Archive for the ‘Jazz’ Category

Dr Michael White

Tunes lyrically toned,
Notes evocatively honed,
Mandeville memories
Hauntingly cloned.
Displaying “the spirit of the best New Orleans clarinetists”, Dr Michael White follows in the footsteps of traditional jazz greats at Mandeville’s legendary Dew Drop Hall.

Gregg Stafford

“He der man!”
Silk shirt, snazzy dresser,
Hot trumpet, deft touch,
Sweet notes, gravelly vocals,
Greg Stafford, “He der man!”
Modern day stalwart of traditional jazz, blues and old time gospel music, New Orleans star Greg Stafford conjures up echoes from the past in a hypnotic performance at Mandeville’s legendary Dew Drop Hall.

Echoes of the Past
An entire year has passed since I met two of New Orleans greatest jazz musicians at legendary Dew Drop Hall, across Lake Pontchartrain in Mandeville.

The occasion was a farewell party for the 2010 Ken Colyer Trust French Quarter Tour Group. Along with Barry Martyn’s band, Michael White and Gregg Stafford entranced the audience of ardent fans with their hypnotic performances.

In the shadow of jazz greats like Kid Ory, Bunk Johnson, Buddy Petit and Louis Armstrong, they conjured up echoes of the past and the very best of the spirit and legacy of New Orleans.

I count it a privilege to have painted their portraits which are to be presented to them during this April’s Southern Sounds Tour. More of my jazz portraits featuring Dew Drop Hall will follow.

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Joshua and Sandra in joyous duet

Neighbors Well Met
Joshua and Sandra in joyous duet,
New friends, neighbors well met,
With shared spiritual guide
Despite the Atlantic divide.

It was one of those rare, magical evenings. On the very last day of our sojourn, my wife and I were invited to visit opera singer Joshua Walker and his wife Sandra Berry Walker in their delightful New Orleans home. But we hadn’t expected Joshua to treat us to a stunning private rendition “Old Man River” followed by an exhilarating duet with Sandra. They are a charming couple and I promised them this portrait. I hope it does them justice, especially as Sandra runs her own distinctive “Neighborhood Gallery – a gallery without walls”. Albeit an ocean apart.

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Esther O'Connor in Concert

Esther Enthrals Her Fans

Hail the new kid on the block,
No chip, but a pure golden rock.
A musical queen and songstress supreme,
Thrillingly fulfilling her dream.

When Esther O’Connor asked me to paint her portrait I was both thrilled and honoured. For a while I hesitated, wanting to be sure I could capture her in enraptured performance. Then, watching and listening to her, discovering her values and following her rise to stardom as both singer and song writer, I could resist no longer. Hence this portrait of Esther on stage enthralling her fans. Her father, Greame Duffin, is the bassist with Wet, Wet, Wet, but Esther, highly acclaimed by the media in her own right, is blazing her own road to fame.

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Lionel Ferbos, Louisiana Legend
Jazz in Bourbon bars and in Jackson Square,
Jazz at the Palm Court, when Lionel is there.
Of Louisiana legends and New Orleans Greats,
Lionel is peerless, on trumpet at ninety-eight!

Lionel Ferbos, New Orleans’ Grand Old Man of Jazz, will celebrate his 99th birthday at The Palm Court Jazz Cafe on Decatur Street on Saturday, 17 July. A proud, dignified man, Lionel still leads his own band, The Louisiana Shakers. He has been playing trumpet for over 70 years and recording music since the early 1960s, despite the fact that when he was a lad, his mother insisted he play banjo as he suffered from asthma. 99 years young indeed! Aged 16, he took trumpet lessons with “Old Man” Professor Chaligny for 25 cents a time. In the early 1930′s he joined John Handy’s band despite remonstrating “I can’t play in your band, I don’t play all that wild jazz”! Now, in 2010 he is “the last man standing” from the era of the greats, and is famed for his weekly gigs at The Palm Court.

On this very special occasion, I am honoured and proud to present my Art&Verse fine art portrait and poem of Lionel which will be on display at The Palm Court on Saturday, 17 July. Be sure to view the portrait on my website.

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Barry Martyn at the 100 Club
Hail to a Legend of Jazz
And showman supreme
Whose flare and pizzaz
Revived the New Orleans Dream.

New Orleans based jazz great Barry Martyn in characteristic form on drums with The Young Bloods at The 100 Club in Oxford Street in February, 2010. Born in London, Barry moved to the USA in the early 1960s since when he has been a key figure in the revival of New Orleans Jazz both as a musician and jazz historian.

“I hail from London,” said Barry. “In fact I was conceived under that grand piano.”

Thank you, Barry, for being so supportive of my jazz portraits and poems.

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What better painting to use as my Art & Verse Blog banner illustration than that of Mike Pointon, my very first jazz portrait and the inspiration for my ensuing collection of Jazz Art & Verse prints. The portrait captures Mike letting rip whilst playing with his Lakefront Loungers at the Ken Colyer Trust 2008 Autumn Jazz Parade in Hemsby, Norfolk. A mainstay on the UK jazz scene and renowned for his repartee, sense of humour and individualistic, raffish style, Mike not only revels in New Orleans Traditional Jazz, he is also a musicologist, author and broadcaster extraordinaire. Click here to view the portrait on my website.

The poem reads:

Mike Pointon on Trombone

Lips tightly pursed,
Cheeks fit to burst,
Eyes in a glaze,
Instrument ablaze,
The trombonist takes it away.

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Breaking News!!!

During his “volcanic” visit to New Orleans In April for The French Quarter Festival, Peter was privileged to meet a host of jazz stars including Lionel Ferbos, Dave Bartholomew, Barry Martin and Leroy Jones. He is currently working on his “New Orleans” series of jazz portraits and poems and his acrylic of 98 year old Lionel Ferbos is his latest work to be added to his Jazz Art Collection.

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Ideal for jazz fans, postcard enthusiasts or stylish greetings cards, we are pleased to announce the release of the Art & Verse ‘Good Time Jazz’ Souvenir postcard collection. To choose your cards and place your order online visit the Jazz Cards page.

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