Live from MIM – Nachito Herrera – From Classical to Jazz, Cuban Magic!

Ignacio Nachito Herrera and I visited on The DM Zone before his most recent Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) performance. It was a lively discussion ranging from music to politics. And, it includes a private sampling and explanation of his newest project. The unique MIM concert was only Nachito Herrera, the piano … and simply wonderful.

Herrera stunned Cuban audiences at the age of twelve when he performed Rachmaninoff’s Concerto no. 2 with the Havana Symphony Orchestra. Widely considered a child prodigy, at 15, Rubén González (of Buena Vista Social Club and Afro-Cuban All Stars fame) took Herrera under his wing to teach him traditional Cuban styles.

When I asked Nachito Herrera about his Rachmaninoff performance, he explained that in Cuba, the government programs always began musical teaching with the classics. Learning the classics before moving on to other styles was a point we both agreed upon, as my dancing background began with ballet and my singing career with opera.

When asked about the news of Cuba, Herrera enthusiastically agrees with the decision to ‘normalize’ relations with the United States. But mostly, we discussed his latest project. It is a new CD taking the classics say a piece by Bach or Beethoven and moving it through his stylized use of the rhythms and beat of Cuban music.

Watch the video as he played for The DM Zone, a sample of this melding of classics and “Nachito” Cuban Magic!

Later that evening, listening to Nachito Herrera’s performance for the MIM audience, I had to agree with Tom Surrowicz, Star-Tribune (Minneapolis), whom I quoted during the interview. Nachito Herrera is “Explosive. Crowd pleasing. Rhythmically intense. Romantic. Dynamic. Jaw-droppingly good.” See if you don’t agree too!

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Live from MIM – Roberta Gambarini – Jazz Vocalist Extraordinaire!

Jazz has been called America’s greatest original art form, America’s classical music, and the soundtrack of America. In fact, jazz is global music, heard and performed in all corners of the world.

In December 2014 I was fortunate to visit with one of today’s finest interpreters of the American songbook, which includes memorable tunes by the greats such as Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, the Gershwins and others. Roberta Gambarini, a fabulous jazz singer, appeared at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix.

Roberta Gambarini and Dianemarie Collins

Roberta Gambarini and Dianemarie Collins

We visited on The DM Zone before her MIM performance, chatting about how she, a native of Turin, Italy has become a leading jazz vocalist, proclaimed by the late jazz pianist Hank Jones as “The Best since Ella Fitzgerald.”

Before the interview ended, Roberta graced me with an acapella verse of “Sunny Side of the Street.” I was spellbound to stand side-by-side with her and hear that incredible voice as she so casually tossed out perfection. She scatted the ending! Watch the video and you will hear what I mean.

Later, we took our seats in the intimate hall at the MIM. Roberta began the concert walking out on stage, following her trio of incredible musicians: George Cables (piano), Jimmy Cobb (drums), and Ameen Saleem (bass). Standing center, she then sang acapella, “So In Love” from the musical “Kiss Me Kate.” I was mesmerized listening to her wonderfully clear instrument, so flawlessly displayed.

I have to add, that in my book, Roberta Gambarini is not only one of the finest Jazz vocalist, but one of the finest singers. Period.

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KC and the Sunshine Band rocked Scottsdale, Arizona. And I was there!

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KC and the Sunshine Band

Disco and the disco ball, light show, and go-go dancers shaking their booty were totally happening on stage at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale with KC & The Sunshine Band when he visited Arizona in November. One forgets how many hits KC has until you listen to him sing them one after the other. With a 16-piece band, his killer musicians rocked the night with great solos – the drummer, bass player and horn section were particularly talented. The group was completed with two back up ‘chick’ singers who also jiggled with the aforementioned go-go dancers.

After opening with his hit Get Down Tonight, Harry Wayne “KC” Casey stopped to comment on his weight gain that he blamed on quitting smoking. He joked that he was going to change the name of the band to “KFC and the Sunshine Band!” which drew a loud laugh from the audience. But, any added heft certainly didn’t slow KC down. He kept up the tempo all night long from Shake your Booty, to Boogie Shoes.

Album Cover - Feeling You! The 60s

KC’s new CD – Feeling You! The 60s

KC also announced that he’s releasing his new CD of cover tunes from his career beginning with the 60s. The first new CD launches in March 2015 called Feeling You! The 60s. 

What a concert! The show was a high energy and well choreographed, KC got the crowd up on their feet from the very first song … it was a really great Disco-throwback evening. KC showed off his dance moves keeping pace with the two disco girl dancers and two backup singers who also bopped along with KC. By the time the band broke into their final song That’s the Way (I Like It), the crowd, the singers, the dancing girls, and the band was near exhaustion, but not KC.

Do yourself a favor, if you ever get a chance to see KC and the Sunshine Band perform, do!

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November Concert at Talking Stick Resort, Scottsdale, AZ

The amazing photo to the right is from the concert taken by Douglas Collins. The bright spot is the disco ball … of course!

About KC and The Sunshine Band:  KC and The Sunshine Band aim to serve a single purpose: to create instant happiness through music. For over 40 years the group has done just that, topping the charts with seven No. 1 singles and three triple platinum albums, winning three Grammy® Awards, including Album of the Year for the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, an American Music Award, and becoming the first act since The Beatles to score four No. 1 pop singles in one 12-month period in 1976.  In 2001, KC was honored with the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences Governor’s Award, the highest honor given by a chapter of the Academy.  The band’s infectious sound gives life to countless ad campaigns and hundreds of movie soundtracks.  KC and The Sunshine Band has defined disco and forever influenced music with its timeless sound and mission of getting people out of their seats to celebrate, which is still being fulfilled today.

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[Book Review and Giveaway!!!] Sue’s Seduction

Author Saylor Storm had book one, SUE’S SEDUCTION reviewed by Holly Lauren who said she can’t wait to read book two, SUE’S RAPTURE.

A Lick Of Romance

Resized-PFSL4                     Get Sue’s Seduction onAmazon(E-Book), Amazon (Paperback),                                                                           and Barnes & Noble                                                             Add Sue’s Seduction to your Goodreads to-read shelf!

Synopsis:

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Author Video Promotion Works aka 50 Shades of Grapes

Author Saylor Storm wanted to describe her writing style and content. I suggested a video that we could add to her website. The video would be about a minute long, short and concise. But, that’s where my input ended. Saylor came up with a story, to be told visually while she spoke of her writing. Her idea was to entice the viewer to learn more about her and her books.

“I had this idea that I would be casually talking about my books, while the viewer would get an entirely different thought and story from what was being portrayed on the screen.”

Together with HD Broadcast AZ studios and Millennial spokesperson Harry Danilevics, we were able to make Saylor Storm’s vision a reality. And, I think it really works.

 

Today is Day 11 of Saylor’s Virtual Book Tour promoting the launch of book 2 of Sue’s Journey Trilogy: Sue’s Rapture. The tour is focused on book 1, Sue’s Seduction so that the reader would understand the story from the beginning. Both books are currently only 99c during the tour.Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00017]http://jbronderbookreviews.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/dc524-sue27s2brapture.jpg

There is also a raffle that readers can win a copy of both books. Visit Saylor Storm’s website for all the details, and links.!

raffleticket_-_IMAGE

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I Love Lists! Especially When They Work …

I do love lists! I make one each evening for my next day’s tasks. I use them for shopping, for errand and just about everything in between. So, when I found the list in the article Social Media Daily To-Do List: 10 Essential Tasks by Digital Marketing Consultant Saman Kouretchinan, it struck a chord. It really works for me. This post is over a year old, but that doesn’t really matter, the advice is solid.

I LOVE lists!

I LOVE lists!

 

We all know how much time Social Media takes from our daily schedule and if you’re like me you put it off. Saman explains that Social Media is not like a website that can stay static … well duh, but the problem for me seems to be getting the whole thing organized enough that posting to your sites doesn’t take over your entire life.

Enter Saman Kouretchian’s list. Three of the 10 points that I NEVER miss daily are pretty basic:

  • Sign In
  • Post fresh content
  • Reach out to three new contacts

The 10 tips are basic and easy to add to your daily routine. And, they do save time. Read the entire article here.

I have used these “10 Essential Tasks” combined with other my other PR strategies for several my PR clients with great success as well. Recently, I took one new client that had less than 30 Twitter followers, not much FB activity and almost non-existent website visits. Using the Saman’s list for two weeks, and an hour each day from my staff, we boosted Twitter to over 500 followers (real not purchased!). We also increased Facebook followers and likes by triple and website page visits went through the roof.

As I said, I love lists. And this one really, really works! Thanks Saman!

 

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A Virtual Book Tour – Author’s Point-of-View

Virtual Book Tours (VBT) are not a new PR tool for launching a book, but I believe that they are an effect way for authors to reach a lot of new readers in a short period of time. My client, author Saylor Storm is launching her fifth book, but on her first VBT. So I asked her to share her thoughts on the process. This is Day Nine of Saylor’s VBT launching book 2 of the Sue Kent’s series, Sue’s Rapture. Part of the success for a VBT should involve offering a special for the bloggers that participate and for their readers. So the end of this post, you’ll find a GIVEAWAY raffleticket_-_IMAGE

and a special price for book 1, Sue’s Seduction and Sue’s Rapture. The novels follow heroine Sue Kent through a journey where a daily pill takes her from a 50-something to a 20 year old. What happens next, will surprise and definitely entertain. Enjoy!

Author Saylor Storm

Author Saylor Storm

Saylor Storm tells her side of the story:

Here we are in the middle of my first virtual book tour and I just wanted to share with you what my experience has been like so far. If you are anything like I was before the VBT began, then you had absolutely no idea what a virtual book tour involved.

My publicist, Dianemarie (DM) Collins, patiently set up interviews with different bloggers for each day of the tour. Some of the writers were simply reviewing my book, Sue’s Seduction, while others sent me interview questions and several of the authors were interviewed back by me.

In spite of being warned by DM, I was quite surprised to learn how much work was involved in putting this all together. My website was utterly unprepared for this tour which involved a raffle. Scrambling at the last minute, with the help of a very web savvy friend, the site was ready, raffle and all, at the eleventh hour.

Answering the bloggers dozens of questions has been thought provoking to say the least. Questions like, “What would you like your headstone to read?” will really make you think!

Once the quirks are worked out and all the authors are participating on schedule, the process becomes quite enjoyable and not so overwhelming. My lack of computer skills has been a definite hindrance to my speed in this process.

Now that I know what is involved and what to expect, the next blog tour will proceed much more smoothly, quickly and with less stress! (Wishful thinking!)

Be sure to register to win the giveaway for a copy of Sue’s Seduction and Sue’s Rapture.     http://jbronderbookreviews.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/dc524-sue27s2brapture.jpgPageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00017]

You can also purchase both books during the blog tour for only 99c each at Amazon or  Barnes & Noble.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for the next installment of the blog tour at Reader’s Review.

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