Norwegian Heritage Day – March 26, 2022

Norwegian Heritage Day – March 26, 2022  –  Leif Erikson Hall, Seattle

Returned to event-sketching and posting with a healthy overdose – four acts, four hours on my feet!  At least I got to scarf some Pølse with lefse (Norwegian hotdog bound up in a flexible potato-based tortilla-like wrap) before it was all gone, demand rapidly outstripping supply.  Sketching got complicated by the dancing going on: dancers were part of the entertainment, and most of the tunes were clearly meant for it; so I had to stay out of the way of the dancers, who at times were, well, in my way.  And some musicians (not the seated ones) also got into the act, moving to new positions and conformations as the music struck.  This all made a “dancer” out of me as I shifted position back and forth for viewing advantage, ever-mindful of keeping my distance from just about everybody.

Solo fiddler Boyd was most elusive, and it shows.   Six Feet Back Band seemed to have the most complexly composed arrangements, lots of reading off of music stands, structured harmonies.  Sølje Sisters violated the “Shave and a Haircut” norm by using it more than once for a song-ending.   Skandia Kapell offered more tunes in minor keys, plus they had a bunch of unison singing, whereas the other groups were strictly instrumental.  When asked about the minor-key emphasis, Johansson attributed it to being Finnish (although Viking nonetheless).  I guess having a border with Russia can do that.

Bill Boyd

The Wood Carver










Six Feet Back Band

Gregory Gdovicak

Jared MacFarlane








Lyn Jackson

Donna Luce

Nick Ericson









Lydia Louie


Sølje Sisters

Anita Paulsen

Sharon Farmer










Nancy Hiraoka

Joanna Elizondo










                           Skandia Kapell

Kristen Forster

Kris Johansson







James R Skrindi

Bjarne Jacobsen

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Busking Seattle – Ballard Farmers Market

Busking Seattle – Ballard Farmers Market

In olden days, each day of busking would get its own page.  In the sleek “I’m too busy!” 2020’s, why bother.  Yes it will make the annotations, etc. more convoluted.  Too bad.

My routine for Ballard Farmers Market (Sundays) is to walk down, sketch, shop, and then take the bus back up 24th Ave.  A separate page will detail the vendors.

Inner City Medicine Show – 21 November 2021: Is it just me, or just Seattle?  It seems the multi-person groups (and a good number of the soloists as well) busking in town have a “greatest hits of the 1930’s” sensibility.  Works for me!  ICMS fills the bill with skill.

Stetson Curtis

Curtis Parton










KB MuscleMouth


Corky Dragland – 21 November 2021: Dragland is an import from some unspecified British isle, and one of the oldest buskers that I’ve sketched.  There is some frailty to the guy, so we hope he sticks around a bit longer.  On the day of the sketch, the weather was damp and blustery, so, mindful of his health, he cut his set (and my sketch) short to pack up.

Corky Dragland


Emery Carl (undated):  Nothing like a harmonica holder to gum up the face portion of a portrait.

Emery Carl


Tony Mack – 13 February 2022:  Mack is one of the self-contained performers shlepping around a mini-PA to play the background tracks for his sax solos.  One of his tunes was “The Work Song”, a sax staple of my days in Total Crudd.  It came to me by way of Butterfield, but Mack correctly identified the antecedent, Cannonball Adderly (“Them Dirty Blues” album of 1960), composed by his brother, cornetist Nat Adderly.  For the memories and schooling I threw Mack $5 .  Me tipping a busker?  You heard it first here!

Tony Mack


Saxxadelic – 13 February 2022:  First of a series of artists whose real names we will never know.  He was not able to insert The Work Song into his free-form flow.



Banjo Dugg – 13 February 2022:

Banjo Dugg


Eric DeAngelo – 13 March 2022:  DeAngelo travels with his backing tracks playing on his shlepped mini-PA.  He knew few details about his Les Paul axe (year?).

Eric DeAngelo


Reedwarrior  “James” – 20 March 2022:  James is also deep into the 1930’s.  In addition to sax, he also does growly vocals vo-de-oh-doh style through the shortest of megaphones, constructed (or, destructed) from a modified paper coffee cup.  Set included “Comes Love (Nothing Can Be Done)” from 1939; I rest my case.

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Busking NYC – February 2020

Busking NYC – February 2020

Orlando Sanchez Soto

Show-Time and Tyson Griffin

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Stefon Harris – January 27, 2020

Stefon Harris – January 27, 2020  –  Schomburg Center

  Harris is a holistic person, so why wouldn’t his instrument be the vibes, a term with meaning in multiple contexts!   So the music was the attraction accounting for my attendance of this presentation, but it was always in the context of historical understanding and advocacy for African Americanism.  Coming up, Harris served literally as apprentice to Bobby Hutcherson, hasn’t missed a trick, and is pretty much one of the go-to guys of his generation.  His association with drummer Gully goes back many years; Marc Cary, pianist for this gig was at the far end of the stage and could not be seen for a sketch.

Casey Benjamin


Stefon Harris








Terreon Gully

Luques Curtis



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Rachel Kara Perez – 15 December 2019

Rachel Kara Perez  –  Woolworth Chapel, Woodlawn Cemetery  – 15 December 2019

Perez offered a program of holiday tunes, backed by a string quartet.  Some were gleaned from her Hispanic background, and were unfamiliar; others were chestnuts (not roasting!); all reflected her solid classical training and personal warmth.  Concerts at Woodlawn usually include compositions from the interrees; today’s was “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin (yes, Jewish!).  The emotive pinnacle was “O Holy Night”.  Charming string arrangement accents courtesy of violinist Petcher.

Rachel Kara Perez

Evelyn Petcher

Monica Davis

Eliana Mendoza

Sally Shumway

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The Tune – 7 November 2019

The Tune  – Rubenstein Atrium, Lincoln Center  –  7 November 2019

This all-female group from Korea is as far from the K-Pop stereotype as possible.  Its foundation is traditional music, and certainly uses time-honored drum, percussion, and wind instrumentations.  But they also incorporate a modern keyboard and pull from a shamanistic melange of disparate influences – jazz, gypsy, call-and-response, creating their own distinctive brand that defies category.

Lee Soung Soon

Song Han Eol

Go Hyun Kyung

Lee Yu Jin

Seo Min Gi

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Bill & Brandi Hayden – 21 September 2019

Bill & Brandi Hayden  –  Hudson Valley Folk Guild, Unitarian Church, Poughkeepsie                                                 21 September 2019

I’ve crossed paths with the Haydens for years at HVFG open mikes.  Here they were the featured performers, blending voices and guitars as smooth as ever.

Brandi Hayden

Bill Hayden

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Brewster Fall Festival – September 8, 2019

Brewster Fall Festival  –  Main Street  – September 8, 2019

The music entertainment at Brewster’s Fall Festival (formerly Founders Day) has certainly come into its own, with four groups taking the stage.  Unfortunately the stage manager didn’t quite manage the time optimally, so that the first group seemed shorted, sent off the stage just as they were getting warmed up (and before I could sketch the drummer), and there seemed to be surplus time for an extended set by the final group (hence color).  Oh well!  Quality was surely there, well-distributed.  The quirky and terroir awards both went to R&D Music Factory, with one song about Sodom Road (a local thoroughfare, and there is no Y!) and another about the nearby Tilly Foster Mine.  And that’s not even considering the guitar player’s providentially punnable name!  OK now, minds out of the gutter.

Joe D

Charles McIntyre

Tony Cataldo

Rod Cumming

Daniel Basiletti


Jonathan Ozbone

Chris Lynch


Raquel de Souza

Luis Cruz

Matthew Bauer

Cat Lines

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Aaron Whitby & Cousin From Another Planet – 5 September 2019

Aaron Whitby & Cousin From Another Planet –  Rubenstein Atrium – 5 September 2019

Whitby is the musical director for the Martha Redbone juggernaut (she joined in for a few numbers, including the joyous Make Somebody Happy; Whitby is also her husband). Here, he steps out in his own right with his talented funky “Cousin” combo.

Aaron Whitby

Fred Cash

Charlie Burnham

David Phelps

Gintas Janusonis

Gary Fritz

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Lt. Joseph Gambino, Jr.

Lt. Joseph Gambino, Jr.  1949-1973

Joe Gambino on the ceiling, Cornell University

I came across the website Wall of Faces (, a remembrance of service people who perished in the VietNam War.  Since my post is greater than the 512 character capacity there, I have posted the more extensive reminiscence here:

This has been my first look at the Wall of Faces site.  I am ever so thankful for all of the touching remembrances posted here about my brother Joseph Gambino, from the various facets of his life.  Those from people whom I also know are especially evocative for me, stirring up memories of our fond associations.

Joseph was two years older than me.  He skipped a grade in elementary school (PS 95, Bronx) and then was in the accelerated program (SP) at JHS 143 that condensed three years into two.  So he was two years ahead of most of his original cohort. I did not overlap with him at either JHS 143 or Bronx High School of Science.

That guy was like the ultimate jock – excellent at any sport he applied himself to. As the Bronx HS of Science alums recall, there was no varsity football team, but there was an annual seniors-versus-juniors match, up on Harris Field.  Joe’s junior year was the first time that the seniors were defeated, a source of considerable pride at the time.  In high school he was on the swimming team and the gymnastics team.

In the Kingsbridge Little League (Bronx), Joe was a star on the Fanny Farmer team – I was a spectator at the no-hitter he threw, and I think he also scored the only run of that game.  Later on I was a lackluster third baseman on the North Side Savings Bank (AKA North New York once it changed hands) team.  The only sport that I could compete on approximately even terms was basketball, just a minor sideline for him.  I had the height advantage; he brought some of the football lineman roughhouse sensibility to the play “in the paint” (the rebound zone) that was, shall we say, lacking nuance.  Later, when he attended Cornell he was center on the 150 football team – this was part of a separate athletic team circuit; students on the team could weigh no more than 150 pounds.  I remember  sessions with him where all we did was practice his hiking the ball to me as I stood in for the punter.  He also took up boxing, not sure if there was a team about this.  It was always to my advantage to have him on my side.   Nuance was not his forté.

By the time of his enlistment in the US Air Force, we were on separate paths.  He surely loved flying, and being able to say how he was protecting our liberties (including the right to be against the war).  I’m sure he would have preferred to be in a serious attack plane, shooting big time at the enemy,  rather than forward air control – whose primary mission is to scout out the targets for the big boys.  The OV-10 had some modest armament, and he welcomed opportunities to discharge them before returning to base.  By 1973, the war was winding down and there was less rationale for our military involvement; Joe still wanted to get his shots in, and the opinion (of some) within his squadron was that Joe was flying “too hard”.   Officer Church’s recounting in this thread is right on the money: “Joe was an aggressive FAC, not reluctant to get close for a good look at his target.” Unfortunately, doing so also gave the ground batteries a good look at him; he had returned safely from at least one previous mission with his tail all shot up.  His luck ran out on his birthday.

I will welcome and respond to email correspondence from anyone wishing for further exchange.

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