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Jim Cullum Hosts Austin's Finest This Week On Riverwalk Jazz

Published: 2014-01-02
The Jim Cullum Jazz Band This week on Riverwalk Jazz, Jim Cullum welcomes Austin’s top young traditional jazz artists—guitarist/violinist Erik Hokkanen, guitarist J.D. Pendley and vocalist Albanie Falletta, to the stage of San Antonio’s Pearl Stable on the banks of the San Antonio River. The Band tears it up with piano sensation Shelly Berg
Shelly Berg
Shelly Berg

piano
, and series favorites Vernel Bagneris and Topsy Chapman sing the blues.

The program is distributed in the US by Public Radio International, on Sirius/XM satellite radio and can be streamed on-demand from the Riverwalk Jazz website. You can also drop in on a continuous stream of shows at the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound.

Residents of Austin, Texas are proud that their city boasts more live music venues than any other—including New York and Las Vegas. Austin music fans choose between a wide variety of styles and genres—from Texas swing and bluegrass to a thriving cohort of traditional jazz. Our special guests this week are active players in this lively scene who perform regularly in live venues across the city.

Guitarist J.D. Pendley was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and has lived and performed as a full-time musician in Austin since 2001. In 2000 he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in jazz guitar performance from the University of Utah. In Austin he performs with Erik Hokkanen, the Jazz Pharaohs, the Giant Three, and many others. His chief musical influences are Eddie Lang
Eddie Lang
Eddie Lang
1902 - 1933
guitar
, Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
1901 - 1971
trumpet
, Django Reinhardt
Django Reinhardt
Django Reinhardt
1910 - 1953
guitar
, and Sidney Bechet
Sidney Bechet
Sidney Bechet
1897 - 1959
sax, soprano
. J.D. is “passionate about rhythm, acoustic music and continuing the tradition pioneered by so guitarists in the early days of jazz.”

Guitarist/violinist Erik Hokkanen is one of Austin’s most colorful and distinguished players. A third generation Finn raised in Florida, Erik relocated to Texas in the early 80s and rapidly built a reputation as a fiddler, multi-instrumentalist and performer. Erik’s original music and playing can be heard on the soundtracks of motion pictures DOA, Michael, Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Newton Boys. These days Erik plays electric guitar and fiddle in his new band, Hip Replacements, a gypsy surf outfit that can be seen Tuesdays at Flipnotics cafe in Austin.

Ryan Gould began his musical life playing guitar, which led him to play in death metal and punk rock bands around Philadelphia in the early 1990s. After serving as a United States Marine, Ryan returned to southeastern Pennsylvania with a keen interest in traditional Irish music. Currently, Ryan performs regularly in Austin with Erik Hokkanen and The Hip Replacements, The Jazz Pharaohs, Aunt Ruby’s Sweet Jazz Babies, and Albanie Falletta and her Fellas. Ryan says that he draws great inspiration from a vast pool of musicians from various genres as well as from the experiences of his daily life.

Youthful guitarist and vocalist Albanie Falletta is very much in demand on the Austin live music scene. Albanie lists among her influences Fats Waller
Fats Waller
Fats Waller
1904 - 1943
piano
, Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
1915 - 1959
vocalist
, Lester Young
Lester Young
Lester Young
1909 - 1959
saxophone
and especially Django Reinhardt. Albanie performs live with her own group, Albanie and her Fellas and with groups led by Jonathan Doyle at Austin venues The Elephant Room and The Victory Grill.

Also on the program: Broadway’s Vernel Bagneris and New Orleans’ Topsy Chapman offer an original blues improvisation with Jim Cullum and the Band, and jazz pianist Shelly Berg plays the music of Duke Ellington and others.


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