Saturday, December 23, 2017

Funky River

This was our encore at a home concert. Though I wrote the tune, Phil Orr brings it to life with that funky feel on piano. Thanks to Princeton University's Keller Center for originally commissioning the piece. They used it as a theme for their educational videos.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Cheery in Theory

A fun name, loosely associated with invasive species, which can be very pretty until they start taking over your yard or your local nature preserve. Some of the musical motifs in the piece appear in shifting settings, from attractive to more tumultuous, but, spoiler alert, cheer wins out in the end. Recorded at a home concert.

Friday, November 24, 2017

SJE Helps Celebrate Women's Environmental Work

Music, artwork, nature and people gathered at the Duke Farms carriage house for the annual award ceremony and fundraiser hosted by Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ.

Our Sustainable Jazz trio, this time with Keith Lesnik on piano and Scott Hornick on bass.

Four women were honored for their gallant wildlife work, former governor Tom Kean spoke,

while murals above spoke of gallant days past.

A peregrine falcon made the trip from the Mercer County Wildlife Center, where it was nursed back to health from an injury that won't allow it to return to the wild.

The falcon's handler was still good-humored after two hours of posing for photos. She explained that the falcon's approach to hunting involves dive bombing a flying duck at 200 miles per hour. The duck, jarred by the blow, is killed instantly, falling to the ground, where it becomes the falcon's dinner. My trip to the grocery store started looking pretty tame by comparison.

It was a great pleasure to play for this spirited occasion, and hear about the dedicated environmental work that might otherwise go unsung.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Video of In the Company of Friends

An original composition of straight ahead jazz performed July 21, 2017 at the 1867 Sanctuary, a beautifully restored church in Ewing, NJ. Steve Hiltner on tenor sax, Phil Orr on piano. Composed by Stephen K. Hiltner. The performance was part of the Climate Cabaret, which mixes music and theater.

Video of Funky River at the 1867 Sanctuary

Performed July 21, 2017 at the 1867 Sanctuary, a beautifully restored church in Ewing, NJ. The composition was originally commissioned by the Keller Center at Princeton University, for use as the theme song for their videos.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Garden Party Season!

The Sustainable Jazz Ensemble landed in the backyard for a wedding anniversary garden party, playing a mix of jazz standards and originals.

Lars Wendt, who also performs with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, is a one-man brass ensemble, here workin' the mute on a flugelhorn.

In the video below, Phil Orr gets down with his bad self on an original of mine, Funky River. Later, the hostess came up and proved a natural, knocking us all out with her vocal rendition of The Man I Love.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mardi Gras Party Video

Iko, Iko! A Mardi Gras party in Princeton, NJ, Feb. 28, 2017, with members of the Sustainable Jazz Ensemble. Phil Orr on piano, Lars Wendt on trombone, Steve Hiltner on saxophone. Sitting in are Jeff Whetstone on harmonica and neighbor J.D. on cajon (literally). J.D. grew up in New Orleans.


Lars Wendt on brass of many tonal colors, and the orrsome Phil Orr on the keys.

Surprise! Our next door neighbor, June, plays a soulful violin, adding feeling of deep Americana to the festivities.

Sustainable Jazz Plays Princeton's Communiversity

If you're going today, Sunday, April 30, Pianist Phil Orr and I will be playing originals and jazz standards at the Paul Robeson Stage, next to the library on Witherspoon Street, from 2-2:30pm.