For those who ask me “What do you ‘do’?”
(Click the graphic to) check out some of the ways that I ‘spend’ (*invest*) my time & energy, expertise & passion.
From music to employment transition to bicycling to food…
And the Ed Palermo Big Band.
The [semi-]short (back) story is: Walking in NYC’s “The Village” one time, looking for something to do. Saw a sign, at the Red Lion, for a musical double-bill: Project/Object [the repertoire of Frank Zappa] [and please see my other posts, about him (and about books about him), on this blog, including this one] and Mahavishnu Project [the book of… you guessed which Orchestra.] I took a gamble and walked in. Both bands blew me away. I signed onto the e-mail list for P/O. Then, on a subsequent tour, they asked for volunteers for “local crews.” Help the band load in & out and get free admission & beer! I wrote a long letter about all my skills & attributes and care while handling other people’s expensive/delicate equipment. The leader, Andre Cholmondeley, chose me and I met him at Maxwell’s in Hoboken one (fateful) afternoon before their gig. Fun!
The next year I volunteered, for them, at BB Kings. The next year I volunteered at Mexicali Rose. The next year I volunteered at Iridium. Etc. I’ve lost count. But have made a good friend in Andre (a killer guitarist [as was FZ, not everybody realizes]). (The rest of the players have rotated.) [And met both Ike Willis and Ray White, from some of FZ’s best lineups!]
And I met Katie Jacoby, electric violinist [did you love Jean Luc Ponty’s time with FZ?!] one time at BB King’s. We now think, the first time I met Ed Palermo–the hero of this current story–and, when he first met her, too. Of course, we both were enamored of Katie. I photographed her (and everyone/all evening, of course). Ed invited her to sit in with his group. Now she’s (a regular) in his band.
Oh, so, one time, hanging out with Ed in some NYC venue, after meeting at least several times, we realized that we both live in the same town in northern NJ!
I (follow/am “friends” with him) (since I’ve met him several times through the Montclair Food & Wine Festival (#MFWF), and so) saw this on Chef Francesco Palmieri’s personal Facebook page. As you can see, I responded to his call, and he replied. Great. (I thought: “I will do him the favor of being a body to make the place look lively, and I will get free food—double-good!”) I went there on time (earlier than scheduled) and asked how I could help. (I had worn black so as to be able to blend into the background; I certainly didn’t want to be interviewed on camera. [No worries, about that—we had a good crowd and the host/producer found some articulate people to talk to.])
Here’s what the scene looked like:
Alexandra with her mother Melody Kettle (the founder & director of #MFWF!), with [my new friend] Doreen Sarcone (Bloomfield Center Alliance), in the left corner. [My old friend] Paul Brewster (from FitzGerald’s 1928, in Glen Ridge) and his wife, in the back. [My new friends] Barbara & Paul Castigila, against the wall. Penwah Phynjuar, at the bar. [My new friend] Diane Biancamano, in the middle, with other good folks.
The chef being interviewed, in a quiet moment, after (he was taped while) cooking all that food.