Cultural Percussionist

mick's blog

The Cosmos with Aurora Borealis

November 18, 2018

It was Halloween and the sky looked like a creature. Exactly which creature, the astrophotographer was unsure but (possibly you can suggest one). Exactly what caused this eerie apparition in 2013 was sure: one of the best auroral displays in recent years. This spectacular aurora had an unusually high degree of detail. Pictured here, the vivid green and purple auroral colors are caused by high atmospheric oxygen and nitrogenreacting to a burst of incoming electrons. Birch trees in Tromsø, Norway formed an also eerie foreground. Recently, new photogenic auroras have accompanied new geomagnetic storms.

Cindy Blackman Day

November 18, 2018

Cindy Blackman Santana (born November 18, 1959), sometimes known as Cindy Blackman, is an American jazz and rock drummer. Blackman has recorded several jazz albums as solo act and has performed with Pharoah Sanders, Sonny Simmons, Ron Carter, Sam Rivers, Cassandra Wilson, Angela Bofill, Buckethead, Bill Laswell and Joe Henderson. She was influenced early in her career by seeing Tony Williams perform. In 1997 she recorded the instructional video Multiplicity. “To me, jazz is the highest form of music that you can play because of the creative requirements”, says Blackman. Blackman is married to rock guitarist Carlos Santana.

Born November 18, 1959 in Yellow Springs, Ohio, Blackman comes from a musical family, both her mother and grandmother were classical musicians and her uncle a vibist. “My mom, when she was younger, played violin in classical orchestras, and her mom, incidentally, was a classical musician. My mom used to take me to see classical concerts”, says Blackman. “My dad was into jazz – Miles Davis, Ahmad Jamal, people like that.”Blackman’s first introduction to the drums happened when she was seven years old in her hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio and attending a pool party at a friend’s house, she went to use the bathroom and saw a drum set and just hopped onto the set. “Just looking at them struck something in my core, and it was completely right from the second I saw them”, says Blackman. “And then, when I hit them, it was like, wow, that’s me. That’s completely natural for me. It’s like breathing for me. It didn’t feel awkward at all.

Don Cherry Day

November 18, 2018

Donald Eugene Cherry (November 18, 1936 – October 19, 1995) was an American jazz trumpeter. Noted for his long association with saxophonist Ornette Coleman, which began in the late 1950s, Cherry was a pioneer in world fusion music in the 1960s.

Cherry was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where his father (who also played trumpet) owned the Cherry Blossom Club, which hosted performances by Charlie Christian and Fletcher Henderson.In 1940, Cherry moved with his family to Los Angeles, California. He lived in the Wattsneighborhood, and his father tended bar at the Plantation Club on Central Avenue, which at the time was the center of a vibrant jazz scene. Cherry recalled skipping school at Fremont High School in order to play with the swing band at Jefferson High School. This resulted in his transfer to Jacob Riis High School, a reform school, where he first met drummer Billy Higgins.

By the early 1950s Cherry was playing with jazz musicians in Los Angeles, sometimes acting as pianist in Art Farmer‘s group. While trumpeter Clifford Brown was in Los Angeles with Max Roach, Cherry attended a jam session with Brown and Larance Marable at Eric Dolphy‘s house, and Brown informally mentored Cherry. He also toured with saxophonist James Clay.

Hank Ballard Day

November 18, 2018

Hank Ballard (born John Henry Kendricks; November 18, 1927 – March 2, 2003) was a rhythm and blues singer and songwriter, the lead vocalist of Hank Ballard and the Midnighters and one of the first rock and roll artists to emerge in the early 1950s. He played an integral part in the development of the genre, releasing the hit singles “Work With Me, Annie” and answer songs “Annie Had a Baby” and “Annie’s Aunt Fannie” with his Midnighters. He later wrote and recorded “The Twist” which spread the popularity of the dance and was notably covered by Chubby Checker. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

Born John Henry Kendricks in Detroit, Michigan, he and his brother, Dove Ballard, grew up and attended school in Bessemer, Alabama, after the death of their father.[citation needed] He lived with his paternal aunt and her husband, and began singing in church. His major vocal inspiration during his formative years was the “Singing Cowboy”, Gene Autry, and in particular, his signature song, “Back in the Saddle Again“.[3] Ballard returned to Detroit in his teens and later worked on the assembly line for Ford.

World Music with Tone Hulbækmo

November 18, 2018

Tone Hulbækmo (born 1957), from Tolga in Østerdalen, is a vocalist with broad repertoire, ranging European medieval and renaissance music to Norwegian folk modern songs. She bases her vocal style on old traditions of Østerdalen that she has modernized and given personal twist. She is also active as an instrumentalist, composer arranger.

Daily Roots with Clarence Parks

November 18, 2018

The Cosmos with 30 Doradus

November 17, 2018

The Tarantula Nebula, also known as 30 Doradus, is more than a thousand light-years in diameter, a giant star forming region within nearby satellite galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud. About 180 thousand light-years away, it’s the largest, most violent star forming region known in the whole Local Group of galaxies. The cosmic arachnid sprawls across this spectacular view, composed with narrowband filter data centered on emission from ionized hydrogen atoms. Within the Tarantula (NGC 2070), intense radiation, stellar winds and supernova shocks from the central young cluster of massive stars, cataloged as R136, energize the nebular glow and shape the spidery filaments. Around the Tarantula are other star forming regions with young star clusters, filaments, and blown-out bubble-shaped clouds. In fact, the frame includes the site of the closest supernova in modern times, SN 1987A, left of center. The rich field of view spans about 1 degree or 2 full moons, in the southern constellation Dorado. But were the Tarantula Nebula closer, say 1,500 light-years distant like the local star forming Orion Nebula, it would take up half the sky.

Gene Clark Day

November 17, 2018

Harold EugeneGeneClark (November 17, 1944 – May 24, 1991) was an American singer-songwriter and founding member of the folk rock band the Byrds. He was the Byrds’ principal songwriter between 1964 and early 1966, writing most of the band’s best-known originals from this period, including “I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better“, “She Don’t Care About Time“, and “Set You Free This Time“. Although he did not achieve commercial success as a solo artist, Clark was in the vanguard of popular music during much of his career, prefiguring developments in such disparate subgenres as psychedelic rock, baroque pop, newgrass, country rock, and alternative country.

Clark was born in Tipton, Missouri, the third of 13 children in a family of Irish, German, and American Indian heritage. His family moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where as a boy he began learning to play the guitar and harmonica from his father. He was soon playing Hank Williams tunes as well as material by early rockers such as Elvis Presley and the Everly Brothers. He began writing songs at the age of 11. By the time he was 15, he had developed a rich tenor voice, and he formed a local rock and roll combo, Joe Meyers and the Sharks. Like many of his generation, Clark developed an interest in folk music because of the popularity of the Kingston Trio. When he graduated from Bonner Springs High School, in Bonner Springs, Kansas, in 1962, he formed a folk group, the Rum Runners.

Phil Parnell Day

November 17, 2018

November 17, 1955-September 2, 2015

Phil began performing at an early age: A picture that hung in his parents’ house showed him in a straw hat, striped coat and cane at age four in the lead role for his school play.

Born in Dallas, Parnell started taking piano lessons at age five. At age eight the family moved to New Orleans. His interest in piano came from his mother, who played in church and at home.

Phil ParnellParnell became obsessed with jazz after hearing John Coltrane. Before long, he was inspired to follow a musical career by listening to many others, including Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Charlie Parker, Bill Evans, James Booker, Dr. John and Ray Charles. “I was working for a painting contractor after school,” Parnell said. “I used to bring a boom-box cassette player with all my favorite jazz and it would drive the rest of the crew mad after a while. I was always doing something different from the other kids— usually solitary endeavors. I learned to ride a unicycle and to juggle,
and was into trampoline, diving, gymnastics and art.”

As a teenager, Parnell studied piano with Ellis Marsalis. His son Joplin remembers, “Dad would often tell me the story of Ellis asking him to transcribe a song of his choice as homework. He brought back his attempts at transcribing Coltrane’s “Giant Steps,” which earned him a good deal of respect from his teacher for being so ambitious.

Upcoming Performances

see all events…