That Time I Performed with the Blues Brothers Band gang — Part 2

Sunday, Mar 31, 2019 - Meeting the dream team then getting straight to work!

"The Band" and the man-with-the-plan out for a well deserved drink at First Street Brewery after a full day of rehearsals and clinics. Left to right: Rick Matticks (Director), Joey Gulizia (drums), Keri Chryst (vox), Tom "Bones" Malone (misc.), "Blue" Lou Marini (sax), Tony Gulizia (keys), "Cap't" Kirk Garrison, Joe Matticks (guitar)

Hold on to your hats, folks

It's gonna be a whirlwind!


It's all a bit of a blur... I'm just coming off of a busy week of Scat Cat Sessions with Alcott Elementary School (also in Hastings, but that's another story...) and am whisked from my cushy digs at the Kensington to load in to the hotel where I and the other VIPs will be staying for the rest of the week.


As the band members wing in, one by one, from hither, thither and yon, I do my best to play it cool and collegial with an appropriate amount of deference to their collective gravitas. To a man (and yes, I'm the only woman) they are friendly and generous of spirit, and basically just eager to get down to business makin' music.


The "Other Brothers" - Joey & Tony Gulizia

Besides being a bit star struck by "Bones" and "Blue Lou" from the Original Blues Brothers band, I am simply thrilled to finally meet the other brothers I've been hearing so much about for years.


Ever since I first started working with Command Sgt. (cum Music Coordinator for HPS) Rick Matticks, he has been singing me praises of his mentors and two of Nebraska's best, Tony and Joey Gulizia.


I can faithfully attest that it's all true. A couple of excellent musicians, and GREAT human beings. I'm really looking forward to working with them.


To Have What it Takes

Two things strike me in particular about this gaggle of seasoned professionals.


Firstly, to a man (did I mention I'm the only non-man?) they are consummate professionals:

  • on time

  • cordial

  • well prepared

  • highly skilled

  • highly adaptable

  • appropriately attired

  • showmanship at the ready

  • flexible to schedule changes

  • with ZERO complaints. I mean ZERO!

And secondly, on top of that they are hilarious! Whether in the van on the way to the venue, around the dinner table, or back stage... almost every other sentence starts with "Did you hear the one about the... blahblahblah...?"


"Bones" and "Blue" Lou in particular seem to have a lot of catching up to do in this decades-long jokeathon ;-) And I get to be a fly on the wall and laugh right along with 'em (for better and for worse. Ha!).



Rehearsa-palooza

No rest for the wicked. Command Sgt. Rick Matticks (aka Music Coordinator and Master of Ceremonies par excellence) carts us off to rehearsals ASAP.

A heavy rehearsal schedule — straight outta the gates — to give each group a chance to practice with "The Band" in preparation for tomorrow's concert extravaganza

As you can see from the above schedule — Mr. Matticks gets his money's worth out of his Artists in Residence. We're scheduled to play with EVERY Jazz and Vocal group the District has to offer, from 5th graders, right up to College students. Can you imagine the logistics of bringing all of these folks, young and old, together in an orderly fashion, let alone making good music with them all!?!? As ever — BIG kudos to Rick Matticks for making the magic happen. You do amazing work, sir!


Took these collegiate choristers into a practice room for half an hour to give them a crash course in how to memorize backing vox in short order. They're primed and ready for "Ev'ry-bo-dy... Needs some-bo-dy" 🎶. Great job, gang!

Last Call

The evening ends (as per the above schedule, of course) at a local micro-brewery. The venue is all the more appropriate given that First Street Brewery's owners are such music lovers that their tanks (is that what they're called? Stills maybe? Vats? ) are actually named for famous jazz musicians! No kidding! I'll see if I can dig up a photo of that to add to this later. I think I have one on a flash drive somewhere. Meanwhile — here's another shot from the evening's festivities.

Middle school music instructors are allowed to be star-struck too ;-) Tori Klauss-Glandon and Kristen Janda sidle up to Tom and Lou at the First Street Brewery Festivities. Left to right — Joey Gulizia, Keri Chryst, Kirk Garrison, Lou Marini, Tori Glandon, Tom Malone, Kristen Janda, Tony Gulizia.

As I write this, it's already past midnight here in Paris though... so I'ma head for bed.


Stay tuned for Part 3 in the on-going saga!