March, 2007

Ran Blake Newsletter
News From Ran Blake HQ

March 2007

At Piano


Welcome to the March issue of Ran’s monthly newsletter.

Northampton Noir Recap

a wintry performance

bag Despite sometimes challenging weather that included temperatures in the teens and the residue of a recent ice storm, Ran’s “Northampton Noir” show at the Northampton (Massachusetts) Center for the Arts on February 16 went well. Ran played two sets to an appreciative and near-capacity crowd, closing out an annual series of solo piano concerts.

Ran’s first set paid tribute to Claude Chabrol, Chris Connor, Mahalia Jackson, and Dmitri Shostakovich. The second set included two originals (Memphis and Cry Wolf), plus interpretations of nine compositions by a range of composers. After a brief break, Ran returned for an encore of Bella Ciao, a folk song associated with the Italian resistance during World War II that appears on Ran’s Blue Potato album. You can download the detailed program notes here.

Ran is grateful to Glenn Siegel, director of the series, for all his hard work making the show a success, as well as to the many friends who traveled from near and far to attend the show and celebrate afterward.

Radio Interview

WMUA

wmuaThe day before the Northampton show, Ran was interviewed on WMUA by DJ Stephen Hart. Ran talks about his early life, film noir, how he composes, teaching, and much more. You can hear it by clicking here.

Upcoming Performance

curiouser and curiouser in Brookline

madhatter Ran’s next performance is Sunday, March 25 as part of the Brookline Library’s 150th Anniversary. The celebration centers on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Ran’s show is at 2:30 p.m. in Hunneman Hall, and it is free. Ran will play with a band including David “Knife” Fabris (guitar), Jonah Kraut (guitar), and Joel Yennior (trombone), with guest appearances by Andrew Beer (violin), Serhan Erkol (saxophone), and Dorothy Clark (introduction). On several songs, the band will perform as clips from Alice-related films are shown.

A prime inspiration for the show is the 1985 film Dream Child, which follows Alice as an 80-year-old woman who is haunted by the characters she was once so amused by. Coral Browne gives a remarkable performance as Alice. The film is available on video but has never been released on DVD.

Further down the road, Ran is slated to appear as part of a panel on jazz and film at Lincoln Center in New York City on Wednesday, May 16.

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We’ll see you in April.
–Steve

Vol. 3, No.3