“Sascha is a guy!” is often followed with “He’s pretty good.”
Thus begins the listening experience for people who never attended one of Sascha Feinstein’s infrequent gigs.
“Yes indeed, very good.
On Thursday, Feinstein, the 2008 Governor’s Award for Artist of the Year recipient, will fill the Bullfrog Brewery with a kaleidoscope of vibrantly-hued jazz tunes that clearly dispel the false notion that jazz is improvised elevator music on steroids.
“Improvisation is not, as some might think, simply playing whatever comes to mind. The tunes have specific chord changes. Each version has a vibe. The group shares a heartbeat,” Feinstein said. “So when I say people should trust their feelings, they, in turn, should understand that the expression generated by the band is not without governing principles. I think jazz may be the ultimate hybrid of impulse and intellect.”
Joining Feinstein on his musical quest are three of the Valley’s most talented musicians — Steve Adams on piano, Bill Stetz providing bass and Grammy-winning drummer Steve Mitchell.
“Jazz musicians have long understood that it’s best to play with players who are better than you are. This makes it easy for me,” he said. “But to say that they’re merely ‘better’ demeans their artistry. These are some of the finest musicians in the region. Period.”
The evening will showcase a diverse collection of jazz standards from Davis to Coltrane all performed in a style that pays respect to the perfection of the tune while adding a personalized twist.
“People tend to forget that our most profound emotions, from love to anger, are abstract by nature. The words themselves cannot fully embrace the reality of feeling. In other words, we’re willing to experience emotion if we know an absolute context; jazz, like any wordless art form, asks you to experience emotion without it being egocentric (that is, responding to a personal state of mind). Don’t worry about understanding the notes. Embrace the emotion of the music.”
In addition to embracing this music he performs, Feinstein has also woven jazz throughout his own life. That includes hosting a jazz radio program called “Jazz Standards” on WVIA Public Radio and penning several books as well as founding and editing “Brilliant Corners,” the nation’s only publication devoted to the beauty of poetry and jazz music.
“I love (jazz) standards, primarily from 1920s through the 1960s. My style depends on the decade associated with each tune, as well as my mood that evening,” said Feinstein.
“I almost always play in a quartet format, but the fourth member switches between guitar and piano. This time, Steve Adams will be on keyboard, which he can make sound like an acoustic piano, but he can also switch to organ. At least one tune, I suspect, will be a somewhat raunchy tenor and organ number, perhaps a funky version of ‘Misty’ a la Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes.”
The son of an abstract painter, Feinstein first became interested in jazz music while in high school and over the years he’s become one of the most talented jazz players in the area — a saxophonist with a style that can shift gears effortlessly from a melancholy to flat out impressive.
Recently Feinstein, a popular professor at Lycoming College, headed west where he gave a poetry reading at a famed bookstore in Reno and combined jazz and poetry at a club in Carson City.
“This was my first out-of-state gig where I read and played, and, man, I had a ball,” he noted. “We — the other poets and I — modified our delivery to mesh with the music. It transformed the stereotype from pseudo-hipster, beret-wearing, bongo-beating nonsense to genuine excitement. The crowd went nuts.”
Although he wears many hats, Feinstein’s first and most important role in life is being a family man who is happy to call the area home.
“As a musician, I’m so blessed to be surrounded by superior players who are willing to join me for events and I’m warmed by the audiences who keep supporting these efforts,” Feinstein said. “If I lived in New York or Chicago or San Francisco or any really major city, I would never be able to have such an experience. My band members would be fine; I’d be laughed off the stage. So it’s really a dream situation for me and I don’t take that for granted.”
“Sascha is a guy!” is often followed with “He’s pretty good.”
Entry deadline this weekend for Celebration of the Arts exhibits
LEWISBURG — Local artists and photographers have the opportunity to have their work on exhibit during The Lewisburg Celebration of the Arts.
Innovative jazz pianist coming to area April 17
LEWISBURG — Jason Moran and the Bandwagon will perform on April 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University.
1 great reason to get out tonight!
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Alumnus returns to SU for reading
SELINSGROVE — Susquehanna graduate Sal Pane, ’07, will give a reading from his novel “Last Call in the City of Bridges” at the launch of Susquehanna’s RiverCraft magazine on Monday at 7:30 p.m. in Isaacs Auditorium in Seibert Hall.
Jody Fallon — 10 years later
LEWISBURG — The Packwood House Museum will present an exhibition of the recent work of local artist Jody Fallon to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of his first solo exhibition
The best place to hunt eggs
Beavertown -- An Easter egg hunt held at 11 a.m. at the United Methodist Church, 128 N. Orange St. Children invited to attend and lunch served following the egg hunt.
Bloomsburg -- Mostly Mutts doggie biscuit hunt will be held from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Sunlight Feed and Pet Supply Store, 229 Montour Blvd, Route 11. Owners must have their dogs on leashes and up to date on shots. Goodie bags for every dog and prizes. Suggested $5 donation. Rain date is April 26.
Laurelton -- The Millmont West Union Area Lions Club will sponsor an Easter Egg Hunt at 1 p.m. on the grounds of The Union County West End Fairgrounds, Route 235. There will be divisions for all ages of children, and all the area children are welcome to participate. Also, during the egg hunt, the clubs annual ham raffle will be held. Tickets will be available at the egg hunt and from any Lions Club member. Tickets are $1 each, or 6 tickets for $5.
Lewisburg -- A community Easter egg hunt will be held 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in Hufnagle Park. The hunt will have a staggered start by age: 11:15 a.m., 0 to 3 years of age; 11:30 a.m., 4 to 6 years of age; 11:45 a.m., 7 to 10 years of age; noon, 11 years and older. Free and open to the public, and includes face painting, relay races and more. Participants are requested to check in at the registration table located at the gazebo upon arrival. Hosted by Alpha Xi Delta sorority and Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at Bucknell University.
Lewisburg -- American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 182 is holding an Easter Egg Hunt at 11 a.m. at the municipal field on Fairground Road. Super prizes in each age category and everyone goes home with a treat.
McEwensville -- An Easter egg hunt begins at 11 a.m. on the back lawn (weather permitting) at the Montgomery House Warrior Run Area Public Library, 20 Church St. For children in kindergarten through fourth grade. Before the hunt, a story time will take place in the library’s children room. Registration is required. Call (570) 538-1381.
Middleburg -- More than an egg hunt held at Port Ann Wesleyan Church, 2856 Troxelville Road. Children through age 12 and their families are invited to hear the real message of Easter, sing praises to the Risen Savior, hunt for “empty tombs” (eggs) and have lunch from 11 a.m.--12:30 p.m. More information contact Robin at (570) 837-3096.
Mifflinburg -- A flashlight Easter egg hunt begins at 8 p.m. at Mifflinburg Assembly of God for fifth grade students and younger. Younger children search inside while older kids search outside (if it rains all inside) Bring a flashlight and bag to hold your eggs. Prize drawings.
Selinsgrove -- An Easter egg scavenger hunt held at 10 a.m. at Christ United Methodist Church, 429 N. Eighth St. Family activities, prizes, and candy.
Selinsgrove -- An Easter celebration and egg hunt held from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at Christ Community United Methodist Church, 3939 Park Road. Features games, crafts, puppet show and egg hunt. All children are welcome.
Sunbury -- Children’s breakfast with the Easter Bunny served 8-10 a.m. at St. Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 501 Catawissa Ave. Serving pancakes and more — $3 per person.
Sunbury -- An Easter egg hunt for infants to grade 5 held at noon at St. Luke’s Cemetery. Take Route 890 to Plum Creek Road, go straight onto St. Luke’s Road, cemetery on left. Weather permitting. Everyone gets a prize from the Easter Bunny.
Watsontown -- An Easter egg hunt begins at 11 a.m. at Holy Spirit Evangelical Lutheran Church, Route 44, between McEwensville and Turbotville. Children age 3 and up to sixth grade are welcome to come and hear the story of Jesus, hunt for eggs, and maybe even win a prize. Free event.
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Zakir Hussain and Masters of Percussion bring world music to Weis Center stage
LEWISBURG — Zakir Hussain and Masters of Percussion will perform on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University.
Faculty book release reading at Susquehanna University
SELINSGROVE — Karla Kelsey will read from her recently published book of poetry, “A Conjoined Book,” Thursday at 7 p.m. in Isaacs Auditorium in Seibert Hall.
A new look at ‘Romeo and Juliet’
“Be rul’d by me, forget to think of her.” — Benvolio, friend to Romeo
“O, teach me how I should forget to think.” — Romeo
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