By Jane Harrison
What do you think of when you think of Jazz? Dark smoky rooms? The 1920s and ‘30s, where those rooms were populated with women in evening gowns and men in tuxedos? Or, do you think of the songs from The Great American Songbook performed by Tony Bennet and Dean Martin? O,r the music of Miles Davis and Thenonis Monk?
There’s one thing for sure, the perception of the word is as broad as its actual definition.
I went out to see one of the greats in this genre in the small venue in Callicoon, RAFTERS. The great was none other than THURMAN BARKER. Thurman is a Jazz percussionist whose extensive resume includes BETTE MIDLER to ANTHONY BRAXTON. But, you can learn by typing his name into a search. There are pages.
What possessed me? Well, I knew Thurman in the 1970s during my Chicago days. He was the friend of my friend Charlotte, a soprano Jazz singer with a three-octave range…a fact on which he and I disagreed. We spoke a great deal in those days and frankly, I really didn’t know who he was. And, I think that’s why we became friendly. Charlotte married and moved to Minnesota. I moved to the Near North Side and we lost touch.
Seeing the man play live was extraordinary. It was he, JEFF CIAMPA on guitar (extraordinary in his own right) and a young man named CLAYTON THOMPSON on the upright double bass. The evening of music reminded me of a portion of my Manhattan days that I had forgotten, where after a really, really good day, I would relax with a glass of white wine and some sort of instrumental jazz (but not fusion jazz!).
This coming month, being the official start of summer, is packed with live music and other cool things. The following, although COVID nervousness still keeps the venues from listing their scheduled bookings, please know that whenever you visit one of those listed, you will not be disappointed and soon most will be outside. All, except where noted, do not have a cover charge.
CABERNET FRANK’S in Parksville: Live music every Friday, Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. and every Sunday Brunch at 2 p.m. Outside stage, weather permitting.
THE DALE in Mountaindale: Live music every Friday, Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. Outside stage, weather permitting.
THE CREEK in Mountaindale: Live music every Friday, Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. Outside venue only.
RAFTERS in Callicoon: Live music every Friday, Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. and every Sunday Brunch at 2 p.m. Outside stage, weather permitting.
THE WESTERN HOTEL in Callicoon: Season Opening Memorial Day Weekend. Live music Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. Outside stage, weather permitting.
THE TANGO CAFÉ in Hurleyville; First Monday of every month, hosted by CASWYN MOON
DEFILLIP’S BAKERY in Monticello; every Sunday; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
RAFTERS in Callicoon; every Sunday; 2 to 4 p.m.
CABERNET FRANK’S in Parksville; every Wednesday hosted by CASWYN MOON; 7 p.m.
THE HEARTBEAT OF GRAHAMSVILLE; every Wednesday; 7 p.m.
THE DALE in Mountaindale; every Thursday; 7 p.m.
Other cool things in June:
June 4: THE PINE BUSH UFO FESTIVAL; Pine Bush; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Also June 4: THE JOHNNY JULES BAND with JIMMY SWEETWATER at the ARROWHEAD RANCH in Parksville.
June 10: The opening reception for the DR. FREDRICK A. COOK exhibition at the SULLIVAN COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY and MUSEUM; 5 to 7 p.m. Includes a talk and book signing for MADHOUSE AT THE END OF THE EARTH by the author JULIAN SANCTON.
June 18: THE NARROWSBURG UNION, an evening of live music including POISON LOVE (on a revolving stage?!?); 6 to 9 p.m. $5 per car.
Get out and support the venues and musicians who kept us all going over these last hell years. They deserve your support!!
Until next time….