Friday, September 26, 2014

Tamar Korn, Dennis Lichtman, Jesse Gelber - Oct. 10

It wasn’t until singer Tamar Korn inherited her grandmother’s Ella Fitzgerald record at sixteen that she listened to very much jazz. “I was excited at the idea of being able to change the melody and rhythm of the written music,” says Korn. “I was so trained in strict forms where you play just what is written that improvisation came as an epiphany through her.” Raised by musically inclined parents – her father is a violinist – Tamar was classically trained on piano, and as fascinated as she was by the sound of jazz, she still felt a bit intimidated of scatting and diving head first into the chaotic feel of the sound. “I started to not be scared of dissonance; if I repeated a shape melodically and rhythmically and built upon it, I started to see a trajectory, a musical idea, and that’s what a solo was.". Tamar continued her exploration through her college years, during which she studied experimental theater and started to learn the bounds of her voice. “That was a time of great expansion in my vocal imagination.” Tamar performed professionally with the now defunct Cangelosi Cards for over six years. She appears regularly with Dennis Lichtmans's, Braincloud, a more Western Swing-based group and most recently with Gaucho, a gypsy jazz ensemble with whom she has written her first original material.

A native of suburban Boston, Dennis Lichtman began his musical career with violin lessons at the age of 5. Over the next decade, Dennis took up serious study of a number of instruments, making smooth transitions from Suzuki violin kid to clarinet stud to guitar wanker, and eventually to mando-blaster. In 2001, Dennis graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Hartt School of Music, where he studied clarinet under New York legend Charles Russo and filled the principal clarinet chair in the Hartt Symphony. Now a New York resident, Dennis performs regularly with a variety of groups, ranging from bluegrass to classical, Klezmer, and Celtic.

Today original music tends to fall into two camps popular and academic. There are those that write purely for the purposes of making money and those that write purely for the sake of complexity. Jesse Gelber’s music is the rare exception that combines the sophistication of academic knowledge with the accessibility of American Popular Song. Jesse holds a Master’s in jazz theory from Rutgers University and a Bachelor’s in jazz performance and composition from the New England Conservatory of Music. Jesse has lectured on topics like Bitonality for the Music Theory Society of New York State, he teaches seminars on the history of jazz and blues piano at the National Guitar Workshop, and he teaches courses on music theory at Rutgers University. Despite Jesse’s academic background his music tends to be melodic and memorable. His work has been sung and played by Theodore Bikel, Hal Linden, and The Massachusetts Springfield Symphony. He won a 1997 ASCAP Foundation -- Morton Gould Young Composer Award for his Opera, Broad Stripes and Bright Stars, which was showcased January of 2002 at La MaMa theater. He was the musical director for both the 50th Anniversary of Israel Concert in Boston’s Symphony Hall, and A Delhi-Mix performed at Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College. Jesse has written arrangements for several broadcast performances including A Taste of Passover and The Chanukah Special, both of which were shown on PBS Television.

Jesse’s song “Boston in the Rain” is the featured track on Julian Yeo’s new critically acclaimed CD Old New Borrowed Blue. “Boston in the Rain” has been sung and recorded by many artists including Jesse, whose own vocal style has been compared to Jelly Roll Morton and Dave Van Ronk. In addition to his own songs, Jesse likes to sing obscure blues and novelty numbers.

For more information and details about this concert, please contact Sandy at, If this is the first time you have visited our blog, the location of these monthly concerts is in Manhattan. Hope to see you here soon.

Sold Out as of 10/6/14

Monday, September 8, 2014

Hanneke Cassel & Mike Block, Friday, September 26

We are so pleased to welcome both Hanneke Cassel and Mike Block back to our concert series. Since their last appearance at a Jenkins House Concert in 2010, the two have become one-i.e. they got hitched. Hanneke's music influences range from Scotland to China, along with grooves and musical innovations from the hip Boston bluegrass/Americana scene and is fused together to create a uniquely American approach to Scottish music. She has received many honors and awards including 1997 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion. She teaches regularly at the legendary Club Passim in Cambridge, MA, and fiddler’s camps across the country and holds a Bachelors of Music in Violin Performance from Berklee College of Music.

Hanneke will be joined by her husband and cellist, Mike Block. Hailed by Yo-Yo Ma as the "ideal musician of the 21st Century", Mike Block is a pioneering multi-style cellist, composer, and educator living in Boston. While still studying at the Juilliard School, Mike joined Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, and shortly thereafter also joined Mark O'Connor's Appalachia Waltz Trio, which he played in for over three years. Mike has also toured extensively with Darol Anger's Republic of Strings and The Knights orchestra. Mike is Associate Professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.

For more information and reservations for this concert, please contact Sandy Jenkins at; If this is your first visit to our blog, our concert location is in Manhattan. Details will be provided by email at the time a reservation is made.

This concert is sold out as of Sunday, September 14, 2014. Hope to see you next time!