.com/petecarma



Christina Perri spent a year traveling with her brother as a roadie, then, when back in Los Angeles, The T V show "So You Think You Can Dance" used her first single "Jar Of Hearts"

The reaction was so overwhelming, the demand for this heartwarming, lush ballad got her a beautiful contract with Atlantic Records. She is now writing and recording the CD.

Christina plays piano and guitar, and sings with a warm and gut wrenching voice. At only 23. I often wonder where all this pain comes from, when a young girl can write lyrics like "You break hearts, leave scars, collect hearts in a jar." When I first heard the song, I felt my mood change automatically. I had to listen another two times. Her tour is brief but powerful, as follows:

April 20 2011 House of Blues, Boston, Mass, with James Blunt
April 21,2011 Beacon Theatre New York, James Blunt
April23,2011 Tower Theatre, Philadelphia, James Blunt
April 24, 2011 Place de Artes, Montreal, Quebec James Blunt
April 26,2011 Massey Hall, Toronto, Ont James Blunt

This young woman has already been married, divorced, made olive oil, in Italy, a Barrister in Beverly Hills, and a roadie for her brothers band "Silvertide" This song "Jar Of Hearts" wound up in the top ten on I tunes, then, after a live performance on the Dance Show, it landed at no. 1 on Amazons digital singles chart.

She has a knack for creating melodic haunting songs, with lyrics that everyone can relate to. She can be dark, but it isn't anything you haven't felt before. A You Tube video of her song "Tragedy"
caught the attention of Bill Silva who handles Jason Mras, and James Morrison, and he decided to handle her.

I became a huge fan, and I know when you hear her, you will feel some emotions stir in you, that perhaps other music hasn't done. Click on her name and listen to the beautiful Christina Perri.


Can A Wolf "scat".......Yes!

The CD is "Nevermine" the artist I want to introduce you to is Emily Wolf.

Originally from England, Emily studied at the New England Conservatory in Boston and was a finalist in the
2009 "Steppin Out" Jazz Competition.

Her new CD is a joy.
The first cut is What's Your Story, Morning Glory?  Some great old fashioned drag 'em home by the tail BLUES here.
Emily shows off her ability to scat and her range, coupled with  a good sax solo by Robert Struthers on tenor.
I really like this chart, it's an old Jimmy Lunceford tune and he would be proud of the treatment given to it by Emily.

Cut #4 is Once I Loved by Antonio Carlos Jobim...
And when you do Jobim, you better have someone strong on the keys, and he is, Jason Yeager creates the Samba rhythm as Emily gives a Pop-Brazilian sound to the lyrics. Oddly enough Emily says one of my all time favorites Nancy Wilson was an influence on her, and I think it  really shows here on a Brazilian number. (strange?)
Emily takes the tune an octave up or an octave down and as Nancy always did,
she hits the bulls-eye at the end of the phrase.

The title tune Nevermine, written by Emily is a foot-tappin- scattin great number.
Emily shows her versatility as she scats in the upper register and has a good time on this one, jumping all over the melody. Emily owns this tune, she wrote it she scats it, it could become her signature.
Add in some excellent guitar licks by Hector Rodruigez and they finish this work in classic jazz fashion!

If you, like me, love the classics done by young artists who put their own
twenty first century spin on the classics and their heart into their work,
 this is for U!


Emily Wolf, http://www.myspace.com/EmilyWolfJazz/shows#!/EmilyWolfJazz

                                                 Get CD; http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/emilywolf
                                            by, pete cataldo  follow at www.twitter.com/petecarma


Greta is back with a Brand New Sound..."Brazilian Nights"

Greta Panettieri, one of the most popular performers in New York City clubs over the past few years is releasing a viral, live album recorded at The Zinc Bar. The album is a result of Greta performing at Brazilian Sundays at the Zinc. 

As Greta put it, she feels the complex music that still has a pop sound gives her the freedom to completely express herself, which is her real goal. She has some really great improvisational moments on the new mixes.

                                                                  greta panettieri

Greta felt she was a bit restricted with her last record deal (DECCA) and I agree, I think the change is great.
I love the smooth jazz sounds of  Brazilian music and I know how difficult it is to capture. I've seen those who have failed, and you can tell from the opening beat. Not the case with Greta, she has some of the most accomplished Brazilian musicians around, with her. In fact there is a completely instrumental side of the album in addition to the great vocals laid down by Greta.

One of the all time best Cidinho Teixeira, piano, Itaiguara Brandao, bass, 
Mauricio Zottarelli, drums and special guest Rodrigo Ursais, tenor sax, 
make this a top notch group of experienced musicians to blend with Greta.
The great new mixes will be on Itunes! All the info is available at;

    Buy it here;  http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/brazilian-nights-live-at-zincbar/id418657147


                   Greta told me everything from "A to Z" on the new project
                    including photos the mixes and recording were                    
                    done by "her partner in life"......
                                                    the talented Andrea Sammartino.

 ......by pete cataldo....follow on twitter  www.twitter.com/petecarma


Deanna Witkowski, Jazz, Classics...by pete cataldo

Deanna Witkowski, pianist. An accomplished classical pianist who told me"she could not live without playing jazz in a small group setting". Another young artist who loves jazz and respects the great
artists who have come before them.

Because of her love for the Brazilian culture and music Deanna has learned Portuguese and has performed in Brazil (Rio and
Sao Paulo) and put together a week long tour of the northeastern US with Filo Machado (vocals & guitar) and composer who lives in Brazil.

I first saw Deanna at The Bar Next Door a cozy place in Greenwich Village where I stopper for a drink, I did not know they had live music
but I got lucky and saw Deanna. She won me over with the selections of classic jazz and I could detect a bit of classical training as the set went on.
Deanna's hope is to play more jazz festivals, and more venues in Brazil.

Her quartet consists of Felipe Salles, tenor & soprano sax,  Dave Ambrosio, bass  and  Scott Latzky
or Vince Cherico, drums. 

After hearing a few bars I knew she was special, so now you know her too. That's what we are all about on this blog.
upcoming dates to see Deanna;  March 17th, at Trinity Church...and on her birthday, March 21st she
will be with her great trio at The Bar Next Door, in the Village.

                 by Pete Cataldo    follow me at   www.twitter.com/petecarma


Kaissa, "An Elegant Lady Of Love" at Zinc Bar

I saw the fabulous Kaissa at the Zinc Bar, African Jazz Night, Friday.

It was truly a moving experience. This gracious, beautiful lady is a walking body of love for humanity.

From the up beat sound of her African rhythms with a message of love and joy attached, to her tributary piece to a four year old girl who died from the process of FGM in her homeland, a feeling of love and caring jumps off the stage to grab you.

After the set we became friends but as I watched her perform I felt she was my friend, because her music and charm had the ability to spread the love and it was contagious.
After the set she thanked me for helping keep this music alive.
As long as we have artists like Kaissa the music and the caring for it and it's people will never die,

Kaissa is now a Manhattanite, and proud to be one...that's great news to all of us who frequent the local clubs. Her homeland is Cameroon and then a while in Paris.

An amazing set by a talented lady with a voice as pure as the joy she spreads, and she can move to.
Once in a while you see someone on stage who makes everything look easy and fun, when we all know it's not easy. Kaissa is one of those artists. So if you want to feel good about everything catch Kaissa at the Zinc Bar.


Kaissa has performed with Paul Simon and since 2008 has been on the road with The Songs of David Byrne & Brian Eno, World Tour.
Her debut album Looking There, is great, I have it on my Ipod.
Kaissa will be at the Zinc Bar in NYC on Friday 2/11 and Friday 3/11...Catch her there.
                                    follow me... www.twitter.com/petecarma 



Yula Be'eri...Welcome To The "Hive"

Yula Be'eri and the Extended Family a funky, punky, cross over to all jenre's group of very talented musicians. Yula herself will not put a tag on the type of music they project, if you force her to, she will say Ro-Punk, a romantic punk.

I would say it is music that will make you feel good, jump dance and just admire what you are seeing from the stage. They are more then just music they are an experience.
They had the dance floor at the Rockwood Music Hall "jumping"...and the Rockwood doesn't have a dance floor!

Yula herself (vocals, keyboard, guitar) is up front and she commands your attention, but, as in a every good theatrical performance the supporting cast is superb.
The ensemble of the horns, guitar, bass and keys and Sarah whalin' away on musical saw, and the change in tempo keeps you focused, thinking  "what next" from this projection of music and emotion you are seeing and hearing. 

This group is more then their music the are truly and extended family, and according to Yula growing all the time. They call it their "Hive" and I think I'm welcome in! 

A Hive of their music and their life style full of love and spreading joy, this I can tell you first hand.

They just knocked me over and will do the same to you. Charming ladies, accomplished musicians,
hard hitting lyrics and a KO sound...get out and see them!

The Family;  Sarah Zar, vocals/musical saw, Daniel J Gerstle, guitar/bass, Mike Cuttita, cellist,

Kate Campbell, trumpet, Rob "Robitussin" Meyer, and Kevin Taylor, trombones, Steve Zeniuk, sax

Issac Gardner, drums/sound effects, and Roy Gurel, bass/guitar. 


I told you it was a growing family, managed by Kriss Manchena. They will be releasing a new album in 2011.

Web site; http://theextendedfamilysite.com/

         by pete carma, follow me on tweeter  www.twitter.com/petecarma