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Mitch Stein Discusses His NOLA Roots, Promoting Concerts, Playing With Members Of The Dead & More [Interview]

first_imgIn April, the world-famous New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will return to the Fair Grounds Race Course in celebration of the longstanding event’s 50th anniversary. Musician, bandleader, promoter, film producer, and modern-day musical Renaissance man Mitch Stein fell in love with Jazz Fest more than 25 years ago, and has been involved with the event’s annual festivities in some capacity ever since. This year, Stein will bring a plethora of hard-hitting late-night shows to Café Istanbul, including the 5th Annual all-star celebration of the Grateful Dead dubbed AXIAL TILT.As New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival approaches, Live For Live Music‘s Sam Berenson had a chat with Mitch Stein to discuss his love for New Orleans and its musical culture, the upcoming shows he’s promoting surrounding Jazz Fest, his love for the Grateful Dead and more.Sam Berenson: What initially inspired your interest in New Orleans’ music scene?Mitch Stein: I became familiar with New Orleans music at a relatively young age. My dad was a professional singer, and used to play big band and Dixieland/New Orleans records in the house on a very regular basis. I had already become a big fan of The Radiators by the late 1980’s, and my interest in them guided me towards my first trip to New Orleans. I first attended Jazz Fest more than 25 years ago, and it was on that first visit that Charles Neville (who I had booked years earlier with the Neville Brothers at a show in New York, when I was in college) invited me to sit in with him at Storyville.From that moment, I decided to attend every Jazz Fest I could, and with eternal thanks to Charles, I began my now decades-long immersive study of all things New Orleans. This also subsequently led to the formation of GATORATORS in 2012 with Dave Malone, Camile Baudoin, and Reggie Scanlan from The Radiators, plus drummer Eric Bolivar, with whom I had played music before he moved to NOLA from the Bay Area. The band has been playing together ever since.SB: What effect has being a musician and playing music had on your professional career in the industry?MS: I’ve been playing piano since I was 4 years old. I studied classical piano for 10 years, then switched to formal jazz training, including studying and performing at the Berklee College Of Music. In addition to my own projects, I have for years been a “hired gun” for other folks’ jazz, rock, blues, and funk projects, and my decades-long experience of being both a player and bandleader (and film producer) has provided me with the tools necessary to not only communicate and perform with other professional musicians and production professionals, but has paved the way for my now ongoing role as Exclusive Booker and Producer of the night-time Jazz Fest shows at Café Istanbul.SB: Is there anything you’re looking particularly forward to this year during Jazz Fest?MS: While I am extremely happy with this year’s calendar of phenomenal shows at Café Istanbul featuring New Orleans musicians nearly every night, I am admittedly very excited to host The Brecker Brothers Band on May 5th. The Breckers provided the soundtrack for a large segment of my musically formative years, and it’s pretty cool to have things now come full circle, resulting in the upcoming show. The level of musicianship in that band is way off the charts, and while every show on the calendar is worth catching, this show will definitely be a “you-should-have-been-there” experience.SB: What’s the history behind your relationship with Café Istanbul?MS: I first reached out to the owner of Café Istanbul prior to Jazz Fest 2015 to pitch him on an all-star, 2-night celebration of the Grateful Dead called AXIAL TILT (timed with the Dead’s 50th Anniversary). He explained that he was already booked on my requested dates, and we said our goodbyes. A few minutes later, he called to say that he had been contemplating my proposal and was going to go with his gut, allow me the chance to produce the shows, and shift the folks already confirmed to another date.Those shows went so well that he asked if I would be interested in being the exclusive booker for all shows at Café Istanbul during Jazz Fest, and I jumped at the chance. This will be my fifth year booking shows there, and I am extremely appreciative to have been given this opportunity. I am even happier that in addition to thoroughly enjoying the high-level music performed at the shows they attend, folks who pack the place every night really love the overall experience the venue and its staff provides.SB: You’re clearly a big fan of the Grateful Dead. How did you your relationship with the band/music begin?MS: As mentioned before, I had been studying classical piano for 10 years, and was then immersed in formal jazz training when a friend of mine called to tell me that he had an extra ticket for a rock concert and asked if I wanted to join him. I hadn’t yet heard of the Grateful Dead, and assumed by their name that they were some type of hard rock band. When I went to my first Dead show, I quickly discovered to my now lifelong delight that this wasn’t a rock band per se, but a jazz band performing in the rock idiom. The level of musicianship and onstage communication between the band members was stunning, and I was hooked from the first show.I bought a ticket for the following night’s show and was again delighted to discover that not a single song was repeated from the night before. I could spend a LONG time talking about the myriad ways that the Grateful Dead and their music has positively affected my life; suffice it to say that having seen nearly 400 Grateful Dead concerts (plus another 300 or so solo Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and other band members’ solo and collaborative projects), the Dead’s music—and its direct relationship to the world of Jazz—is very much a part of my DNA. I have now officially performed music with every living member of the Grateful Dead, and I feel very fortunate that living and working in the San Francisco area offers me regular opportunities to celebrate them and their music.As a New Orleans side note for those unaware, the Neville Brothers opened for the Grateful Dead at eight of their shows, Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Michael Doucet & BeauSoleil each opened once, and Branford Marsalis joined them on several occasions. Other notable jazz-oriented live Grateful Dead show collaborators include Billy Cobham, Charles Lloyd, David Murray, Etta James, Flora Purim, Ken Nordine, and Ornette Coleman.SB: Tell me a little bit about the formation of your “AXIAL TILT” event.MS: As I mentioned earlier, AXIAL TILT began in 2015 as a 2-night celebration of the Grateful Dead’s 50th Anniversary. I assembled an incredible tribute ensemble comprised largely of members of the Dead’s extended family including Stu Allen (Phil Lesh & Friends), Rob Eaton (Dark Star Orchestra), Robin Sylvester (RatDog), Jay Lane (RatDog), original Grateful Dead member and vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux, and Charles Neville. We are now getting ready for the fifth annual AXIAL TILT (the same lineup but with Joan Osborne on vocals and Dino English from Dark Star Orchestra on drums; Charles unfortunately passed away last year), and will once again present two nice, long evenings of live Grateful Dead nuggets. Each performance will include one acoustic and two electric sets per night, with no repeat of any songs.SB: What’s your fondest memory of Leo Nocentelli?MS: I’d have to say the very first time I saw Leo with The Meters in New Orleans many years ago. I was familiar with their music, but watching the actual Godfathers Of Funk in person for the first time, and hearing Leo’s ultra-familiar guitar riffs in real time and in person, was one of the highlights of all of my years attending Jazz Fest. To now have him performing exclusively at Café Istanbul this year during Jazz Fest’s night-time shows is one long “pinch me” moment. And since I am also a member of Voyager, I’ll also get to check off a personal bucket list item when I’ll have the chance to actually jam with him on April 27!SB: I see Eric Krasno is involved with a bunch of your late-nights. Where did that friendship begin?MS: While our paths have crossed many times over the years, this will be the first time that we’ll be working together. I have been a fan of Eric’s for many years, and have actually tried to book him the past couple of years I’ve been booking the Istanbul lineup. This is the first year that the scheduling gods have paved the way for our collaboration, and I am more than excited to experience his artistry on my “home turf” in musical conversation with folks like Leo Nocentelli, Jason Crosby, Johnny Vidacovich, Renard Poché, Reggie Scanlan, Mark Brooks, Will Bernard, Wil Blades, Jason Hann, and others.SB: So you live in the Bay Area now. Do you see any similarities between your local music scene and New Orleans’?MS: I often tell people that if I didn’t live in the Bay Area, I’d likely end up in New Orleans. There are many similarities between the two scenes, with the most obvious being that both areas are overflowing with exceedingly talented musicians and appreciators of music, and both have provided the world with “signature” musical styles and sounds that continue to be celebrated not only in their respective locales, but throughout the world. I consider it a privilege to be affiliated with both areas, and will continue to do all that I can to celebrate that connection. YEAH YOU RIGHT!AXIAL TILT is set to take place once again on May 2nd and 3rd at Café Istanbul during Jazz Fest in New Orleans, LA. For more information and tickets to AXIAL TILT and all the other nighttime Jazz Fest shows at Café Istanbul, head here.last_img read more

Rabac / Poreč Open Air as a great example of how destinations should be developed

first_imgThe third summer of the festival with Rabac Open Air was full of great concerts, circus performances, interactive performances, top jazz, movies under the starry sky and many other events that flooded the streets of Rabac and Labin. During the 78 days of the festival, more than 18 performers changed at 19 different locations and through 200 different programs, and as many as 158 hours of music were played for over 30 visitors to the Rabac Open Air, which was held in Rabac for the third time this summer. Rabac / Poreč Open is an excellent example of quality content and an imperative for sustainable and quality development of the destination. Today in the modern age there is really no excuse to stagnate, everything is known and everything is available. Investing in events is not a cost but an investment If we want to have a good attendance and a good story, we must invest, ie invest money in quality content. Without content there is no story, no visitors and ultimately no interest. The goal is to offer quality products and services that visitors are willing to pay and consume, and of course the story of the event as the main motive for coming. The most important thing is to complete the whole story, both to the visitors and to the partners who are inside the festival through catering and other facilities. The event must be a win-win-win for everyone, because if only one element is missing, everything falls into the water. Based on an excellent and successful concept, Poreč Open Air (this year Poreč Open Air was visited by more than 63.000 visitors through 68 days of the festival, and at a total of 29 locations, a total of 231 performers realized 137 events), Valamar launched Rabac Open Air, exclusively because he had to offer his guests experiences and a quality program, not just the sun and the sea and great accommodation. These are guests who want and ask for more. They are looking for authentic, diverse and quality content in destinations. Valamar cannot wait for the destination to wake up, as it simply has to deliver value for the money it offers. And so the idea came to take their own destiny into their own hands. But instead of the destination pulling and leading the game, in Croatia we have the absurdity of hotel houses pulling and developing destinations. Of course, everyone in the destination must be part of one story, but still the development of the destination must be taken care of by the City and the Tourist Board as a kind of DMC company, and others follow them synergistically. Are we involved in development or is it just happening to us? Are we growing by inertia or are we still posting some strategic plan behind the whole story? Who deals with these processes? Do we measure the quality and reactions of tourists? We want growth, ok, and can that infrastructure grow and endure? What profile of tourists do we want at all and where do we see ourselves in 5,10 years? Do we even have enough parking spaces for all tourists? Etc.… a lot of questions, and that is why tourism is extremely complex because it is not one industry, but tourism connects vertically and horizontally all other industries that must function synergistically as a “Swiss watch”. And that is why the strategic and sustainable development of alpha and omega is in the development of tourism. “We are proud of the fact that more than 30.000 guests visited the festival and enjoyed 95 different entertainment events, which is almost twice as much content as the first festival edition in 2017. It is extremely important to offer visitors an additional experience of entertainment in the destination, so we at Valamar are happy to be able to realize a successful concept of a summer festival like this for the third year in a row. High attendance and interest of foreign guests and locals is the best confirmation of our work, and this time we want to announce that we have already begun preparations for the new edition of Rabac Open Air 2020. “, Pointed out Vlatka Ilečić Arklinić, Head of the Destination Management Department at Valamar Riviera. It is a skeleton and a great example that must be followed by all other destinations, because the motive for coming is not accommodation, but precisely the destination. And the concept of the sun and the sea has long since ceased to be sufficient or sustainable. This story opens up a lot of themes, but it also opens up a theme and values ​​for money. We are constantly revolving around narratives of how expensive we are. It is not a question of prices, but of value for money. Do we give that value for money at the destination? People will pay something “more expensive” if they have a positive sense of value for money and if we deliver a unique experience to them. In tourism, the service is the alpha and omega, and if we want to go one step further, we must not only meet the expectations of tourists, but delight them above the level of expectations. The level of quality and service in the accommodation, at least when it comes to hotel accommodation is taken for granted, according to the categorization. That is the standard, which of course we have to keep up. It is the destination and quality content that plays a key role here and makes a difference. The key word of the tourist mosaic is strategic development. He is behind the whole story Valamar Riviera, as well as local project partners, the City of Labin, the Tourist Board of Labin-Rabac, the Tourist Board of the Istrian County and other partners, and the production and organization of the whole story is done by MPG, a longtime partner of Valamar. It is a skeleton and a great example that must be followed by all other destinations, because the motive for coming is not accommodation, but precisely the destination. And the concept of the sun and the sea has long since ceased to be sufficient or sustainable. center_img Rabac Open Air (ROA) is an excellent quality and diverse content in the destination, exactly what we chronically lack in most of our destinations. Thus, various concerts, circus performances, animations, workshops, interactive performances, films under the starry sky and numerous other events that flooded the streets of Rabac and Labin were held as part of the ROA. It is important to emphasize that one did not go to one or a couple of strong and big concerts and that is it, but just the opposite. Hundreds of small quality programs have been realized, targeting various target groups or content done for each group of tourists. A smart decision because that is how the program was maintained in the period from June 15 to August 29, not a couple of days. To conclude, Rabac / Poreč Open Air is an excellent example and proof that quality content is imperative for destination development, and an excellent domestic example of how this is done in practice. How to develop a destination, here’s how! Synergy is needed, literally everyone in the destination, from small to large, because it is this tourist mosaic and all the subjects and participants make up the destination. The Rabac Open Air program again this year offered extremely rich content through four categories. Thus, visitors from the Special Events, Cinema and Theater, Street Music and Street Performance programs enjoyed entertainment in several locations from mid-June to the end of August. This is great proof that investing in events is not a cost but an investment. Excellent quality content was generated in the tourist destination, tourist consumption and the whole tourist story was completed. If we want to increase tourist consumption, have better quality guests, then it can certainly no longer offer only the sun and the sea. Quality, diverse and authentic content is imperative. In addition to the fact that through various facilities guests have something to do in the destination, in addition to swimming, we directly raise the overall satisfaction of tourists with the destination, as well as increase tourist spending, and thus the profile of guests. Not only in the financial context, but with targeted content, we target a specific target group that is attracted to the destination by active vacation, culture, entertainment, etc.… Of course, first and foremost we need to know which tourism product we build and for whom, our vision of development. strategic development of the destination, both through the offer, service, arrangement and contents. Photo: Valamar / Rabac Open Air Quality, diverse and authentic content is imperative The key word is strategic development A hotel or a hotel brand, no matter how strong, whether in financial, human resources or any other form, cannot develop a destination on its own. It simply does not make decisions outside its domain, and the destination is not a hotel, but the term destination refers to an entire space and all participants in it. The level of service can be phenomenal at the hotel, but if the destination is bad, everyone loses. As well as vice versa. “Attendance, which is growing from year to year, is proof that visitors really enjoy the attractive program and content of the festival. We have been working on the offer of the festival for a very long time and we are carefully designing what Rabac Open Air will offer to its guests. And in order for both the little ones and the big ones to be able to enjoy themselves equally, we have provided various events, such as concerts, theater performances, movie hits, socializing with favorite cartoon characters and much more. Rabac is one of the great examples of how a destination can develop through quality and fun content”, Said Ivana Biškupić, Project Manager of Rabac Open Air Festival from MPG. last_img read more

Orange seek 1st win over ranked opponent since 2015

first_img Published on October 3, 2018 at 11:13 pm Contact Andrew: [email protected] | @CraneAndrew Comments One day after losing 3-0 to No. 3 BYU, Syracuse led No. 10 Southern California, 2-0.In the third set, Syracuse fell behind 6-1 early and couldn’t recover. In the fourth, USC’s 15-4 lead proved insurmountable. And in the fifth, the Orange couldn’t flip the momentum and lost, 15-13. The next day, SU lost to their third ranked opponent in as many days, a 3-1 decision to No. 25 Marquette.“We were right there with those teams, it wasn’t like they destroyed us,” senior middle blocker Santita Ebangwese said. “We were making them nervous.”Less than a month later, the Orange (8-4, 4-0 Atlantic Coast) find themselves off to their best ACC start in program history, and enter this weekend as one of three undefeated teams in the conference.On Friday, Syracuse matches up with No. 8 Pittsburgh (15-0, 4-0), a team they haven’t beaten since 2015. If the Orange are to upset their first ranked opponent since that same season, they will have to finish, something they’ve failed to do against top 25 teams this season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Pittsburgh will definitely come in with high confidence,” associate head coach Erin Little said. “For us to be able to match that, knowing the opponents that we faced and how we played against those will only help us here.”Pittsburgh, one of two undefeated teams in the country, currently hold their highest ranking in program history. The Panthers enter Friday’s matchup winners of their last 13 ACC matches, dating back to last season.Laura Angle | Digital Design EditorThrough 12 matches in 2018, Syracuse has dominated the net defensively, posting a conference-best 2.8 blocks per game, but will have to defend against Pittsburgh’s front row, which tallies 14.4 kills per set, first in the ACC.The keys for Syracuse are to serve aggressively, contain the balanced Pitt offense and be smart in how they set up their blocks, Little said.“It goes back to the saying ‘Defense wins games,’” senior Amber Witherspoon said. “It’s good for them to be a good offensive team, but we’re going to try to come back with our defense and our blocks.”Even if the Orange aren’t able to get the block, Ebangwese said, a strong game at the net allows Syracuse to set up their offense.The return of redshirt senior Christina Oyawale has helped SU’s presence at the net. After an ankle injury forced her to miss seven matches, she returned in a Sept. 23 win over Clemson and finished second on the team with three blocks.“(Oyawale) puts up a nice block,” Ebangwese said, “and she also deters some hitting outside, like bouncing balls and helping with the momentum.”Facing a team that’s 35-5 at home since 2016, the Orange need to create their own momentum to eliminate Pitt’s home court advantage.“We’re used to that (road) type of atmosphere … we’re used to being cheered against,” Witherspoon said. “We honestly thrive off of that. It’s like, ‘We’ll show you who we are … you’re going to know our name.’”Despite their historic start, Syracuse knows that they have to clean up parts of their game, or as Ebangwese puts it, “dotting our I’s and crossing our T’s,” in order to continue their run.“Some things we were able to get away with against Wake Forest,” she said, “we won’t be able to get away with against Pitt.”center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

(Monday, 9:30 a.m.) Sumner County under blizzard warning until 6 a.m. Tuesday

first_imgBy Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Sumner County Emergency Management has sent out the latest bulletin from the National Weather Service. It reads…“The National Weather Service in Wichita has issued a BLIZZARD WARNING that includes Sumner County …which is in effect now until 6 a.m. Tuesday.Snowfall will begin this morning and persist through tonight…with the heaviest snowfall occurring later this morning through this evening.Snow accumulations will range from 7 to 14 inches south of a Hutchinson/Newton/El Dorado line.The heaviest snowfall of 10 to 14 inches is expected near the Anthony/Kingman area.Winds will be northerly at 30 to 35 mph sustained…with gusts to 40 mph.The strong north winds combined with moderate to heavy snow will cause blowing snow that will frequently reduce visibilities to less than ½ mile in many areas. Drifts could reach 2 to 3 feet.Travel will be dangerous and is highly discouraged. The addition of several more inches of snow on top of nearly a foot of previous snowfall on roofs could be a concern for structures.NWS weather update 2-25-13, 9:30 a.m. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one! Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more