tap: an 'SNL' drummer, one battle of the bands
and a guitar benefit
By Charles Cassady
Published Feb. 15, 2006
week capped off a busy period for the jazz-fusion quartet Rare Blend,
who came right off the Cleveland Progressive-Rock Fusion Festival
to their own CD release party in Lakewood. As proof that fusion
is a virtually limitless power source, RB drummer/Energizer Bunny
stand-in Paul Stranahan keeps on gigging and gigging. He plays with
his own ensemble, and the Paul Stranahan Trio performs this Saturday
Stranahan, a resident of Cleveland's Brooklyn suburb,
is a graduate of Capitol University's Conservatory of Music, and
besides Rare Blend he also plays with the jazz-experimental band
Broadview Collective. Stranahan performs jazz and fusion instrumental
originals as well as works penned by Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery,
Duke Ellington and others. At the South Side show the trio - Stranahan,
acoustic/electric guitarist Chris Bober and electric bassist Alan
Cleghorn - will try out a variety of fresh material written by Stranahan
"The club is cool, always packed, and they don't
care what we play or how loud it is," reports Bober. "It
should be a fun night"
The Paul Stranahan Trio performs from 10 p.m. to 1:30
a.m. at the South Side, 227 W.11th St., one block north of Lincoln
Park. Check out www.paulstranahan.com
or call (216) 937-2288 for more information. Next Stranahan goes
to Erie, Penn., for a Feb. 25 show.
AVANT VALENTINE'S DAY: The Savannah Bar &
Grille in Westlake, the west-side blues showcase, is holding the
third annual “Misters Behind the Sisters” benefit this Sunday from
8 p.m. to midnight.
It’s a jam-fest fundraiser for Genesis House domestic
violence center that puts an emphasis on manly guitarists strumming
for the chivalrous cause.
Local ax-masters scheduled to perform include Butch
Armstrong, Chip Fitzgerald, Don Baker, Billy Mangano and Mike Delia.
Tickets go for $10, and there will be a raffle for Fender guitar
valued at $525, donated by Ron Zehel Guitar Center (tickets for
the raffle go for $5 each.
For more information call 323-3400.
To reserve a dinner table at the Savannah, call 892-2266.
The Savannah Bar & Grille is located at 30676 Detroit Road.
A MUSIC WAR: Don't weep that the annual High
School Rock-Off is over. There's still the High School Battle of
the Bands, raging with shock and awe for the rest of this month.
It's taking place at the Red Parrot Café in Lorain
(538 Broadway). At 6:30 p.m. this Sunday and on Feb. 26 and March
6 the venue will reverberate with teen emo, screamo, metal, Christian
rock and whatever, as bands from Amherst to North Olmsted (but predominantly
Lorain County) compete. Winners receive $500 in prizes and a showcase
turn at the House of Blues in Cleveland.
Tickets are $5 in advance or $6 at the door. Call
the Red Parrot at 244-2473 for more information.
LIVE FROM B-W, IT'S TUESDAY NIGHT: The drummer
from the "Saturday Night Live" band is coming to perform
at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea. So, that means everyone gets
to dress as favorite "SNL" characters, right? Those two
dippy cheerleaders, the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer or that guy on the
Latino variety show speaking the pidgin Spanish. Maybe even some
old bee costumes from the Aykroyd-Belushi era. There could be a
petition for Hollywood to finally compel Adam Sandler do "Opera
Man: The Movie" and perhaps a Q&A on how all those incredible
stunts and special effects were accomplished in the "Mr. Bill"
No, no, put away the Conehead action figures to be
autographed. Percussionist extraordinaire Valerie Dee Naranjo possesses
a far more extensive resume than the NBC late-nite satire. A recipient
of a Drum! Magazine reader's poll as world music percussionist of
the year for 2005, the Colorado native is an acclaimed disciple
of traditional African drumming styles, so much so that her virtuoso
work on the "gyil" of Ghana led to the Dagara nation decreeing
that women be allowed to play this instrument for the first time.
She's also contributed to film soundtracks, Broadway shows like
“The Lion King,” and worked with eminent composer Philip Glass.
At B-W Naranjo will be joined by Africa-West, the
conservatory of music's own world-music ensemble, for a concert
beginning at 8 p.m. in Kulas Gamble Auditorium. Admission is free
to all. For more information, call the conservatory at 826-2369.
Valerie Dee Naranjo’s Web site is www.mandaramusic.com.