Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Try a Little Jazz Accordion This Week

I'm at the Christians in Theatre Arts (CITA) Conference in California and am looking forward to telling you next week about the great training, fellowship and performances offered there.

Meanwhile, for those of you in the Nashville area, don't miss the accordion event of the year this Friday, June 13. Yes, I said accordion. As part of ATG's Annual International Accordion Festival, international accordion champion (and Masterwork Productions pianist) Jeff Lisenby will perform tunes from his first solo jazz album A Spy In Tortuga with a full band. The NashVegas Jazz features some of Nashville's A-list session players including Chris Brown, Andy Reiss (of The Time Jumpers), John Vogt, Todd London, Matt Davich and special guest vocalists Jaclyn Brown and
Abby Burke.

The event, beginning at 7:00 is open to the public at the Hotel Preston, 733 Briley Parkway, Nashville. If you can't make it to the show, buy the CD here: http://cdbaby.com/cd/lisenbyj

In other news, Jeff was recently filmed playing the accordion by Mark
Burnett Productions as part of the first episode of CBS's new reality
show "Jingles". Episode will air in late August 2008.


"A Spy In Tortuga" is Jeff's first independent jazz accordion
album, and features several brand-new original compositions by
Jeff, as well as several reinvented jazz standards. The
instrumentation is traditional jazz quartet: bass, drums, guitar...
and accordion. The additional sax, vocalist, keyboards, or
percussion here and there enhance the album well.

"The accordion has been stereotyped for a long time," Jeff said.
"I want people to hear this CD, enjoy it for its diversity, and hear
the accordion as another fine musical instrument, which can be used
in any type of music."

Jeff can be heard on numerous country and Christian recordings and was music director for the Broadway musical "Ring Of Fire". He also was a pianist with Masterwork Productions' touring show "Early One Morning."

Why a jazz album?

"I grew up in Kansas City, MO, where there is a jazz commission, as part of the city government," Jeff said. "Because of that, I grew up hearing many of the great national jazz figures who came to town to play for us -- Count Basie, Monty Alexander, Maynard Fergusson, Bill Evans, Chick Corea. So I've been loving and playing jazz for a long time. I like the freedom to play whatever I want in the improvised sections, and I like the sound of a big band all playing in ensemble."

"There aren't a lot of jazz accordionists around, but accordion is slowly coming back into style in the United States. We're hearing it on more and more pop albums."

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Daily Inspiration

The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

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Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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