The song originally in mind for this morning’s song will have to be postponned, of 88 keys and some tra-la-las. New Orleans’s Jazzfest is wrapping up this coming weekend, and my dear friend and fellow piano barbarian Steve Savage sent us some info from the Pelican State: no one does the piano like NOLA, and Jon Cleary is one of the reigning kings.
I’ve seen him in concert, recently in fact. Last year, Dr. John played the Paradise and Cleary opened for him on solo piano, playing tunes from a new record along with New Orleans classics. I must say it was more enjoyable than the more-famous main act, if only because famous expectations did not encumber him.
Watch Cleary work through a century of New Orleans piano.
And finally, our song of the day: the Professor Longhair classic, “Tipitina”. Mardi Gras Yankee fakers can keep “Iko Iko”. This Cleary’s extended, embellished version is fantastic, and the Professor Longhair original necessary listening.
Do you own a piano, but it’s holding more dust than rhythm these days? Think you might donate it to an amazing cause? Now’s the time.
Play Me, I’m Yours is debuting in Boston in September, as we reported earlier this year. The concept, implemented in cities around the world in recent years, will install working pianos throughout the city and invite one and all to come play. The project, conceived by artist Luke Jerram, is requesting Bostonians donate their old pianos for the project. The goal is 75, so get those keys to the street.
Street Pianos, the interactive public art project that places colorful, fully functional upright pianos in cities for public use, noted on their website this morning that Boston is a target city for a coming rollout.
Pianos are reportedly coming to Boston streets, parks and city squares in September 2013. A few other cities will see Play Me, I’m Yours pianos this year, including Monterey, Calif; Munich, Germany; and Cleveland, OH.
Don’t get it? Watch “Candy from Strangers” performed on London’s Street Pianos in 2009 by Boston ex-pat and former Jake Ivory’s dueling pianist Michael Ward-Bergeman.