Well now,
I’ve been spending time with Italians. . . .

(Photo : Lucia Para)
. . .talking to a lot of my old Irish / second-generation Irish friends and going to the opticians.

You never see images in opticians of bespectacled people doing anything like knitting or wood engraving or gardening or sailing or posing with an accordion or a sitar, do you?

Someone admired my glasses while I was wandering around at a fantastic harbourside wedding last week (I’d agreed to play and wander while people were mingling, hurtling down waterslides and quaffing champagne from boats serving as ice buckets. . .) and it always happens. People come and talk to you while you are playing and try to have a conversation with you. It’s quite difficult to talk and play at the same time but I try, because when I stop, they say ‘Please don’t stop’ or ‘Oh we don’t wish to disturb you’.

Over the years, I’ve learned the key – as soon as someone approaches, play something simple and smile, nod and I can usually utter the odd ‘yes’ or ‘mmmm’ before the music falls apart (multi tasking woman, not).

Last weekend was fun; one chap, after a lengthy conversation about Cajun music, looked at me (still playing ‘Goodnight Irene’) and said, ‘ How do you talk and play at the same time?’. . .

Tee hee.

Where was I? Italians. Yes – I’m playing with Annamaria Sacchini and her brother Johnny tonight as part of Ryde Arts Festival and we have not only been talking about that (she is a beautiful sitar player and singer too) but about her and her husband’s cooking at Michelangelo’s Restaurant in Ryde. Their food is the cooking that she learned at her parents’ table and is amazing. Anna and Dante reckon that Jamie Oliver ‘gets’ Italian cooking. From these people, that is high praise indeed and their wonderful menus prove that great cooking is not just open to the elite.

The Minghella Family Ice Creams are here on the Isle of Wight – their late son, Anthony directed such amazing films as ‘The English Patient’ and (my favourite – thanks to being given it by the glorious bassoonist Ursula Leveaux), ‘Truly Madly Deeply’.

I (now) play a Fantini accordion (altho I am still in love with the Guerrini accordions) and have been hearing about accordion trips to Castelfidardo where just about all the Italian accordions / melodeons are now made in Italy. Apparently, Romano Viazzani informs me, in 1955, the accordion was the second biggest national export of Italy!!!

Hmmm. More on all that later but meantime, two items of interest. . .
Tonight :


Arrangements & voice by Johnny Sacchini.

St Thomas’ Church, St Thomas Street, Ryde 7pm £3 on the door.

Here’s a couple of clips for a quick preview of what’s in store tonight with Anna and her brother Johnny. . .

and a wonderful article about the forthcoming Paddy and Ann Molloy weekend in Birmingham:

Trad Music in Birmingham Comes Full Circle
Something beautiful has sprung to life in Birmingham these last two summers, and it’shappening again the last weekend in July.
It is first of all music, yet is also traditional and it is Irish” to paraphrase the carefully inclusive words of Pat Molloy,the man who has inspired this happening. It is no secret that it is also fun and a chance to let it all hang out. What I am talking about is Irish Traditional Music (ITM or “Trad” for short) and the Anne and Pat Molloy Summer School is where you can get your first lesson, a refresher course or just a plain old session fix  – whatever you like. All are welcome.
The story for me, like many,starts much earlier – in the 1980s in fact.  It is no exaggeration to say that Birmingham was then THE place for the music. I’m talking THE place, worldwide. The full history of that time is waiting to be written but let me give you some insights. The scene was very different then. I called it the Irish music “underworld”.
To give some context Birmingham was an altogether grimmer place then (Jonathan Coe’s “The Rotter’s Club” captures it well) and the political climate of the time helped drive the music underground. If mentioning anything Irish to the Englishman in the street didn’t bring forth hostility or distrust it would likely elicit a lame joke involving bombs.
That didn’t concern the musicians: this was an artistic underworld where creative anarchy ruled with a flagrant disregard for the licensing laws (with the sessions typically starting at “closing time”). There was also an urge to pack as many people into as small and as smoky space as possible, as if in some perverse Guinness Records attempt. Going home before complete physical exhaustion was forbidden under almost any circumstances (Karen Tweed recalls her bus ticket being eaten when she tried to make a break for it after an entire weekend of playing). If in this underworld Joe Molloy was the captain of the young exuberant “crew”, his father Pat was the benign Don in the corner, playing sweet fiddle and smiling at the craic.
“Meets” seemed to require a code I could never quite crack – I remember phoning Pat at 9:30 one evening hoping for some information and him saying “well I’d say there’d be a session tonight but I wouldn’t like to say where. It’s a bit early for the boys. Can you call back in half an hour?” He might throw in a whistle (also part of the ritual?).
The sessions were one thing, but there was a whole other world which was the teaching. Anne and Pat’s house in Hendon Road, Sparkhill, was the academy, spiritual centre and sometime flop-house where fiddle lessons, words of encouragement, soda-bread and eccentric curries were served in equal measure.
These two complimentary activities of lessons and sessions  have provided the winning formula for the first two years of the summer school. There are expert teachers on pretty much every instrument (tin whistle / flute/ button accordion/ melodeon/ piano accordion/ banjo/ mandolin/ bodhran/ bones/ anglo-concertina/ guitar & piano accompaniment/ ballad singing/ sean-nos dancing and of course the fiddle),  and classes are designed so that no one is left out – from complete beginners who have never touched an instrument through to advanced. A lot of summer schools may of course have a similar format but there is something unique about the Anne and Pat Molloy Summer School which is hard to put your finger on. Part of it is the very definite Birmingham flavour, but to me it is really the love and affection that all the musicians had for Anne and Pat that you can feel. One manifestation of this is the Sunday group performance afternoon where we gather to cheer on the class arrangements from the simple to the (intentionally) humourous to the extravagant (check out Noreen Cullen’s grand opus last year on Facebook).
There are some changes this year with Pat and Anne’s daughter Pauline and her husband Chris pulling things together. One exciting development is the Saturday night concert headlined by the world-acclaimed London Lasses  & Chris O’Malley, supported by DisKan (who happen to include Ivan Miletitch, the consumer of the afore-mentioned bus ticket), who are reforming for the event.
It all happens on 26th & 27th July 2014 at South & City College, Digbeth, starting at 10am Saturday. It costs next to nothing – of £15 for the weekend of workshops and a small charge for the concert.  For more info and to sign up check out http://www.patmolloysummerschool.co.uk/ or search for “Pat Molloy Summer School 2014” on Facebook.
I feel a bit uncomfortable giving away so much information (it could be bad luck) so let me tease you with not too much about the sessions. They will be in some of those great old Victorian pubs in the Irish district. One of them will have a small, no longer smoky, back room. They will definitely happen Friday night through Sunday night but I would lay money on Thursday and Monday as well. If all else fails, look for Facebook events with a Start Time: of “now it would be hard to say” and an End Time: of “while you still have your ticket home”.
Tony Horswill

Have a splendid day and maybe see you tonight in St Thomas’ Church. . .

Oops – forgot to show you this clip, by Richard Pitkin of Bath Folk Festival. . .

So, you get the idea about what tonight’s concert will be, eh? My clip merged with Anna and Johnny’s clip. Could be surprising. . .

And, on the subject of ladies, did you see this?

6 Girlie Greats!

Oh Dolly!


Kt Dates:


Arrangements & voice by Johnny Sacchini.
St Thomas’ Church, St Thomas Street, Ryde 7pm £3 on the door.

Thurs 3rd July : Karen Tweed DROITWICH
Karen teaching in Droitwich

Fri 4th July : Karen Tweed DROITWICH
Karen teaching in Droitwich

MON 21ST – FRI 25TH July : KAREN TWEED TEACHING / LEADING THE ORCHESTRAL SUITE with her piece ‘THE CAROLINE SUITE’ at Meitheal Summer School, Ireland

THURS 14th August : KAREN TWEED VENTNOR FRINGE FESTIVAL ‘MY FIRST CEILIDH VOYAGE’ with the DUSTBIN CORNER CEILIDH BAND (Karen Tweed, Mark Hickman & Friends; Caller : Ian Watterson)
2.30pm – 4pm
Ventnor Baptist Church, Pier Street, Ventnor PO38 1SX
Tickets : £3 / ‘Big ticket’ (2 adults and 2 children under 16) £10

A fun, festive, family shake-your-legs dance! Come and try out polkas and patt-a-cakes, dance to shanties and hornpipes – no experience necessary. All ages welcome from the very young to the young-at-heart. Prizes for the best dressed-up dancers on the theme of voyage : pirates, crustaceans, Star Trek, mermaids, Amy Johnson, Captain Scott, jelly fish, Atlantis, Mary Rose, Dr Who – who’s your favourite voyager?
(Children must be accompanied by an adult).

And around and about!

1.   Sat 5th July : Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra Newport Isle of Wight
Medina Theatre, Fairlee Road, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 2DX
Tickets : £14 / Children £6

2. From: Robert Huxtable [bobhuxtable@btinternet.com]
Sent: 26 June 2014 06:48
Subject: Next Session at the Woodman’s

Hello All,

Hope you can find time in your busy summertime schedules to come along to the next Irish Tunes Session at the Woodman’s Arms, Wootton. It is on Wednesday 2nd July, starting at around 8:30.

Best Wishes,


2. Ian Storror
e-mail: storror.albertjazz@talk21.com

JULY Gigs & News
Hi Everyone
In early July we welcome back the delightful Rebecca Pronsky back to Bristol as part of her three week tour that culminates at The Maverick Music Festival. Accompanied as before by hubby Rich Bennett on ‘Twang’ electric guitar, the pair always deliver a great show of song and humour. Hope you can get to see them on Thur 3 July. Check out the gig page and her site for music snippets.
Cheers, Ian

Rebecca Pronsky w/ Rich Bennett (USA)
The Hen & Chicken, 210 North St, Bristol, BS3 1JF
Doors 7.30 for 8.15pm start
£11/£9 (OAP’s/students) Folk, Americana, Indie
Thursday 3 July 2014
Full Gig details at http://jazzata.com/Gig46.html<http://jazzata.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=32243ec3fe268b962ec52185d&id=b288d6e372&e=5028ca49a7>

This young lady has captured a growing number of fans over the few earlier visits to the UK. Along with husband Rich Bennett, her engaging take on Americana & Folk music, allied to a wonderfully natural humour has endeared her to all that have heard her amazing voice.
“This Brooklyn native should be a household name as far as we’re concerned. Day time play list on Radio 2 at least.– it’s obvious she’s playing music since the year dot … on track to become one of America’s foremost modern folk songstresses.” ~ RUTH BARNES, BBC 6 Picks

From New York, Rebecca Pronsky is a born and raised Brooklyn-ite whose music is “as urban as it is rural, not afraid to be sophisticated” (Maverick). Her songs are gritty and dark, layered and dreamy, bravely disobeying the usual conventions of the Americana genre. She “sounds like The Smiths relocated to Nashville” (Northern Sky) and “her voice conveys the wisdom of experience…over a wash of noirishly twangy guitars” (NPR).

Rebecca’s newest record Only Daughter is her third release on Austin, TX label Nine Mile Records<http://jazzata.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=32243ec3fe268b962ec52185d&id=bfa051b439&e=5028ca49a7>. Only Daughter received 4 star reviews in several publications including the UK’s Daily Telegraph which also named it a Top Ten Country Album of 2013.

“…she has hit the mark again with Only Daughter. Pronsky has a voice that’s full of character, sensitive and rich, and her songs — many of which have a rare modern quality of being short and sharp — are stimulating and catchy… a complex and enjoyable album.” ~ Daily Telegraph

The Joey Calderazzo Trio are featured in Japan at Blue Note’s 1992 “Mt. Fuji Jazz Festival.”


Joey Calderazzo, piano
John Patitucci, bass
Perter Erskine, drums

Joey Calderazzo began learning piano at the age of seven when he was inspired by a next door neighbor.

In a house full of musicians, Joey’s abilities flourished and by the age of fourteen he became an official member of his brother, Gene Calderazzo’s rock band. With his older band mates enrolled at the Berklee College of Music young Joey developed an interest in jazz.

In 1987 Joey Calderazzo met saxophonist Michael Brecker and when on tour as part of the Michael Brecker Quintet along with Gene Calderazzo’s roommate Branford Marsalis who helped him produce his first album.

Joey when on to create two more albums featuring various musicians including Kenny Kirkland, before Kirkland’s death in 1998.

He became the permanent pianist for the Branford Marsalis Quartet and one of the first artist to sign with Marsalis Music label in 2002. – See more at: http://www.jazzonthetube.com/videos/joey-calderazzo/mikells.html#sthash.RXw8c4i3.dpuf

Acoustic Video of the Week
Dana & Susan Robinson (USA)
This talented pair were due to play for us 18 months ago, but the tour was unfortunately cancelled when Dana fell from a ladder and broke his wrist. Now fully fit and all DIY activities finished we welcome them back to Bristol on Thurs 18 Sept’.

Dana and Susan Robinson are two guitar-playing, banjo-frailing, fiddle-sawing, and harmony-singing interpreters of the American experience. They bring a unique blend of new contemporary songwriting of rural America and ‘Old Time Appalachian Mountain Music’.
“Many songwriters such as Bruce Springsteen, or John Mellencamp have been heralded as modern day Woody Guthries or keepers of the American rural spirit, but that mantle might be better entrusted to musicians like Dana Robinson who embody both the heart and the soul of folk music.” – Dirty Linen

Their last release ‘American Hornpipe’ brought this description from Pete Innes of music magazine Blues Matters: “OK lets get this out of the way and then we can move on: American Country/ Folk, Appalachian, Boondocks Wailing; is the white man’s blues! Being poor, out-of-work, in despair and on the bones of your arse don’t belong exclusively to anyone. So, having all agreed to that, WE at Blues Matters are unreservedly delighted to recommend “American Hornpipe”, where even the songtitles are inspiring and intriguing ~ and that’s before the music starts!”

This track is a Woody Guthrie song entitled “Pastures of Plenty” sung at Rose Garden Coffeehouse, Mansfield, Massachusetts, Nov. 13, 2010
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u3W7ZJ7kO8<http://jazzata.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=32243ec3fe268b962ec52185d&id=dc8ecae8ca&e=5028ca49a7> (3.30 mins)

“Round My Door” is from this year. Recorded Friday January 17, 2014 after Dana and Susan’s show at the 333 Coffeehouse in Annapolis Maryland.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ltrqh49OZk<http://jazzata.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=32243ec3fe268b962ec52185d&id=a58431a659&e=5028ca49a7> (3.58 mins)
“Back in the days when I was booking performers for my own music series I had the great pleasure of presenting Dana before he married Susan. I was so glad to find out he is still performing. He is a very talented and thoughtful writer, and has a knack for connecting with his audience from the stage in a totally original way. He has only gotten better over the years and the addition of Susan’s fine harmonies and playing is such a welcome compliment. I really enjoyed catching up a bit with Dana and seeing a really fine show at the 333. My thanks to Tom and all the nice volunteers who keep this find music series going, and were so nice to me”  Robin Songs.

JazzATA Schedule:
Sun 3 Aug: The Session (USA) ~ Jazz
Quintet of young talented New Orleans based musicians
Tues 23 Sept: Carrie Elkin Band (USA) ~ Acoustic/Americana
Sun 28 Sept: The Cloudmakers Trio ~ Jazz
Jim Hart (Vibes), Michael Janisch (B), Dave Smith (D)
Thurs 2 Oct: Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer (USA) ~ Acoustic/Americana
Sun 26 Oct: ARQ by Alison Rayner ~ Jazz
Dierdre Cartwright (G), Diane McLoughlin (Sax), Steve Lodder (P), Ali Rayner (B) & Buster Birch (D)
Thurs 30 Oct: While & Matthews ~ Folk / Acoustic
Sun 9 Nov: Tim Richards Hextet ~ Jazz
Featuring: Tim Richards (P) Dick Pearce (Tpt), Ed Jones (Sax), Ralph Wyld (Vibes) & Domonic Howles (B), Peter Ibbetson (D)

Ian Storror