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Lee Ritenour at the Blue Note August 20, 2016

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Travel.
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2 comments

Another month, another concert at the Blue Note in Greenwich Village. Friday night, I saw guitarist Lee Ritenour with special guest Dave Grusin.

My recap of the Spyro Gyra show I saw at Blue Note in May caught the attention of Art Jackson of Smooth Jazz Magazine. Art asked to put most of it in the July/August issue and I eagerly agreed. He also asked if there were any shows I’d like to attend as a photographer on behalf of the magazine. I told him I was interested in seeing Lee Ritenour the week he was at Blue Note. Like Earl Klugh last month, I had never seen him – or Dave Grusin, for that matter – live. However, I interviewed him twice for The Mike Chimeri Show on Webradio WCWP (now MyWCWP) a decade ago.

I had in mind Friday night at 8:00. Art came through.

I arrived outside at 5:00. I was second in line this time, behind a jazz concert regular named Celeste. We had a great conversation and time flew by. Before we knew it, it was 6:00 and we went in.

I sat in my usual spot right by the stage, but I wasn’t there for long. I felt cramped and closed in. So, I asked for a different table and the staff was very accommodating. Not many shots below were taken at the table. I mostly walked adjacent to the stage in brief spurts to avoid getting in the audience’s way.

Lee Ritenour was on guitar:
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Dave Grusin was on piano, except on the first song:
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…and briefly on keyboard:
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Otherwise, Giorgi Mikadze played the keyboards:
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Giorgi was a 2014 grand prize winner of Lee’s annual Six String Theory competition.

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Tom Kennedy on acoustic and electric bass:
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…and Lee’s son Wes – named after the late guitarist Wes Montgomery – on drums:
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Wes is two weeks older than my cousin Steve.

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Here was the 8:00 set on Friday night:
1. The Village
Originally heard on: Rhythm Sessions, 2012

2. Waltz for Carmen
Originally heard on: Stolen Moments, 1990; A Twist of Rit, 2015

3. Punta del Soul
Originally heard on: Migration (Dave Grusin), 1989; Rhythm Sessions, 2012

4. Stone Flower (Antonio Carlos Jobim cover)
Originally heard on: A Twist of Jobim, 1997

5. Wes Bound
Originally heard on: Wes Bound, 1993; Alive in L.A., 1997

6. Pearl
Originally heard on: A Twist of Rit, 2015

7. (Dave Grusin song I didn’t recognize; unidentified by Lee)

8. A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That
Originally heard on: First Course, 1976; Rio, 1979; A Twist of Rit, 2015

9 (Finale). Wild Rice
Originally heard on: First Course, 1976; A Twist of Rit, 2015

A few wide shots from my table:
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Lee introduced the band one last time at the end:
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This was the first Blue Note show I’ve been to with a meet-and-greet. I brought a copy of Lee’s 1998 album, This is Love, the first album of his I ever bought. Rit’s House, The Very Best of Lee Ritenour, and Overtime would follow. Then, I gradually filled my collection with every other album in his discography. After A Twist of Rit came out last summer, I completed the collection to date with First Course, Gentle Thoughts, and The Captain’s Journey. The title track from that last album came up in my iPod’s shuffle during my run earlier in the day.

I introduced myself, Lee signed the album, and he told me that his son Wes was on the cover. I never knew that was him. Before leaving the line, we posed for a picture.
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Before gathering my belongings and taking the subway and LIRR back home, I ran into Wes downstairs. I complimented his performance and showed him the CD. Then, we posed with it. The picture took several tries, as the patron I lent the camera to initially shot above the CD, but Wes was patient.
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I wished him luck with the second set, packed up, and headed for home.

Thank you to Lee, Wes, Dave, Giorgi, Tom, and the Blue Note staff for another great night at the legendary venue.

If you’d like to see Lee and the band perform, you have two more nights to do so.

A day at the 2016 PGA Championship July 30, 2016

Posted by Mike C. in Audiobooks, Books, Golf, Health, Media, News, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel, TV, Video, Weather.
2 comments

I spent my Friday with my father Bill at the second round of the PGA Championship, held this year at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey. The championship was held two weeks earlier this year because of the Olympics. This is a photo recap of our day. Regular cameras weren’t allowed, so all pictures were taken on my iPhone 6.

A few months ago, I listened to the Audible version of Love That Boy, a book by National Journal senior political columnist Ron Fournier. (I ended up buying the book and then buying a copy for my dad for Father’s Day.) It’s mainly about his relationship with his son Tyler, before and after he was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at age 12, about five years before I learned I had it. After the diagnosis, Ron began taking Tyler on trips to presidential museums and to meet a few living presidents, whom Ron covered while a reporter. My dad and I have also taken trips since my diagnosis: to golf tournaments, especially major championships. He used to go to golf tournaments with his friends and father, my grandpa Carmen. In particular, he attended the 1986 and 1995 U.S. Open Championships at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, and the 1993 U.S. Open at Baltusrol. Since 2002, when the U.S. Open was first held at the Bethpage Black Course in Bethpage State Park, we have been to six majors and a handful of regular tournaments. The majors we’ve been to, counting the one that’s the subject of this post, are:
2002 U.S. Open, 3rd Round – Bethpage Black Course
2004 U.S. Open, Final Round – Shinnecock Hills Golf Club
2005 PGA Championship, Final Round – Baltusrol Golf Club
2006 U.S. Open, Final Round – Winged Foot Golf Club
2009 U.S. Open, 3rd/Final Round – Bethpage Black Course
2016 PGA Championship, 2nd Round – Baltursol Golf Club

In 2005 and 2009, play was suspended due to thunderstorms (PGA) and darkness (U.S. Open). I watched the rest of those two majors on TV the following day. In 2009, I also went to the course twice before the first round; once with my mother Lisa and once alone. Here’s how that went.

Dad and I didn’t plan on going to this year’s PGA Championship, even though it was in the tri-state area, but earlier this month, my uncle Jim gave us two grounds tickets to the second round. We would be going, after all.

Rain was in the forecast for Thursday night and yesterday, which I thought would mean no trip or a wasted trip. But play was only delayed 45 minutes and the rain subsided shortly before we left Wantagh around 10AM. General parking was about a half hour away from Baltusrol at Oak Ridge Park in Clark, New Jersey. We arrived there a little after noon.

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Shuttles traveled to and from the park and Baltusrol around the clock.

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We got to the grounds just before 1PM.

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The 2019 PGA Championship will be at Bethpage Black:
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We watched Soomin Lee, Joost Luiten, and William McGirt finish their second round starting at 16.

The 16th green:
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The MetLife blimp:
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The 17th green:
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The 18th hole:
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The clubhouse:
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We reached the practice green just in time to see Phil Mickelson leave it and make his way to the 1st tee:
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Phil won the last time we were at Baltusrol in 2005.

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In his second round, he recovered from a triple bogey at the 1st to shot an even par 70, making the cut at +1.

Gregory Bourdy chipping off the green:
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He went on to shoot a 68 after starting at the 10th tee. At -3 for the championship, he was six shots back of Jimmy Walker and Robert Streb (-9) after two rounds.

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Brian Gaffney’s ball adjacent to the 6th fairway:
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Gaffney reached the green and was able to save par, but he shot a 74 (+4) in the first round and 73 (+3) in this second, missing the cut by five shots.

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The 7th fairway:
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The 11th tee and 10th green:
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From there, we watched two groups that started at the 10th:
1) Omar Uresti, Greg Chalmers (who had an autism awareness patch on his bag), Ross Fisher
2) David Muttitt, Smylie Kaufman, Zac Blair

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The view from the grandstand by the 10th tee and 9th green:
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Here, we watched a few groups:
1) J.B. Holmes, Brian Stuard, Hideki Matsuyama
2) Matt Dobyns, Tyrell Hatton, Harris English
3) Ernie Els (whose son is autistic), Rickie Fowler, Zach Johnson

We left the grandstand before Jimmy Walker’s group reached the 9th green.

The 13th green:
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The aforementioned Harris English’s ball adjacent to the 13th fairway:
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He did make the cut and was five shots back (-4).

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Walking through Patron Plaza…:
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A misting fan:
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After 4 1/2 hours, our day came to an end:
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Since it was rush hour, the shuttle ride back to Oak Ridge Park took about 40 minutes. From there, Dad and I drove home, listening to the coverage of the rest of the second round on SiriusXM’s PGA Tour Radio. Heading up the coverage was the voice of the New York Giants, who play a half hour away at MetLife Stadium, Bob Papa. We arrived back at the house at about 8:30.

It was a memorable day at the PGA Championship. Thank you, Uncle Jim, for the tickets.

I will update this post after the final round.

7/31, 7:30 PM UPDATE: The rains came yesterday (Saturday) afternoon and suspended play until this (Sunday) morning. Jimmy Walker briefly trailed in the third round this morning, but regained the lead heading into the final round this afternoon. Moments ago, Walker held off defending PGA Champion Jason Day, and his own nerves, to win the 2016 PGA Championship. He won wire-to-wire, leading or tied for the lead after every round. Day showed class by congratulating Walker on the 18th green.

I’m glad to have been part of the tournament as a second round spectator.

7/31, 8:41 PM UPDATE: Post-championship links:
PGA/CBS Sports: Walker’s winning par putt
PGA/CBS Sports: Wanamaker Trophy presentation and interview
Nick Menta, Golf Channel: Walker bests Day by one to win PGA Championship
Kyle Porter & Robby Kalland, CBS Sports: PGA Championship 2016 leaderboard, highlights: Breaking down a wild ending

8/1 UPDATE: More links:
Matt Stypulkoski, The Star-Ledger: Jimmy Walker continues trend of first-time major winners
Steve Politi, The Star-Ledger: Jimmy Walker’s PGA Championship victory is a win for grinders everywhere
Hank Gola, The Star-Ledger: Is it still Jimmy Walker’s day if he had been paired with Jason Day?
Andy Vasquez, The Record: Walker holds off Day for first major
Tara Sullivan, The Record: Walker’s wire-to-wire act was dynamite (a reference to “dynomite!,” the catchphrase of J.J. Evans on Good Times, portrayed by namesake Jimmie Walker)
Michael Bamberger, Golf Magazine: Jimmy Walker Edges Jason Day, Wins 2016 PGA Championship
Art Stricklin, Golf Magazine: Party Awaits Jimmy Walker at His Home Club in Texas

8/2 UPDATE: Even more links:
PGA: Full Sunday Highlights
PGA: Full Tournament Highlights
PGA: Jimmy Walker’s Full PGA Champion Press Conference
PGA: Top 10 Shots of the 2016 PGA Championship (#9 spoiler: I saw John Senden on the practice green after he completed his second round.)

Dharma 2.0 recap June 25, 2016

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Media, Music, Personal.
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A new era began last night at Suite 1828 in Merrick. Drummer John Favicchia upgraded his band from Dharma All Stars to Dharma 2.0.

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The set now features mainstream covers while retaining Dharma classics, as you’ll notice in the set list.

I was last at the Suite last January for Dharma 1.0. I had planned on returning two months later, but came down with bronchitis and had to stay home. I felt redeemed last night.

I sat in a chair in front of the stage. Behind me, a packed house gathered. We were all in for a wild set.

Dharma 2.0 is led by John Fav on drums:
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Tim Regusis on keyboard:
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Benny Reid on tenor sax:
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…and alto sax:
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Brandon Dove on guitar:
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…and Thomas Velsor on bass:
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SET LIST
1.
Apocalypso (Dave Weckl cover)
2. Spies (Coldplay cover)
3. Coincidence
4. Sing a Song of Song (Kenny Garrett cover)
5. In My Place (Coldplay cover)
6. Kukuc

Here are various shots of each band member, starting with John Favicchia:
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Tim Regusis:
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Benny Reid:
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Brandon Dove:
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Thomas Velsor:
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Wide shots:
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The last note of the set:
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Until the next show, I’ll leave you with a pair of group pictures taken by me…
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…and mutual friend Jeff Krasner:
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SJFS 2016 Night 2 recap May 4, 2016

Posted by Mike C. in Football, Internet, Interviews, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Travel, TV.
13 comments

Other SJFS recaps: 2008, 2008 meet-and-greet, 2009, 2010, 2011, 20122013 Night 1, 2013 Night 2, 2014 Night 1, 2014 Night 2, 2015 Night 1, 2016 Night 1

Day 2 of my weekend in Milford, Connecticut, began at sunrise. I went right to sleep when I returned to the hotel the night before. So, the first thing I did when I woke up was move the pictures I shot from my camera to my laptop. After that, I took the elevator down to the lobby and helped myself to breakfast. The day progressed from there. To pass the time, I watched episodes of Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show while editing Friday’s Smooth Jazz for Scholars pictures. When the latter rounds of the NFL Draft were televised, I had that on with the TV muted as I continued to listen to (when editing) and watch (when not) the Chat Show.

If such a thing existed, I would have teleported from my room to the Tilles Center Atrium for this year’s WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony. Instead, this recap by 2014 inductee Frank D’Elia will have to do. Jeff Kroll, inducted last year, informed me that next year’s ceremony will probably be earlier in the year, eliminating a conflict with Smooth Jazz for Scholars.

Eventually, 5:15 came and it was time for dinner. My girlfriend and I ate at the Olive Garden in nearby Orange. It was the first time I had been to any location other than the one in East Massapequa. Since I ate waffles and muffins at breakfast, I avoided those delicious breadsticks, limiting myself to minestrone, lasagna, and a creme de menthe candy when the check came.

My girlfriend improvised on her alto saxophone again while we waited in the parking lot adjacent to the Parsons Complex Veterans Memorial Auditorium. This time, she even played in front of audience members waiting on the auditorium steps. They loved it.

In the auditorium lobby, I met Jay Rowe‘s mother, Mia DiStasi, as I preordered Jay’s upcoming album, Smooth Ride.

At 8:00, Kevin McCabe welcomed the audience:
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There were plenty of people like me that also attended Friday’s show.

Once again, John Patterson, president and CEO of the Monroe County (Michigan) Convention and Tourism Bureau, promoted the River Raisin Jazz Festival:
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After two songs from West Shore Middle School students Friday night, Saturday night saw two songs by the East Shore Middle School Jazz Band:
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They played “Blues at Frog Bottom” and “Peter Gunn.”

After chairs were removed from the stage, Jay Rowe and his band came out.

Jay played keyboards:
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Steve Scales on percussion:
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Trever Somerville on drums:
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…and Dave Anderson on bass:
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The stars of night 2 were Eric Darius on alto saxophone:
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Chieli Minucci (“key-ELLIE min-OO-chee”) on electric guitar:
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…and acoustic guitar:
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Nelson Rangell on alto sax…:
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…flute…:
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…and piccolo:
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He also whistled a couple of bars:
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Nick Colionne on electric guitar:
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…and with Jay’s band on seven songs, including the finale, just like the night before, Rohn (“Ron”) Lawrence on electric guitar:
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SET LIST
1. East Coast West Coast (Jay Rowe)
Originally heard on: Red Hot and Smooth (2006)
Featured musicians: Jay Rowe (keyboards), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

2. Goin’ All Out (Eric Darius)
Originally heard on: Goin’ All Out (2008)
Featured musicians: Eric Darius (alto sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

3. If I Ain’t Got You (Alicia Keys cover) (Eric Darius)
Originally heard on: Just Getting Started (2006)
Featured musicians: Eric Darius (alto sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)
Eric worked his way through the audience in the middle of the song.

4. Uptown East (Chieli Minucci)
Originally heard on: Slice of Life (Special EFX) (1986)
Featured musician: Chieli Minucci (electric guitar)

5. Dance on the Delta (Chieli Minucci)
Originally heard on: Upcoming Special EFX album
Featured musicians: Chieli Minucci (acoustic guitar), Nelson Rangell (flute, alto sax)

6. From Here (Nelson Rangell)
Originally heard on: Red (2015)
Featured musicians: Nelson Rangell (alto sax, whistling), Chieli Minucci (electric guitar)

7. Tomorrow (A Better You, Better Me) (The Brothers Johnson cover) (Nelson Rangell)
Originally heard on: Nelson Rangell (1990)
Featured musicians: Nelson Rangell (piccolo), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

8. Buckle Up (Nick Colionne)
Originally heard on: The Journey (2016)
Featured musicians: Nick Colionne (electric guitar), Nelson Rangell (alto sax)

9. Rainy Night in Georgia (Brook Benton cover) (Nick Colionne)
Originally heard on: It’s My Turn (1994), Keepin’ It Cool (2006)
Featured musicians: Nick Colionne (vocals, electric guitar), Eric Darius (alto sax)

10. Night on the Town (Eric Darius)
Originally heard on: Night on the Town (2004)
Featured musicians: Eric Darius (alto sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

11. Ballerina (Chieli Minucci)
Originally heard on: Just Like Magic (Special EFX) (1990)
Featured musician: Chieli Minucci (electric guitar)

12. The Road Ahead (Nelson Rangell)
Originally heard on: Destiny (1995)
Featured musicians: Nelson Rangell (alto sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

13 (Finale). James Brown tribute
Featured musicians: Everyone, led by Nick Colionne (vocals)
Nick went into the audience twice for his “Whatta ‘Bout You?” routine.

Now for various shots of each musician, starting with Jay Rowe:
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Eric Darius:
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Chieli Minucci on electric guitar:
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Acoustic guitar:
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Nelson Rangell on alto sax:
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Flute:
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Piccolo:
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Whistling:
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Tambourine break on “Buckle Up”:
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I always love when Nelson joins Steve Scales on percussion.

Nick Colionne:
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Singing “Rainy Night in Georgia”:
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Rohn Lawrence:
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Steve Scales:
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Trever Somerville:
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Dave Anderson:
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Next, two shots, starting with Rohn and Eric:
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Nelson and Chieli:
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Rohn and Nelson:
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Nick and Nelson:
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Nick and Eric:
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Steve and Trever’s duet on “Night on the Town”:
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The James Brown tribute finale begins with Nick channeling the Godfather of Soul:
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The rest of the band was in on the seance:
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“Fellas!”:
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The response was inadequate:
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Take 2: “Fellas!”:
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After a “yeah!” response, Nick imitated James’s incoherence in a questioning tone, eliciting more “yeah!” responses.

Then, he laughed: “Ha-ha-ha!”:
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“Can I count it off?”:
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“1, 2, 3, 4!”:
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And away we went.

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The “Whatta ‘Bout You?” routine:
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Back on stage:
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The cape routine:
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Jay can dance:
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Time to bring it home:
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That was it for night 2.

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What a wild night and a fantastic weekend.

My girlfriend drove me to Bridgeport Station at around noon on Sunday and my journey home began. Until next year, Milford.

SJFS 2016 Night 1 recap May 4, 2016

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Travel.
13 comments

Other SJFS recaps: 2008, 2008 meet-and-greet, 2009, 2010, 2011, 20122013 Night 1, 2013 Night 2, 2014 Night 1, 2014 Night 2, 2015 Night 1, 2016 Night 2

Ten years ago tomorrow, May 5, I met keyboardist Jay Rowe following a Special EFX concert at the since-defunct IMAC (Inter-Media Art Center) in Huntington. A friendship was born. (We posed for a picture that can be seen here.) About seven months later, he invited me to his annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars benefit concert the following April in his hometown of Milford, Connecticut. I agreed to go. Last Friday, I made my tenth annual pilgrimage to Milford for the 14th annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars. This was the fourth year with two shows, and the third in which I went to both shows.

The journey began Friday morning in a cold wind on the platform at the Wantagh LIRR station. I took a westbound train to Penn Station. My next stop was Penn’s Amtrak terminal. I waited an hour, which included a quick nosh at Tim Horton’s, then boarded the Vermonter on track 8E. I was in coach, which resembled the commuter trains I’m used to riding. About 70 minutes later, I exited the train at Bridgeport. My girlfriend was waiting for me.

I met her on Facebook six years ago. She first discovered me four years before that through this website because of an interview I did with Brian Simpson at WCWP. (You can find that interview here.) She noticed me in the audience at the 2009 SJFS, but didn’t approach me. When we connected on Facebook, I assumed she was a fan of my stint as host of Evening Jazz, a WCWP format at the time. We shared a love of music, both for listening and playing. I’m a piano man, she was a sax woman.

We checked in at Hampton Inn in Milford around 2PM. After a few hours of settling in, we went out to dinner and dessert at Friendly’s. From there, we drove to the site of Smooth Jazz for Scholars: the Parsons Complex Veterans Memorial Auditorium. We were early, so we waited in the parking lot for a half hour.

While we waited, my girlfriend improvised on her alto saxophone to backing tracks on her MP3 player.

Shortly after 8:00, show #1 began with an introduction by Kevin McCabe:
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Next to speak was John Patterson, president and CEO of the Monroe County (Michigan) Convention and Tourism Bureau:
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John was promoting another annual jazz event: the River Raisin Jazz Festival.

Then, it was time to showcase Milford music students. First to perform were students from West Shore Middle School, who sang “No Woman, No Cry” by Bob Marley…:
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…and “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran:
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From there, it was on to the Foran High School Jazz Ensemble, who performed Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon”:
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The students then gave way to Jay Rowe and his band.

Jay was on keyboards:
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Steve Scales played percussion:
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Trever Somerville on drums:
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…and Dave Anderson on bass:
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The stars of night 1 were Matt Marshak on electric guitar:
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The aforementioned Brian Simpson, who was briefly on keyboard…:
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…but mostly on keytar:
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Peter White on acoustic guitar:
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Marion Meadows on soprano saxophone:
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…and with Jay’s band on seven songs, including the finale, Rohn (“Ron”) Lawrence on electric guitar:
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SET LIST
1. Red Hot and Smooth (Jay Rowe)
Originally heard on: Red Hot and Smooth (2006)
Featured musicians: Jay Rowe (keyboards), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

2. Cadillac Kid (Matt Marshak)
Originally heard on: Colors of Me (2012)
Featured musician: Matt Marshak (electric guitar)

3. Teddy P (Matt Marshak)
Originally heard on: Urban Folktales (2011)
Featured musician: Matt Marshak (electric guitar)

4. Just What You Need (Brian Simpson)*
Originally heard on: Just What You Need (2013)
Featured musicians: Brian Simpson (keyboard, keytar), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

5. Saturday Cool (Brian Simpson)*
Originally heard on: It’s All Good (2005)
Featured musicians: Brian Simpson (keytar), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

6. Promenade/Could It Be I’m Falling in Love (The Spinners cover) (Peter White)
Originally heard on: Promenade (1993), Reflections (1994)
Featured musicians: Peter White (acoustic guitar), Marion Meadows (soprano sax)

7. In Rainbows (Peter White)
Originally heard on: Smile (2014)
Featured musicians: Peter White (acoustic guitar), Marion Meadows (soprano sax)

8. What Cha Gonna Do? (Brian Simpson)*
Originally heard on: Above the Clouds (2007)
Featured musicians: Brian Simpson (keyboard, keytar), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

9. Lifestyle (Matt Marshak)
Originally heard on: Lifestyle (2014)
Featured musician: Matt Marshak (electric guitar)

10. Bueno Funk (Peter White)
Originally heard on: Glow (2001)
Featured musicians: Peter White (acoustic guitar), Marion Meadows (soprano sax)

11. Treasures (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: In Deep (2002)
Featured musicians: Marion Meadows (soprano sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

12. Humanity (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: Soul Traveler (2015)
Featured musicians: Marion Meadows (soprano sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

13 (Finale). Kiss (Prince cover)
Featured musicians: Everyone

*-Jay was not on stage during this song.

Now for various shots of each musician, starting with Jay Rowe:
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Matt Marshak:
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Brian Simpson:
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Peter White:
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Leading the audience on “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love”:
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The audience followed:
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Marion Meadows:
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Rohn Lawrence:
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Steve Scales:
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Trever Somerville:
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Dave Anderson:
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Next, two shots, starting with Rohn and Brian:
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Rohn and Marion:
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Peter and Marion:
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The finale: “Kiss”:
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The last note:
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Night 1 was complete:
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Before heading back to the hotel, my girlfriend and I caught up with Brian Simpson and I spoke with Peter White.

Click here to see how the second night went.

2015 in review December 30, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Weather.
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The following is an excerpt of an end-of-year post WordPress created for MikeChimeri.com. Scroll down for my editorial.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,400 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

2015 was an on-and-off year for MikeChimeri.com. But when we were on, there was plenty to write about: eight jazz shows, five WCWP events, five winter storms (plus more that I didn’t post pictures from), this website’s 10th anniversary, and a bit more. Check the archives (screen left) to see what I posted by month.

There will be more to write about in 2016. Until then, have a happy, healthy, and gainful new year.

Expanding my Christmas album collection again December 17, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Christmas, Jazz, Media, Music, New Age, Personal.
1 comment so far

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2014 Christmas presents prior to unwrapping

Two years ago, I wrote about my love of Christmas music, which I incorporated into an extensive iTunes playlist. I listed all the albums I had compiled prior to 2013 and the albums I added that year. Last year, I updated the original post:

12/21/14 UPDATE: This year’s additions to my collection were A Smooth Jazz Holiday compiled by Nu Groove; Grover Washington, Jr.’s Breath of Heaven: A Holiday Collection, and A Soulful Christmas from Brian Culbertson. Tracks from those three albums, plus additional tracks from albums I already had, increase the duration of my iTunes playlist to 13 hours and 34 minutes!

This year, three new Christmas albums came out and I didn’t hesitate to pre-order either of them on Amazon.com. A pair of men named Kim released their albums in October. Kim Pensyl’s Early Snowfall was released on October 2 while Kim Waters’ My Gift to You came out two weeks later. Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band released A Big Phat Christmas WRAP THIS! on November 6. I added to the Christmas Music playlist three tracks from My Gift to You, eight from …WRAP THIS!, and nine tracks from Early Snowfall.

But that wasn’t all. About a year ago, my girlfriend gave me several Dave Koz albums, including A Smooth Jazz Christmas (Dave Koz & Friends) and December Makes Me Feel This Way. I didn’t take the time to listen to those albums until March. There were plenty of gems to be found, including a Hanukkah song (“Eight Candles”). Six songs from those albums were added to the playlist.

And just yesterday, I bought the instrumental tracks from David Benoit’s 2 In Love and Believe albums. I added “Guaraldi Medley” from Believe to the playlist.

Those 27 tracks, along with more material from the albums I already had, added another four hours and two minutes to the playlist; 17 hours and 36 minutes overall.

So far, the only person to hear my playlist this year is me. Since Thanksgiving, whenever I’ve gone for a run, or when I want to drown out music I don’t like in a store or restaurant, I listen to the playlist on either my iPod or iPhone. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I’ll share my playlist with family and friends, as I do every year.

Merry Christmas to all.

2015 LIU Post & WCWP Homecoming, 2016 Hall of Fame Announcement October 11, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Football, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Video, Weather.
7 comments

Earlier recaps: 2008, 2009, WCWP 50th Anniversary (2011), 2012, 2013, 2014

Earlier 2015 Homecoming Weekend posts: FM 50th Anniversary Celebration, First few hours of shows on Friday

Later in this recap, I share airchecks from my pre-recorded Homecoming Weekend show that aired early this morning. To see and hear my live show on Friday, click here.

Yesterday was my third day in row on the campus of LIU Post: Homecoming Day.

I arrived about an hour earlier than previous years. When I made my way to Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium, the LIU Post Pioneers and Merrimack College Warriors were in the second quarter of their game.

On the way to Bronko Piersall Field, I shot pictures from the carnival and signs in the parking lot:
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The annual press box shots…
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Jeff Kroll and Neil Marks were back in the lower booth calling the game. Jeff’s wife Pat is to his left (screen right) and Joel Feltman is to Neil’s right (screen left).

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Pat photographed Jeff and Neil before kickoff:
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Unfortunately, the Pioneers did not score while I was by the field:
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They did, however, miss a field goal:
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Disappointed, I walked to WCWP, where I spent the rest of the day.

The Pioneers would trail the Warriors 3-0 at halftime, but score 20 unanswered points in the second half. The Warriors got back within 3 twice and had two chances to regain the lead. They couldn’t, and the Pioneers hung on to win 27-24.

Now for the WCWP portion of the day…
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The Studio 1 clock:
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Maura “Bernie” Bernard’s show followed the football game:
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Pete Bellotti announced the two 2016 inductees to the WCWP Hall of Fame: the late Ann Gaffney…:
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…and Joe Honerkamp:
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Bruce Leonard called in – speaking with Neil Marks, initially – and spoke with Bernie on the air following the announcement:
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Jeff Kroll chimed in on Joe’s induction:
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Jay Mirabile and me:
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Pete Bellotti, me, Jay Mirabile:
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Pete Bellotti, Bernie Bernard, Joe Honerkamp, Dan Cox, Bobby Guthenberg:
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The inductees:
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John Zoni in Studio 2:
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Bernie made way for Mike Riccio and Bobby G.:
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Back in Studio 2, Bill and Debbie Mozer:
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Bernie Bernard and me:
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It was a fun few days of Homecoming festivites for me. It’s always great to catch up with my fellow alumni. The compliments I received for my multimedia work – pictures, video, and audio – have made this year extra special.

Now, here’s video from some of Bernie’s show followed by the start of Mike and Bobby’s show:

There was one part of Bernie’s show that I missed: Ted David called in. Here’s how that sounded:

That’s what I meant by the compliments I received. Thank you very much, Ted.

At 2:00 this morning, the second of my Homecoming Weekend shows aired: a bonus edition of Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri. I recorded the show two weeks ago. Naturally, I have pictures to show for it:
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Here are airchecks from the show:


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And the playlist:
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I’ve been listening to the rest of the WCWP Homecoming Weekend throughout Sunday.

2015 WCWP Homecoming Weekend, first few hours October 10, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Education, Football, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, TV, Video.
2 comments

I was honored to kick off this year’s WCWP Homecoming Weekend with a live edition of Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri yesterday at noon.

I went right to bed after getting home from the 50th anniversary celebration on Thursday night because I had to get up at sunrise yesterday morning. That allowed me time to edit pictures and video that you saw in the above post before getting a ride from my father up to WCWP at around 8:45.

As a result, I arrived 2 1/2 hours early, which gave me plenty of time to set up. I took a few pictures when I entered Studio 1:
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The next six pictures were taken while my show was on the air:
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Joel Feltman took this shot:
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LIU Post/WCWP alumnus Tom Murphy caught some of my show on 88.1 FM. When he heard it was Homecoming Weekend, he decided to drop by the station. He was complimentary of the music I played.

His fellow alum Dan Cox requested a picture, and I was more than happy to oblige:
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Tom wasn’t the only one complimentary of my show. Jeff and Pat Kroll, and the aforementioned Joel Feltman, were equally laudatory.

After my show, it was Jeff Kroll’s turn:
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He’ll be on plenty this weekend.

Jeff’s setup:
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Next on the schedule was Joel Feltman:
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On my way to the bus stop, heading for home, I noticed a familiar name on the LIU Post Alumni Walk: Fred Gaudelli. This sign was posted by Pell Hall:
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There’s also a Ted David sign by the Great Lawn, which I took a picture of two weeks ago:
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I’ll be back later today for Homecoming itself and the announcement of the 2016 WCWP Hall of Fame class. (10/11 UPDATE: Click here for the recap.) I’ll conclude this post, no pun intended, with my show’s playlist:
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…along with video and audio of my airchecks, which includes the beginning of Jeff’s show:


10/9/15 Aircheck

WCWP-FM 50th Anniversary Celebration: October Edition October 9, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Education, Media, Personal, Photography, Video.
2 comments

Previous 50th Anniversary Celebration: March 2015

Homecoming Weekend at LIU Post began Thursday as WCWP’s FM station once again celebrated 50 years on the air. This time, the celebration was on campus in the Great Hall at Winnick House.

As usual, I had my camera at the ready. Here’s what I shot:

Scott and Janet Perschke, Jeff Kroll, Jay Elzweig, Alan Seltzer:
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Dan Cox, Pete Bellotti:
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Janet Perschke, Alan Seltzer, Scott Perschke:
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Jay Elzweig, Bernie Bernard, Melissa Bernard:
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Pat and Jeff Kroll, Joe Honerkamp:
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Bobby Guthenberg joined in for the next shot:
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Me, John Zoni:
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Pete Bellotti, Beverly (née Koondel) and Jeff Bolnick:
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About a half hour in, Jeff Kroll and WCWP Station Manager Dan Cox addressed attendees.

Jeff spoke first:
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Then, it was Dan’s turn:
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After dinner, Dan’s daughter Emily presented him with a birthday cake:
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Pat and Jeff Kroll, Mike Ferrari, Scott Perschke, Bernie Bernard, Bobby Guthenberg, Jay Elzweig:
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Scott Perschke, Alan Seltzer, Bobby Guthenberg:
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Scott and Janet Perschke:
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Naoko and Perry Holst:
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Dan Cox with his wife Nancy, daughter Emily, and Emily’s boyfriend A.J.:
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Here’s to 50 more years of WCWP 88.1 FM!

We leave you with video of Jeff and Dan; a guest appearance by Dr. Kimberly Cline, President of LIU Post; and Dan receiving his birthday cake:

Click here to see sights and sounds from the first few hours of WCWP Homecoming Weekend.

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