The Four-Piano Gig

The Four-Piano Gig

Who uses four pianists for one show? My friend Dick Kaufmann does! I recently played at the crooner’s spectacular 80th birthday concert, at which he performed with an impressive array of musicians and singers he has worked with over the years. I played guitar and tenor banjo, along with one piece on piano. The other pianists were bandleader Glenn Pearson; Rich Dworsky of A Prairie Home Companion; and Lee Muziker, who has been the music director for both Barbara Cook and Tony Bennett, among many other credits. Everyone played great, but as a pianist I can tell you that Muziker’s musicianship is not to be believed. His accompaniment sounds like a combination of Igor Stravinsky, Fats Waller, and Frederic Chopin. The moment from the concert I will always remember — well, along with the audience’s delight when Kaufmann brought out his friend and surprise guest Garrison Keillor for a duet — was when I stood in the wings with Pearson and Dworsky, all of us amazed at the fluid genius of Muziker. Sometimes your role as a musician, and a person, is simple appreciation.

At the Archives

At the Archives

Doug Bradshaw, Jennifer Schwed, Charlie Barnett and Millie Scarlett

Doug Bradshaw, Jennifer Schwed, Charlie Barnett and Millie Scarlett

Living in Washington DC, it is easy to get inured to treasures that we drive and walk past every day. Last night at the National Archives, we put on a reading of ten of the songs from 19, our musical about Alice Paul and the struggle for women’s suffrage one hundred years ago. We all had a chance to, once again, see our Constitution, and of course, the 19th Amendment. It is right there. The real thing. The Archives had an extensive and thoughtful exhibit on suffrage in America. What a great city to live in.

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