A Night with Roberta Flack

by Jerry Cusack

Last Thursday night Chris Medici  hosted a chat about  “Top 3 Concerts”.  I was teaching a lesson with one of our members at the time so I couldn’t make it but wanted to share one of mine.

Somewhere around 1995 or ’96 I saw Roberta Flack was playing at an outdoor summer music series at a park in Oyster Bay, Long Island. The great jazz guitarist Larry Coryell was opening for her with a trio, whose playing and energy I always loved so I decided to go. The venue was a typical temporary outdoor stage set up with a large tent with rows of chairs for maybe 500 people and the rest could set up on the lawn picnic style with a little vino and listen through the sound system. I purchased a seat under the tent and got a seat close enough to the stage to check out Larry’s playing. From what I remember Larry was his typical self. He always put together an interesting set of tunes to improvise over and let it all hang out. As an improviser he was never afraid to walk the razor’s edge and that is what I admired. 

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Monday Mix-Tape

by Jason Steele

This is Dedicated to the Ones I Love

As I spend most of my days cooped up inside unable to see your faces (at least in person) I found myself reflecting on the last 6 years with Altered Stage. It’s hard to believe how far it’s come and how much great music has been made! I tell the story all the time, but I remember being concerned that doing 1 gig every 3 months would be too aggressive and that members would not feel comfortable playing so often when we started out. Guessing that we have done well past 50 gigs since the beginning, so I am glad to have been wrong on that one. I also tell someone who comes to the space for the first time that Altered Stage is “member run” and truly I feel like it’s all about YOU. You are the ones that have made Altered Stage so special and I first want to say that I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! 
With all of that in mind, I decided to make a mix-tape for you. It’s a sappy love song mix-tape to express how much I love you, but more than that it’s a solid representation of songs that allow me to drop deeper into my heart every time I listen to them. And true to the tradition of making a “mix-tape” I’ve paid close attention to the order in which the songs are played. It’s a big ask to hope that you listen to my tape and get the same feelings I do but I would never ask you to do that because music is so personal. Just as you listen I hope you hear me saying how much all of you mean to me. I also hope that you discover some new music that you’ve never heard before because that’s what most of you have been doing for me for the last 6 years. I thank you for that and hope you feel connected in this isolated time.

Love, Jason

Jason’s Love Songs From The Heart

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My “Jukebox Quarantine”

by Nick Kabat

Hey everyone! I wanted to share one thing I’ve been doing consistently during quarantine. I decided over three weeks ago now to begin a series called “well-tempered quarantine.” It stemmed from my love of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. He wrote a famous book of piano pieces known collectively as the “Well-Tempered Clavier”.

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Buying My First Guitar

by Chris Medici

Once I decided I wanted to learn to play the guitar, I was faced with a major decision: what guitar should I buy? It was such an important decision – the consequences of which I would have to live with for years. With so many options, I was frozen – not even knowing where to start the process of buying a guitar.

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