Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Music Festival

The first of three concerts in the Summer Music Festival took place at the Barnwell Patio last Saturday evening. Lack of event publicity was obvious in the small, tho' appreciative audience present to hear the quartet, BRAHMA. I didn't pick up the brochure so I can't name the performers except as the guitarist, two drummers and the group leader who played that big xylophone I associate with Lionel Hampton. Each added their special talents to the exotic sound.
It seemed right that they were under a tent; the music brought to mind belly dancers, Balinese Ramayana players, Indian rhythms. The guitar carried most of the melodic line, supported by the "xylophone" player's clear notes. The latter also used some Balinese instruments in several compositions; a set of brass bowls each topped with a peaked lid, and a set of what I think were bamboo cylinders also used for percussion. The drummers put on quite a show too. The hands of the musician using a "tribal" drum on his lap (drumhead on both ends) were often too fast to see and his one voice solo proved that he could earn a different living as an auctioneer. The other drummer had two tambour drums( tablelike drums?), one standing and one held under his arm. He used his hands and sometimes what appeared to be narrow bundles of twigs to create a soft, insistent rhythm.
Toward the end of the performance, some in the audience expressed themselves with grace, agility and awareness of drum beat by dancing to these exotic sounds; some utilizing the moves they'd learned on FIT TV for the "shimmy". I don't know if anyone has danced to their music at previous concerts, but it was truly wonderful to witness the melding of music and motion by this marvelous group and the exuberant audience.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Jazz on the Red

In spite of record heat, the Buddy Flett trio performed last evening to a huge crowd on the Barnwell Patio. Thusfar, this was the most laid back group in the Jazz series, perhaps because they're local and so familiar with the audience. If each wasn't a great musician, I'd have felt that I was sitting in on a practice session; its obvious that no rehearsal is needed.
Two guitars and a violin played some jazz, a lot of blues, some classics like "Route 66"; told stories to the crowd, asked their opinions. Buddy soloed for a few pieces; he is so very good. It was an easy listening kind of concert, those in the audience with more energy dancing the last few numbers.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New camera

I've been exploring my new Canon T1i, and am so delighted that I can actually change the various settings so easily. I've experimented with ISO settings, picture quality and white balance ones. I worried about my ability to learn how to use the digital camera, so am relieved that Canon made it a no-brainer.
I did have to use the USB cable to transfer photos into my also new netbook; there is a card reader but it didn't read the Class 6 SDHC chip. I've downloaded a new BIOS from Asus and will try again. The netbook doesn't have a CD/DVD player, so when I tried to download my Adobe photo programs via my flashdrive, they gave me an "illegal" pop-up tho' I'd downloaded them to the flash drive using the right code...I've sent Adobe a Help! email. I do have other photo programs that came with the camera that seem to be OK. I do intend to transfer photos from my netbook onto my desktop via that flash drive when we're on our next adventure in France.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Tonight (June 4, 2009) the Barnwell's Jazz on the Red series offered "Space Travelers", a local jazz group. Each Thursday evening, the crowd gets larger, and tonight's large audience was blessed by cool breezes as well as great music. Barnwell mgr.,Freda Powell's selections have been great (OK, not the very first one)
Leader Stan Huffman, on the keyboard, also was the vocalist; a drummer (his son), percussionist (what I know as bongo drums), bass and lead guitars made up the group and each was a super perfomer and musician...yes! there was some dancing, and no one could possibly sit still during their renditions of jazz and calypso numbers. And no one wanted the lively and wonderful session to end...the group can be heard locally at the Tiki.