Sunday, May 4, 2008

Joe Chindamo - Piano for Kids

Having recently interviewed Joe Chindamo for Jazz Australia website (article appearing soon on I had an idea of what the kiddies were going to be in for at Joe's Piano For Kids concert. He had promised to 'play the crap out of' Sesame Street (couldn't happen to a better tune!!). And I'd also heard what he was going to do to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Wow!

The preview built up my expectations for something really special. There is no doubt that Joe's ability to take a tune and do whatever he damn well wants with it is a key component of his success as a piano player.

It just so happened that I was able to go to the concert today, and I was very excited to hear the real thing. I'd wanted to hear the other Piano for Kids concerts as well, particularly Bob Sedergreen and John Weber, whose concert has been mentioned in the blog of Greg @ Melbourne.

Also the BMW Edge venue, I discovered today is a really lovely daytime venue - at least at this time of year when it's not too hot outside!

Quick Quiz:

If you were running a Piano for Kids concert, how would you begin... as you walked onto the stage to dozens of little hands clapping a welcome, dozens of little faces gazing up at you expectantly:

  • "Welcome to the end of my career"
  • anything, anything other than Option 1.

There will not be a prize for guessing what Joe said as he walked onto the stage to dozens of little hands clapping a welcome, dozens of little faces gazing up at him expectantly...

Admittedly, Joe was the victim of another announcement fiasco... Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, please welcome Joe Chindamo [with the Chin spelled like the bit on the bottom of the face instead of like kin] And while we're here, can I just ask how that is allowed to happen. What happens in Volunteer Land at Melbourne Jazz? Should I write a letter to Michael Tortoni, next year's Artistic Director and suggest a training course that includes this bullet point in fairly large font, preferably flashing and impossible to ignore:

"Announcers should check pronunciation of artist name(s) with the artist before announcing them."

Commonsense? Too obvious?

But I digress.


On to the music... I learned quite a bit at the concert, as Joe gave a slightly potted lesson in some basics which, being a non-musician, are all interesting to me. Not so interesting to the 4 years old and under section of the audience! It was all in the delivery (or not, as was the case)

What was most enjoyable about this concert? The music! It was beautiful, expressive, exciting, fun and very very well received by children, parents and childless punters alike. The patter, however, needed work.

1 comment:

Peter said...

Hi Miriam,
It doesn't only happen in Melbourne. I seem to recall many years ago at the Manly Jazz Festival when Sandy, Tony & Alister's Clarion Fracture Zone was introduced as 'Carlton Fractured Zone'. More appropriately they were performing on the Corso Stage (now the John Speight Stage)within an easy staggering distance from the New Brighton Hotel. cheers Peter Wockner