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Instrumental Invasion, 8/12/20 August 13, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Education, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio.
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The August 12, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded on July 17.

The playlist was created on July 15 with annotations later that day and the day after.

I liked sharing the origin of an infamous hip-hop breakbeat sample by playing Bob James‘s cover of “Take Me to the Mardi Gras” by Paul Simon. Coming out of that song, a new liner debuted from Joe Bertie, co-host of WCWP’s The Smooth Jazz Show:

Joe got in touch with me hours before air so he’d know when it would run. He recorded the moment and posted it to Facebook with the caption:

Voiceover liner for “Instrumental Invasion” with Mike Chimeri. Terrific show.

I dedicated Jeff Golub and Brian Auger’s rendition of “The Cat” to Bobby Guthenberg, a.k.a. Bobby G., one of the hosts of The Rock Show, which airs weeknights at 7PM and Sundays at 10PM.

The extra time before “Old School” by Nelson Rangell allowed me to reference LIU Post‘s founding in 1954, and the years in which I was a student.

Extra time was limited in most segments, which meant starting songs underneath liners or fading them under early so I could back-sell.

The disparity between audio channels on “Cantiga Nova Swing” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet was so wide, I had to combine them into mono.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Guest reading at my old elementary school: Year 5 March 5, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Books, Education, Personal, Photography.
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Other guest reading posts: 20152016, 2017, 2018

Monday simultaneously marked my fifth National Read Across America Day at Leo F. Giblyn School in Freeport (where it’s known as Guest Reader Day), and the fifth anniversary of my debut.

I was unable to attend last year as I was in South Florida for my cousin’s wedding, but Meghan Carney allowed me to read to her class a month and a half later.

Unfortunately, Lori Downing, the teacher who first invited me to be a guest reader five years ago, couldn’t make it this year due to a death in the family. She graciously lent me her classroom as my home base for the day. I hung out there between reading sessions.

This year also had a theme: Be Kind, based on Pat Zietlow Miller’s book of the same name. The day began with an assembly for students in the cafetorium (cafeteria/auditorium), hosted by Gina Newcombe. There were separate assemblies for kindergarten through second grade, and for third and fourth graders. I attended the first assembly.

An introductory video featured messages from faculty – including principal Amanda Muldowney and assistant principal Amy Lederer – and slides, the latter of which can be seen here:

Next, Lisa Eisenberg presented a few scenarios based on book excerpts. They were acted out by Larraine Brown, Stephanie Huggard, George DiGiovanni, and Wendy Connelly. Each scenario had an unkind and kind version, prefaced by Mrs. Eisenberg.

After the first assembly, I returned to Mrs. Downing’s room. I hadn’t received the schedule yet, so I didn’t know who I’d be reading to or when. Mrs. Huggard provided the schedule once the second assembly was over.

In the next five hours, I read ten books to six classes (denoted in parentheses), mostly by Dr. Seuss:

Fox in Socks, my last book of the day, was quite a workout. It was an epic, riddled with tongue twisters.

The three non-Dr. Seuss books were:

There was mutual admiration. The students and faculty love me and I love them back. I’m grateful for the opportunity every year to act out the books I read, putting smiles on everyone’s faces. Thank you all.

Until next year, I’ll leave you with a collage of candid photos all the teachers took as I read:

Pat Contri, Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the SNES Library December 2, 2019

Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Basketball, Books, Education, Football, Internet, Media, Radio, Sports, Technology, TV, Video, Video Games.
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I photographed my copy of Guide to the SNES Library shortly after completing it Sunday

Two months and one day after completing Pat Contri‘s Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Librarywhich I reviewed here – my pre-order copy of the special edition of his Guide to the SNES Library arrived on my front porch.

Once again, the guide is as big as an educational textbook. Now that I think of it, this book is educational. There’s much to learn about the Super Nintendo Entertainment System within its 445 pages (plus a few pages listing Kickstarter contributors).

When I tweeted on Sunday that I finished reading, Pat wondered what my muscle gains were, considering the book’s heft. I replied thusly:

I was late in boarding the NES bandwagon, not getting a console until February 1990, over four years after its initial release in the New York Metropolitan Area. The Super NES, released on August 23, 1991, is a different story. Besides commercials, my first exposure to the console came at my friend Jessie’s house. I regularly played Super Mario World and F-Zero on her projection TV as 1991 gave way to ’92. After saving up part of the cost, my parents got a console for me and my sister Lauren in late January. In the months that followed, I spent many hours playing games, especially the aforementioned Super Mario World, Super Mario Kart (an 11th birthday present), and Mario Paint. I discovered all of Super Mario World’s exits and repeatedly watched the end credits. I would get emotional at the scene with the Yoshi eggs hatching. I successfully beat all cups in Super Mario Kart in all cc modes, and I loved the Rainbow Road theme. And as a weather buff, I had fun making radar loops with Mario Paint’s animation feature.

In nearly 28 years, I’ve amassed a collection of 46 Super Nintendo games. Reading this guide inspired me to add to that collection, at least somewhat.

Guide to the SNES Library chronicles all games released in North America and PAL territories in alphanumerical order, from 3 Ninjas Kick Back and The 7th Saga to Zool and Zoop. (Yes, those are their names.)

Pat Contri was not alone in reviewing the games. Returning from Guide to the NES Library are Asheton “Ashi” Phinney (I loved his alliteration, puns, and rhymes), Jim Evans, and Karen Niemla. The new recruits are Daniel Anderson, Daniel Greenberg, Dagan Moriarty, Kyh Yang, Alli Flanagan (who, like Pat, appeared in The Video Game Years), Pete Skerritt, and Mike Vito(12/14 UPDATE: Dagan, Kyh, and Pete also wrote reviews for the third edition of the NES guide.) Visual effects artist Yoshi Vu provided cart and hardware images, and additional cover art. The foreword was written by Jirard Khalil, a.k.a. The Completionist.

As with Guide to the NES Library, most pages in Guide to the SNES Library are devoted to two games. An image from one of the games is blurred in the background with two images from each game appearing above and below the review. The top of the page shows the games’ cartridge designs and lists their genre, release date, developer, publisher, number of players, special features, availability during the SNES’s life (from “very common” to “extremely rare”), and star rating. There are 10 ratings that range from half a star (one small star, “poor”) to 2 1/2 stars (two big stars and one small star, “average”) to 5 stars (five big stars, “classic”). Reviews can take up anywhere from a fifth of the page to a third of it, followed by the reviewers’ “reflections.” Reviewers are identified by their initials (i.e. PC, PS, AP, DG).

Eleven landmark titles with five-star ratings got full page reviews, including EarthBound, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Mario World and its sequel, and Super Metroid. Those reviews take up more space on the page than regular half-page reviews. I only own four of the games out of those eleven, and only two that I listed here. Some five-star games only got half a page, such as Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest, Super Street Fighter II, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time. I have two of those, along with one that I didn’t mention. You’ll have to buy the book to find out which other five-star games were only on half a page and which got the full page treatment.

The tone of game reviews ranged from clinical to critical, but not in your face or obnoxious. I’m just glad the SNES versions of Tetris 2 and Yoshi’s Cookie weren’t treated as harshly. As I mentioned earlier, I currently have 46 SNES games, and I plan on buying some of the easier-to-obtain games in the book with ratings of 4, 4 1/2, or 5 stars to add to the collection. If they cost over $100, forget it. No Pocky & Rocky for me.

There were plenty of sports games released for the Super Nintendo that I read about. At the moment, I only have four: NBA Hangtime (which I also have on the Genesis and Nintendo 64), NBA Jam: Tournament Edition, True Golf Classics: Pebble Beach Golf Links and Super Bases Loaded. While reading about Midway games like NBA Jam, I learned who that the voice of most of those games was Tim Kitzrow. Besides NBA Jam, Tim also voiced the NFL Blitz series, which I enjoyed on the N64. He included video of an appearance on FOX Sports West on his website:

NBA Hangtime, Midway’s successor to NBA Jam, was voiced by longtime Bulls TV play-by-play announcer Neil Funk, who is retiring at the end of this season. Other TV announcers and analysts to lend their voices to sports games on the Super Nintendo are Al Michaels, Jack Buck, Pat Summerall, and of course, John Madden, to name a few.

After 400 pages of North American and PAL releases, there are chapters on special and promo cartridges, test cartridges, select games from the Japanese Super Famicom library, a look at some unreleased games (by Evan Gowan of SNES Central), and the SNES console and its accessories.

Guide to the SNES Library concludes with supplemental articles. Three of the articles were based on the authors’ YouTube videos. James Rolfe‘s “The Console Wars: SNES vs. Sega Genesis” was taken from a two-part video in 2012, which was combined into one part on the Cinemassacre Plays subchannel:

James and Pat Contri’s friendship dates back to their early days on YouTube. They’ve occasionally collaborated on videos. In fact, their latest went up on Saturday night:

Kelsey Lewin‘s supplemental article was on the Life Fitness LifeCycle Exertainment Bike, based on her video from last year:

In addition to her YouTube channel, Kelsey is the co-owner with her husband Cody of Pink Gorilla Games and co-director with Frank Cifaldi of The Video Game History Foundation. For you sports fans, Kelsey’s father is play-by-play announcer Josh Lewin. You may know him from his stints with the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers on TV, and the New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, San Diego Chargers, and UCLA Bruins football and men’s basketball on radio. Those and other credits can be found here.

And speaking of sports, the third article based on a video was Norman Caruso‘s Gaming Historian 2016 episode on Nintendo‘s ownership of the Seattle Mariners, which he posted as Nintendo was selling most of their shares. The episode had periodic quote readings by YouTubers, and Pat read a quote – in a sinister tone – from Fay Vincent, commissioner of Major League Baseball at the time of Nintendo’s purchase. Unfortunately, MLB forced the removal of the video, so I can’t embed it here.

As for the rest of the supplemental articles, Chris Kohler’s entry on the SNES CD-ROM originally appeared on Kotaku last September. Roger Barr, Andre Meadows, and Karen Niemla supplied original articles. It’s worth reading each article, especially the ones based on videos so you can see differences in text.

It took 19 days to read 445 pages of Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the SNES Library. Once again, I kept a journal of how many pages I read per day. Dividing 445 by 19, I averaged about 24 pages a day. I mostly imagined my own voice in my head as I read the reviews, but I occasionally thought of certain public figures narrating them. I had Pat’s voice in mind when I read his reviews.

Guide to the SNES Library was another great read! Thanks to Pat Contri and his fellow reviewers Ashi Phinney, Daniel Anderson, Daniel Greenberg, Kyh Yang, Karen Niemla, Alli Flanagan, Jim Evans, Dagan Moriarty, Pete Skerritt, and Mike Vito.

For those that grew up with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, are collecting for it, or just want to learn about it, this book is a must. There are eight versions available for purchase ranging from $59.99 to $99.99, or $29.99 for just the digital download. I have the $79.99 special edition, but I recommend the physical/digital combo at $99.99. I should have bought that in the first place, but I didn’t mind paying an extra $10 yesterday for the digital download and paying the same price to download the NES guide. Having the books physically and digitally is the ultimate experience.

There will eventually be an Ultimate SNES Game Guide Collecting app for iOS and Android. I will update this post when it’s available.

Ryan and Mike at LIU Post, Teddy and Abe on exhibit October 30, 2019

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Art, Education, History, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology, Travel, TV, Video.
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I concluded my Monday post this way:

With a pair of loose ends successfully tied up, it’s on to the next post, whenever that may come.

It turns out you only had to wait two days for the next post. The focus this time is another trip to LIU Post, including a stroll down memory lane as I recall my undergrad years.

I walked the campus with my friend, Ryan Grabow, who graduated with me in 2004:

I also had a chance encounter with another friend of mine, LIU Post artist-in-residence Dan Christoffel, leading to a tour of his latest art exhibit. More on that later.

For many years after graduating, Ryan Grabow had been living in Fort Myers, Florida, where he directed newscasts for two TV stations owned by Waterman Broadcasting. This year, he decided to look for the same position upstate in Orlando. He now directs the morning newscast at WOFL-TV, FOX 35 Orlando.

My trip back to LIU Post with Ryan, one week removed from Homecoming Weekend, was arranged in a text message conversation we struck up during Instrumental Invasion on Friday, October 18, after I played a song by the Rippingtons. As I wrote in my comprehensive recap:

… [M]y friend Ryan Grabow texted me after I played “Silver Arrows” by the Rippingtons. When he would appear on The Mike Chimeri Show 15 years ago, he’d always say “a ripping good time” whenever I played a Ripps song. Coincidentally, the next song I played was “Dear Friend” by Patrick Bradley, a fitting title.

You can watch the aircheck here:

Ryan told me he was driving up to New York for a week-long vacation and chose Monday the 28th as our day to hang out. He would pick me up at 10AM.

This was our first time at Post together in two years. I brought along my Nikon D5500 camera and the two CDs I made to alternate between for my show. As we listened to the music on the ride to Brookville, we told one another what we’d been up to lately and I provided commentary on what was happening in my show as each song played on the CDs.

Once we arrived on campus, Ryan acknowledged the change in color on the signs, which I had first seen ten days earlier and photographed a day later. Case in point:

He quipped that the speed bumps hadn’t changed. The reference was a running gag that originated with a TV production project: “Speed control: good idea or just plain nuts?”:

Naturally, our first stop after parking was WCWP, where we spoke to receptionist Janine Celauro, my mother Lisa’s bowling teammate, and Dan Cox, Director of Broadcasting.

Ryan’s next task was going to the bursar to update his alumni contact information. So, we walked north to Kumble Hall, passing signs with alumni names on them. One of them was Fred Gaudelli:

Fred is the executive producer of NBC’s Sunday Night Football and was inducted into the WCWP Hall of Fame earlier this year.

Another was Brian Kilmeade:

Brian, a Massapequa native, co-hosts Fox & Friends on Fox News Channel, hosts The Brian Kilmeade Show on Fox News Radio, and has authored a handful of books about American history. His latest is called Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers: The Texas Victory That Changed American History.

Passing Brian’s name reminded Ryan that he helps set up remote guests for Fox & Friends and other national Fox broadcasts for the aforementioned Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, and Fox Sports 1.

I photographed Kumble’s exterior before we walked inside:

Kumble was a place I visited when meeting with my academic advisor each semester. My aunt Robin Rose was an advisor in the 1990s and early 2000s, which is how I ended up at what was then C.W. Post. Her presence was invaluable. It helped that she knew so many faculty, which made things easier for me in my first two years. It turned out the place I had the most success, WCWP, didn’t require her connections.

The bursar’s office directed us to the Alumni & Employer Engagement building, which housed the campus bookstore while Ryan and I were students.

On the way, we stopped in the Crafts Center, home to ceramics:

Professor Frank Olt was among the faculty that was connected with Aunt Robin and she recommended one of his courses to me in my second semester when I switched out of photography. I couldn’t handle film development or manually setting aperture and F-stop. It was overwhelming. I thrived in ceramics, sculpting many works that semester. I would sculpt more works in the spring of 2002, after switching out of an intimidating journalism course, and fall of 2003, the only time the course was my first choice. Via grainy digital camera photos from 2003, here are a few of my works:

I don’t know what happened to those, but here is what I was able to find in my house this morning, starting with the first thing I ever made in 2000:

I called it “Hertz Fieldhouse” because I was inspired by Conseco Fieldhouse, the recently-opened arena in Indianapolis. Since I made an outdoor stadium, I should have just called “Hertz Field.”

Lastly, a piece I photographed on film in April 2000:

I hadn’t visited Frank Olt in years – he wasn’t there when Ryan and I walked the campus in 2017 – so we were both happy to see each other. I told him about the jazz shows I had been to recently: the aforementioned Rippingtons in March, David Benoit in June, and the Bob James Trio last November. I forgot to tell him about seeing John Scofield two weeks after Bob.

Frank and I posed for a picture as he sat at a pottery wheel:

I’m so glad to know Frank, and to have known his colleague Linda Marbach while she was a professor.

This was Linda in April 2000 with graduate student Ji-Hyun:

Frank directed me and Ryan to the back room where Dan Christoffel was situated. I hadn’t seen him since he attended his friend and fellow artist Charlie Fillizola’s exhibit at Wantagh Public Library in 2013; six years and two days before Monday, in fact. Dan told us that he was about to present his latest exhibit in the Steinberg Museum of Art on the lower level of the B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library. Ryan would have to wait before updating his alumni contact info. Luckily, he didn’t mind.

Dan spoke to an audience of LIU Post art majors (at least, I think that’s what they were):

Shortly after Ryan and I came in, Dan had us introduce ourselves.

Here are some of Dan’s works, starting with Now He Belongs to the Ages on the Abraham Lincoln wing of the exhibit:

Unfortunately, I can’t make out the title on the left, but the painting on the right is Thinking Beyond:

Justice, a trompe-l’œil (deceive the eye) painting:

Two paintings of Walt Whitman: Oh captain, my Captain, inspired by Whitman’s poem after Lincoln’s assassination:

Walt Whitman in His Prime:

On to the Theodore Roosevelt wing:

In his deepest hour:

Colonel Roosevelt:

Sagamore Hill:

Nobel Prize:

Rough Rider:

At the Elk Horn Ranch, Dakota Territory:

1901 – A Very Young President:

A Young Assemblyman:

Fighting the Good Fight:

A portrait of Booker T. Washington to mark a milestone occasion: First Black Man to Have Dinner at the White House:

His Love of Reading:

Little Texas:

T.R. – His Wife and Mother Died on the Same Day; He Went out West to Deal with His Deep Grief:

The exhibit concluded with Taking the Bull by the Horns:

A Newsday article on Dan’s artistry:

A picture with Dan before departing:

Thank you, Dan, for inviting us to your exhibit. It was wonderful. I highly recommend the exhibit if you, the reader, will be at LIU Post in the near future.

Ryan and I made our way east to the Alumni & Employer Engagement building:

Leftover from Homecoming:

Ryan was given a notepad to write down his new contact information and that was that.

We took the scenic route back to Hillwood Commons:

Ryan stopped in the Arboretum Walk so I could photograph him with his iPhone for a Facebook post. I also took a photo with my camera:

Ryan has been inside The Doll House, but I never have:

Post Hall:

As an undergrad, the southwest corner of the building was home to the Academic Resource Center. It was my home away from home. I made many friends in the form of fellow students, directors, learning assistants, and annual social work interns. I remain in touch with some of them.

The northeast corner of Hillwood:

Before going up the stairs to the current campus bookstore, which was once home to the museum, we passed a sign that explained the presence of Dan Christoffel’s exhibit:

Once in the bookstore, I planned on buying a sky blue polo shirt that said “Long Island University,” convinced to buy one after seeing Jeff Kroll (right) and Neil Marks (left) sporting them during the Homecoming game:

I was hoping for a shirt that said “LIU,” but when I initially visited the bookstore ahead of my radio show, it seemed only shirts emblazoned with the full name were available. But seeing Jeff and Neil in the shirts convinced me to buy upon my return with Ryan. On this day, I searched the rack where the shirts hung to look for my size: medium. Once I saw the letter M, I blindly reached for the shirt, and was surprised to find the holy grail: an “LIU” shirt!

Meanwhile, Ryan bought a windbreaker that said “Long Island University,” something to wear on cool winter mornings in Orlando. I’m proudly wearing my “LIU” shirt as I write this post, and it will be part of my warm/hot weather rotation.

We made one more stop at WCWP to say goodbye to Dan Cox and Janine Celauro. I had Janine take our picture:

Coincidentally, our friend Bernie Bernard was on the display behind us.

Ryan planned on stopping at Wendy’s on Glen Cove Road in Greenvale, but it was closed for renovations. So, we proceeded to our next stop – Micro Center in Westbury – looking for a place to eat on the way. We settled on Applebee’s in Roosevelt Raceway Center. Inside, besides eating our entrees, we talked about Ryan’s job at FOX 35 Orlando, about former WCWP Director of Operations Joe Manfredi (now at SUNY Old Westbury where he serves as station manager for OWWR), and other things. We walked around Micro Center for 45 minutes, browsing but not buying. Ryan didn’t leave empty-handed, though, buying a few mouse pads.

Ryan was nice enough to take me grocery shopping at the Levittown Stop & Shop, then we hung out at my house for an hour. After talking about a few YouTube channels in the car, he recommended the channel Technology Connections. I chose a couple of videos to watch on the CED (Capacitance Electronic Disc). (A third video on the subject was released yesterday with a fourth still to come.)

After that, we said our goodbyes until his next visit. It was enjoyable 7 1/2 hours.

It’s always great to see you, Ryan. As I said on the air, you’re a dear friend. I hope you don’t mind that I dipped into the archives with the speed bump video.

Loose ends from earlier in 2019 October 28, 2019

Posted by Mike C. in Books, Education, History, Personal, Photography, Travel.
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There were a couple of events in my life this year that I posted about on social media at the time, but neglected to share on this site until now.

The first came back on April 17, on the eve of spring break, at the Leo F. Giblyn School in Freeport. I had been a guest reader at Giblyn on National Read Across America Day for the previous four years, but couldn’t make it this year. I was in South Florida for my cousin David’s wedding. Before I left, teacher Meghan Carney provided an opportunity to make up for my absence. I chose the Wednesday before Easter, April 17, as my day to read to her class. The books I read were Fly Guy Presents Garbage & Recycling by Tedd Arnold, Love the World by Todd Parr, and a pair of Dr. Seuss books: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, and The Lorax. Like last year, I based my delivery for The Lorax on the 1972 CBS special featuring Bob Holt’s voice characterizations.

Mrs. Carney photographed me as I read. For this post, I made a collage of some of her shots:

As I said in April, thank you, Meghan, for the opportunity. I hope to be back at Giblyn on Read Across America Day next March to read to your class and many others.

12 weeks later, on July 10, Lori Downing, another friend from Giblyn, invited me to spend part of the afternoon walking through Old Westbury Gardens. It was our fourth excursion together, having previously gone to Fire Island Lighthouse, to the Louis Armstrong House and Museum, and to Tilles Center for saxophonist Dave Koz’s 20th Anniversary Christmas Tour.

Despite the heat and humidity, I enjoyed seeing the plants, wildlife, art, and architecture. Here are photographs from that afternoon in Old Westbury:

With a pair of loose ends successfully tied up, it’s on to the next post, whenever that may come.

Listen for me on WCWP next weekend October 12, 2019

Posted by Mike C. in Education, Football, Internet, Jazz, Music, Personal, Radio, Sports.
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All times are Eastern.

We’re a week away from Homecoming Weekend on 88.1 FM and WCWP.org. As usual, the annual programming block begins at noon next Friday and ends at midnight on Sunday night.

Once again, I’m the second host of the weekend. Art Beltrone, the first voice heard on WCWP 58 years ago to the day, kicks things off Friday at noon. I’ll be following him at 2PM with Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri. You’ll hear music by Julian Vaughn, Keiko Matsui, Cindy Bradley, David Benoit, Elan Trotman, and many more.

My second Instrumental Invasion show, which I recorded over a few hours at home on September 26, will air Sunday at 2AM. It’s the usual 50-year musical journey, starting in 1969 and working in five-year increments to 2019. Along the journey, you’ll hear artists like Herb Alpert (with and without the Tijuana Brass), David Benoit and Russ Freeman (separately and together), Joyce Cooling, and even Bernie Williams. The show is the second leg of the Jazz Block early Sunday morning, preceded by Strictly Jazz, hosted by Rita Sands, Hank Neimark, and John LiBretto.

All shows can be heard at 88.1 FM, if you’re close enough to the signal, at WCWP.org, or on the WCWP app for iOS and Android.

Between Friday’s live show and Sunday’s pre-recorded show, I’ll be at LIU Post Homecoming on Saturday afternoon and evening. I’ll mostly be inside and out of the Abrams Communications Building, where WCWP is based, but I will stop by Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium to watch the LIU Sharks host the Saint Francis University Red Flash. As I type on the morning of October 11, the Sharks’ inaugural season in the Northeast Conference of NCAA Division I FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) has been rough. They’re 0-4 and could be 0-5 by Homecoming.

Last year, there was no WCWP Hall of Fame announcement during Bernie Bernard’s show after the game, but I believe there will be this year.

I hope you’ll be listening to WCWP during as much of Homecoming Weekend as you can. Jeff Kroll closes out the weekend with his 10PM show on Sunday.

10/15 UPDATE: The Sharks fell to 0-5 on Saturday and that’s their record going into Homecoming.

10/18 UPDATE: Shortly after my previous update, Bernie Bernard informed the WCWP Alumni Association’s Facebook group that she can’t make it this year due to a lung infection. Bobby Guthenberg, a.k.a. Bobby G., will fill in for her.

Wantagh High School Class of 1999 20-Year Reunion July 2, 2019

Posted by Mike C. in Education, Personal, Photography.
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Updated at 3:15 PM with an open letter James Walsh penned for the reunion Facebook group.

Wantagh High School‘s Class of 1999 convened at Mulcahy’s Pub and Concert Hall on Saturday night for our 20-year reunion.

Most of us hadn’t seen each other in person since the 10-year reunion held at Lido Beach Town Park, but we kept in touch on Facebook and Instagram. In the months leading up to the reunion, a Facebook group was created by my classmates Lisa Leone, Katelyn Brucia, Liz Napoli, and Sharon Oliveri. (For the reunion, and for this post, we’ll be going by maiden names.) Invitations went out in March and I was among the first to RSVP.

When classmates in the group began posting photos from our senior year, I decided to dip into my photo scan archives and share my own. I posted pictures from the last day of classes in our sophomore year…:

Mike Gabriele, Scott Hammer, Mike Howley

…junior year:

Steve Fitzpatrick, Chris Maffeo, Mike DiMarco, Brian Schneider

…and senior year:

Mr. Ron Cliszis (social studies; and in this case, study hall), Heather Greene, Paul McNamara, Nick Allocca, Liz Napoli, Ryan Csajko; Corey Prinz and Jason Landman among those in the background

As well as the 1998-99 Spirit Night:

Joe McCaffrey (holding the trophy after we finally won), Keith Mekeel, Sharon Oliveri, Kyle Lennon, Greg Hoffman


Michelle Corbo Harclerode (Ms. Corbo) (social studies), our class advisor

…the senior prom:

Amy Vassallo, Laura Grasso, Katelyn Brucia, Jill Hintze, Lisa Leone


Rich Mekeel and Maureen Geis (Class of 2000)


Mrs. Fran Browne (special education) and Mrs. Julie Magnuson (English)


Mr. Ron Cliszis and Mr. Kevin Ryan (social studies)

…and graduation day, which occurred 20 years and two days before the reunion:

Me receiving my diploma


Heather Greene receiving her diploma


The moment of recognition


Mike Chimeri and Dara Schmidt


Mike Chimeri and Mike Howley

One day before the reunion, Barbara Blum asked if I could check the yearbook for a couple of photos of her. Before doing that, I decided to scan a double-page photo of most of the class standing in the Wantagh High School courtyard. It wasn’t easy syncing the two pages, but here’s what I ended up with:

I posted it to the Facebook group and to my own timeline, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Many of my fellow classmates shared it in their timelines. I decided to post the original scan to my Google Drive and make it shareable. The file is huge: 54.7 MB with a resolution of 8383×5484 pixels.

More pictures from the past can be seen later when discussing Kat Foray.

Reunion day finally came, but the reunion itself wasn’t until 7PM. I woke up over 13 hours before then. I passed the time by exercising, watching videos by YouTube channels I subscribe to, watching sports, and preparing a Blu-ray disc for a home video conversion client.

Finally, at 6:45, I got a ride down to Mulcahy’s, arriving a few minutes later. Lisa, Katelyn, Liz, and Sharon were finishing setting up as I walked in. Unfortunately, we would have to contend with a live band starting at 8:00, which made conversation tough, but we all managed.

I had a wonderful time catching up with my classmates and, if married, meeting their spouses. Among the topics I discussed were my involvement with WCWP, photography and videography for student plays at Leo F. Giblyn School in Freeport, attending the final round of this year’s PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, and my love of instrumental music. I even recommended David Benoit to Nick Allocca. He kept saying David’s name to me to check if he remembered correctly.

I was pleasantly surprised when our class advisor, Michelle Corbo Harclerode (as noted earlier, she was Ms. Corbo to us), dropped by in the third hour. I had no idea she’d be there, and she and I were so happy to see each other. The same could be said for all my classmates. Ms. Corbo – who was also my global studies and homeroom teacher in two of my four years – put her class advisor hat back on and called for a group photo:

It wasn’t everyone, but it was most of us. Ms. Corbo and I are in front, followed by (from left to right) Erin Weiner, T.J. Penzone, Brad Schwartz, Laura Mulle, James Walsh, Helen Liotta, Katelyn Brucia, Kyle Lennon, Laura Grasso, Liz Napoli, Kelly Guarino, Dara Schmidt, Rich Mekeel, and Joe McCaffrey.

This was one photo out of 70. I posted it and the rest on Facebook and ten (the limit) to Instagram, most of which I’ll post here shortly. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive and I made several new Facebook connections out of it. Among them were Kathy Stuart, my 7th grade science teacher at Wantagh Middle School, and Dr. Tom Troisi, my high school assistant principal. Both were complimentary of my photos. Ms. Stuart, in particular, noted that her husband – Sal Mulé, my 8th grade science teacher – “loved seeing all of these familiar faces!!”

Ms. Corbo remarked:

I cried when I saw all of you. I have had the privilege of being at Wantagh for 25 years. When I received this invite, I knew I had to go. You all look wonderful. I’ve been blessed to know all of you. May your journey continue to be amazing. See you at your 30th. … You are all amazing. Thank you for including me. You forever will hold a special place in my heart.

The feeling is mutual.

I’ll conclude this post with most of the rest of the pictures (with married classmates identified by maiden names):

Name badges:

In loving memory of Brendan Kelly, Kat Foray…:

…and Seporah Raizer:

A framed photo print of what ended up in the yearbook:

Raffle items:

Sharon Oliveri, Dara Schmidt, Laura Grasso, Liz Napoli, Dana Smith:

Rob Krumm, Nick Ferraro, Glenn Wieboldt:

Barbara Blum and her husband Matt Carr, Ilyse Leibowitz and her husband Larry Rukin, Cheryl Wynne and her husband Steven Evans, and Erin Weiner:

Erin’s husband Jason Mansfield was there, but I didn’t think to ask him to get in. Photo ops are fast-paced and you can forget to think.

Paul Kregler and Matt Roseland:

Ilene Cohen, Kelly Guarino, Dara Schmidt:

Dara Schmidt and Mike Chimeri:

Keith Mekeel, Mike Chimeri, Kyle Lennon:

Erika Lewis, Helen Liotta, Sharon Oliveri, Cassie McNamee:

Paul McNamara and Mike Chimeri:

James Walsh, Brendan Noonan, Mike Chimeri, Nick Allocca, Tom Oak, Kevin George, Ryan Csajko:

Nick Allocca and Sharon Oliveri:

Tom Oak and Brendan Noonan:

John Prussack and Mike Chimeri:

Barbara Blum, Erin Weiner, Kristine John:

…and me:

Mike Chimeri and T.J. Penzone:

Dana Smith, Katelyn Brucia, Kelly Guarino, Laura Grasso, Ilene Cohen, Liz Napoli:

Joe Pascarella and Steve LaRosa:

Jesse Katcher, Steve LaRosa, Joe Pascarella:

Posing with the photo of Seporah Raizer are Erin Weiner, Barbara Blum, Kristine John, Ilyse Leibowitz, and Cheryl Wynne:

I posed with Kat Foray’s photo:

Kat and I first met in Freeport. We were in Mrs. Immoor’s 4th grade class at Giblyn and Mr. Pompei’s 6th grade class at Caroline G. Atkinson Intermediate School, seen here:

Kat with Joe McCaffrey and Tara Scro on the last day of classes our senior year:

Kat with Trisha Kingsbury and Bret Malone at the senior prom:

Kat, Seporah, and Brendan Kelly are deeply missed by us all.

Katelyn Brucia and Trisha Kingsbury:

Katelyn Brucia, Trisha Kingsbury, Geoff Waugh, Lisa Leone:

Trisha Kingsbury and Mike Chimeri:

Trisha Kingsbury, Rob Krumm, Lisa Leone, Kevin George:

Erin Weiner, Barbara Blum, Geoff Waugh, Katelyn Brucia, Lisa Leone, Trisha Kingsbury:

Rich Mekeel, John Savage, Joe McCaffrey:

Dave Gross and his wife Joanna, Mike Chimeri, Mike Sereno, and Jenna Careri with her husband George Baldwin (left):

Katelyn’s husband Kevin McCabe – no relation to the one I see every April at Smooth Jazz for Scholars – took the picture.

Helayne Hashmall and her wife Jaimee Shalhevet, and Steve Hirsch:

Gina LoBello and her husband Brian Ferguson:

Meg Stone and Brad Schwartz:

Brad Schwartz and Mike Chimeri:

Mike Chimeri and Class of 1999 Advisor Michelle Corbo Harclerode:

Cheryl Wynne, Ilyse Leibowitz, Michelle Corbo Harclerode, Barbara Blum:

James Walsh and Matt Roseland:

Rich Mekeel, Dara Schmidt, Joe McCaffrey, T.J. Penzone:

Laura Mulle, Helen Liotta, Michelle Corbo Harclerode, Alyssa M.:

Ryan Csajko, Nick Allocca, Mike Chimeri, John Savage, Tom Oak:

Steve Hirsch and Meg Stone, in their 11th year of marriage:

It’s raffle time:

Laura Grasso won the first:

Dara Schmidt and Glenn Weiboldt won the other two:

Glenn Weiboldt and Mike Chimeri:

Brad and Stacy Schwartz, Matt and Molly Roseland, and James and Amber Walsh:

Brad Schwartz, Matt Roseland, Mike Chimeri, James Walsh:

Rob Krumm, Kevin George, Paul Kregler, Nick Ferraro:

Jenna Careri, Katelyn Brucia, Meg Stone, Dara Schmidt:

Katelyn’s husband Kevin McCabe, Mike Chimeri, Meg Stone, Jenna Careri:

Mike Chimeri and Jenna Careri:

We’ve known each other since 7th grade Spanish with Mrs. Brown.

Dana Smith and Brendan Noonan:

Ilyse Leibowitz, Barbara Blum, Gina LoBello, Erin Weiner, Kristine John:

Jesse Katcher, Justin and Christy Kaplan:

Jesse Katcher, Justin Kaplan, Mike Chimeri:

Dave Bauer couldn’t make it, but FaceTimed with Steve Hirsch so we could say hello:

Katelyn Brucia, Tom Oak, Brendan Noonan:

Rich and Maureen Geis Mekeel (Class of 2000), Keith and Kelly Guarino Mekeel, Kyle and Ilene Cohen Lennon:

A wave goodbye:

This turned out to be as comprehensive as a concert or LIU Post/WCWP Homecoming Weekend recap. Thank you for reading every word and for viewing every image. Until the 30th reunion, so long.

3:15 PM UPDATE: James Walsh wrote a poignant open letter in the reunion Facebook group, which he granted permission to share here:

An open letter to the class of ’99:

I really was torn (as I know many of you also personally expressed) about whether or not to travel back to see so many people that I haven’t spoken to in nearly 20 years. Was it really worth the investment of time and did I really want to revisit those days, when I was such a different person with different priorities and ambitions (over half of our lives ago and before God crashed into my life and literally changed my heart)? It was fun to hear that so many of you shared that same internal conflict before choosing to just do it and come home!

What I discovered on Saturday night is that this wasn’t just a night to see old friends and the “Class of ’99” but it was an opportunity to see the “Class that helped mold me into the man that I am today.” It was also an opportunity to allow two worlds to collide and to introduce the love of my life (Amber Megan) to those who had the greatest influence over my life in those formative days and years. (By the way, thank you for telling such nice stories to Amber and for making me look better than I deserved.) I didn’t just graduate with you (all 201 of you!), but was literally nurtured and invested in by so many of you! For this, thank you!!!

Thank you for loving me, when I was an insecure and growing boy and teenager. Thank you for laughing at me, when I stapled my fingers together in the 2nd grade (and then telling your students about it 30 years later, Meg! ). Thank you for skipping “religion class” from time to time so that we could play basketball together! Thank you for playing a silly sport made of pigskin for thousands of hours with me. Thank you for being three of the best friends that I ever had in life and for traveling to be in my TN wedding. Most of ALL, thank YOU (all of you) for being such an incredible part of my life story. Honestly, I didn’t realize how important you were to me, until Saturday night and my drive home with Amber Megan the following day.

Please consider me indebted to you for the rest of my life. Please know that I really do LOVE you. Please stop by and spend a night or a week, the next time that you are driving through North Carolina (seriously). Please allow me to be one of your first calls if/when you need a friend/resource (inbox me privately anyone that desires to exchange personal contact information. It would be a great joy to stay in touch!!!). You’re the Class of ’99 and you are MY people!!!

Just wanted to share a handful of the millions of thoughts that have flooded my mind and heart, over the last 72 hours before it was too late and this Facebook group is once again shut down for another 10 years.

My heart overflows with love and affection for you, Class of 1999.

You are loved!!!

James Walsh

Listen for me on WCWP this weekend October 9, 2018

Posted by Mike C. in Education, Football, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, Sports.
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All times are Eastern.

It’s that time of year again: Homecoming Weekend on 88.1 FM and WCWP.org. It starts Friday at noon and runs through Sunday night at midnight.

Unlike the last three years, my show is not the first of the weekend. That honor goes to one WCWP’s founding members, Art Beltrone, who will be hosting 1960s Post Scripts.

Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri follows Art’s show at 2PM. You’ll hear music from Najee, Nick Colionne, Ken Navarro, Bob James Trio, and many others.

My second Instrumental Invasion, which I pre-recorded at home on September 19, airs Sunday at 6AM. It’s the usual decades-long musical journey, a 50-year journey this year, featuring Return to Forever, David Benoit, Dave Koz, the Rippingtons (which David and Dave were once part of), and so much more. One spoiler: I recorded the show thinking it would air at 2AM, so my talk-up for “Up All Night” by Richard Elliot (“a fitting title at this hour”) lost its context.

Both shows can be heard at 88.1 FM, if you’re close enough to the signal, at WCWP.org, or on the WCWP app for iOS devices. (There is an Android app, but it isn’t working, which led Google Play to suspend it from downloading.)

In between Friday’s live show and Sunday’s pre-recorded show, I’ll be at LIU Post Homecoming on Saturday afternoon and evening. As usual, I’ll mostly be at the Abrams Communications Building, where WCWP is located, but I’ll drop by the parking lot of Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium as the Post Pioneers play the Saint Anselm Hawks. The team enters the game with a 5-0 record. It’s their last season in Division II, their last with green as a team color, and may be their last as the Pioneers. LIU President Dr. Kimberly Cline announced the “One LIU” unification last Wednesday. Starting next year, the Pioneers (or whatever they’ll be known as) will play in Division I FCS (Football Championship Subdivision). Ironically, I wearing my LIU Post polo shirt the day of the announcement.

Following the game, during the second hour of Bernie Bernard’s show, the 2019 inductees to the WCWP Hall of Fame will be announced.

I hope you’ll be listening to WCWP during as much of Homecoming Weekend as you can. Jeff Kroll closes out the weekend with his 10PM show on Sunday.

Guest reading at my old elementary school a fourth time March 5, 2018

Posted by Mike C. in Books, DVD, Education, Personal, Photography, TV, Video, Weather.
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Other guest reading posts: 20152016, 2017, 2020

Friday was March 2, Dr. Seuss‘s birthday, which meant it was time to read his books at Leo F. Giblyn School in Freeport. It was my fourth year as a guest reader. I finally learned what this day is commonly known as: National Read Across America Day.

I read to seven classrooms and two remedial reading classes. For the latter, which were taught by my friend Lori Downing, I read Green Eggs and Ham. As the other seven classes, I read The LoraxIf I Ran the ZooHop on PopDr. Seuss’s Sleep BookMr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?, and Gerald McBoing Boing, the book that started my guest reading journey.

What separates me from other readers is I incorporate voice acting into my reading. I even take cartoon character requests. My throat grew scratchy after doing certain voices, but it was worth it to entertain the kids.

Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book has a newscast tone, so I read it like a news anchor. For The Lorax and the end of Green Eggs and Ham, I based my delivery on the acting in the 1970s CBS specials. Green Eggs and Ham was part of Dr. Seuss on the Loose in 1973 while The Lorax was a full half hour the year before. I first saw them on VHS in the late ’80s and then again on DVD about a decade ago.

As I read, I had the teachers take candid pictures. I combined those, and one Lori took of me, into a collage:

While I was inside Giblyn, a nor’easter was raging outside. A mix of rain and snow fell as coastal flooding affected streets around the school, at least in the morning at high tide. I didn’t grasp how bad the storm was until riding home and then arriving home. A few small tree limbs were in the driveway while a bigger one fell in my neighbor’s backyard. Power went out twice around 3PM, based on my mother’s DVR recording of General Hospital and the time flashing on the stove clock.

I may not be able to guest read next year. My South Florida-based cousin is getting married on March 2. If that’s the case, I had a nice four-year run with so many great memories.

Dave Koz 20th Anniversary Christmas Tour at Tilles Center December 4, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Comedy, Education, Football, Internet, Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Travel, TV.
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Saturday night, my friend Lori Downing and I saw the Dave Koz 20th Anniversary Christmas Tour at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of my college alma mater, LIU Post. Saxophonist Dave Koz’s friends are guitarist Peter White, horn player Rick Braun, pianist David Benoit, and singer Selina Albright, daughter of saxophonist Gerald Albright. (She plays the sax, too.) The rest of the band was made up of music director Randy Jacobs on guitar, Brian Simpson on keyboards, Nathaniel Kearney Jr. on bass, and Jay Williams on drums.

There are 149 pictures waiting below, but first, the backstory.

This was my first time at Tilles for something not involving WCWP since July 2009 when I saw John Tesh perform. It was also my first concert since Smooth Jazz for Scholars in May. Rick Braun was there for the first night.

I have been meaning to see Dave in concert for almost 11 years. My dad bought tickets to Dave’s Valentine’s Day show at Best Buy Theater in Manhattan in 2007, but an ice storm kept us from going. Four Februarys later, I had another opportunity to see Dave at the same theater with my friend, and loyal Dave Koz fan, Kelly Dacey. Unfortunately, plans came up for her and I missed out again.

For four years in a row, I saw Peter White Christmas – a spin-off of Dave’s Christmas tour featuring Peter and Rick Braun, along with saxophonist Mindi Abair – at the defunct IMAC (Inter-Media Art Center) in Huntington. (Here’s my recap of my fourth year.)

This year, to use a cliche, Dave got the band back together to mark the 20th anniversary of his tour. The inaugural tour coincided with his first Christmas album, December Makes Me Feel This Way. With Peter, Rick, and David Benoit, whom I hadn’t seen perform since five days before Hurricane Sandy, on board, I felt compelled to finally see Dave in concert. When I noticed in early September that the tour was coming to the Tilles Center on December 2, I immediately bought two tickets, inviting my friend Lori Downing to come with me. I picked those tickets up at Tilles’s Will Call booth on October 13, following my WCWP Homecoming Weekend show.

I was anxious in the days leading up to Dave’s show, worried that something would go wrong. Thankfully, nothing did.

Until Lori picked me up around 6:30 PM, it was a typical Saturday for me. I exercised, ran on the treadmill, went grocery shopping with my friend Rob Leeds, and watched NCAA Division I FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) conference championship games.

I guided Lori from my house to LIU Post, going the route I’ve known for 18 years of my life: the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway (NY 135) north, the Long Island Expressway (I-495) west, NY 106/107 north, breaking off into 107 north, Northern Boulevard (NY 25A) west, and the west entrance to LIU Post. I usually went in the east entrance to be let off at Post Hall (where the Academic Resource Center was) or WCWP, but I directed her to the other one since we were going to Tilles.

We arrived just after 7PM, but had to wait half an hour for the concert hall doors to open.

Our tickets were for row JJ, which I affectionately called the Uecker seats, a reference to an infamous Miller Lite commercial from 1984, starring Hall of Fame baseball player and broadcaster Bob Uecker, a spokesman for Miller beer at the time:

Our seats weren’t that high. The view of the stage was great (and less filling). It still helped to have my 55-300 mm lens for the pictures I was about to take.

The show began at 8:08 when David Benoit, offstage, announced: “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your host for the evening, Dave Koz!”

“New York, make some noise!

Before you see the rest of the pictures, I present the set list:
1. Opening Medley: Winter Wonderland/Happy Holiday/The Most Wonderful Time of the Year/Angels We Have Heard On High/Sleigh Ride
Dave Koz – lead vocals on “Happy Holiday”
Dave’s saxophone: tenor

2. Let It Snow
Dave’s saxophone: tenor

3. Little Drummer Boy
Can be heard on: December Makes Me Feel This Way (1997), A Smooth Jazz Christmas (2001)
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

4. I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm
Dave’s saxophone: tenor
Selina Albright – lead vocals
Rick Braun, trombone

5. The Christmas Song
Dave’s saxophone: tenor
Selina Albright – lead vocals

6. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Dave’s saxophone: tenor
Selina Albright – lead vocals
Peter White, Rick Braun – background vocals
Peter White – spoken verse
Randy Jacobs – electric guitar solo

7. White Christmas
Can be heard on: December Makes Me Feel This Way (1997)
Dave Koz only
Dave’s saxophone: alto

8. Together Again (Dave Koz)
Originally heard on: The Dance (1999)
Dave Koz/David Benoit
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

9. Possible (Selina Albright)
Originally heard on: Conversations (2017)
Selina Albright only

10. Everything is Alright (Rick Braun)
Originally heard on: Around the Horn (2017)
Rick Braun/Dave Koz/Peter White
Dave’s saxophone: tenor
Rick Braun – lead vocals
Randy Jacobs, Nathaniel Kearney Jr., Peter White, Dave Koz – background vocals
Randy Jacobs – electric guitar solo
Brian Simpson – piano, dance solo
Jay Williams – drum solo
Rick prompted the audience to sing the “hey, hey, pretty mama” line.

11. Do I Do/Promenade (Peter White)
Originally heard onGroovin’ (2016)/Promenade (1993)
Peter White/Dave Koz/Rick Braun
Dave’s saxophone: alto

12. The Music of Charlie Brown: Christmas is Coming*/Skating**/Christmas Time is Here***/Linus and Lucy**** (David Benoit)
David performs these songs on:
* – Remembering Christmas (1996), 40 Years: A Charlie Brown Christmas (2005), Believe (2015) (part of “Guaraldi Medley”)
** – Remembering Christmas (1996)
*** – Christmastime (1983); Remembering Christmas (1996), Here’s to You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years! (2000)
**** – This Side Up (1985); Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown (1989); Here’s to You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years! (2000)
Dave’s saxophone: soprano on “Christmas Time is Here,” tenor on “Linus and Lucy”
Selina Albright – vocals on “Christmas Time is Here,” vocalese on “Linus and Lucy”

INTERMISSION

13. Hark! The Herald Angels We Have Heard On High (Medley) (Dave Koz & Friends)
Originally heard on20th Anniversary Christmas (2017)
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

14. Silent Night
Can be heard on: 20th Anniversary Christmas (2017)
Selina Albright, end verse vocals
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

15. Feliz Navidad
Can be heard on: 20th Anniversary Christmas (2017)
Selina Albright – lead vocals
Dave Koz, Rick Braun – background vocals
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

16. Joy to the Wonderful World (Medley) (Dave Koz & Friends)
Originally heard on20th Anniversary Christmas (2017)
Dave’s saxophone: alto
In a year where Lori and I went to the Louis Armstrong House and Museum, and 50 years since “What a Wonderful World” was recorded, this song warmed our hearts.

17. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Selina Albright – lead vocals
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

18. The Hanukkah Song/Eight Candles (A Song for Hanukkah) (Dave Koz)
“Eight Candles” originally heard onDecember Makes Me Feel This Way (1997), A Smooth Jazz Christmas (2001)
Dave Koz/Peter White/Rick Braun
Dave Koz – lead vocal on “The Hanukkah Song”
Peter White – accordion on “Eight Candles”
Rick Braun – trombone on “Eight Candles”
Dave’s saxophone on “Eight Candles”: soprano

19. Every Step of the Way/Kei’s Song Redux/Freedom at Midnight (David Benoit)
Originally heard onEvery Step of the Way (1988)/Conversation (2012)/Freedom at Midnight (1987)
Dave’s saxophone on “Freedom at Midnight”: tenor

20. Bueno Funk (Peter White)
Originally heard on: Glow, 2001
Peter White/Dave Koz/Rick Braun
Jay Williams – drum solo
Dave’s saxophone: tenor

21. Grazing in the Grass (Rick Braun)
Originally heard on: Shake It Up (with Boney James) (2000); Sessions, Volume 1 (2006)
Rick Braun/Dave Koz/Peter White
Mid-song vocal medley: Groovin’/Just My Imagination/Shotgun/Soulful Strut (instrumental)
Dave’s saxophone: tenor

22. You Make Me Smile (Dave Koz)
Originally heard on: Lucky Man (1993)
Nathaniel Kearney Jr. – bass solo
Rick Braun – trombone
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

23 (Encore). Celebrate Me Home
Part of “The Home Medley” on 20th Anniversary Christmas (2017)
Dave Koz, Selina Albright – lead vocals
Rick Braun, Peter White – background vocals
Everyone, even the audience, joined in on vocals at the end
Dave’s saxophone: alto

Now, the rest of the pictures. We start with Dave Koz on tenor sax:

Soprano sax:

And alto sax:

Peter White:

Peter played accordion on “Eight Candles”:

Rick Braun:

I never knew Rick played trombone until Saturday night:

Marching back and forth during the “Eight Candles” refrain:

David Benoit:

The “Linus and Lucy” solo, complete with Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree:

Selina Albright:

Randy Jacobs:

Brian Simpson:

Nathaniel Kearney Jr.:

Jay Williams’ “Bueno Funk” solo:

On to wide shots, starting with the opening medley:

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town”:

“Together Again”:

“Everything is Alright”:

…which featured a dance solo by Brian Simpson, accompanied by drummer Jay Williams:

“Promenade”:

“Linus and Lucy”:

“Hark! The Herald Angels We Have Heard On High (Medley)”:

“Silent Night”:

“Feliz Navidad”:

“Joy to the Wonderful World (Medley)”:

“Eight Candles”:

“Freedom at Midnight”:

“Bueno Funk” began in the audience:

The James Bond routine:

After Selina put the sunglasses on, Peter played a wolf whistle riff, which made me chuckle.

“Grazing in the Grass”:

“You Make Me Smile”:

Finally, the encore: “Celebrate Me Home”:

Dave had everyone pose for a picture – albeit, a small one – posted to Facebook and Instagram:

Here’s how it looked:

“… God bless you, Happy Holidays, good night!”:

About an hour after the band left the stage, there was a meet and greet in the Tilles Center’s Herbert and Dolores Goldsmith Atrium, which has hosted the annual WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony since the first class was inducted in 2012. Coincidentally, I was wearing the same shirt that I wore at this year’s ceremony. Rick was the first musician Lori and I met and greeted while we were in line for Dave, Peter, and Selina:

Then, at the table, I caught up with Peter, and introduced myself to Selina and Dave. I told Dave that Kelly Dacey said hello. He appreciated that and asked what she’s up to these days. I told him. 15 minutes later, after the autograph portion of the meet-and-greet was over, I posed for a picture:

As we were posing, Dave said it was great to meet him. Through my posed smile, I said “likewise.” Selina got a kick out of that, which led me to quip “I’m a regular Jeff Dunham.”

Then, Lori joined us:

I told Dave about how we’d been to the Louis Armstrong House and Museum earlier this year and how special it was to hear “What a Wonderful World” following the trip.

After that, Lori and I packed our things and left the building, but not the campus. First, I wanted to show Lori around WCWP; or at least, since the door was locked, the exterior of the Abrams Communication Center that’s been home to it since its switch to FM in March 1965. (It began as a carrier current station in October 1961.) She was fascinated.

The clock struck midnight as Lori and I drove back to our homes. It had been a fantastic five hours on the campus of LIU Post and its Tilles Center for the Performing Arts. I had a blast! It was great to meet Dave and Selina for the first time and see Peter and Rick again. I spoke to David on Facebook on Sunday, letting him known how things went for me, complimenting him and the band, and wishing them all luck on the rest of the Dave Koz 20th Anniversary Christmas Tour.

Merry Christmas to all that observe it and Happy Hanukkah to me, Dave, and our Jewish friends and family.

P.S. As I finish this post, I’m at the end of my 302-song iTunes instrumental Christmas music playlist, which I started listening to on November 9. Okay, let’s take it from the top!