Joshua Tree photographer Sydney McCutcheon, with close family ties to the city of New Orleans (much of his family’s property has been either destroyed or flooded), will be joining the lineup of the September 10 Sun Runner Showcase at the Hi-Desert Playhouse in Joshua Tree. McCutcheon will show a presentation of his photography of the city, as well as lead a fundraising effort through a silent auction of his photos, a commemorative poster, and art works from his personal collection.
On display in the lobby of the Hi-Desert Playhouse will be a collection of Mardi Gras masks, many of which were made by victims of Hurricane Katrina. These masks are from McCutcheon’s private collection, rare one-of-a-kind creations which he will be auctioning on eBay the following week as part of a vast online "garage sale" auction. Virtually 100 percent of the proceeds from the eBay auction will directly benefit the NOLA4, four evacuated
New Orleans homeless artists in crisis. Readers and show attendees are
encouraged to drop off items for this Charity eBay auction at the show.
Also on display in the lobby and for silent auction the night of show (donated by McCutcheon to benefit the Hurricane Victim/Artist of the paintings) are several original paintings done on antique roof slate from the Historic Pontalba Building in New Orleans and five original photographs of New Orleans by McCutcheon. He is also producing a limited edition commemorative poster for sale, artwork by the slate artist, priced at $20 and 100% of the proceeds would again benefit the infamous NOLA 4 in crisis.
Profits from the concert will also be donated to hurricane relief efforts.
Sun Runner Showcase
The flamenco guitar of Tommy Paul
With special guests the Ritmo Loco Afro-Cuban Jazz Band
Saturday, September 10, 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
61231 29 Palms Highway, Joshua Tree
Box Office: (760)366-3777
Or: Rock-It-Man CDs, Yucca Valley
Hi-Desert Publishing, Yucca Valley
The Sun Runner Magazine, 29 Palms
Front Row Sponsor: Melissa Ferro, Hi-Desert Realty
Sponsors: The Sun Runner Magazine, Hi-Desert Playhouse, Hi-Desert Publishing, Joshua Tree Beatnik Café, Idavid GraFicks, Rock-It-Man CDs.
Welcomed by KX96 FM.
The fall season of Sun Runner Showcases at the Hi-Desert Playhouse continue with an intimate concert featuring flamenco guitar virtuoso, Tommy Paul, and the high energy groove of the Ritmo Loco Afro-Cuban Jazz Band. The concert will also be a CD release party for Tommy Paul’s latest album, "Solamente."
It is appropriate to say that music has been Tommy Paul’s life. He has played guitar since 1963, and was a trumpet major at the Berklee College of Music (he got his degree there via a correspondence course while on the road as a professional musician). In addition to guitar and trumpet, Paul also learned how to play jazz piano and write musical scores for big bands, as well as sing, but his true love for the past 42 years or so has been guitar.
As a young man, about 13 years old, he watched the Ed Sullivan Show and was taken with one particular style of music.
"He had Carlos Montoya and Segovia on the show," Paul said. "I was fascinated with the classical and flamenco style. I always was. That evolved from an interest in jazz – there’s a lot of improvisation in flamenco."
Paul, who has performed for decades nationwide, from Boston to Florida, Michigan to California, has focused intensely on flamenco for the past 15 years. He has recorded six albums in his career, including Guitarra Espanola, and his latest CD, Solamente. Another CD, produced when Paul was co-owner of the Beatnik Café in Joshua Tree, is a delightful recording of European café music performed with mandolinist Ken Culver.
Much of the material on Solamente was written by Paul, and ranges from dramatic to understated romantic in tone.
"A lot of the flamenco music I play are my own compositions," Paul said. "That’s what I’m mainly interested in now."
Paul is looking forward to performing in a true concert venue, and with the Ritmo Loco Afro-Cuban Jazz Band. He plans to sing several songs with Ritmo Loco as part of the evening’s offerings.
Paul said his flamenco playing continues to grow and evolve. Asked about what drives and inspires him to work so hard on continuing to develop his talent, the answer is both touching – and frightening.
"With the new album, Solamente, it really had to do with dying," Paul said. "I figured my time is up and I wanted to do one more thing. I am very proud of the new CD. My playing has gotten better since then when I recorded it. It’s a continual thing and I hope it’s getting better all the time. I’m in a place right now that’s pretty wild. I’m getting a lot of recognition. It’s never been quite like this before."
Paul, whose major health problems led to the sale of the Beatnik Café a couple of years ago, has been intensely battling to maintain his health since. It hasn’t been easy, and he is scheduled for more treatments the week after the concert at the Playhouse.
"I might have to get a liver transplant and my colon removed," Paul noted. "I have to go in on the twelfth. It’s a little bit on my mind. I feel good – I don’t get it. It’s too weird. I mean, if you’re sick and they say they’ve got to operate, you can understand. But when you feel fine, it’s weird. The thought of dying really helps your perspective."
For more information, visit www.thesunrunner.com, or call The Sun Runner Magazine at (760)367-6410, or the Hi-Desert Playhouse at (760)366-3777.
For media inquiries, please call Steve Brown, publisher, The Sun Runner Magazine, at (760)367-6410. High resolution photos are available.
KEEP THE ENERGY FLOWING. WHILE PREPARATIONS ARE MADE FOR 'HIGHER GROUND' IN NOVEMBER, THERE ARE MANY EVENTS HAPPENING ALONG THE WAY. THERE IS NO END TO THE NEED OUT THERE.
HERE IS ONE RECOMMENDED EVENT FOR NEXT WEEK:
Blues for the Land of the Blues Delta Relief Fund.....featuring Barry Baughn, Bobby Zinner, Brian Nova, Alan Diaz, Clive Wright, James St. James, and of course, myself. Will include Silent auctions for various items such as food, music memorabilia, door prizes and more. All funds going to the American Red Cross, which will have staff on hand.
When: Monday, September 19, 2005
6:00 P.M. 'til Midnight
Where: Durty Nelly's Irish Pub
Fred Waring @ 111 Hwy
Palm Desert, CA