Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Arturo Sandoval was the pinnacle of Chattanooga's Riverbend Festival. Awesome musician.

Arturo Sandoval ripped a blend of modern jazz with smokin' hot bop to an appreciative crowd at Chattanooga's Riverbend Festival.

I just happened upon the festival and was happy to find a spot at the dock for my boat. I noticed a former student playing percussion with the band at one of the venues, so I decided to listen. I asked a volunteer for a schedule to see what was coming next and I saw "Arturo Sandoval" would be performing. THE Arturo Sandoval I thought?? Surely not the legendary Cuban jazz trumpeter, 4 time Grammy award winner??!!! Yes, it was true!

I was blown away. Not only did he play his trademark blazing fast bebop on trumpet, he also scat sang and played percussion. What a musician! He was also quite an entertainer (those 2 qualities are different, you know).

I heard Arturo warming up just above the boat dock. Blowing long tones, playing arpeggios. I spoke with him briefly. He ended his concert with a tune by his famous mentor, "A Night in Tunisia" by the late great Dizzy Gillespie. It was a memorable concert.

He was actually playing opposite of Charlie Daniels, who was on the main stage. Sorry, but Charlie sounded pathetic in comparison. I heard CDB play 4 tunes, Amazing Grace, The Star Spangled Banner, an arrangement of William Tell (showcasing the guitarist - I guess his concept of "classical guitar?"), and his hit - Devil went Down to Georgia. It was bad... unless you like out of tune fiddle playing. I was a CDB fan as a kid. I always liked the CDB album Saddletramp. I guess my tastes have evolved over the years. Charlie has since turned into a (self-described) redneck and a mediocre fiddler. By comparison, Arturo is at the top of his game. I know, apples and oranges.... yet, I tend to appreciate virtuosity over pop stardom.

Later that night, Iska and I went through the Chickamauga Lock and spent a beautiful night in a cove among the islands at Harrison Bay State Park.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Helene Yelverton's 50th Annual Dance Recital

My beautiful mother celebrates 50 years as a dance teacher. Her studio is one of the most prestigious in upstate NY.

Article in the Binghamton Press.

Congrats to mom.

Pic 1 - Shelly, Mom, and Stephanie

Pic 2 - alumni student John and Mom on Broadway  
UPDATE:  John Kendrick - RIP

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fontana Lake - June '10

Smoky Mountain Paradise

Where else can you hike the Smokies for hours on a Saturday and not see anyone?

Nothing like four nights on the lake and in the woods ... with Iska. Fontana Lake was nearly full and the trails were as beautiful as ever.

The Lost Cove Trail to Shuckstack was particularly beautiful. The climb was brutal - 1000' in just one mile but the reward was excellent. The Appalachian Trail was full of flowers - flaming azaleas, spiderwort, mountain laurel, etc...

These are just cell phone photos, unfortunately I forgot my camera. (click on pics to enlarge)

Have boat, will travel....