[Dixielandjazz] The Real Deals

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sun Jun 11 20:27:02 PDT 2006

Sometimes, folks ask me if Tom Wiggins is the real deal. Well, here's part
of an e-mail I received from a friend today:

------- begin snip
I left NJ JazzFest about 5 and arrived in Nyack at the Palisades Center
where I was privileged to see Prof. Tom Wiggins in action!!!  He had
arranged for Blues Blake Edwards and ensemble from Indiana to perform at
Opus dinner/music theatre and 2nd set Chuck Willis replaced Dwight  using
Dwight's ensemble!  I'm not a Blues fan....but these guys are A-1 performers
and blew ME away.  The whole thing was for Blues Radio - Dan Akyroyd....who
intro'd both sets. 

It was great to meet Tom....and to see him in action....and he treated ME
like royalty!  I have a picture of *us* I will send when I get a print.  The
good news is, he made contacts there to have him bring both acts to Philly
area.....so I pray it's not coinciding with any of your gigs so you can
finally have a F2F with Tom (if you didn't already back when you were in CA
and may have met and didn't know it).

------- end snip

and another snip from it about young Jonathan Russell's performance with
Kenny Davern at the NJ Jazz Fest:

------- begin snip
NJ yesterday...two sets with Ed Polcer, Johnny Varro, Kenny Davern, Tom
Artin, Frank Tate, Jeff Brillinger   and Yes...Jonathan Jazz!  His arm is
better...not 100% but he played 4 or five numbers each set. Kenny Davern
thought he could *get* Jonathan...and he found out.....NOT.  I think Kenny
was blown away by Jonathan.....rare to see him (Kenny) humble. :o)

Jonathan had his CD for sale and of course, I have it.
-------  end snip

BTW, Kenny had a ball with young Jonathan, just ask him the next time you
see him. Kenny said it was just about the most fun he has had playing, in
years. I think perhaps "J" reminds Kenny of his own early career when he was
similarly, a young kid phenom in NYC.

Jonathan will be with Barbone Street for a double header on July 4th. A
quartet date, American Songbook, over lunch (violin, double bass, guitar,
clarinet) and the regular Dixieland Band on the Wilmington Riverfront that
evening before fireworks.

We'll limit his violin performance time if his arm is not fully healed and
make it up with his vocals. :-) VBG

Both gigs for him "by request" of the event producers who heard him with us
last year. Something about the audiences love him etc., in case you are
wondering if you should book him. :-) VBG

Steve Barbone

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