Mining the American Music Motherlode at Telluride

By John Lehndorff It was the best of bluegrass festivals.  It was the worst of bluegrass festivals. If you liked your bluegrass leavened with rock, jazz, reggae, country, classical, blues, folk and more it was a glowing American musical celebration, not to mention a ton of fun.  If you liked your bluegrass traditional, you were left wondering if you had landed...

Read More

Jazz drummer and 1920’s playwright?

By Philip Elwood Max Roach, jazz percussionist, looked more dapper and enthusiastic than he had any right to be when he arrived at the office of Sharon Ott, artistic director of the Berkeley Repertory Theater. We met there to talk about his writing the score for Berkeley Rep’s presentation of Eugene O’Neill’s “The Hairy Ape,” which...

Read More

Jazzman Gets Dramatic With O’Neill Score

BY LEE HILDEBRAND MAX ROACH, whose rhythmic innovations were a key factor in defining the role of drums in modern jazz, has been composing music for the theater ever since a short-lived Broadway production of Richard Wright’s “Black Boy” in the early ’50s. Yet it wasn’t until he met George Ferencz at a party at poet-playwright...

Read More

Hairy Ape; explores the jungle of the soul

By Lawrence Enscoe Stage lights cut across Yank Smith, who stands like a Neanderthal king in a creaking steamship stokehole. Yank’s muscles twist and glisten as he snarls his ferocious insults, spitting them out like rotten meat. All around him are shadowy, apelike men, hooting and shrieking as they drag their knuckles across the coal-layered floor....

Read More

O’Neill’s Class Menagerie in S.F.

By Bernard Weiner The Berkeley Repertory Theater, which already is running two distinct facets of Eugene O’Neill’s illustrious career on its main stage (“Ah, Wilderness!” and “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”), now shows us the early O’Neill when the playwright was working in an expressionist mode. The Hairy...

Read More

Guitar and MIDI at Gryphon

Musig Quarterly At our MuSIG meeting at Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto, over 30 of us were treated to a fascinating and impressive presentation on guitar synthesizer controllers by Dimitri Vandellos and Warren Sirota.   Versatile performing artist Mark Hanson, who teaches guitar at Gryphon, was our host and did a great job making sure that we had...

Read More