For those who've asked ... here's a note about the jazz & poetry show I'll be playing this Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at the Brandon Regional Library.
I'll be joined by my Trio Vibe bandmate Sam Koppelman on vibraphones and saxophonist Willie Lawson for a program that will have us accompanying the spoken-word presentations of several poets from the region and from far-flung locales.
Admission is free, and the library is easy to get to from all points in the Tampa Bay area. It's always a fun time, with first-rate poetry and creative music (at least, that's the goal). So come on out!
Below is the original release, from the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce. Note that USF prof Jay Hopler unfortunately is no longer on the bill, as he has dropped out due to family matters.
Poetry & Jazz @the Brandon Library
Sunday, April 13, 2008 @ 2:30pm
BRANDON - Join us as we celebrate National Poetry Month and Jazz Appreciation Month at the Eighth Annual Poetry and Jazz reading, on Sunday, April 13, at 2:30 pm, at the Brandon Regional Library, 619 Vonderburg Drive, Brandon, Florida.
Debra Gingerich, Lori Karpay, Suzanne Rhodenbaugh and Morris Kennedy will read their original poetry, with jazz accompaniment provided by the Philip Booth Trio, featuring Philip Booth on double bass, Willie Lawson on saxophone and Sam Koppelman on vibraphone.
The winner of Tampa-Hillsborough County Libraries 6th annual Lit Wit contest will be invited to read his/her entry. Light refreshments will be served.
This program is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Brandon Library, Inc. and Friends of the Library of Tampa-Hillsborough County, Inc. For more information about this and other FREE programs @ your library please call, (813) 273-3652.
Directions: 619 Vonderburg Drive, Brandon. Three blocks south of Hwy. 60, just off Parsons Avenue.
Below is a nicely descriptive piece that Sara Kennedy wrote about the 2006 edition of the event. The library's James Graves has graciously invited us to play the event several times.
No shhhh here, just music and verse
By SARA KENNEDY
Published April 28, 2006
Jazz and poetry might ordinarily thrive in noisy, crowded bars, but on Sunday it migrated to another environment - the clean, well-lighted Brandon Regional Library, filled with people cramming for final exams and browsing for a good novel.
The plaintive wail of the saxophone and the rich rhythm of poetry drifted through an audience sitting on stiff chairs, and filtered over bookcases and crept into hushed study nooks.
The sixth annual Poetry and Jazz Afternoon honored National Poetry Month, which is observed each year during April. The affair was co-sponsored by Friends of the Brandon Library and Friends of the Library of Tampa-Hillsborough County Inc.
"Want is an eclipse of the self," read poet and college student Susan Tyler, 22, of Tampa before about 50 listeners.
The Philip Booth Trio - vibraphonist, bass player and horn man - improvised behind her, playing a Miles Davis riff that was modern and musically complex.
Later, when Orlando poet Susan Lilley, 52, read a piece about her son learning to play baseball, the musicians shifted effortlessly to something less arcane - a slinky rendition of Take Me Out to the Ball Game.
"They love those fly balls almost like they fear them," she read from her book Night Windows,
"running toward them,
legs like windmills,
and running sort of away,
mitts raised to block the sun.
Their fathers scuff clay and murmur;
no one plans to lose his cool."
The free event celebrated the power of poetry and the passion of jazz, spotlighting performers in a locale where such cultural joys are rare, said Jim Graves, librarian and organizer.
"It's a real neat combination," he added.
Graves asked Booth, 44, leader of long-running Tampa jazz group Greenwich Blue, to assemble a trio especially for the event. Booth called upon veteran vibraphonist Sam Koppelman, 54, of St. Petersburg, who has worked with R&B greats Ashford and Simpson, and Willie Lawson, 45, of Tampa, accomplished on saxophone, flute and clarinet, and a regular with a performance group called the Irritable Tribe of Poets.
The crowd spilled out of the seating area and clogged the refreshment table, where coffee and cookies awaited. The scent of hot coffee mixed with the heavy perfume of fresh gardenias brought from someone's home garden to pass around. The mood of the audience veered from sadness and introspection to laughter and applause, as the performers plumbed the vagaries of the human condition.
Mary Elizabeth Perez, 80, a Tampa native, read a heart-rending poem about the loss of a lifelong love. Special guest Lucy Fuchs, 71, of Brandon, the 2006 "Lit Wit" poetry contest winner, read her original poem entitled The Diet Mavens, a take-off on Edgar Allan Poe's classic The Raven.
Phyllis McEwen, 56, of Tampa had listeners guffawing over the difficulties of sex after 50, with her poem's refrain: "My leg won't stretch that far."
Two women left in the middle, but the majority of the audience stayed until the end and found the afternoon uplifting.
"I came because it's a wonderful opportunity to see people live," said substitute teacher Linda Ludwig of Brandon, "and poetry and music together just fills the senses."