Feb 28, 2012 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
When The Retreat’s blonde barmaid, Morgan Farrell, returned to work last week after a sunny sojourn in the Florida Keys with her tall dark beau, John Corrado, she was wearing a ring with a rock as big as the future.
Corrado’s timing couldn’t have been better: he popped the question and delivered the diamond on Valentine’s Day.
John is The Retreat’s longtime manager. The cozy couple plan to enjoy their engagement for a year or so before scheduling an autumn wedding.
Meanwhile, Morgan couldn’t be happier.
Romance, it seems, has tickled her funny bone. With a smile on her face and a tongue in her cheek, she’s introducing John to her friends as “the luckiest man alive!”
Drummer Vinnie Ludovico can play any style of music.
When I first got to know him in the late-1980s, I thought of him strictly as a rock’n’roller. After all, he hit the skins for the Masters of Reality, a hard rockin’ Syracuse quintet that signed with producer Rick Rubin’s renegade record label, Def American. Their self-titled disc – dubbed “The Blue Garden” by some – turned out to be the all-time best rock record ever released by a CNY band, thanks in good part to Ludovico’s thunderous drumming.
King of Clave
But Vinnie has also played plenty of jazz in his varied career, from standards to hard bop. He recorded commercial jingles and provided the backbeat for “Leader of the Banned,” a 1990 disc by the late comedian Sam Kinison.
In recent years, Vinnie has immersed himself in the Afro-Cuban sound, setting aside his trap set in favor of congas. He enjoys fusing island syncopations with the harmonic structures of American jazz.
Vinnie reigns as Syracuse’s current King of Clave, the five-stroke pattern which regulates the heartbeat of many Caribbean rhythms.
Free show Sunday
Ludovico’s new combo, Moyuba Jazz, comes to Liverpool Public Library for a free concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 4, presented as part of the Arts Alive series, hosted by the Friends of LPL. Moyuba Jazz features Ludovico, congas; Barry Blumenthal, piano; Mike Cortese, drums; Mike Dubaniewicz, woodwinds; and Darryl Pugh, bass.
The quintet’s repertoire ranges from “Midnight Mambo” by Oscar Hernandez to “Caravan” by Juan Tizol. Listeners will also hear a tune or two by jazz piano giants Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver. Moyuba’s pianist, Barry Bluemnthal, is especially qualified to interpret those past masters. Blumenthal’s credits include work with Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin and the Blues Brothers Band. Since 1999, Blumenthal has taught in the Liverpool Central School District. He now leads the orchestra at Soule Middle School.
Ludovico has played congas with Manhattan musicians such as Dave Valentin and Cachete Maldonad. He now teaches at Onondaga Community College where he directs the OCC Percussion Ensemble.
By the way, “Moyuba” is a Nigerian word that refers to prayers and incantations paying homage to past masters.
Arts Alive is currently in its 26th season at LPL with Ralph D’Mello as musical director. The Friends of LPL also host the Fifth Annual Folk Music Series at the library. Its next concert is March 18 with the Van Norstrands; lpl.org; 457-0310.
Embracing the Bard
Though he wasn’t particularly revered during his lifetime in Elizabethan England, William Shakespeare has since been heralded as the greatest writer in the English language. His output included more than three dozen plays, from “Antony & Cleopatra” to “Romeo & Juliet,” plus 154 sonnets.
A Liverpool High School student, Lauren Busby, will be among 17 competitors interpreting Shakespeare’s writings when the Syracuse branch of the English-Speaking Union of the United States will host its 24th annual Shakespeare Competition from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 3, at Syracuse University’s Storch Theatre, 820 E. Genesee St., down city. Busby will recite a monologue and a sonnet hoping to join 60 other nationwide winners in New York City for ESU’s National Competition at Lincoln Center in the spring.