SECTION ONE

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COLUMN 105, MAY 1, 2004
(Copyright 2004 The Blacklisted Journalist)

AT THE BOWERY POETRY CLUB
MAY 27 MULTICULTURAL MUSIC JAM SESSION AND BOOKSIGNING PARTY

PAGE SEVEN


KEVIN TWIGG

Kevin Twigg (born Jan 24, 1956, Port Jefferson, NY. ): got hooked on music after his first paying gig, which was an all girl slumber party while in the fifth grade. Early on, friends Chip Watterson, Winston Clark, and guitar master Warren Haskell encouraged him to listen to all styles of music, and he took their advice. In his teens, he continued gaining experience playing rock, theater, and symphony concerts around the Long Island, New York area, and as well in a jazz band with Jim Filiano and his brother, bassist Ken Filiano. it was Jim that introduced the 15-year-old Twigg to David Amram, who would turn out to be a major influence. In 1973, while still in high school, Twigg performed with the New York All-State Orchestra. He graduated high school early, to study percussion with James Preiss.

At the Manhattan School of Music, He continued studies with James Preiss, and also took conducting classes with George Manahan, and composition with Giampalo Bracali. he had several original compositions performed there, including several percussion ensemble works conducted by the late, great Paul Price.  He gained further experience by accepting any offer to play, whether it be 12-tone chamber music, pop, jazz, or symphonic. While living in Morningside Heights, his roommates at various times included trumpeter/calligraphist Joe Muccioli, Broadway musician Dave Grego, Cambodian percussionist Seng Ne Ung, Latin music giant Angel Fernandez, and now gone jazz great Kenny Kirkland.

The place to eat and hear jazz was the West End Bar, where they were still talking about the beat generation gang that often met there.

Freelancing around New York, he performed with Columbia University Orchestra and Chamber groups (Victoria Bond conducting), Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College (Chester Biscardi conducting), Dance Theater of Harlem (Tanya Leone conducting), Korean Orchestra of New York, Cosmopolitan Symphony (Gerard Swartz conducting debut at Avery Fischer Hall), American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Manhattan Contemporary Ensemble (Claire Heldrich, Harvey Sollberger conductors). He did several rehearsals with the Steve Reich group for a work in progress, at the recommendation of Jim Preiss, a regular member of that group.

 He continued playing pop music, and along with Marty Henne and bassist Jeff Ganz, provided the rhythm section for several recordings, including those of model/restauranteur Barbara Smith and actress Donna Pescow. He assembled musicians to perform Mary Lou's Mass, under the guidance of composer/jazz legend Mary Lou Williams at Mary Lou's home Church in Harlem. The band included Kenny Kirkland, Angel Fernandez, Cecil McBee,Jr., Kevin Twigg, and fellow Long Islander Chip Watterson. During the late 70's, he was invited many times to sit in on percussion with David Amram, therefore having the opportunity to perform with jazz greats such as Amram, Pepper Adams, Jerry Dodgien, Victor Venegas, Elvin Jones, Beaver Harris, Johnny Allmendra, Lyle Atkinson, Brian Torff, as well as Charlie Chin, David Bromberg, the Clancy Brothers, and many others.

After college, he moved back to Long Island, married and took a job as a Catholic School music teacher. When his first of two children arrived, he left that job to seek a better paying job, as a firehouse custodian. he continued to teach privately, which he had been doing since the age of 16. As well, he coached several marching band drum lines, played in R & B and wedding bands, and performed in many Long Island theater productions. One highlight was the world premiere of The Case of the Dead Flamingo Dancer by Dan Oliver and Dan Butler (WKRP in Cincinnati), featuring Broadway/TV/Movie stars Harry Groener and Kelly Bishop. Also performed in the premiere of The Jabberwocky, by Peter Winkler.

The nineties, with the development of home computers featuring midi sequencing, made it easy to collaborate long distance with his old college friend Joe Aebig, and together they wrote a wide variety of music, some of which was broadcast on TV.  As a hobby, he dabbled in computer programming in Turbo Pascal. He did some cabaret and many clubdates around New York with Phyllis Grande and Joe Dumas, who was the bassist with the Ed Sullivan Orchestra at the time the Beatles were appearing on the show. He also began his association with a blues group called the Mojos, based in Eastport, NY, and The Blue Mesa Band.

In the late nineties, a long overdue phone call to David Amram put the two back together again in a multitude of musical adventures. Beach concerts, city concerts, mountain concerts, birthday concerts, youth concerts, symphony concerts, book signings, theater, tributes, benefits, jazz and spoken word events alike;

Once again, it would be Amram that would give Twigg the honor of performing with some of the finest of their field. Poets such as Ray McNeice (Cleveland), Casey Cyr (Conn), Frank Messina (NJ), Xu Xi (China), Ralph Alonzo (Vancouver,CAN), Steve Dalachinsky (NY)George Wallace (Northport,NY), Larry Carradini, Meg Smith (Lowell,Ma.), Ron Whitehead (Kentucky), Paul McDonald (KY), Michael McClure (California), Bob Holman (NY);  Readers tipping their hats at events such as "Northport Celebrates Kerouac" or "Big Sur 4 City Marathon Reading" such as author/artist Caroline Cassady (England), her son John Cassady (California), Jason Eisenberg (Lord Buckley-MA), Dennis O'Doherty (Bradstock), Zoe Artemis, actors George Dickerson, Keir Dullea, Peter Garrity, Michelle Esrick, Adira Amram, Tony Torn, John Ventimeglia; Rock legend  Lee Rinaldo; Jazz drummer Rashid Ali, trumpeter Roy Campbell (Tribute to Ted Joans), guitarist Vic Juris, violist Midhat Serbagi, bassist John DeWitt, Mark McCarron & Suzanne Mueller(Litkicks/bongobeat), bassist Norman Guilbealt (Montreal), singers Morley (at Carnegie Hall), and Marie-Claude Lamouroux (at Lowell Celebrates Kerouac) and many others.

Currently, Twigg is enjoying his association with Paul Serrato and Co., which has a CD on the jazz radio play charts, called Origami, on Graffiti Productions. Also on the recording are Paul Serrato-composer/pianist, Bryce Sebastion-bass, Reggie Pittman-trumpet, Henry Morales-congas, and LD Frazier-vocal.  ##

 
JOHN DEWITT

Bassist John DeWitt has studied at the Mannes College of Music, the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, and SUNY Stony Brook.  His bass teachers have included Julius Levine, Homer Mensch, Richard Davis, Mike Richmond, and Victor Gaskin.  John performs regularly with the Sound Symphony Orchestra as well as various jazz ensembles and has performed with \Bo Diddley, Al Martino, and Edie Adams, along with many others.  Most recently, John has been honored to play with David Amram and Kevin Twigg.  ##

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