I'm a freelance writer by day and a working jazz musician by night, and often I am able to combine my two lines of work. This blog is for posting gigs & various rants about music and life in general.

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Location: Central Illinois, United States
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

2012 Knox Rootabaga Jazz Festival

Rootabaga 2012 is coming up! Mark your calendars for March 29-31...more info on performance groups and times here:

2011 KJE Alumni Band -

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Sunday, October 02, 2011

sites alive!

It's been a long time coming, but I've finally created a website to promote my group, Cassie Hart & Friends. Right now it's through webs.com which is a free site, but if I decide I want to have more flexibility, I may look into building/hosting it elsewhere in the future. We'll see about that. For now, though, I'm just thrilled to have a live site. I'll keep it short here so you can go ahead and check it out!!

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

September songs

With the demise of the economy, and therefore reliable club gigs, there hasn't been too much to say. Add the time commitments of motherhood and there's been less news to report on my end. I did, however, play a nice gig recently at the Uptown Normal Farmer's Market. We were actually supposed to play earlier in the summer, but it would have been during one of those horrible heat waves that overtook the area, and the whole market was canceled that day. It worked out for us musicians, though, since our rescheduled date was early in September and it was b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. I personally enjoyed hanging with musicians again and I was relieved to discover I had not, in fact, forgotten how to play the saxophone! All was well.

On a different note, I have to share how cool it is that our 2-year-old is totally into contemporary jazz. Instead of role playing with her being a cow and me being a farmer, or whatever scenario typical toddlers come up with, she approached me the other day and said, "You're Lee Ritenour. I'm Ernie Watts." Ha!

And I do have one bit of newsy-news: I'm working on a website for music stuff. It's been a long time coming, and my DH has finally talked me into putting one together. It is very much a work in progress, but when it's live I'll share with the world. So, check back soon (pretty please)!

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Monday, August 16, 2010

handful o' gigs

This blog, dead? No way. It was just on a long hiatus, and with good reason. I really haven't played many gigs over the past year. Haven't had the opportunity to see/hear much live music, either. When a new baby is added to the family mix it makes it tough for us mother-types to get out much. However, daughter #2 (who loves music, by the way, just like her big sis) is approaching her first birthday and it's getting easier to leave her with another caregiver, so slowly (but surely) I am making a comeback in the music world. I just hope I don't embarrass myself too much or offend anyone whose ears listen overly discriminately.

I've played a few gigs this summer--two CEFCU Stage dates on the Peoria Riverfront (with Billy Cook and the Swing Daddies) and an Uptown Farmer's Market date with my own group. Thought I'd share a couple pictures taken by local music lover/talented photographer Ralph Weisheit. You'll see local favorites Kevin Hart, Andy Crawford, Tom Marko, and yours truly in the band.

If anyone's still checking in here, thanks for looking, and I hope you have survived/are surviving the cutback of music since the economy took a dive. Keep on playing!

Da band.

Awesome rhythm section.

So cool he's gotta wear shades.

Piano man.

Compare to pics in last post--the baby belly is gone!

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

preggo jazz pics

I've been trying to spice up this blog by adding pictures in addition to mindless content. Of course, the pictures are mostly of me so they're not all that interesting...unless you note these new ones, which aren't so much interesting as unusual--they feature a pregnant saxophone chick. (It's just not that common, ya know?) So anyway, here's a couple shots from the Illinois Jazz and Wine Festival. The group is Kevin Hart & the Vibe Tribe. I'd credit the photographer, but I don't know who he is. However, you can view pictures from the entire event here: http://www.villageofmanito.com/Winefest_photos/index.html

I'm 26 weeks (roughly 6 months) pregnant in these shots. I just checked some of pics I posted when I was pregnant with my daughter, just two weeks before I was due. I think I'm bigger now than I was at full-term with her...although I've gained much less weight at this point.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

jazz kid

This is too cool not to share! My daughter, at the tender age of 3, is totally on her way to becoming a jazzer. Check this out, from about a year or so ago:

And this recent one:

I also have to mention that the other day a young black man came to our door, selling some cleaning product. When he left, she asked, "Who was that Mama? Kenny Garrett?" LOL!

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Monday, April 27, 2009

for real

Wow! Two gigs in one weekend! And I've got pictures to prove it! (I remember the days where I sometimes had two gigs in one night--that's been a while.)

The first is the annual Rootabaga Jazz Festival hosted by my alma mater, Knox College. I was only able to attend one evening of the 3-day event, the Thursday night Faculty & Friends Jam session, but as always, it was a blast. That's DH in the background on vibes...and why is it I often look like a zombie when playing? Photo credit goes to Sue Dickinson.

Here's the next night at the Peoria International Beer Fest with band jazzchocolat. I'm still not sure why these people hire a jazz group to play for this event, as it's got to be the LOUDEST event ever (not the band, but all the people packed in a warehouse yakking at the top of their lungs) but we played it last year, too, and they wanted us back. But hey, there's free food and beer (not that I could partake due to my current state but I did score a free sample glass) so who am I to complain? Photo credit goes to Pam Eaton.