Cats in Hats Productions

Cats in Hats Productions Production and Promotion of Fine Jazz and Soul Music Events !

Operating as usual

Jeff Duperon in a serious panel discussion about Philly Jazz . I was blessed to be there
06/24/2019

Jeff Duperon in a serious panel discussion about Philly Jazz . I was blessed to be there

The Panel ! Ira Tucker ( music artist Dixie Hummingbirds ) Dr. George Allen ( Master Music Educator for over 50 years ) Jeff Duperon ( media specialist and radio host at WRTI 90.1 FM ) and 3 time Grammy Award winning trumpeter Wallace Roney !

05/08/2015
Tim Warfield - Speak Low

Swing Daddy on this cut Byron Landham on drums !

Tim Warfield (ts,ss), Terell Stafford (tp,flh), Pat Bianchi (org), Byron Landham (ds) Album:" Tim Warfield /A Sentimental Journey " Recorded:Brooklyn, N.Y. F...

Bassist Extraordinaire Tony Jones with a new Philly Jam Session
05/08/2015

Bassist Extraordinaire Tony Jones with a new Philly Jam Session

The Panel ! Ira Tucker ( music artist Dixie Hummingbirds ) Dr. George Allen ( Master Music Educator for over 50 years ) ...
04/25/2015

The Panel ! Ira Tucker ( music artist Dixie Hummingbirds ) Dr. George Allen ( Master Music Educator for over 50 years ) Jeff Duperon ( media specialist and radio host at WRTI 90.1 FM ) and 3 time Grammy Award winning trumpeter Wallace Roney !

Thanks to everyone who attended this wonderful event ! Lets do it again  !
04/25/2015

Thanks to everyone who attended this wonderful event ! Lets do it again !

April 23rd Venice Island Performing Arts Center
03/20/2015

April 23rd Venice Island Performing Arts Center

April 23rd Venice Island Performing Arts Center

Cats in Hats Productions's cover photo
03/16/2015

Cats in Hats Productions's cover photo

Jazz Master Bobby Watson in rehearsal
12/23/2014

Jazz Master Bobby Watson in rehearsal

April is Jazz Appreciation Month !
12/23/2014

April is Jazz Appreciation Month !

09/11/2014
Wynton Marsalis

Cats in Hats approve this message ! LoL

This weekend I received a Legend Award from the National Black Arts Foundation in Atlanta. I was given the opportunity to choose musicians to play for the awards ceremony and requested Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio and the great Detroit trumpeter and educator, Marcus Belgrave. Not only did they represent our music with great clarity and depth of purpose, they also showed the diversity of artistic excellence still present in Jazz today.

Backstage Marcus and I hung and swapped stories about Ray Charles, Dizzy, Pops and New York. His beautiful wife Joan, also a great singer, spoke about the importance of sound and how she was initially attracted to Marcus by the warmth and distinctiveness of his tone. Anyone who knows Marcus knows that his sheer presence is an act of soul. In addition to the nuggets that come from his horn, no one in the world can verbally cosign an improvised solo as well as he can. He'll drop a "yeah" or a "blow your horn" on you at the perfect time.

I accompanied him on the dressing room piano as he taught me a tune he had written for Clifford Brown. It had a lot of complicated changes, but we kept at it until I had it all completely correct. We played it for a while and would laugh when I stumbled at the different harmonic twists and turns. I told him it reminded me of my dad and clarinetist Alvin Batiste. Marcus said Alvin played with him for a brief period in Ray Charles' band, but drove cats crazy because he practiced all day and night regardless of circumstance. They didn't know the half of it. Bat and my father would teach you long complicated tunes with not a piece of music in sight and would keep at it until you absolutely knew every note and chord change.

This method of learning also reminded me of a time I went to Ornette Coleman's apartment to practice with him. In the 1950s Ornette lived in New Orleans with drummer Herlin Riley's uncle, Melvin Lastie, a deeply soulful trumpet player. I remember getting to Ornette's house at about 11:00pm and we played our horns until about 2 in the morning without saying a word. Ornette was something, with a rare kind of home-spun seriousness and pure insightfulness that immediately made you feel at home. He told me not to worry too much about criticism, because my playing was very nuanced. He said I had a subtle command of the emotion in my sound, in much the same way people communicate by raising an eyebrow or scrunching their face. I can't lie; it felt good to hear him say something like that.

After we played, he told me that in the late 1950s my father and Alvin drove all the way from New Orleans to Los Angeles to visit him. They rolled up to his crib unannounced and, said "Hey man, we just came to see what you were dealing with."

We laughed about all kinds of stuff and when I finally left his house at 3:30 in the morning he said, "Don't compete with people, compete with yourself. Music is an idea not a race."

This is me and Marcus playing backstage.

Wynton

Congrats ! Bobby Watson
08/29/2014

Congrats ! Bobby Watson

Amazing !
08/24/2014

Amazing !

Tomorrow night at 6:30 pm at 18th & Vine in Kansas City, the American Jazz Walk of Fame will unveil bronze medallions honoring Kansas City jazz greats Bobby Watson, Count Basie (Count Basie _ Verve Records), Charlie Parker, Mary Lou Williams (Mary Lou Williams Foundation, Inc.), Jay McShann and Pat Metheny. Congratulations to all the honorees!

Following the induction ceremony, there will be a concert at the Gem Theater featuring The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra and Bobby Watson with the American Jazz Orchestra. Click here for more info: http://americanjazzmuseum.org/

Bobby will also perform tonight at The Blue Room at the American Jazz Museum with GEORGE V JOHNSON JR and members of the Count Basie Orchestra. Click here for more info: http://club.americanjazzmuseum.org/

Photo courtesy of kcjazzlark.blogspot.com

08/15/2014

Cats in Hats would like to express our deepest sympathy and condolence to the family of John Blake . His music and memory will live in our hearts forever . R I P Brother John !

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15055 Sunflower Dr
Philadelphia, PA
19116

Telephone

(215) 350-2019

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