August 21, 2008...
Nature or nurture? Is artistic expression imprinted on us by our environment or are we born with it? If there is a music gene, we can be pretty sure that Ray Reach has it. As a small child, he would bang on any piano he could reach -- which led to years of lessons, a couple of degrees in music and, eventually, to his current job as Director of Student Jazz Programs at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. For the better part of five decades, Reach has performed, composed, directed, taught and produced music in Birmingham. I asked him which of these activities meant the most to him.
Jazzman Ray Reach performing the Ellington-Strayhorn classic, Satin Doll.
When singer/songwriter Jennifer Daniels played in Birmingham last January, it was for Small Stages -- a series of acoustic house concerts throughout the Birmingham area. Last April, Daniels "graduated" to Workplay, and next Friday night she returns to Birmingham with another concert at Workplay. She spoke with WBHM's Michael Krall about her music and that first Small Stages gig....
What to know what's going on around town? Activeculture.info is a one-stop source for finding out what's going on in the Birmingham metro area.
The expressive vocals and inventive rhythms of Birmingham songwriter Simone Durand could remind you of Dave Matthews' music. Her emotional intensity may bring to mind Alanis Morrisette or Ani DeFranco. But Durand she says her early songwriting influences were -- musicals. The images and themes in her writing run the gamut, but at the center? Always -- love and spirituality. (AUDIO MONTAGE) The song is Stupid Girl by Simone Durand from her CD More To Miss.
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott and Michael Krall with help this week from Coleman Lipsey and Islara Vazquez. I'm Greg Bass, and we'll see you next week.