Long before Jimmy Hendrix, Chet Atkins, Les Paul or Charlie Christian, there was a guitarist from New Orleans that some have called the Original Guitar Hero. Lonnie Johnson recorded with Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, was one of the first jazz or blues musicians to play melodic solos on the instrument. B.B. King credits Johnson as one of his greatest influences and he is said to have inspired other influential guitar players including Robert Johnson and T-Bone Walkker.
Articles by Peter Solomon
If you’re a fan of live music in Richmond, odds are good that at some point you’ve run across the path of Herbert ‘Debo’ Dabney. Debo is everywhere.
On Wednesday evening, July 15, singer Laura Ann Singh and guitarist Kevin Harding of Quatro Na Bossa came to our studios at 88.9 WCVE to play some music and talk a little bit about what they have planned for Friday evening’s (7/18) Guitar and Other Strings Concert at VCU. In case you missed their segment, you can listen to it here. They performed music by Chico Buarque, Dorival Caymmi, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luis Bonfa.
Guitarist Randy Johnston has been living and working in New York since 1981, playing guitar with some iconic jazz musicians: the late singer Etta Jones, tenor saxophonist Houston Person, legendary bebop alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson and just about every influential Hammond B-3 organist you can think of (Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jack McDuff, Jimmy McGriff, Shirley Scott, and Joey Defrancesco make up a partial list).
On April 18th, saxophonist J. Plunky Branch celebrated forty years of leading his ensemble “Plunky & Oneness” with a gala affair at the historic Hippodrome Theatre in Jackson Ward. Plunky’s music is expansive, reflecting a wide range of influences including rhythm and blues, African music, avant garde jazz, go-go, hip-hop, and funk. Over the last four decades, he’s composed hundreds of songs, recorded more than two dozen albums and has performed for audiences all over the world.
The site of the James River Park Pipeline Walkway still contains features that reflect the uses of the location back in the 19th century. For instance, there’s a hand-made stone wall that sits directly behind the pipeline. Ralph White, a retired park naturalist and manager of the James River Park system, says this wall was built by slaves and was a part of the infrastructure of the port of Richmond.
In the report on the blue heron rookery, Ralph White, a retired park naturalist and manager of the James River Park system, says that more fish and mammals live at the falls of the James than any other part of the river.
If you follow the James River on its bumpy course through Richmond, you can’t help but be struck by the weird mashup of urban landscape and wildlife. A fascinating example is the blue heron rookery at Vauxhall Island near the 14th Street Bridge. The island is situated just across the river from the James River Park Pipeline walkway. It’s the perfect vantage point to watch the activities of these large, beautful birds as they breed, nest and catch fish.
Trombonist Steve Davis will be featured in the next concert in the Richmond Jazz Society Guest Educators Series Tuesday evening, April 1 at 7:00 p.m. at Capitol Ale House at 623 East Main Street. Davis was the last musician to join Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and discusses the lessons he learned with Blakey's band and from two of his other important musical mentors - Jackie Mclean and Chic Corea.