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SJFS meet-and-greet pics April 30, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Personal.
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2008 recap

As promised, here are pictures from the meet-and-greet following the Smooth Jazz for Scholars concert Saturday night.

First, Eric Marienthal:

Chieli Minucci:

Ken Navarro:

The man behind SJFS, Jay Rowe:

Joyce Cooling:

Jay Rowe, Joyce Cooling, and Jay Wagner:

Oops, Jay blinked.

But through the magic of Adobe Photoshop:

Does it look authentic?

And finally, back in the Hampton Inn lobby, shortly after midnight, Kim Waters:

Kim, Ken, and Kat Sarracco (who took the above picture) were on their way to the after party at the Stonebridge Restaurant.  I opted not to go and was sound asleep in my room within an hour and a half.

I slept soundly until 10:30 AM Sunday.  From there, I did my push-ups, showered, and packed.  Then, as I checked out, I ran into Kat in the lobby where my mom and her friend Mandy were waiting to drive me back home after driving all the way to the hotel.  I introduced Kat to them and we all had a nice brief conversation.  Then, Mom, Mandy, and I drove back to Long Island.  Meanwhile, Kat drove Ken and Eric to JFK (John F. Kennedy International Airport) for their respective flights.  Ken was flying home; Eric was flying to Moscow to begin a tour with his band comprised of all Russian musicians.

And that concludes our journey through my weekend in Milford.  I hope you enjoyed this look back as much as I enjoyed it in real time.


Feeling better about Cablevision April 30, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Media, TV.

I just had a very positive call with a Cablevision customer service representative.

He explained to me that in New York City and on Long Island, Time Warner and Cablevision are working together.  And gradually, channels that Time Warner has that Cablevision does not have will be added to Cablevision; and vice versa.

He explained Cablevision is going through a year-long digital conversion/migration.  Slowly but surely, channels will be added.  In fact, the next stage of the conversion is next Friday, May 9.  Perhaps beginning that day, many channels will be added, including Fox Business Network (in SD and HD) and Fox News Channel HD, which launches tomorrow on Time Warner.

I haven’t felt this optimistic about Cablevision in a long time.  We’ll see what happens next Friday.

SJFS recap April 29, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Personal.

2008 meet-and-greet

I left for Milford at 12PM Saturday and arrived at the Hampton Inn an hour and a half later.  My room was on the first floor, where many of the musicians performing at Smooth Jazz for Scholars that night.  As I was walking to my room, I heard Eric Marienthal practicing two rooms down from me.

The hotel had two computers in the lobby connected to Wi-Fi internet.  Unfortunately, the connection was shoddy at best and my attempts to blog from there were futile.

Here was the view from my room this year:
View from my room

I had dinner delivered from a nearby pizzeria.  I ordered fried mozzarella (mozzarella sticks) and baked ziti with meatballs.  The order came with a side of garlic bread.  As I waited for the delivery, I listened to Ken Navarro’s brand new album “The Grace of Summer Light,” which Ken gave me my copy of earlier in the lobby.  (The CD is a masterpiece, by the way!)

After 40 minutes of eating the delicious food, I brushed my teeth, packed my equipment, and walked 1.3 miles to the Parsons auditorium.  You saw a picture in my previous posting as I was leaving the Hampton Inn.  Here are more pictures from my walk:

Plains Rd./Boston Post Rd. (U.S. 1)
Plains Rd./Boston Post Rd. (U.S. 1) intersection.

High St./W. Main St.
Plains Rd. becomes W. Main St. after U.S. 1.

Almost there…
Auditorium parking lot

Auditorium wide view

In we go…
Auditorium entrance

My friend, Kat Sarracco (center), working the merchandise table.

To set the stage (so to speak), here’s the empty stage:

Kevin McCabe of JumpstartJazz Productions welcomes the audience and introduces Jay Rowe, the man behind Smooth Jazz for Scholars.

Jay’s ready to go and so is the audience…and so are you, I bet.

The house band featured members of Jay Rowe’s band, the Best Kept Secret: Dave Livolsi on bass…

…Trever Somerville on drums…

…Steve Scales on percussion…

…and of course, Jay on keyboards.

Unlike last year, there was no intermission.
Below, I do not list Jay as a featured musician because he’s featured in every song but two.  It was his concert, after all.
The original artist is listed in parentheses next to the song title.
I sat in the first row, straightaway center.  I had my tripod rested on my seat.  How else could I have gotten such jitterless pictures that you saw above and will see below?

SONG #1: Boat Ride (Jay Rowe)
Originally heard on: “Jay Walking,” 1997
Featured musicians: Bob Nunno (“NU-no”) (“The Feature Teacher”), Rohn (“Ron”) Lawrence

SONG #2: Courageous Cats (Chieli Minucci)
Originally heard on: “Jewels,” 1995
Featured musicians: Chieli Minucci, Eric Marienthal, Bob Nunno

“I wish I could make a musician magically appear on stage.”

Eric Marienthal!

SONG #3: Mystical (Chieli Minucci & Special EFX)
Originally heard on: “Sweet Surrender,” 2007
Featured musicians: Chieli Minucci, Kim Waters

SONG #4: The Ride (Kim Waters)
Originally heard on: “Someone To Love You,” 2002
Featured musicians: Kim Waters, Chieli Minucci

Kim Waters during “The Ride.”

SONG #5: Smooth Sensation (Ken Navarro)
Originally heard on: “Smooth Sensation,” 1997
Featured musician: Ken Navarro

Playing to Jay…

…and Steve Scales.

SONG #6: Try Again (Ken Navarro)
Originally heard on: “The River Flows,” 1990; “Island Life,” 2000
Featured musician: Ken Navarro
In the early minutes, Ken walked through the first few rows of the audience.

Ken playing/walking by my seat…

…and to my right.

SONG #7: Daddy-O (Joyce Cooling)
Originally heard on: “Third Wish,” 2001
Featured musicians: Joyce Cooling, Eric Marienthal

SONG #8: Come And Get It (Joyce Cooling)
Originally heard on: “Revolving Door,” 2006
Featured musician: Joyce Cooling

SONG #9: Blue Water (Eric Marienthal)
Originally heard on: “Just Around The Corner,” 2007
Featured musicians: Eric Marienthal, Bob Nunno, Rohn Lawrence

SONG #10: Open Road (Eric Marienthal)
Originally heard on: “Just Around The Corner,” 2007
Featured musicians: Eric Marienthal, Rohn Lawrence, Bob Nunno


SONG #11: Frankenstein (Edgar Winter Group cover)
Featured musicians: Caitlin Kalafus, Chieli Minucci, Bob Nunno

15-year-old Caitlin Kalafus just gets better and better with each passing year. She was fantastic on drums.

SONG #12: The title of this song was not given, but Joyce pointed out to the audience that she and Jay Wagner had not played it in 10 years.
Musicians: Joyce Cooling and Jay Wagner only

Chieli gives Joyce a stool.

SONG #13: Nature Boy (Special EFX)
Originally heard on: “Confidential,” 1989
Musician: Chieli Minucci only

SONG #14: Daybreak (Special EFX)
Originally heard on: “Global Village,” 1992
Featured musicians: Chieli Minucci, Ken Navarro, Kim Waters, the Foran High School Select Ensemble Chorus (under the direction of Theresa Voss)

Jay introduces the chorus.

The Select Ensemble Chorus in action behind Jay.

SONG #15: In The House (Kim Waters)
Originally heard on: “From The Heart,” 2001
Featured musicians: Kim Waters, Chieli Minucci

SONG #16: What’s Going On (Marvin Gaye cover)
Featured musicians: Lamone Andrews, Rohn Lawrence, Kim Waters
The next two songs featured Lamone Andrews on vocals.

SONG #17: Foolish Heart (Journey cover)
Featured musicians: Lamone Andrews, Rohn Lawrence, Kim Waters

SONG #18, Finale: Compared to What (Eric Marienthal; Les McCann cover)
Originally heard on: “Got You Covered!,” 2005
Featured musicians (initially): Eric Marienthal, Rohn Lawrence

Midway through, Jay called all the musicians back to the stage…

…including Caitlin’s father, Chris Kalafus, on guitar.

Caitlin took over on drums (she’s blocked from view, guided by Chieli)…

…while Trever provided additional percussion.

And that was it.

What a night it was.

Either later today or tomorrow, I will post my pictures with the musicians during the meet-and-greet in the lobby at Parsons and the lobby at Hampton Inn.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the pictures I’ve posted here.  Feel free to leave comments.  I look forward to hearing from you.

This post took five hours to create; two hours last night and three hours today.  It was a labor of love, if that makes sense.

One other thing: here’s Caitlin’s official website.  As you’ll see, she’s much more than just a drummer.

8/30 UPDATE: Until today, Bob Nunno’s last name was spelled with only one “n.”  I have now made the correction.  I apologize for the error.

3/10/19 UPDATE: I upgraded my WordPress plan, which means more storage space, so I’m upgrading to higher resolution pictures.

SJFS recap tomorrow, I promise. April 28, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Personal, TV.
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I will have the full recap of Saturday’s Smooth Jazz for Scholars benefit concert tomorrow.  I promise that.  I’ll have plenty of time to do so.  I won’t be busy setting up a new HDTV in the basement like I was today.

Meanwhile, here’s a picture I shot as I left Hampton Inn to walk to the Parsons auditorium:
Leaving Hampton Inn for SJFS

Off to Milford; WCWP Alumni Day April 26, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Media, Personal, Radio.
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View of I-95 from hotel room
View of I-95 from my hotel room window last year.

I’m leaving Wantagh for Milford, Connecticut, at 11:00 this morning (Eastern Time) and should be there between 12:30 and 1:00.  My check-in at Hampton Inn Milford isn’t until 3:00, but I’ll pass the time somehow.  I’ll probably end up having lunch with my parents, who are graciously driving me to and from Milford, before they drive back home.  My mom is driving by herself to pick me up tomorrow.

I’m hoping I have a good time at Smooth Jazz for Scholars tonight.  I’ll be taking pictures on my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 digital camera, without the flash and on a tripod.  And, of course, there will be some great music.

I’ll post select pictures by tomorrow at the earliest, Wednesday at the latest.

In other news, I attended WCWP Alumni Day on Thursday at Long Island University-C.W. Post Campus (henceforth, C.W. Post).  Barbecue food was served by Aramark with the barbecuing (or as they said in the Old West, barbecuin’) already completed.  So, there was no grill.  Alumni present included myself, Larry Brodsky, John Mullen, Mike Ferrari, Joe Sacco, Christine Curiel, Peter Bellotti, Milan Nevidomsky, Beverly Koondel, current Station Manager Dan Cox, and Professor [Maura] Bernie Bernard.  There were moments where I felt aloof and antisocial, especially with the current students or those about to graduate.  But overall, I had a good time.

Most of the pictures I took were candid shots and pictures of Dan’s two dogs: George, a golden retriever, and Seamus, an American bulldog.  So, I won’t share those, at least not yet.  However, I will share a picture of myself with Lawrence (or, I guess, Larry) Garfinkel, my Public Speaking professor in Fall 2001:

I learned a lot from him in the three months I took that course.  I carry that information with me to this day.

I’ll be away from the computer until I return home tomorrow afternoon.  So, until the next post, so long.

One week ago… April 23, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Media, Personal, TV.

…well, actually, one week and one day ago, I started this blog.  To all that have visited so far, thank you.  Keep checking back in.  There will be more posts to come.

P.S. Still no FBN (Fox Business Network) on Cablevision.  I’m about to call them again.  I know what’ll happen, but I’m doing it anyway.

UPDATE: Female customer service rep, after I requested that FBN be added: “I can submit the request [for FBN].  I’m not sure that’s going to happen [that the channel will ever be added], but…”  And then, I let out a frustrated sigh and hung up.  You know, maybe I should look into DirecTV.  It’ll be an extra $65 to $80 per month to spend, but with all the channels they have, it would be worth it.

11/19/09 UPDATE: FBN has finally come to Cablevision!

Comment. Don’t be shy. April 20, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Uncategorized.
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I haven’t gotten any comments since Wednesday.  Please don’t be afraid to comment to any of my postings.  I look forward to hearing what you have to say.  If you have any suggestions, I’m open to those, too.

Phonetics April 18, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Uncategorized.
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I added some new links and phonetically spelled out any first or last names that look hard to pronounce.  For example, if you position your mouse arrow/hand to be on the link for Steve Briody, you’ll see “BRYdee” pop up in a small, rectangular yellow box.

With my help, you don’t have to be in the know to know how to pronounce names.

I want my FBN…and some other channels, too. April 17, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Media, Personal, TV.
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FBN logo
Fox Business Network logo; Logo is owned by Fox News Network, LLC

It’s been six months since the Fox Business Network launched.  Cable providers like Time Warner Cable, Comcast, and Bright House Networks do carry the channel.  Meanwhile, my provider, Cablevision, does not.  I’m limited to watching the few remaining business programs on the Fox News Channel, the biggest of which is “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” for my business news on TV.  Otherwise, the only way I can see FBN is by going to foxbusiness.com to see video of select segments from FBN programs.

I have called Cablevision customer service a handful of times in the past six months, and each time, I’m told they’re “in negotiations” to carry FBN.  The last time I called, when I asked if they were any closer to carrying it, the customer service representative pulled up the channel listings and told of the channels they do have, as if I don’t know what’s available.

Switching to DirecTV or Verizon FiOS TV is not an option for me; I don’t have the extra money for either.  And although I’m dissatisfied with the channels Cablevision does not have, I’m satisfied with the channels they dohave.  I’m especially satisfied with their high-speed internet provider, Optimum Online.  In essence, you could call this a like-dislike (I won’t go so far as “love-hate”) relationship with Cablevision.  Yet, I despise their ads where an actor stands in front of a white background arrogantly and smugly promoting Cablevision’s wares: iO (Interactive Optimum) Digital Cable Service, Optimum Online, Optimum Voice (Voice over Internet Protocol; VoIP) phone service, free HD channels, and News 12.   He typically does all that while knocking the competition: “Phone Company TV.”  Then, he walks off camera (stage left) to silence, followed by a graphic (i.e. “HD is free with iO”) appearing on screen, dissolving to a logo, and the commercial fading to black.  In one commercial, the actor flaunts a J.D. Power and Associates award.

Perhaps another reason FBN has not been added yet is there has not been enough demand for the channel.  This may be why channels like ESPNU, Boomerang, Travel Channel HD, and The Weather Channel HD have not been added either, while other providers have had them for months, if not years (depending on when they were launched).  By the way, unless the NFL (National Football League) agrees to have NFL Network placed on digital sports tiers, their channel is not being added to any cable provider anytime soon, no matter how hard customers plead.

If you are a Cablevision customer like me, call 1-866-575-8000 and tell a customer service rep you want the Fox Business Network.  You can do the same for any other channel that they don’t have yet but should.  We can do it.  We can get our FBN.

If you’re a customer outside of Cablevision’s market, or a satellite/phone TV customer that has FBN, feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts on this.  I’d especially like to hear from those whose cable provider actually carries FBN.  (And if asked, I will remove the logo.)

UPDATE-4/17, 7:10 PM ET: I just saw an Optimum Voice ad with Barry Bostwick.  He played a character [appropriately] called “The Voice.”  Now, there’s a Cablevision ad I can be proud of…you know, until I get sick of it.

6/26 UPDATE: Contrary to what a guide at ChaCha said (my blog stats showed somebody getting referred to my blog from that site), I am not the guy in the Optimum commercials.  If you read this entire post, you’ll see I air my extreme displeasure with the commercials, but do not admit I am that actor.

7/3 UPDATE: Yesterday, Cablevision announced they will be adding 15 HD channels at the end of this month.  I posted about it here.

7/11 UPDATE: Why do people keep going to this post?  There’s more to my blog than airing my displeasure for an arrogant character in Optimum commercials and identifying Barry Bostwick as “The Voice” for separate commercials.  Feel free to look around.  Click Home, About or Archives to see my other blog posts.  And don’t think I meant Bostwick is arrogant because I didn’t mean that.

10/9 UPDATE: I saw the guy people confused me for in an ad for Lipo-Flavanoid Plus.  Suddenly, he doesn’t seem as arrogant (to me, anyway) as the character he portrays in the Optimum ads.

11/19/09 UPDATE: FBN has finally come to Cablevision!

8/16/12 UPDATE: And now, NFL Network and NFL RedZone are coming to Cablevision.

Smooth Jazz for Scholars April 15, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Personal.
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Next Saturday, April 26, I’ll be attending this year’s Smooth Jazz for Scholars concert in Milford, Connecticut.  The concert hosted by Jay Rowe benefits the Milford Public Schools’ music department.

Courtesy of Jay’s website, which is in the Jazz Links and linked below this picture, here’s more information:


If the image is too small for you, go to jayrowemusic.com to see it full size.