donmopsick

Current appearances and short essays by jazz bassist Don Mopsick

Deborah Opie Quartet at Valenti’s Allegro Bistro in Venice Thursday Nights

leave a comment »


allegro_thursday_10-1-15

Billy Marcus, Don Mopsick, Stephen Bucholtz, Deborah Opie in 2015

Thursday nights in Venice, FL come alive with swinging jazz at Valenti’s Allegro Bistro located at 1740 E Venice Ave.

Singer Deborah Opie has been entertaining the crowds at the popular Venice restaurant/night spot for over 3 years. She’s backed up by a swinging modern jazz trio featuring Billy Marcus, piano; Don Mopsick, bass; and Stephen Bucholtz on drums.The band plays from 6-9 PM. Click here for more information and reservations.

Billy Marcus

Billy Marcus

Pianist Billy Marcus, who now lives in St. Petersburg, FL is the son of the great “stride” pianist, Marie Marcus. Billy began his professional career in 1968 in the Boston/Cape Cod area where he worked with the iconic cornetist Bobby Hackett. In 1974, Marcus moved to Miami where he formed his own quartets and quintets. He did regularly-scheduled live radio broadcasts on television and performed at all of Miami and South Florida’s major festivals. In 1982, Marcus was named Miami’s Best Musician by Miami/South Florida Magazine. Recently, Marcus was inducted into the South Florida Music Hall of Fame.

Marcus has played “residency” engagements in New York, Boston, France, Switzerland, and recently at the Ritz-Carlton in Shanghai, China and 18 months at the Grand Hyatt in Dubai U.A.E. He’s appeared at dozens of jazz festivals including: North Sea Jazz Festival Netherlands, Bern Jazz Festival Switzerland, Toronto Jazz Festival Canada, Monterey Jazz Festival California, New Orleans Jazz Festival Louisiana, Miami Jazz Festival Florida, Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival Washington.

Leading his own house band, he backed up Scott Hamilton, Al Grey, James Moody, Jack Sheldon, Pepper Adams, Mark Murphy, Eddie “Clean-head” Vinson, Kai Winding, Terry Gibbs, Richie Cole, Buddy DeFranco and many more.

Don Mopsick

Don Mopsick

Bassist Don Mopsick began his musical career as a teenager in his hometown of Linden, NJ, performing on trumpet and bass guitar for local ethnic dances. After High School, he attended Rutgers University and Berklee College of Music. His first professional gigs were with Rosemary Clooney around Boston.

Mopsick’s musical interests have always been eclectic and far-ranging. He was graduated from The Manhattan School of Music in 1977 with a degree in Tuba Performance. While in New York, he performed on tuba and bass with The Smith Street Society, Lee Castle (with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra), Jim Chapin, John Carisi, Benny Ventura, the Paul Jefferey Octet and others.

After a move to Ft. Myers FL in 1977, Mopsick began private study on double bass with Lucas Drew at the University of Miami. He moved to Orlando in 1983 and began work at Walt Disney World, Circus World, Rosie O’Grady’s, and as a free- lance bassist state-wide. From 1983-86 he performed nightly at the Empress Lilly at Lake Buena Vista with the Riverboat Rascals.

He played concert dates for, among others, The Jazz Club of Sarasota, The Treasure Coast Jazz Society (Vero Beach), The Gainesville Friends of Jazz, the Central Florida Jazz Society, and taught clinics at Valdosta (Georgia) State University.

Mopsick played Florida concert dates with Howard Alden, Mousey Alexander, Mose Allison, Bill Allred, Dan Barrett, John Bunch, Pete Christleib, Al Cohn, Richie Cole, Ike and Fred Cole, Kenny Davern, Buddy DeFranco, Allen Eager, Terry Gibbs, Scott Hamilton, Buddy Morrow (with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra), Ken Peplowski, Flip Phillips, Red Rodney, Bob Rosengarden, Ira Sullivan, Clark Terry, Warren Vaché Jr., Joe Wilder and many others.

Don joined the 7-piece Jim Cullum Jazz Band in San Antonio TX in 1991, where he played nightly at The Landing jazz club and toured with the band (including a 17-day tour of Russia and Siberia in 2007), and recorded hundreds of hours for the Riverwalk Jazz public radio series with guests such as Benny Carter, Clark Terry, Bob Wilber, Dick Hyman, Topsy Chapman, Kenny Davern, Milt Hinton, Nicholas Payton, Ralph Sutton, “Sweets” Edison, Harry Allen, Dan Barrett, Joe Williams, Rebecca Kilgore, Stephanie Nakasian, Linda Hopkins, Bob Barnard, Bucky and John Pizzarelli and many others. He left the band in March 2009.

From 1993 to 2005 he was on the faculty of the Stanford Summer Jazz Camp, teaching classes and giving private lessons to students between the ages of 12-17.

These days Mopsick plays modern bop-oriented jazz in several weekly west Florida gigs with pianists Billy Marcus and Joe Delaney, drummers Stephen Bucholtz, Patricia Dean and Tony Vigilante, trumpeter Dan Miller and tenor saxophonist Lew DelGatto.

Since his 2010 move back to SW Florida he has shared concert stages with Dick Hyman, Peter Appleyard, Bucky Pizzarelli, Aaron Weinstein, Giacomo Gates, Stephanie Nakasian and Hod O’Brien, Russell Malone, Ira Sullivan, Lanie Cook, Ralph Peterson Jr., Tedd Firth, Peter Zak, Dave Bennett, Wycliff Gordon and many others.

Stephen Bucholtz

Stephen Bucholtz

Experienced in both classical and jazz, drummer Stephen Bucholtz has performed on drum set for a variety of groups, ranging from trios to big bands. These groups have performed in clubs, festivals, theaters, and private functions throughout the country. Stephen has performed with artists such as Chuck Redd, Ken Peplowski, Harry Allen, Jon-Erik Kellso, Roni Ben-Hur, Buster Cooper, and John Lamb. He can currently be heard performing around the Tampa Bay area with a variety of artists.

Stephen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of South Florida. After receiving his degree, he continued his studies at the New England Conservatory of Music as a graduate student. While living in Boston, Stephen served as Principle Percussionist with the Newton Symphony Orchestra. Prior to joining the Newton Symphony, Stephen served as Principle Percussionist for the Brevard Symphony Orchestra in Melbourne, Florida. He has also performed with the Concord Orchestra, the Metropolitan Wind Symphony, the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Florida Orchestra.

Written by Don Mopsick

May 10, 2016 at 11:07 PM

Dan Miller Quartet Returns to The Roadhouse Cafe Florida on Tuesday Nights

leave a comment »


Dan Miller, Don Mopsick and Joe Delaney at the Roadhouse Cafe in 2016

Dan Miller, Don Mopsick and Joe Delaney at the Roadhouse Cafe in 2016

The Dan Miller Quartet is now on summer hiatus. The band will return on Tuesday nights beginning October 2016. Watch this blog for further news.

The Roadhouse Cafe in Ft. Myers FL presents the Dan Miller Quartet Tuesday nights  at 7:00. The Roadhouse, owned and operated by Marc and Sherri Neeley, features fine dining and entertainment 6 nights a week. The very popular Cafe features a well-stocked bar and wine list, dance floor and piano bar. The Roadhouse was named in the December 2015 issue of Gulf Coast Life magazine as having the “Best Live Music in Southwest Florida.”

The Dan Miller Quartet plays in a modern jazz style known as bebop or “hard bop,” featuring Great American Songbook and Jazz standard tunes in the styles of Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Golson, Horace Silver, etc. The members of the Quartet are all seasoned jazz professionals and have held down prestigious jobs around the US and abroad in previous years.

Dan Miller

Dan Miller

Jazz trumpeter Dan Miller is one of Southwest Florida’s most accomplished musicians. A native of Chicago, Miller began his illustrious career in the early 1990s, playing in bands led by Woody Herman, Maynard Ferguson, Wynton Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr., the latter association comprising of over a decade of touring and recording.

Dan has spent 2000 through today free-lancing in New York City and throughout Florida. In 2004, Dan began to split his time between NYC and Florida. He started performing at Ellington’s Jazz Bar and Restaurant on Sanibel Island, FL where he led his own groups as well as worked with Jimmy McGriff, David “Fathead” Newman, Jimmy Norman, Lew DelGatto, Jon Weber, Davell Crawford and Danny Sinoff. From 2005-2009, Dan was a member of the Danny Sinoff Quartet, recording three CDs for E.S.P. (the third featured tenor saxophonist David “Fathead” Newman).

Since 2010, Dan has been a member of the Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra.

Dan continues to perform regularly in NYC, appearing frequently at Smalls and Fat Cat as a leader or as a member of Ned Goold or Tim McCall’s groups. He often finds himself playing in NYC with musicians like his brother David Miller, Ben Wolfe, Neal Caine, Anthony Pinciotti, Spike Wilner,  Stephen Riley and Carlos DeRosa.

Dan Miller’s musical influences include Fats Navarro, Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Kinny Dorham, Lee Morgan, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk and Curtis Fuller.

Joe Delaney

Joe Delaney

Pianist Joe Delaney was born in Brockton, MA and grew up in Whitman, just south of Boston. Joe’s father Ed Delaney was also a pianist. Joe started playing at age 3, learning by ear from records, family parties and his father’s band rehearsals. Joe says, “I picked it up and still play about 90% by ear.”

Joe started formal instruction and began performing in pubic at the age of 5. Joe says, “Once we started little kid tunes, I’d hear the teacher play it and put about 15 minutes into my lesson and just mimic it back.” He was soon spending hours a day learning popular tunes and George Shearing hits he heard during the band rehearsals. Later, Joe studied briefly with Kurt Wenzel, Charlie Banocos, Kenny Barron and Berklee piano professor Paul Schmeling. During his formative years Joe absorbed the musical influences of George Shearing, Erroll Garner, Ahmad Jamal, Ramsey Lewis, Sergio Mendes, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Bill Evans, Dave McKenna, Oscar Peterson and Herbie Hancock.

Delaney worked in the Boston and Cape Cod areas until 1981, when he moved to the US Virgin Islands, where he worked for most of the ’80s. From 1989-2009 Joe returned to New England, based in Cape Cod, mostly in Hyannis. He had a long association with reedman Dick Johnson, who led the Artie Shaw Orchestra during this period. Joe traveled with the Shaw Orchestra for six years, sometimes playing alongside trumpet great Lou Colombo. While not touring with the Shaw band or his own groups (on 5 continents), Delaney played extended residencies in virtually every live music venue on Cape Cod. He spent 7 years leading the house trio at the Black Cat Tavern at Hyannis Harbor, now owned and operated by David Colombo.

Joe has recorded many jazz albums and CDs both as leader and sideman, as well as commercial jingles (for Pepsi, Beck’s Beer, among others), and movie soundtracks (Mrs. Worthington’s Party).

Don Mopsick © Ken Franckling

Don Mopsick © Ken Franckling

Bassist Don Mopsick hails from New Jersey. He attended the Manhattan School of Music, and upon graduation in 1977 relocated to Ft. Myers FL. After a move to Orlando in 1983 he found himself in demand statewide, playing jazz concerts in Orlando, Tallahassee, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Daytona and elsewhere. In 1991 he joined the Jim Cullum Jazz Band in San Antonio, TX and appeared weekly on the Riverwalk Jazz series on public radio nationwide. While with Cullum, Mopsick recorded shows with Dick Hyman, John and Bucky Pizzarelli, Clark Terry, Kenny Davern, Linda Hopkins, Benny Carter, Bob Wilber, Milt Hinton, Ralph Sutton, Harry Allen, Ken Peplowski, Joe Williams, “Sweets” Edison, Shelly Berg, Stephanie Nakasian, Rebecca Kilgore and many other greats of jazz.

Since his 2010 return to the Sunshine State, Mopsick played local Southwest Florida concert dates with Dick Hyman, Peter Appleyard, Aaron Weinstein, Tedd Firth, Bucky Pizzarelli, Johnny Varro, Cynthia Sayer, Dave Bennett, Tad Weed, Ira Sullivan, Billy Marcus, Giacomo Gates, Russell Malone, Lainie Cook, Ralph Peterson, Jr., Peter Zak, Stephanie Nakasian and her husband pianist Hod O’Brien, and others. He has appeared independently in nationwide concerts and festivals with Hyman, Ralph Sutton, John Bunch, Ira Sullivan, Red Rodney, Buddy DeFranco, Randy Sandke, Warren Vaché, Scott Hamilton, Bill Allred and many others.

Other than the Roadhouse, Mopsick appears on Thursday nights at Valenti’s Allegro Bistro in Venice with vocalist Deborah Opie, pianist Billy Marcus and drummer Stephen Bucholtz.

Tony Vigilante

Tony Vigilante

Jazz drummer Tony Vigilante is a native of Philadelphia. Since his recent move to Naples, FL he has become in demand throughout the Southwest Florida region for his wonderfully buoyant, driving swing feel and impeccable time.

During a long career, Tony has backed up many singers and entertainers such as Della Reese, Billy Eckstine, Maureen McGovern and Perry Como. He’s recorded with Buddy De Franco, the Al Raymond Orchestra and the Brian Pastor Big Band. Vigilante was a member of Ben Vereen’s touring band performing in Las Vegas, Reno and Tahoe casinos, as well as numerous theater performances on the East Coast. In television, Tony worked in live studio bands for shows such as Good Morning America, The Mike Douglas Show, The Phil Donahue Show and an HBO special, Ben Vereen Live from The Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas.

Written by Don Mopsick

September 30, 2015 at 12:00 PM

My Debt to Mousey and the Jazz Club of Sarasota

leave a comment »


By 1986 I had already been in Florida for 9 years. I was graduated from the Manhattan School of Music in May, 1977 and immediately moved down to Ft. Myers to take a steady 6-night-a -week music job there. By 1983 I made the move to the Orlando area and soon thereafter landed a staff job at Disney World.

In those days Orlando had a wealth of accomplished jazz players, a few of them holding down full-time positions at one of the Disney theme parks. The biggest jazz star in Orlando was the great drummer Mousey Alexander. A teeny bit of a guy, Mousey had toured and recorded with Benny Goodman for over 15 years, played a long New York residency at the Half Note with Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, and was often hired by such leaders as Clark Terry, Sauter/Finegan and Doc Severinsen to provide his happy, swinging propulsion to their big bands.

mousey

Mousey Alexander

Mousey was a member of a very rarefied elite of top swinging jazz drummers, but in 1980 he suffered a stroke and heart attack that left him paralyzed on one side. He decided to slow down, rehabilitate and move to Longwood, FL near Olrando. He continued to play drums. He organized a Monday night jam session at a series of night clubs and restaurants in the area. Mousey’s Monday nights became the epicenter of the jazz scene in Orlando, where players could get known, network, and sit in with Mousey and the best players in town.

After I got to town Mousey invited me to play some of the Monday jams. I became a regular and got to play other gigs, concerts and jazz cruises with Mousey. Then one day in 1986 he invited me to go down to Sarasota to play a concert with him for the Jazz Club of Sarasota. Mousey’s friend Hal Davis had founded the club in 1980. Hal had been Benny Goodman’s publicist, and the two men had a long professional and personal association and friendship. Hal was then executing his plan of greatly expanding the club’s membership by presenting quality concerts featuring the great swinging players he had known in New York, among them many Goodman Band alumni.

Hal was a master of promotion–he had been the president of a major New York advertising and PR firm. Right on his concert program notes Hal would include a short paragraph introducing the featured artist for the next concert, along with a short explanation: “These artists are new (to you),” but nonetheless the member would be rewarded for discovering them. In this way Hal educated his membership and provided the artistic leadership that built the brand of the Jazz Club of Sarasota into what it eventually became by the time of his passing in 1990: one of the largest and most active jazz societies in the US.

After my first JCofS concert with Mousey, Hal hired me for many more. He was very encouraging to me. He told me, “All of the guys I’ve brought down from New York have told me how much they enjoyed your playing.” The feeling was mutual. Clearly I had found a home. Before my eventual move to San Antonio in 1991 I was privileged to appear at Sarasota Middle School and Van Wezel Hall, almost on a monthly basis, it seemed, with some of the true greats of swinging jazz: Don Lamond, Don Goldie, Spanky Davis, Dick Meldonian, Bob Rosengarden, Warren Vaché Jr., Scott Hamilton, Joe Wilder, John Bunch, Ira Sullivan, Ken Peplowski, and the late clarinetist Kenny Davern.

The Jim Cullum Jazz Band began auditioning bass fiddle players after the death in 1990 of Jack Wyatt, who had held the position for decades. For ideas on replacements, Cullum called his friend Kenny Davern, with whom I had by this time played at the JCofS. Davern recommended me for the job. On New Years Day 1991 my wife Rosie and I and our dog headed out for the long drive to San Antonio with all our possessions. For over 18 years I played nightly with Cullum’s band at the Landing Jazz Club on the Riverwalk in San Antonio and toured the US and abroad with them. I recorded many hours of radio shows with them and their guests, many of whom I already knew from the JSofC dates. I also got to work with and know Dick Hyman and Bob Haggart, both of whom settled in the Sarasota area.

Rosie and I made the return trip in 2010 to resettle in Cape Coral. Since then I have become reacquainted with the JCofS and some of its leaders who have taken over for Hal. One notable concert was in 2011 with the young swinging jazz violinist Aaron Weinstein at Holley Hall. Another memorable appearance for me was introducing to the JCofS (at a “Fridays at Two”) the quintet with which I work in Naples and Fort Myers during the season, co-led by trumpeter Dan Miller and saxophonist Lew DelGatto. Coming up next October 16 and 17 I will be representing the JCofS leading a group of my favorite players from North Port and St. Petersburg, comprised of pianist Billy Marcus, drummer/vocalist Patricia Dean and trombone champion Herb Bruce, for the Ringling International Arts Festival “Jazz Sunsets on the Bay.”

Written by Don Mopsick

August 26, 2015 at 11:30 PM

New Stanford Double Stream of Riverwalk Jazz Public Radio Series

leave a comment »


I’m sitting here playing “drop the needle” and listening to the new Riverwalk Jazz double stream.

http://riverwalkjazz.stanford.edu/

Here’s the deal: somewhere north of 300 shows were created so far in the Riverwalk Jazz public radio series. The series is still on the air on about 200 nationwide public radio stations and Sirius/XM on Sundays. The Stanford Library of Recorded Sound acquired the collection and made it into two continuous streams of hour-long shows: one starting at show #1 and the other starting at show #150 or so. Each stream takes about 18 days to cycle through all the shows.

Stanford has committed to running this double loop for at least 25 years. We can’t exactly tell you which show is coming up next, but you can hear shows that haven’t been on the air in over a decade. It’s kind of a “drop the needle,” “box-‘o-chocolates” experience.

After a few initial hiccups, the website and stream seem to be functioning OK now. Right now on stream 1 I’m listening to the Gospel show with Evan Christopher doing his chart on “Over in the Gloryland.” On stream 2 I caught Rebecca Kilgore and Ron Hockett and the the rhythm section swinging Artie Shaw’s “Moon Ray.”

A few things occur to me. One is that the show covers a lot of ground in its variety of pre-war jazz topics. For example, I’m listening now to Dick Hyman and John Sheridan stomp their way through a 2-piano version a 1926 stride piano novelty rag by Rube Bloom, “Spring Fever.” Later in the same show I heard Becky Kilgore croon her way through “Suddenly It’s Spring” as only she can.

Another is the generally high level of musicianship for a “live” show. We typically had one run-through before recording with the audience, and very rarely resorted to the back-up, so most of what you hear was the live show, warts and all.

I wanted you to be aware of this new format and invite you to drop in sometime to check it out. It could be like having your own personal Riverwalk Jazz satellite channel for your home soundtrack (or maybe its more like Pandora). I know of no other series doing it like this, it’s the bleeding edge of this kind of media presentation.

Written by Don Mopsick

January 4, 2013 at 2:24 AM

Tom Ellison and Hip Pocket

leave a comment »


Tom Ellison

Tom Ellison

 

Tom Ellison and Hip Pocket Lining Up New Season of Performances

Southwest Florida jazz quartet to play at venues in Sarasota County in 2013-14

Hip Pocket first got together in 2012 to play at local restaurants in Venice, FL and since then has appeared at events sponsored by the South County Jazz Club.

Leader and reed player Tom Ellison (left) lives in Venice, FL and performs with area combos and big bands. As a freelance woodwind artist, Tom has performed with Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, John Denver, Henry Mancini, Andy Williams, Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Aretha Franklin, the Temptations, Lou Rawls and many other top name artists.

Don Mopsick © Ken Franckling

Don Mopsick © Ken Franckling

Don Mopsick (right) lives in Cape Coral FL. For 19 years he was the bassist with the Jim Cullum Jazz Band in San Antonio, TX and appeared on the Riverwalk Jazz public radio series. He has also played jazz concerts in Florida and elsewhere with Mousey Alexander, Ralph Sutton, Kenny Davern, Ira Sullivan, Ken Peplowski, Dick Hyman, Peter Appleyard, Red Rodney, Aaron Weinstein and many others. Don plays an antique German double bass set up in the old-school manner with high action and gut strings, and he prefers acoustic “unplugged” playing wherever possible.

Matt Bokulik

Matt Bokulik

Safety Harbor FL resident Matt Bokulic (left) is Director Of Education at the Players School of Music in Clearwater, FL.  Matt studied piano and composition at Berklee College of Music, The University of Massachusetts and The University of South Florida. He has played and recorded with Celine Dion, John Laporta Rick Derringer, Reeves Gabrels, and The Nelson Riddle Orchestra.

Chuck Parr

Chuck Parr

Drummer Chuck Parr (right) holds a Master Degree from Florida State University School of Music. He has taught music and art in Sarasota. Very active in the local jazz scene, he is considered one of the best big band drummers in the area. His hobbies include the refurbishment of fine percussion instruments and fine arts painting.

Written by Don Mopsick

August 9, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Billy Marcus Trio at JD’s Bistro

with 2 comments


Billy Marcus

Thursday October 24 promises to be a spectacular night of jazz in Port Charlotte, FL. JD’s Bistro and Grille will be hosting the Florida-based world-renowned jazz pianist Billy Marcus. Joining Marcus will be Don Mopsick on bass and  Patricia Dean on drums and vocals.

Billy Marcus, who now lives in St. Petersburg, is the son of the great “stride” pianist, Marie Marcus. Billy began his professional career in 1968 in the Boston/Cape Cod area where he worked with the iconic cornetist Bobby Hackett. In 1974, Marcus moved to Miami where he formed his own quartets and quintets. He did regularly-scheduled live radio broadcasts on television and performed at all of Miami and South Florida’s major festivals. In 1982, Marcus was named Miami’s Best Musician by Miami/South Florida Magazine. This year, Marcus was inducted into the South Florida Music Hall of Fame.

Marcus has played “residency” engagements in New York, Boston, France, Switzerland, and recently at the Ritz-Carlton in Shanghai, China and 18 months at the Grand Hyatt in Dubai U.A.E. He’s appeared at dozens of jazz festivals including: North Sea Jazz Festival Netherlands, Bern Jazz Festival Switzerland, Toronto Jazz Festival Canada, Monterey Jazz Festival California, New Orleans Jazz Festival Louisiana, Miami Jazz Festival Florida, Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival Washington.

Leading his own house band, he backed up Scott Hamilton, Al Grey, James Moody, Jack Sheldon, Pepper Adams, Mark Murphy, Eddie “Clean-head” Vinson, Kai Winding, Terry Gibbs, Richie Cole, Buddy DeFranco and many more.

Don Mopsick © Ken Franckling

Don Mopsick © Ken Franckling

Bassist Don Mopsick hails from New Jersey. He attended the Manhattan School of Music, and upon graduation relocated to Ft. Myers Florida in 1977. After a move to Orlando in 1983 he found himself in demand statewide, playing jazz concerts in Orlando, Tallahassee, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Daytona and elsewhere.  In 1991 he joined the Jim Cullum Jazz Band in San Antonio, TX and appeared weekly on the Riverwalk Jazz series on public radio, still heard on about 200 Public Radio International affiliate stations nationwide and on Sirius/XM satellite radio. While with Cullum, Mopsick recorded shows with Dick Hyman, John and Bucky Pizzarelli, Clark Terry, Kenny Davern, Linda Hopkins, Benny Carter, Bob Wilber, Milt Hinton, Ralph Sutton, Harry Allen, Ken Peplowski, Joe Williams, “Sweets” Edison, Shelly Berg and many other greats of jazz.

Recently, Mopsick played local Southwest Florida concert dates with Dick Hyman, Peter Appleyard, Aaron Weinstein, Tedd Firth,  Johnny Varro and others. He has appeared independently in nationwide concerts and festivals with Hyman, Ralph Sutton, John Bunch, Ira Sullivan, Red Rodney, Buddy DeFranco, Randy Sandke, Warren Vaché, Scott Hamilton, Bill Allred and many others.

Patricia Dean

Patricia Dean and the legendary Grady Tate are among the few artists in the history of jazz who play drums and sing, and who do both at an exceptional level. There’s probably a reason for the scarcity of jazz drummers who sing, perhaps because it takes a lifetime to master just one of those arts, but the fact is, as listeners will hear on this superb recording, Patricia Dean is no mere “singing drummer” or “drumming singer.” As a drummer, she’s an inspiring and supremely tasteful time-keeper, accompanist and soloist. As a jazz vocalist, Dean is swinging, sensitive, and, quite simply, just wonderfully musical.

This Tampa, Florida, native was literally and figuratively surrounded by music while growing up. Her father was a pianist/ composer and her brother played bass. But the person who, as she says, “totally blew me away,” was none other than the singer/drummer Karen Carpenter. “My fascination with the drums and singing came about when I first saw her,” Dean says. “I knew that that’s what I wanted to do.”

Dean went through her “banging on pots and pans stage” while playing with The Carpenter’s records, though in Dean’s case, it was pillows and then aluminum foil-covered boxes that took the place of the cookware. Finally, she got an actual drum set, began studying privately and really playing, at the age of 11. She played her first professional job with her father and brother when she was 14. And along the way, she listened and listened and listened. What is so special about Dean’s singing, is that she is equally skilled and convincing as a heartfelt ballad singer, swinging scatter, and evocative interpreter of Brazilian melodies. That’s rare. Through the years, Dean has worked with any number of jazz legends, including Nat Adderley, Ira Sullivan, Herb Jeffries, Bobby Militello, Manfredo Fest, Kenny Drew Jr., Harry Allen and the late John LaPorta who once said to her… “your two and four is so deep.”

Reviewer Bruce Klauber, in Jazz Times, wrote of Dean’s recent CD, You Go to My Head (featuring pianist Stu Shelton, bassist Rick Doll and trumpeter Bob Zottola): “A talent like this — especially at this point in jazz history — comes along very, very rarely.”

JD’s Bistro and Grille is located 1951 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL 33948, on Rt. 41 in Port Charlotte, next to the Day’s Inn southeast of El Jobean Rd. (Click here for a map). Call 941.255.0994 for more information or email info@jdsbistroandgrille.com.

Written by Don Mopsick

July 12, 2012 at 2:56 AM

Posted in Gigs

New CD: “Hit That Jive, Jack!”

with one comment


Rick Howard Trio

Rick Howard Trio at the Bay House, Naples, FL 2011. Bill E. Peterson, Rick Howard, Don Mopsick.

The Rick Howard Trio plays Sunday nights at the Bay House in Naples, FL. Here are selected tracks from our CD, Hit That Jive Jack!

Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby?

A Thousand Miles From Nowhere

This Will Make You Laugh

I Live the Life I Love

I Think You Get What I Mean

Muddy Water

Red Top

Written by Don Mopsick

February 17, 2012 at 11:34 PM

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.