Posts Tagged ‘culture’

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Letter about the Chatham Music Archive

July 30, 2013

A little cheers to our community as a whole.

click on pic to enlarge

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Sarah Hiltz – How Many Fires (2009)

July 10, 2009

Artist: Sarah Hiltz
Release: How Many Fires
Year: 2009
Home: Chatham Kent Ontario Canada
Style: Acoustic, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary and Folk.

Song List:
01. Strong As Death
02. Thank You Mr. Yorke
03. Homesick
04. You’ll Fall In Love
05. Amnesia
06. Wind And Iron Collide
07. Ultimate Inadequecy
08. You Don’t Know
09. Rosita
10. Maker of Desire

Sarah Hiltz: Vocals, guitar & percussion, Kalimba, Keys.
Musicians:
Andy Tattersall – Guitar
Bob Hiltz – Bass, Organ
Byron Harrett – Sax, flute
Dan Stronks – Banjo
Franklin Fitz – Choir
Graham Kivell – Piano. Keyboards, Organ
Jeff Johnson – Drums
Jordan Michaelis – Percussion, Drums, Choir. Bowis
Leanne Hessel – Cello
Linz Ross – Choir
Tim Tanner – Drums

Chatham Music Archive Review:
   It is not surprising that this is a very rich release from Sarah considering her passion and educated musical background. This release is fresh in that it blends the modern styles with retro vibes. It is experimental, but never crosses the line of becoming strange or lost. Simply put, it is a beautiful and complete work of art. I don’t want to use the words mature when describing music, but Sarah has grown as a musician quickly and is becoming an innovator of our scene.
    The best part of the CD is that her vocal styling and voice is original. When you hit play, you know it is Sarah singing. I am really curious and excited to hear what is next for her music. Keep your ear out.
   Sarah is very active in the live music scene and is always out there playing. Go see her live and look for the CD.
Shawn.

All Music by Sarah.
Produced by: Sarah Hiltz
Engineered by: Bob Hiltz, Ass. with Sarah.
Mixed and mastered by: Bob Hiltz
Photography by: Tim Cooper.

Official Bio:
   Drawing comparisons to both Billie Holiday and Feist, musician Sarah Hiltz is a paradoxical blend of old world and modernity. She’s been praised for her ability to tell a story through song, but isn’t afraid to take risks when she performs.

   While her tasteful and sometimes unexpected note choices have made Sarah an in demand session vocalist, she is now turning her focus onto her own collection of originals and is in pre-production for her first full-length release. In the meantime, Sarah continues to write and study piano, as well as perform regularly as one half of an acoustic duo.

   Sarah has been performing since childhood and composing for almost as long. At the age of thirteen, she won the Chatham-Kent Song Contest to write the official song of Chatham-Kent. Following the competition, she recorded her first independent record of all original tunes and released it in the fall of 2001. In 2004, Sarah’s writing was again recognized when she placed first at the Kiwanis Music festival in the original composition category.

   Later that year, Sarah moved to Toronto to study voice at the world-renowned Humber College Jazz Program. At the same time, Sarah was the vocalist for the Jef Kearns Four, a jazz quartet that performed in her hometown, Chatham. She went on to host a weekly jazz evening at the William Street Café in the fall of 2006, leading a quartet under her own name. In no time the evening grew into success, drawing people every Monday night to brave the Canadian cold in favour of warm vocals and hot coffee.

Click the video below to play the CD preview.

If video does not appear, watch it here.

Visit Sarah online here: www.sarahhiltz.com
and http://www.myspace.com/sarahhiltz

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Fred S. Stone – Ma Ragtime Baby(1893)

June 3, 2009

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Fred S. Stone  (1873 ~ 1912)
Home Town: Chatham Ontario
Year: 1893


   Fred S. Stone was a relatively prolific composer of ragtime music. Stone was born in Chatham, Ontario, nine years before Geoffrey O’Hara.. The fact of his Canadian birth is not well known since the (relatively few) references to him in the ragtime literature is as an “African-American” composer.

  The remarkable Stone inherited the musical leadership of Detroit from the equally remarkable “Old Man” Theo Finney. The latter had started a music business in the Michigan city during the Civil War, and from that beginning had built up a formidable musical dynasty. Finney’s – and then Stone’s – orchestras monopolized the Detroit Entertainment and social world to the almost complete exclusion of white performers.

  Fred S. Stone and his stalwart colleagues . . . unionized the Detroit musicians and built the fine headquarters and club that are still in use. It was the white players who had to petition for admission to the union, apparently the only local in the country where this was the case.

  Jasen and Jones (2000:320) give 1912 as the date that Stone died; however, Blesh and Janis (1966:105) state that “Fred S. Stone died in the middle 1930′s.”

  Note: Ragtime music: the jaunty, toe-tapping music that captivated American society from the 1890s through World War I, forms the roots of America s popular musical expression. But the understanding of ragtime and its era has been clouded by a history of murky impressions, half-truths, and inventive fictions.

   First use of the word Ragtime appears in the song title “Ma Ragtime Baby” by Fred Stone in 1893.

   Fred S. Stone was a cross-border phenomenon in the music world, famous in both Detroit and Canada. In fact, in spite of his dominance in music circles in early 20th century Detroit, Stone was actually born in Chatham, Ontario, making him Canadian by birth, and technically not African-American. He owed a lot of his early success to violinist Theodore Finney, sometimes referred to as “Old Man” Finney. Mr. Finney had done fairly well as an orchestra leader in the latter part of the 19th century in Detroit, and one of his star players was W. “Jack” Johnson, a cornetist. Johnson himself had been in the Detroit City Band with Finney, then spent some time touring the south in the late 1880s with the Georgia Minstrels. When he returned, he started the Johnson Cornet Band which provided a training ground for many young black musicians in Detroit, including Stone who had come across the border by the mid 1890s with his brothers.

   Fred started composing pieces for publication in 1895, mostly dance numbers, but hit it big in 1898 with Ma Ragtime Baby, further increasing sales when his brother Charles added words for a song version. The following year he made a splash with Bos’n Rag. Between this and his considerable musicianship he quickly gained the respect of musicians throughout Detroit.

     In Stone’s capacity as an arranger and leader in Finney’s orchestra, the group became one of the earliest in the country to play ragtime. The old man did not favor this newer music, and whenever they played in some of the downtown establishments where ragtime was popular, he usually chose to not participate.

  Finney died in 1899, and very soon Stone took the group over by some acclaim from the members. He then hired a replacement for Finney, violinist Jack Shook. While the two co-conducted the orchestra mutually for some time, eventually they ended up in court deciding who would be able to use the well-established Finney name for the groups each of them ended up leading, with Shook finally taking the prize. Stone continued to lead his own groups, and recorded several pieces of ragtime and other genres for some of the earliest popular records. A few his own compositions were also recorded by other groups, including the Edison Concert Band who did Belle of the Philippines.

  During this period he also turned out a number pieces that were as intriguing and varietal as that of one of his Detroit counterparts, Harry P. Guy, including a lovely set of waltzes titled Silks and Rags, and a lively almost-rag title, Belinda. He was so busy with the union and playing engagements that little was composed or published after that time, perhaps only existing as band arrangements. Stone died in 1912 at approximately 39-years-old, although the cause of death and a concrete determination of the date have been hard to pin down. His contributions to ragtime performance and music in general in what would become the city of “Motown” were significant, and even may have prompted Harry Guy’s comment that “you might almost say that Ragtime was born in Detroit.” Not quite, but it did thrive there for some time.
Compositions

1895 - The Indian: Two Step -  [w/Edward Liggett]
1896 – La Albecite: Spanish Waltzes – Mackinac March
1898 – The Cardinal March – A Lady of Quality (Waltzes) – Ma Ragtime Baby
              Ma Ragtime Baby (Song) -  [w/Charles H. Stone]
1899 – The Bos’n Rag -  1900 – Elseeta
1901 – Silks and Rags (Waltzes)
1902 – Sue
1903 – Belle of the Philippines – A Kangaroo Hop
1905 – Belinda
1908 – Melody at Twilight – Stone’s Barn Dance

Sources:
http://www.ragtimepiano.ca/rags/can2.htm
http://www.perfessorbill.com/ragtime4_alt.shtml

2009 – Below Video of Ragtime Skedaddlers performing “Ma Ragtime Baby” by Fred S. Stone

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