Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ricky Riccardi Interviews Marty Napoleon at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem!

Hello friends. Just a quick note for my New York/New Jersey readers to say I'll be at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem this Thursday evening interviewing pianist Marty Napoleon as part of their "Harlem Speaks" series. We'll be discussing Marty's entire career, but I'll also be bringing a couple of video clips of Marty and Louis Armstrong together. Marty's a blast to talk to and the entire evening should be a lot of fun. It's from 6:30 til 8:30 and it's free and open to the public. Here's the official particulars from the museum's website:

Harlem Speaks
Marty Napoloen, Pianist
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Marty Napoleon’s greatest claim to fame is his tenure with the Louis Armstrong All-Stars, but his musical experience has been broad and deep for more than six decades. A versatile pianist, Napoleon’s early career included stints with Chico Marx, Joe Venuti, Lee Castle, Charlie Barnet, and, in 1945, Gene Krupa. He worked with the Memphis Five, a group led by Napoleon’s uncle, trumpeter Phil Napoleon, in the early ‘50s. There was also a stint with Charlie Ventura’s Big Four, leading to his first sojourn with Armstrong from 1952-1953. He joined forces with his brother Teddy for a two-piano quartet in 1955, and also worked with Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Shavers, and Red Allen. Napoleon rejoined Armstrong during Pops’ twilight years (off and on from 1966-1971), and semi-retired in the 1980s.

Known for his kinetic sense of humor and joie de vivre, Napoleon’s insights are fascinating, since he performed with many of the greatest musicians of his day, and can reveal an insider’s view of the golden era of the music.

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And quickly, some congratulations to my friend Michael Steinman's, whose wonderful "Jazz Lives" blog has been nominated as "Blog of the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association. No one deserves it more...it's a remarkable labor of love (my computer routine is always as follows: check my mail, check "Jazz Lives," repeat if necessary). Here's hoping he nabs the big prize. And also congrats to David Ostwald, who celebrates his ninth anniversary of his steady gig at Birdland tomorrow night, May 6. I won't be there but you can bet the music will be dynamite as usual so if you're in the city that day, check 'em out from 5:30 til 7:15.

And that concludes this New York-centric posting...next up, "The Gypsy." Til then!

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