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Previewing Dixon’s Violin at Dafmark Dance Theater

Photo by Aaron Lingenfelter

Dixon Hammond is a seeker. The violinist will appear in concert at Dafmark Dance Theater on October 1 as Dixon’s Violin. Hammond, 51, plays what he calls “visionary violin,” but though Dixon’s Violin is just Hammond and his five-string electric violin, the music is multilayered and textural thanks to an array of pedals, electronic looping effects and music software that he wrote for his own use. It’s also completely live and in the moment; Hammond doesn’t use pre-recorded backing tracks or samples. He is fond of introducing musical numbers by telling audiences that they are about to hear “something that has not been created yet.”

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Edward Kennedy Ellington, April 29, 1899-May 24, 1974

Duke Ellington Orchestra 1928

This is the most valuable object I own, a photo of the Duke Ellington Orchestra given by Ellington to my father after one of the three engagements my dad presented in Erie, PA between 1931 and 1933. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that my dad knew Ellington, and that I have touched this object that was once touched by the hand of genius.
Today, on the 122nd anniversary of his birth and every day, Ellington is forever.

 

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Previewing the Noah Haidu Trio at Bop Stop, Sept, 28

The tribute record has a long history in the music business.  Like a Hollywood franchise film or a celebrity-branded product, tribute records work best when they yoke an unfamiliar to the powerful engine of what is known, loved and pre-sold.

By that definition, maybe pianist Noah Haidu’s new Sunnyside Records CD, “Doctone,” which he will premiere at Cleveland’s Bop Stop on September 28, is not a tribute record at all. Haidu’s CD and the book and documentary film that will accompany it, are dedicated to the late pianist Kenny Kirkland, a name that might be unfamiliar to all but the geekiest jazz fans. Mention him to jazz insiders, though, and they will describe him as a genius and a monster player.

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