Posts Tagged ‘palladium Theater’

To celebrate the April birthdays of Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington, the Palladium is bringing in some top notch-talent from the New York City jazz scene.

Amy London, a jazz singer and vocal professor with a Broadway pedigree, will be handling the Ella side. Her husband, guitarist Roni Ben-Hur, will be providing the music along with Ellington alum John Lamb on bass and Stephen Buckholtz on drums.

Amy, who founded the vocal program at New York’s New School, will also be presenting a master class for singers of all skill levels. She’ll be teaching jazz improvisation or “scat singing” in the style of La Fitzgerald!

The class is Wednesday, April 21, at 7 p.m. at the Palladium. The two shows with the band are Thursday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. and Friday, Apirl 23, at 8. For more info visit http://www.mypalladium.org.


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Thanks to St. Petersburg College, the restoration of the historic Palladium Theater is continuing.  While a lot of improvements – like our new air conditioning and wiring – aren’t easy to see, our latest renovation project will be visible to everyone.

This week workers are replacing all of our front doors.  The original doors were beyond repair and the locks kept falling out – not a great thing when trying to secure a historic building.

The old doors were faded and beat-up from years of use. One of my predecessors, Paul Stavros, kept threatening to come by with a paint brush and repaint them. I told him to wait, that improvements were coming.

The new doors are recreations of the original but made of much better wood. These doors are made of Sapelli (also spelled Sapele) wood, an African tree with a grain that is very similar to mahogany.   A quick Google search turns up lots of raves about the wood for its beauty and strength. It is often used to make guitars and even some pianos – so it is perfect for a music venue like ours. 

The doors have impact resistant windows. All the original hardware is being polished and refitted to the new doors.

The doors will be in place for our two Side Door shows this weekend – The Kym Purling Jazz Trio on Friday and our Nova Scotia Fiddling Celebration on Saturday.

Come by this weekend and try the new doors for yourself – and stay for a great show!

The Kym Purling Trio appears in the Side Door Cabaret on Friday, March 12 at 8 p.m. And the Nova Scotia Fiddling Celebration – featuring Andrea Beaton and Troy and Sabra MacGillivray is Saturday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m. For more information and tickets go to www.mypalladium.org or call the box office at 727 822-3590.

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What you remember about a Roy Book Binder performance is his mastery of delta blues guitar, his knowledge of the genre and its now-legendary performers, and, his dry wit.

I first heard Roy in the early 1980s playing at a new-age, vegetarian restaurant north of USF called the Sprout House. The building’s beams formed a pyramid-shape, which made the whole place a new-age power spot. Roy is not a new-age, Sprout House kind of guy, but on this night the place was packed. Everybody was listening and laughing, except one  baby boy, who kept crying and fussing, as his mother tried to soothe him.

Roy continued to play until he could take the crying no longer. He stopped mid-song and probably stroked his trademark moustache.

“You know,” he said, “If this wasn’t a vegetarian joint, I say we boil that baby. ”

The Mom leapt up and whisked the baby outside and Roy went back to the doing the music the way he learned it from his mentor, the Rev. Gary Davis.

I doubt any babies will be crying on Friday when the  Travelin’ Man stops by the Side Door Cabaret for the first time. Roy lives here, but seldom plays in the area. Last year he played two sold out shows at the Craftsman House Gallery on Central Ave. This year his only bay area appearance is at the Side Door. This show will likely also be a full house.

My advice: get your tickets early and leave the baby at home.

Roy Book Binder appears Friday, March 5, at 8 p.m. in the Side Door Cabaret. Tickets are $20 in advance and $22 the day of the show. For tickets and info visit www.mypalladium.org or call the box office at 727 822-3590.

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Noel Paul Stookey loves his home in Blue Hill, Maine, but February isn’t the nicest month of the year to be there. That’s one reason he’s headed to Florida for three shows starting Friday, Feb. 19 at the Palladium. He’s also holding several meetings with members of his secret society.

“I’ll be hanging out with seven devotees of the Dimpled White Orb,” Stookey told me during a recent phone call. “We’re playing golf on your beautiful Florida courses.”

Stookey, best known as one of the guys with a goatee and a guitar in the legendary folk band Peter, Paul and Mary, is coming to the Palladium at the invitation of his friend and former songwriting partner, Jim Mason, who now lives in Tampa. Stookey and Mason (along with Dave Dixon) were co-writers of Peter, Paul and Mary’ s 1967 satirical hit “I Dig Rock ‘n Roll Music.”  It was one of the first times Stookey had collaborated with a songwriter other than Peter Yarrow.

“We sat down on the floor in an apartment in New York City and came up with a tune was very exciting…collaboration in that era was a brand new ballgame for me,” Stookey said. “I think (Bob) Dylan’s strong presence, ideologically, contributed to a lot of writers taking chances and speaking out of their personal perspective.”

Most critics still consider Album 1700 PP&Ms most ambitious release, with songs styles that blended rock, jazz, pop and folk. 

I was just starting high school when the album was released and immediately formed a folk-pop trio called Joe, Paul and Sherrie that played local coffee houses around Tampa Bay. We did our best to cover some of the songs from 1700 , particularly the jazz ballad “Whatshername,” but none of us knew how to play a diminished or augmented chord. 

Joe, Paul and Sherrie are happily retired but Stookey is still going strong and has “Whatshername”  on the song list for his Florida shows.

The shows will also feature a question and answer section led by WMNF DJ Cam Dilley following intermission.

“My wife is concerned that I’m going to wax too much,” Stookey said. “The second half is not going to be all conservation. There will be plenty of singing.”

Stookey will talk about his longtime collaboration with Mary Travers, who died last September after a long battle with leukemia. They had been performing together – with some sabbaticals – since the early 1960s. Stookey said the time apart helped the group stay together.

“Most bands have such dire problems they break up or substitute members. We took time off. We had respect for each other and we brought that to the stage,” he said.

When Travers was diagnosed that time apart was no longer so important.

“Peter and I were there every two to three weeks. Now that she is gone there is a sadness but an awareness of just how much my life has been impacted by her.”

Noel Paul Stookey will appear in concert at the intimate Palladium Theater in downtown St. Petersburg on Friday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. Tickets are also available for a post-show reception with Stookey hosted by WEDU-TV. Call 727 822-3590 or visit www.mypalladium.org for tickets and information.

 –Paul Wilborn



Jazz vocalist Whitney James is returning to the Side Door Cabaret for a special Valentine’s show on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 8 p.m.  It’s going to be a night of romantic ballads by Whitney and her great band.  Whitney is based in Tierra Verde but she is playing these days in Seattle, San Francisco and New York in support of a fine new album called “The Nature of Love.”

Her January show sold out in advance, so get your tickets early for this intimate evening of music.  Call 727 822-3590 or visit www.mypalladium.org for tickets and information.

Both the St. Petersburg Times and the Tampa Tribune wrote stories about Whitney’s last show. To read them, follow the links below:



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