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Feb 19, 2018

"The Fantastic Margaux Ensemble"

"The Fantastic Margaux Ensemble"
pen on paper
I thinks it safe to say educator Marguax Hayes composed a powerful strong, soulful, and spiritual African connection in her music that took us for a long beautiful ride as we listen to the Hartford library jazz series, just the thing needed for Black History Month. It was a pleasures listening to the rightness and shear genius of her music.
Vocalist/Performance Artist/Educator: Margaux Hayes
Pianist: Jonathan Chatfield 
composer/multi-reed instrumentalist: Richard McGhee III
Drummer: Jocelyn Pleasant on percussion
viola and bass: Colin Benn
#TheKamanFoundation #thehartfordjazzsociety #thehartfordpubliclibrary #jazz #music #peoplecentric #afrocentric #americana

Jan 22, 2018

The Matisse Project

The Matisse Project

     Today’s episode at the Hartford Library’s Sunday Jazz series featured a duet that played with vigor and purpose. There was  the insightful masterful pianist Christopher Bakriges and the soulful gifted Gwen Laster on violin.
     The lazy hazy winter Sunday entertainment also featured musical arrangements that paid homage to the legendary French painter Henry Matisse and a speaker who added even more focus on the theme by reciting some of Matisse’s inspiring life.  The speaker, an actual reverend, was a gentle but opposing man large in stature dark skin and with gray dreadlocks who spoke with a committed baritone voice that anchored the legendary artist story.
     The duet and speaker entertained in the library’s auditorium that had a built in projector that showed images of Matisse’s work on a large screen behind the performers as they performed.
      Some of Matisse’s more astonishing life events and ground breaking artistic theorems were noted like his way of seeing color as form, his life time commitment to art even in old age along with his traumatic family events in war torn France. 

 Two sketches of the duet and the reverend in pen and ink

Dec 19, 2017

...and music continues

Monday Night  before the big holiday music break, that is,  it is December 18th and the following Mondays until the first open Monday of the new years things will pretty much closed around town. In anticipation of the hiatus few of the regulars I sit with arrived early. I myself drove around for a while trying to find an ATM to pay a cover charge in anticipation of the one day out of month they charged a very modest fee to the the performers. I couldn't find one so I just took my chances and showed up and luckily there was none.
 It was a packed house with almost all tables occupied. Had small talk with my friends.  The talent was International known with roots in Hartford.
It was Jovan Alexandre the Saxophonist trio with Matt Dwonszyk on bass and J.K. Kim on drums from South Korea. They honored the holiday atmosphere by playing fantastic masterful done innovative songs along with a few jazzed up charlie brown songs. The band definitely earned its keep and played to the crowd.
Below a pen and ink sketch of the trio with it's tall band Leader Jovan cutting a confident pose outlined by a thick red curtain that covered the windows while they played.

Nov 28, 2017

Monday Night Jazz

Monday Night Jazz
On a quiet Monday night between Thanksgiving and Christmas saw another great jazz set at “Black Eyes” restaurant. As I sat at a table with another regular and friend I listen to music that had smooth and catchy beats. The sketch below is from Monday night yesterday.
Pen on paper approx 8” x 11”
From left to right
Scott Sasanecki on guitar
Jocelyn Pleasant on drums
Steve "King" Porter on Bass
Warren Byrd on piano

Nov 2, 2017

A Student's Dive

A Student's Dive

 Soft echoing voices in a place with soft pleasant lights done up to look smart and eloquent, place of comfort and a place known to hipsters away from the stuffy. Hear I came to the University of Hartford's Starbucks coffee shop (a school which now I am an alum) conveniently built into the library. 
I went to the library to complete an art assignment for a friend that we booth had procrastinated on for a while. It was designing labels for his candy campaign a simple brain child idea that had the potential to create ownership away from his corporate world.
Given my now mid age I looked upon the student with a new kind of older perspective.  That is that they are the continuation of a cycle of hopefuls. Hopefuls to become leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, doctors, husband, wives and innocent of failures trials and tribulations of the professional working world... almost cute. Their ordering of the drinks and snacks reflected just that, their voices were soft and almost innocent, how we all acted when first left home, as a crowd of students that gathered to pick up their orders after efficient machine like execution of the Starbucks staff.

Below is a quick sketch done in ink on paper while waiting for my hot chocolate.

Oct 22, 2016

The 9th Wonder

Faces walking on bodies that seem bloated and over fed (not like I was the poster boy for the breakfast of champions), “my god is this what society has come to?, ”white brown and black faces tall short and lean faces talking and walking in long hospital white corridors stacked on levels one above another anxious signs begging for attention children darting and playing in my path “oops” just missed that one, look away to seem nonchalant to hide that fact what wanted to do to the rude kid (that was the second one) in a grand inviting space made for the ordinary to feel as if they were some where grand and special, and I think we did.
Where was I? I was in Connecticuts Fox woods Casino Mall. Yes the Casino had found another way to lure its pray, I mean the ordinary, to its works, so that along with shopping some could gamble or the young could be imprinted with the thought “lets go to that mall I remember” definitely good for future business.
     I and the family went there to celebrate a birthday and eat out. I never liked buffets so, just walked around and played a few games. Well gambling didn’t go well so I continued my walk and viewed gracious forest scenes from out windows as I walked toward the casino mall. I finally sat down on strategically arranged benches that formed a semicircle around what seemed to be an information booth all placed in the center of a grand glass atrium.
      Below is a quick sketch of the mall atrium with ornaments hanging and women receiving some information in the lower portion of the sketch.

Jul 12, 2016

Making artist drawing charcoal

Making artist drawing charcoal

"A great idea I discovered on  the web"
Video of charring twigs to  make drawing sticks.. I charred willow and grape vine sticks. My second year of charring. The results were very good.

Monday I went to a park and charred some dry willow and grape vine twigs  I took and cut to length from around trees to make drawing charcoal. This is the second year I tried it with some interesting results.
The the first two images are drawings done with the home made charcoal, the third is the charcoal after cooked, The video of charring the twigs in next post.