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16th Anniversary Concert Reflections

A huge thank you to everyone who came to our 16th Anniversary Concert! There was a lot of “love in the house!” Your support over the last 16 years has meant so much to us in every way…inspiring us to write new music, to bring in interesting and creative guest composers and performers, and to share our love of the music with you…makes all of you a part of our “musical family and community”.

I received an email from resident composer Russ Vines the day after the concert, and he gave me permission to share it with all of you. It’s customary for all of us in the band to call and to email each other the next day… talking about our favorite moments of the concert. On this concert, we performed Russ’s composition “Lose Not My Sons”, while poet Kirpal Gordon read from Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.”

Russ Vines Russ has a special status with us, he’s not one of the musicians in the band, but he is in the band as a composer. He has been writing for us since 2004, and bringing in his music from his own “big band books” from his former life as a band leader/arranger/composer in Las Vegas and Reno. His music ranges from straight ahead, to experimental, electronic and down right soulful and funky with a version of Freedom Jazz Dance in 7/4! We are very fortunate to have such a wonder composer contributing to the band. Russ Vines is pictured on the right conducting us on one of our Peace Concerts/Daniel Pearl World Music Days from Oct 2011. Photo credit goes to Chris Drukker.

From Russ Vines…

Ten years ago Howard Johnson told Elzy and me: “You really need to hear this band and meet their leader, Diane Moser. They’re really doing some great stuff.” So we went to hear HoJo @ Tierney’s, and, man, was he right! I started writing for the band with the original Peace Concert in 2004, and have been excited by each new opportunity, and honored by the great reception you’ve given me. The band has been really right on the money recently, and I thought Wed nite was exceptional. I’d put this band up with any band out there today, and the excellent contributions by each composer make this a rare ensemble. Really a great sound and approach!

The only problem: When Tomasso’s playing, I’m not eatin’!

— RDV


colao-cbb14 Just a note, the “Tomasso” that he is referring to is alto saxophonist Tom Colao, playing front n’ center in the photo on the left, shot by Dennis Connors c. 2005. Tom is part of the reason why our 16th anniversary concert was so special, because it was his first time back playing with us since June of 2011..that’s when he and his lovely wife Jackie opened their now wildly successful restaurant “Bivio” in Little Falls, NJ, so that has kept both of them very busy. If you love pizza, you must go there!