Loida Liuzzi



Artists In New York, Part 4, Jazz Man Joe Alterman.

Pianist Joe Alterman is one of the bright new jazz artists in New York City.

Joe Alterman
On of the most rewarding parts of  reviewing young artists in NYC, is watching them grow as artists and become popular in the ever so tough jazz genre in The Apple. Joe Alterman is on his way.

Here is a review of Joe I did about a year ago.. 

I spoke with Joe just after his graduation from NYU, this spring..

Q; Joe, how great is it to be a graduate of a great University and playing jazz in NYC?
Joe... It’s great. I mean, of course, I’m in the midst of still trying to figure out how to actually make a living at this, but I feel very lucky to be able to do something that I love and something that I’ve always wanted to do. I remember driving around in my car in Atlanta back in high school and I'd be blaring some jazz, just thinking to myself, "This is New York, I have to go to New York." So being here and doing what I've always wanted to is a dream come true.

Q; I know you got back to Atlanta recently, must have been a blast going back as an NYU Grad?
Joe... It was great. I love going home; plus, getting my Waffle House fix is always a major plus! In all seriousness though, it’s really great to go back to visit Atlanta. There’s a jazz club there called Churchill Grounds, which was the spot that I really got to know jazz, live. In fact, when I was 17, I got myself a fake I.D. just so that I could sneak into the club and listen to the music there. Anyways, I went home to play there. It’s really surreal to be playing there, because I have so many memories as a youngster there.

Q; Has it set in yet that you are one of the bright new stars in Jazz in New York City?
 Joe... Not at all. That’s kind of weird to hear! Honestly, I’m just doing my best to try and play music that would make my musical forefathers proud. That’s very nice of you to say, though.

Q; Besides having more free time and making some $$$$ do you feel any different since graduation?
 Joe... Honestly, no. I don't feel any more mature than I did at the beginning of college, hah! I guess that's a good thing, though. The only thing that does feel different is that all of my friends are in different places now; while I've been focusing on music and pursuing it for a long time (basically what I've been doing for a while), it's strange to see many of my friends supporting themselves and having real jobs. It's weird how quickly that's all changed.

Q; Tell us a bit about the great musicians you have been working with recently.
Joe... Playing with Houston Person has been an absolute dream come true. We first met at an NYU where he came to give a class. It's been a dream of mine to play duo with him on one of my favorite songs, "I Cover The Waterfront" for years, so, luckily, when I was called on the stage to come play, he said that he wanted to play duo, so I had my chance. After the class we exchanged phone numbers and we stayed in touch. I'd go to all of his shows and call him pretty frequently, and eventually a friendship formed. At first, I was just hoping to connect with Houston, one of my favorite musical heroes, on a musical level, but we've really connected on a personal level, too, and that has been the biggest plus of all. He is one of the kindest people I've ever met and he's really helped me out a lot. He even came down to NYU to play with me at my senior recital!
Houston's outlook on music is extremely refreshing and inspiring. Everything he plays is with regard to the audience, and I really admire that about him. I'm really thankful to have met him.

Q; How is the best "bassman", my man James Cammack?
Joe...That's it exactly. James really is the best. Every note he plays (and the way in which he plays every note) is perfect for every moment. He also has this way of working the melody of songs into his walking bass lines that really knocks me out. It's really a thrill to play with someone who has swung so hard for so long; it's really showed me what swinging, really swinging, is all about. Just like he has done with Ahmad Jamal for the past 30 years, James reads my mind and knows exactly what to play, where. It's super fun playing together and playing with James is the closest I've ever gotten to playing the music I've been hearing in my head for so long.

Q; Anything we should know about, up coming gigs?
 Joe... I'm very excited about a show I'll be in next February at the Tribeca Center for the Performing Arts. Jack Kleinsinger produces a jazz series each year (it's the longest running jazz concert series in New York...next year will be it's 39th season) called "Highlights In Jazz" Each year he has some sort of show which mixes young musicians with older musicians and he's chosen me to be the pianist in next season's show. It'll be me with Houston Person, among others, and I'm really excited about that!

...He chose you for a reason Joe, please let us know the dates when available, I'll be there!
Thanks to Joe a great guy and musician, for taking time for me, see you soon Joe... 

          check out the latest news on Joe...http://www.joealtermanmusic.com/

         by Pete Carma, follow Pete...  www.twitter.com/petecarma


Dylan Releases Mix Tape...Rappin!

Yes America, Dylan has just released a "Rappin" mixtape! Called "Ten Minutes"
Fifteen year old Pablo Dylan, that is, the grandson of icon Bob Dylan.

 "I mean, really, my grandfather, I consider him the Jay-Z of his time, and he definitely has a legacy that a lot of people look up to... He feels strongly about my music and I love him to death."

That was young Pablo's answer to a Rolling Stone question, of how he feels having an Icon in music in the family.

listen to it here...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeQc_MDyyZU

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

StreetcredMusic: A Star Is Born...Cheryl Jakubowski Quillen

My friend Cheryl Jakubowski Quillen, hit the stage last night for just the second time and fulfilled a long time ambition to perform, as a singer.

Angelique, Cheryl and Alexandria

                    The event was the 2011 Seminole Employee Talent Show in Florida.

 Cheryl asked me weeks ago to suggest a song, I said do one that you "feel" something that means something to you. Well with some recent hard times in her life, including the loss of her dad, "Jake" Jakubowski, she chose a good one.

She first tried the talent show a year ago, but was a bit nervous and did well but she got ready for this year!
She would send me videos of her singing in her car on her way to work, and I could hear an improvement, despite the steering wheel in the center of the video.

So... ahead to last night! Here is her performance, video... "Anyway"

Cheryl is a great lady who deserves a her day in the Sun, she has given many of them to others.
Here are some of her quotes from the last few days...

This was the eve or her show...
"I must be nervous after all? I woke up at 3AM from a dream that I had lost my voice. A few hours later I woke up in a panic thinking my alarm did not go off, in my dream it was 3:15PM, which made me miss today's rehearsal. I certainly hope the rest of the day goes better and I can sing my heart out tonight!"

This was after the show...
" Life is amazing! As we get older we realize the importance of living life to the fullest, not knowing if today will be our last. When we let our guards down and open our hearts we then discover things about ourselves we never knew before. Those things make us happy and those around us happy. Nothing is better than sharing our happiness, talents and love with others".

Cheryl took second place and a check for $1,000.
Cheryl said her daughters were proud of her and were wondering how they would spend "their" prize money! 

The winner of the show was a singer too, Alesandra Obergon.

Cheryl Quillen $$$$

Follow me at:: Pete Carma



Artists In New York, Part III... Clara Lofaro

Clara Lofaro is as New York as it gets. Performing and busy writing all the time.
Her hit single and video, "Just Smile" paints a picture of how much fun she is having
meeting the challenges of being successful in Da Apple.
Clara Lofaro, Caffe Vivaldi

Clara has one of the best CD's I have heard in years, the self titled "Clara Lofaro".

A great work, with an amazing eleven original
tunes that will cover all the emotions you expect from a great CD.

Her is an earlier review I did of CLo live.

Clara agreed to answer some questions for my Artists In New York series.

Q; How great is it living in NYC and the influence it has on you writing?
Clara; NYC is the first place I've lived that has felt like home to me. It is amazing because I am constantly inspired and the community of talented musicians and artists I surround myself with is endless. It's totally fulfilling although pretty smelly in the summertime;-). It also keeps me centered in who I am because I always feel challenged to achieve my ultimate potential as an artist, writer and person in NY.

Q; When you go out to hear music, what are some of your favorite venues?
Clara; Rockwood Music Hall is probably my favorite. I also love the Blue Note and Le Poisson Rouge.

Q; Who among the not so famous singers or bands around the Village do you go to see?
Clara; Hiromi, a jazz pianist from Japan who I went to school with at Berklee, but she is well known in the world of jazz.

Q; What are the shows that use your songs on TV?
Clara; ABC Network, and my single, Just Smile, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyRgt527oL4 will be in a national commercial campaign in 2012. More info will be released soon:).

Q; When they used your voice for the Super Bowl commercials, did they invite you to the game, did you go? 
Clara; No, they didn't. It was pretty unglamorous on my end. I was called in for a private audition the year before it was used. I sang the chorus of "When You Wish Upon A Star", 3 times. They loved it and I never heard from them afterward. The next year, the Friday before Superbowl weekend, I get a call saying they needed me to come in right away and sign papers because they were using my voice. They had taken my audition, went to Prague to record an orchestra behind it and voila! I wouldn't have known they used it again the following year if it weren't for the check in the mail:).
 Clara...The most recent song I am working on is called "Humanity".

My thanks to Clara for as always being cooperative with my blog   xoxo!


Clara will be at....Hugh's Room, Toronto, December 13th!
                  ............a marvelous performer, get out and see her.
            have a listen...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUVABq5T9bU

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


Eleanor Dubinsky, "Touch The Sky"

If you studied in Prague, Czech Republic, and you sing in English, French and Spanish, and you 
play cello, guitar and percussion, you must be an "Artista Internationalista".

....and if you have a CD titled "Touch The Sky" you would have to be, Eleanor Dubinsky!

Eleanor Dubinsky

The CD is truly diverse and international. Eleanor
delivers a wonderful collage of tunes, all original!

The opening tune "Jeu De Deux" does exactly what cut #1 is suppose to do, it makes you want more. It leads you in with Eleanor's sultry, elegant voice in French and English, and a haunting melodic line....and some solid percussion to add a bottom.

"Missouri Sky" is a marvelous tune. Guess you could call it a Blues/Folk number, that's not important to me, this is a great tune. Eleanor's smooth ultra feminine rendition of this simple but poignant lyric, surrounded by a great piano riff give this song high marks from me.

The purity of  Eleanor's voice along with her range, make her sound and this work unique.
This is never more evident then on "Two People". A song of love (an acoustic work) and the trials and tribulations of a love affair. Eleanor uses her vocal range to add elegance to this beautiful melody.
A wonderful out of love, love song.

The lyrics and the array of melodies all written by Eleanor on this CD are remarkable. Passion, a love of music and her talent wrap you up, and hold you, and take you on a tour of one woman's music.


CD "Touch The Sky"
I asked Eleanor the questions I ask everyone; If you were leaving Earth and could only take one album with you, which would you take?

.....I would take "Balance" by Sara Tavares
Sara Tavares is a Portuguese singer and songwriter who writes in her own fusion of African/Fado/soul.  Her roots are Cape Verdean but she grew up in Portugal, and she has a beautiful way of capturing a happy, uplifting feel with meaningful lyrics and African rhythms. Her music makes me want to dance and also to listen to what she has to say.
I'd take Balance to the far off planet because the music helps me find my inspiration as an artist, calms me down when I feel sad or nervous and and lifts my spirits.  It would be a good hand holder while getting used to the aliens :)  Sara's songs remind me of what I really care about - international mixing, soulful expression and personal voice.  I also know that Sara has suffered and triumphed in her life - was somewhat abandoned by her parents when she was young, then rose to the top of Portugal's music scene when she was a teenager by winning several songwriting competitions.  You can feel the overcoming of suffering in the honesty of her lyrics and she encourages me to be honest in what I say, and play.

Sara Tavares; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfPq9eil64k

The other question I ask everyone is, If you could perform with anyone, who would it be?

...If I could work with anyone who would I work with...
Herbie Hancock.  He's a musical pioneer who continually takes risks and expands his musical horizons.  He brings younger and upcoming artists into the mix and I imagine that he mentors them to some extent.  His path has been so varied, through jazz, pop, soul and classical, and I would love to experience first-hand how he follows the inspiration of an idea from beginning to end.  I love his last record The Imagine Project and I SO want to do something like that with him!  Each song has a groove that support a melodic vocal and instrumental changes, and the singers are so sweet - Ceu, John Legend, James Morrison, Oumou Sangare and more.  I recognize in Herbie's work something of myself, meaning that my music also challenges genre boundaries and embraces multiple cultures.  I aim to keep expanding what I do and to challenge myself for as long as I make art, and live.  In my own music, I am working on developing grooves and I enjoy setting the general structure of a song while, like in jazz, leaving space to improvise and create a dialogue between the performance of the song, the vibe of the venue and the audience.   From this blog to Herbie's ears!
Herbie Hancock; http://youtu.be/-2QBmBYvVfE

Undoubtedly you will be hearing more here from Eleanor Dubinsky, a live review is a must for me on my next trip to NYC.

Get a copy of "Touch The Sky" here  http://www.eleanordubinsky.com/

Eleanor Dubinsky will be at;  Rockwood Music Hall, NYC,  July 10th
                                                  Aroma Cafe, NYC,  July 21st
                                                  NUBLU, NYC,  July 22d

by Pete Cataldo follow Pete; www.twitter.com/petecarma