la giara

I wanted to drop in a quick update here to let everyone know about an event happening this Friday. I do a lot of work with Minas, a husband and wife duo who play Brazilian jazz, bossa nova, and samba. They are wonderful people who make lovely music. Patricia King of Minas has spent the last 5 years writing a book about her family’s history. She has now taken the book and adapted it into an operetta, with tuneful songs that dip into Italian folk music, opera, Choro, and jazz. La Giara premieres this Friday at World Cafe Live.

My part in this production involves live video projections to go along with the music. This is a new role for me, so tackling it’s unique challenges has been a lot of fun, and a great learning experience. The visuals have to be meaningful without being distracting, heightening the story and music without being over the top.

I’m looking forward to being a part of the premiere on Friday, and perhaps will see you there. I even connected Patricia to Joe Soprani, who will be playing accordion that night. Here’s a little promo video that I made to give everyone an idea of what to expect.

still dizzy

It hasn’t even been a month since the premiere event for our film, “Dizzy Fingers: the Life of Joe Soprani,” yet in some ways I’m still recovering. It was a magical night for me. I’ve never sold anything out before, and this show sold out days beforehand. They were turning people away at the door, and I had the house manager getting irritated with me for trying to get just a few extra people in. These are good problems to have.

Joe and the band sounded great. He was just beaming up there, leading the guys through a varied and interesting program that brought the audience with him from the first to the last note.

And people seemed to really enjoy the documentary (check out a nice review here). It was so rewarding to make this film, and certainly Joe deserved the spotlight and for his stories to be shared. It’s been a really incredible journey with him – I never thought that making this film would take me on a year long trip that included a visit to Bon Jovi’s house, an interview on NPR, and hosting a sold out show at one of my favorite venues in Philly.

I’m getting a lot of friends asking, “what next?” Well, we’re sending the film around to the festival circuit now. We’ll see how it does with that, since festival screenings can often lead to some really great connections and other opportunities. I’ll also be pursuing broadcast outlets for the documentary, since it seems like the sort of thing that public television and other stations with arts-centric programming might pick up.

We’ll also be taking Dizzy Fingers “on the road.” This past Sunday, I was invited to speak at the American Accordion Association’s meeting up in North Jersey. I talked about making the documentary, and we screened the film. I’ll be doing more appearances like this, and some will include Joe speaking and playing, and for even bigger venues, we’ll bring the band.

Until then, we’ve cut together a trailer for the film and excerpts from Joe’s performance at World Cafe Live. Check them out below.