Charlie Lagond

Lagond Music School and their Student Performers

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Last night we attended a show at Lagond Music School. I have implored my readers once in the past to contribute to the school, and I’ll do so again, now that I’ve seen first hand what their students are capable of. If you click on the link above, you’ll spot a yellow Donate button right in the middle. Click it and donate, you’ll feel better.

There were two headlining acts, each of which is fronted by one of the teachers at Lagond. I love both bands, independent of their connection to Lagond, so attending this show was a no-brainer for me. I’ve already posted about each of those sets. Here’s the one about the Greg Mayo Band. Here’s the one about The Thang Band.

Before either of those sets began, we got to see two different groups of students perform, each with one of their teachers in the band. The first was un-named (or at least unannounced). While people were entering and milling about, they were being entertained by a Jazz Quintet in the background.

JazzQuintet

Their teacher was at the keyboards and was subtly (and effectively) coordinating each number (who was to take a lead, how long, etc.). There were two guitar players, a drummer, a bass player, along with the keyboards. All of them were quite good. In addition to playing the notes correctly, they had a feel for the music (jazz can be tricky, not just technically).

GuitarsAndDrumBassPlayer

Charlie Lagond (who the school is named after) is an accomplished musician and teacher. Along with his wife Rosanne, they run the school. I was chatting with him while the group was playing. He told me that in addition to regular music lessons, Lagond Music School (LMS) prepares their students to perform. This was an opportunity for this group to learn how to play background music in a cocktail party atmosphere.

While they pulled off that task wonderfully, perhaps they were a bit too good. Quite a number of people (us included) were drawn away from their conversations to directly listen (very quietly) to the music itself.

Shortly before the real show began, Charlie sat in with the quintet (instantly turning it into a sextet). This was the first time I heard Charlie take a saxophone solo and he was awesome. Thankfully, it was long too, so I got to savor it.

CharlieLagondSaxophone

We all moved into the next room, dubbed The Haven (LMS is on Haven Street). Another band of students called The Speakers was set to kick off the first of three sets. Their teacher participant was none other than Greg Mayo, so this was sure to be a delight on a number of levels.

GregMayo

There were four students playing with Greg, but there was nothing even remotely similar to the earlier jazz quintet. The four of them played electric guitar, drums, trumpet and saxophone (the sax player switched to electric guitar later in the set). The guitarist sang lead and harmony with Greg.

TheSpeakersBrassTheSpeakers

GuitarAndVocalsDrummerSaxophonePlayer

They put the audience in the right mood for the next two sets. Nice job fellas and kudos to LMS and the teachers for getting both bands well prepared for their big night!

Here’s the set list for The Speakers:

SetList

Greg Mayo Band at Lagond Music School

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Greg Mayo Band headlined a set at Lagond Music School last night. This is one of three posts from last night. I’ll spend more time talking about Lagond Music School (LMS) in the final one.

Greg is a teacher at LMS (lucky kids!). LMS puts on shows on a regular basis. I don’t know if this was a special one, but this is the tenth anniversary year of LMS. Any show that Greg is part of is special to us. Smile

This was a classic Greg Mayo Band (GMB) show, with one exception and one substitution. The exception was that Rebecca Haviland (who normally sings harmony and some lead vocals) had a previous commitment and couldn’t attend. We’ll get to the substitution below.

Otherwise, the sound was perfectly faithful as was the extraordinary energy that is present at every GMB show. Greg played with the opener as well (covered in the third post, not yet written) so he was fully warmed up vocally and digits (fingers).

GregMayoKeyboards

If this was your first GMB show, you might have thought that Greg was particularly loose and connected with the audience, because a number of his students were there. You’d be wrong. He’s equally comfy on any stage (large or small) and always has a connection with the audience. He feels the music (or rather he exudes the music) and as a result, so do you.

GregMayoSinging

Martin Rivas had a gig earlier in the day up in Westchester and he headed over after that to enjoy the show in the audience with the rest of us. Greg probably would have called Martin up to sing anyway, but with Rebecca unavailable, that became mandatory. Martin sang on one song during the set and was called up again for the encore (the only cover song). What a nice treat (and surprise) for us.

MartinRivas

The rest of the exceptional band, left-to-right on stage:

John Liotta on baritone saxophone (once again, no good individual link). John regularly brings up the bottom of the brass section, doing a great job last night.

JohnLiotta

Josh Reed on trumpet. Josh also teaches at Lagond and is a regular member of GMB. He took a mind-blowing solo during one song and was excellent on the rest.

JoshReed

Steven Salcedo on tenor saxophone. Steven also teaches at Lagond (and if I have my facts straight, was previously a student there!). He’s one of a number of sax players who rotates with GMB and I promise to be thrilled any time that he’s in the lineup. He’s a very special person and musician.

StevenSalcedo

Here’s a shot of the brass section, behind Greg at the keyboards:

GregMayoBandBrassSection

Kenny Shaw on drums. Kenny is such an integral part of the GMB sound and is so intimate/familiar with it. Great job. I’ll heap even more praise on him in the next post though.

KennyShaw

Rob Pawlings on electric bass. Rob was the one substitution. Chris Anderson normally plays bass for GMB. While I will never be happy about Chris Anderson being replaced, ever, if it has to happen, feel free to make it Rob Pawlings any time! The biggest difference in their performances with GMB is that Chris sings a lot and Rob (who sings well!) doesn’t know the numbers well enough to sing along. Otherwise, his bass play was spectacular. Stay tuned for more on Rob in the next post.

RobPawlings

Paul Maddison on electric guitar and vocals as well as being a teacher at LMS. Paul was excellent on guitar (much more on him in the next post). He always sings with GMB, but had to carry a bit more of the weight last night, actually taking one of Rebecca’s parts in one song. He’s always a blast to watch on stage as well.

PaulMaddisonRobPawlingsPaulMaddison

Greg called up a very special guest late in the set.

Charlie Lagond joined the great brass section on two numbers, playing his saxophone. What a treat (more on him in the final post about the school and the students).

CharlieLagondCharlieLagondGregMayoBandBrassSection

Here’s the set list:

SetList

Greg and Martin had to scoot once the set was over. A little over an hour after they were done here, they were on stage at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2, supporting Robbie Gil in a set devoted to some of the greatest The Who songs. My heart ached to miss that, but there was no way we were walking out on the next set at LMS, covered in the next post.

GregMayoMartinRivas

I’ve been sick for two weeks, finally nearly back to normal. This was our first musical event in over two weeks. We missed quite a number of shows that were tough to pass on, but this was a very nice way to break the ice.