The Town Hall
New York, NY«archive page
Vince Giordano grew up on Long Island playing vintage 78s on his grandmother's Victrola. Maybe that's what fueled his passion for music of the 1920s and '30s. By age 14, he had joined the musicians' union. Later, he put together his own band, the Nighthawks — longtime favorites on the New York jazz scene. Vince has appeared in films such as Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown and Martin Scorsese's The Aviator, for which the Nighthawks recorded a slew of vintage hits. Vince and the Nighthawks have released several albums, including Quality Shout! (Stomp Off Records) and a tribute to Bix Beiderbecke called Bill Challis' The Goldkette Project (Circle Records).
As a kid growing up in New York, Dick Hyman was classically trained in piano by his uncle, the well-known concert artist Anton Rovinsky. Then he got hooked on jazz by listening to his brother's record collection — Art Tatum, Bix Beiderbecke, and other greats. Now his remarkable career as a composer, arranger, pianist, organist, and more spans six decades, with a résumé that includes scoring soundtracks for Woody Allen films like Zelig and The Purple Rose of Cairo. He has recorded well over 100 albums under his own name. His most recent project is A Century of Jazz Piano, a six-CD set released last fall on Arbors Records.
Erica Rhodes starred in the 2008 indie horror film Plague Town, which has shown in festivals and theaters nationwide and beyond, and she has had roles in Go West, Javatown, and Blindsided. Her Web series include “Upstairs Girls,” the story of a sweet girl named Sandy and her roommates, and “Fourplay,” about modern single urban women trying to figure out the elusive rules of 21st-century L.A. Erica currently makes her home in Los Angeles.
Trumpeter Randy Sandke is steeped in classic jazz, but he knows his way around many styles, both as an instrumentalist and a composer whose works have been performed by the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and the Bulgarian National Orchestra, among others. His albums include The Mystic Trumpeter and The Subway Ballet, both on the Evening Star label; and his latest book, Where the Dark and the Light Folks Meet: Race and the Mythology, Politics, and Business of Jazz, was published in 2010 by the Scarecrow Press.
Andra Suchy spent her childhood on a farm near Mandan, North Dakota, the daughter of two talented singers. By the time she was in grade school, she was traveling around, doing concerts and festivals with her family. These days, she sings with several groups in the Twin Cities area — including the all-girl trio The Dollys. She also works as a back-up singer and as a jingle singer on commercials for White Castle, Target, and more. Andra's solo CD is called Patchwork Story.
The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band
The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band is led by A Prairie Home Companion music director Richard Dworsky. Keyboard player, composer and improviser in any style, he also writes all the script themes and underscores. His latest CD is So Near and Dear to Me.
Chet Atkins called Pat Donohue (guitar) one of the greatest fingerpickers in the world today. And he writes songs too — recorded by Suzy Bogguss, Kenny Rogers and others. Freewayman (Bluesky Records) is the most recent of Pat's nine albums.
Gary Raynor (bass) has performed with the Count Basie band, Sammy Davis Jr. — with whom he toured for several years — and the Minnesota Klezmer Band. He teaches jazz bass at the McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul.
Peter Johnson (percussion) has played klezmer music with Doc Severinsen and jazz with Dave Brubeck. He was a drummer for The Manhattan Transfer and for Gene Pitney. He has toured the world, but he always comes back to home base: Saint Paul.
Andy Stein (violin, saxophone) definitely has far-flung musical leanings. He collaborated with Garrison Keillor to create the opera Mr. and Mrs. Olson, and he has performed with artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Eric Clapton, Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Joel, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, and Bob Dylan.
Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).