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Bassist Wanted - Tampa , FL ... Submitted: 11-22-2016 ... 15:06 EST
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Help Us Make It BIG…
Feb 28
2017
GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ BIG To Benefit
United Food Bank of Plant City & Feeding Tampa Bay

There’s something BIG going on in Plant City on Friday, March 3 … REALLY, REALLY BIG! In fact, it’s GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS BIG!

Cabot Creamery Co-operative is joining forces with the Florida Strawberry Festival to create the world’s largest strawberry yogurt smoothie – all to benefit United Food Bank of Plant City and Feeding Tampa Bay.

When we say REALLY, REALLY BIG, we’re not kidding! The Cabot Smoothie prep team, led by Cabot Chef Jimmy Kennedy, will be hard at work beginning at 10am on March 3 during the 2017 Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City, FL blending a healthy and delicious smoothie made from more than 250 gallons of Cabot Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt, that represents more than 1,100 two-pound tubs of Cabot Greek Yogurt for every one of Cabot’s 1,100 farm families, 2,000 pounds of fresh Florida strawberries, 3,375 pounds of ice and 265 pounds of Cabot Whey protein powder.

“The Florida Strawberry Festival is pleased to host Cabot’s GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS attempt to recapture the record by creating the World’s Largest Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie to benefit United Food Bank of Plant City and Feeding Tampa Bay. Featuring Florida strawberries in this world record attempt showcases our amazing 87th Annual Festival and brings more awareness to Plant City’s rightful claim as the ‘Winter Strawberry Capital of the World,’” said Paul Davis, Florida Strawberry Festival general manager.

The Cabot Smoothie team previously set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS mark of more than 400 US gallons of smoothie on Friday, May 3, 2013 at the Bike Expo New York event held at Pier 36 in Basketball City in New York City.

That record has been eclipsed several times since 2013. The current GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS mark for the Largest smoothie is held by McGill University of Montreal, Canada and stands at 825 US gallons.

“We are excited to attempt to establish a new Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Smoothie to benefit United Food Bank of Plant City and Feeding Tampa Bay,” said Roberta MacDonald, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Cabot Creamery Co-operative. “The 1,100 farm families who own Cabot Creamery are dedicated to supporting communities where we sell our dairy products, and raising money for United Food Bank of Plant City and Feeding Tampa Bay is one of the many ways our farm families give back to those in need.”

The record attempt will take place at the Cabot Tent located on the north side of the Life Storage Carriage House just inside the Amscot Main Ticket Gate at the Festival. Blending will commence at 10am and is estimated to take four to six hours. Once completed, all proceeds from the sale of the record setting Smoothie - sold in commemorative cups for a suggested donation of $1.00 – go directly to United Food Bank of Plant City. In keeping with Guinness World Records’ zero food waste policy, any remaining Smoothie will go directly to Feeding Tampa Bay and will be distributed to Food Banks and Pantries throughout the greater Tampa Bay area for consumption by those in need.

"We are grateful to be the recipient for this record-breaking event with our partners at Cabot. The enormity of this record reminds us of the enormity of the hunger issue in our community, with 700,000 of our neighbors not having stable access to food. The fresh and healthy ingredients used in this smoothie are perfectly aligned with Feeding Tampa Bay’s goal to deliver more fresh, nutritious foods to those in need every year,” said Thomas Mantz, Executive Director of Feeding Tampa Bay.

Can we do it again? We don’t want to brag, but our track record speaks for itself! Cabot established and still holds the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS titles for the Largest grilled cheese sandwich, 320 pounds) set on November 4, 2000 in Everglades City, FL, and The World’s Largest Mac & Cheese (2,469 pounds) set in 2010 in New Orleans – all for charities!

This year the Cabot Smoothie team doesn’t want to simply surpass the current record. They plan to shatter it by blending a whopping 1,000 gallons of strawberry yogurt smoothie.

Cabot’s famous Greek Yogurt took home top honors as “Best In Class” in the competition’s first-ever High-Protein Dairy category at the 2016 World Championship Cheese contest in Madison, WI. Available in convenient two-pound tubs, Cabot Greek Yogurt can be used for baking, and Cabot Plain Greek Yogurt makes a great substitute for sour cream or cream, or as a base for dips and sauces.

Also included in the recipe are enough Plant City Strawberries - 2,000 pounds in all - to fill nearly 25 household bathtubs.

“We are extremely pleased to be part of this event and to have fresh Florida strawberries the featured fruit in making the world’s largest strawberry smoothie. This is a record we are proud to be part of and we hope that the record stands for many years,” said Kenneth Parker, Executive Director, Florida Strawberry Growers Association.

The Smoothie will be made using two human-powered Vitamix Bicycle Blenders as well as four Commercial and eight residential Vitamix blenders, and continuously poured into a 1,000 gallon food-grade holding vessel packed in ice.

“Vitamix is excited to partner with Cabot Creamery to regain the Guinness World Book Record for the world’s largest smoothie,” said Vitamix Marketing Programs Manager Wendy Manfredi. With Vitamix equipment doing the blending, we can promise that the smoothie will not only be the largest but also the smoothest! This will please everyone who will be making a donation and tasting this record-breaking smoothie. Vitamix is proud to support the efforts of Cabot to provide a generous donation to United Food Bank of Plant City and Feeding Tampa Bay because we support similar organizations in our headquarters home town of Cleveland, Ohio and recognize the importance of providing healthy meals to those in need.

ABOUT CABOT CREAMERY CO-OPERATIVE: Cabot Creamery Co-operative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919 and makes a full line of cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese and butter. Best known as makers of “The World’s Best Cheddar and The World’s Best Lowfat Cheddar,” Cabot is owned by 1100 dairy farm families throughout New England and Upstate New York. For additional information on Cabot Creamery Co-operative, please visit http://www.cabotcheese.coop

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Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island
Feb 25
2017
As a resort that caters to the adventure traveler seeking exploration and excitement both on land and sea, Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa is making sure every memory is captured in the most captivating way possible with its new Capture the Moment travel package.
The package includes beachfront accommodations for a minimum of two nights, a GoPro Hero 4 waterproof camera that is the guests to keep, and daily rental of two beach chairs and an umbrella. With the GoPro camera, guests can explore the nearby Blue Heron Bridge and discover animals they might not have seen before, or even get up close and personal with an octopus like @yesaccasey. They may choose to stay on-property and document a ride down the resort’s two-story water slide.
Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa is the only all-suite beachfront property in Palm Beach County. Each of its 193 suites offers spacious and stylish condo-style living in surroundings that are equally ideal for family vacations, romantic getaways and business travel. The Capture the Moment package starts at $894 per night (based on a two night minimum,) and can be booked online or by calling 561-340-1700.
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PIANIST ELIZABETH NACCARATO GETS ITALIAN SOUND WITH ACCORDION, MANDOLIN AND VIOLIN
Mar 22
2017
ELIZABETH NACCARATO
SOUVENIR D’ITALIA


American pianist and composer Elizabeth Naccarato has musically captured one of her favorite places, Italy, on her sixth album, Souvenir d’Italia. The dozen instrumental tunes are like picture-book snapshots of an Italian adventure that includes sitting at sidewalk cafes, meeting friends at the Spanish Steps, driving through the countryside, dancing, serenading, romancing, wandering through cathedrals and museums, sampling regional gourmet delights, and feeling the passion of the people.

“I have a great love of the landscape, art, history, people and food of Italy,” says Naccarato. “I have visited there numerous times and traveled throughout the country. I get to visit my best-friend who married an Italian and lives in the hills above Florence. There are so many aspects of Italy that I truly love -- late-night dinners at outdoor cafes, standing at a bar drinking expresso, gelato displays, the architecture, twisted olive trees, waking up to exotic birds singing, procuitto e melone, buying handmade treasures, relaxing during chiuso after lunch, the churches, passionate people yelling outside, and the incongruity of women in black cocktail dresses on Vespas. There were remarkable images everywhere I looked and they conjured up this music in my head like an ongoing soundtrack. I needed to express how Italy makes me feel, and music is my canvas, my pen, my camera.”

On Souvenir d’Italia Naccarato plays solo piano on three pieces -- “Assisi,” “Andrea’s Forest” and “Venetian Boat Song.” On the other tunes she is joined by musicians playing accordion, violin, mandolin, saxophone, bass and drums in various combinations. “Of course accordion and violin are an integral part of traditional Italian music, but I also chose to add mandolin because my grandmother played a mandolin from Italy and I have cherished memories of listening to her play.”

“Walking through the cathedral in Assisi, I was so moved by those who had walked the floor of St. Francis’s tomb, I cried, and later poured those feelings into the tune ‘Assisi.’ The inspiration for ‘Serenade’ came from sitting outside one night at Cafe Etrusca in Fiesole having pizza and pasta with friends, and I heard the melody in my head. You always feel the frenzy of Rome and the excitement in the air when you go to the Spanish Steps. For my ‘Spanish Steps’ composition I imagined a romantic interlude at this famous meeting place.”

Naccarato remembers, “I wrote ‘Waltz Italiano’ after attending a First Communion celebration in Tuscany and I was struck by the sense of family importance and warmth. My fascination with the gypsies and their music in Italy inspired me to write ‘Intermezzo.’ The piece ‘Andrea’s Forest’ came from a bumpy drive to my friend’s villa in Fiesole. ‘Natasha’ is my ode to a dancer in the night and with ‘Tango” I tried to capture a dance of love. For ‘Summer’s End’ I was imagining a summer romance that did not work out, and the plaintive sax solo captures that sadness.” The album ends with an instrumental cover version of the classic “That’s Amore.”

Elizabeth Naccarato’s previous recordings are Jarrell’s Cove (inspired by the coastline of Puget Sound near Seattle and produced by pianist Michael Gettel), North Sycamore (named for a street in West Los Angeles where she spent an early stage of her career, with special guests oboist Nancy Rumbel and saxophonist Richard Warner), Stone Cottage (inspired by a special residence with a wild garden), One Piano (a collaboration with Gettel) and History (combining some of her best work with both new and live performances). Naccarato’s recordings are available internationally and have received excellent reviews, airplay and sales. Souvenir d’Italia can be purchased as a CD or downloads at a wide variety of online sales sites including CDbaby, Amazon, iTunes, eMusic, Google Play and dozens more. For more information about the artist, visit her website at elizabethnaccarato dot com.

A native Texan, Elizabeth began her piano studies at the age of six at the Dominican Convent in Houston. She won her first piano competition at the age of nine and performed and competed in local and statewide events. At that time, her voice instructor noticed her ability for composition, and she became a student of Bessie Griffiths and Ruth Burr, studying piano and theory many hours a week. Elizabeth was a Piano Performance major at the University of Southern California where she earned her degree and where she studied with Daniel Pollack and John Perry in Undergraduate and Graduate studies. Naccarato was a three-time winner of the Hollywood Alumni S.A.I Scholarship as well as a highly-coveted Teaching Assistantship in graduate school. She continued her writing as a member of the Lehman Engel workshop in Los Angeles. She also studied acting and directing for four years with Janet Alhanti. Naccarato has performed her music extensively in Texas and on the West Coast.

Naccarato joined the Annie Wright Schools faculty in 1999 and has been affiliate faculty at The University of Puget Sound since 1989. Much of her instruction is in piano and voice, but she also has directed dozens of regional theater presentations of plays and musicals including “Grease,” “Annie,” “The Wiz” and “Steel Magnolias.” She will release a piano book for children titled Let's Play Piano in 2017. She also has another trip to Italy planned for this year.

“Souvenir d’Italia is a special project for me,” explains Naccarato. “I am the most peaceful I have ever been when in Italy. It simply feels like home to me. I knew I needed to journal my love for it in music. I needed to express how it makes me feel. When I was there, everywhere I went and everything I saw inspired me. I hope this album also serves as a souvenir and reminder of the warmth and wonders of Italy whether the listener has visited there or hopes to someday.”



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JANICE LACY INSTRUMENTAL NEW AGE MUSIC INSPIRED BY PEACE, HEALING JOY AND LOVE
Mar 01
2017
JANICE LACY PROJECT

SANCTUARY FOR THE SOUL

Regarding the gentle, melodic, instrumental music on the debut album Sanctuary for the Soul by the Janice Lacy Project, Lacy says, “I want my music to serve as a sanctuary, a refuge, a place of safety, peace, healing and joy, where listeners can go when they need to escape from the pressures and stress of the world around them.”

For this recording, Los Angeles-based pianist and composer Janice Lacy joined forces with several of Southern California’s top musicians -- pianist and keyboardist Rob Mullins (who also arranged and produced the album), cellist Jeness, bassist Larry Antonino, and drummer and percussionist Tony Braunagel. “It was a joint effort, so we decided to call the group the Janice Lacy Project,” explains Lacy. Their album collaboration contains 14 tunes, all composed by Lacy, including a couple of solo piano pieces, numerous piano-cello duets, and a few numbers with the sound augmented by bass, drums, percussion or synthesizer. The music has strong appeal to lovers of new age music as well as the genres of neo-classical and gentle-jazz.

Sanctuary for the Soul is available as CDs and digital downloads at a variety of online sales sites including CD Baby, Amazon, and iTunes. Samples of the music may also be heard at Lacy’s website (JaniceLacyMusic dot com).

Lacy studied classical music for many years, including eight years of classical repertoire and theory with Joe Weisberg (Erich Leinsdorf, Frank Murphy), and in-depth analysis of the musical scores for many classic operas with members of the San Francisco Opera Company. With her producer Rob Mullins, she also studied jazz and improvisation.

Rob Mullins, in addition to being a multi-genre producer, is an esteemed Grammy-nominated jazz recording artist with 30 albums. He has worked with Hubert Laws, The Crusaders, The Rippingtons, Dave Grusin, Branford Marsalis, Kirk Whalum and many other top jazz acts. Jeness has toured the world performing with James Taylor, Kenny Loggins, K.D. Lang and the La Scala Quartet. Larry Antonino, a member of Pablo Cruise, has recorded with Barry Manilow, Ronnie Laws, Air Supply and Shelby Lynne. Tony Braunagel has worked with Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, Taj Mahal, Bette Midler and Eric Burdon, among many others. Consulting producer Greg Scelsa also is a Grammy-nominated artist (Greg and Steve).

Sanctuary for the Soul begins with the piano-cello duet title track. Lacy explains, “Deep down we need to feel safe and have a place to go when life’s storms come along, and for me that place, that sanctuary, is music.” The slow, delicate “Take Care of My Heart” comes from Lacy’s realization that “the heart is fragile and easily broken, so be careful.” The upbeat “Everything’s Alright” is a positive solo piano piece (“Life is good if you have love in your life and someone to count on”). She continues the theme of love with “Lovers’ Flight” (“when you are in love you can be so happy you feel like you are flying”).

“Through The Shadows” was composed by Lacy about “how hard it is to find your way through the trials and tribulations of life, especially when you lose a loved one.” Similarly, “December Goodbye” was composed in memory of her father. Lacy says the composition “Refuge” is about how “spiritual life and religious beliefs can be a place of refuge for many people.” “Prayer” was “influenced by all the spiritual music I heard in church over the years inviting us to pray.”

The music of “Sunrise Dance” came from “when you wake up in the morning very positive about the day’s potential.” Lacy says, “I live a mile from the Pacific Ocean and I get inspired by the beautiful scenery and coastline around here so I wanted to write about it and I came up with ‘Shimmering Ocean’ and ‘Crystal Harbor’.” She penned “Jim’s Waltz” as “a gentle dance of love for my husband.”

Exhibiting a more ensemble and jazzy feel are “Full Moon” (“One night when Rob was in the studio working on this one there was a huge, bright moon hovering over Los Angeles”) and “Tell You That I Love You” (“When you love someone it is important to tell them once in awhile”).

“The collaboration with Rob Mullins and the other musicians was fantastic,” states Lacy. “I have always loved cello, and especially the interplay between piano and cello because it is so warm and full of feeling.”

Janice, at age three, got her first piano lessons from her mother, and they often played duets. When she was six, Janice started formal lessons with a teacher and began learning to read music, and by ten was seriously studying Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Beethoven. She began composing music when she was 15. “I have always enjoyed composing more than performing. Melody has always been my thing. A good melody is the foundation, the keystone for me.”

Lacy explains that “I have always loved analyzing music, figuring out what makes it beautiful, following the movement of the chords and finding which progressions are the most emotional, and learning how you can instill drama by changing the key or the groove. I remember in high school tearing Beethoven pieces apart to see what chords he used and then charting it all out so I could really see how he developed his music. I enjoy exploring the technical aspects of music theory and understanding why certain things work.”

In addition to classical music, Lacy was influenced when she was young by popular and jazz music, and the folk music that was indigenous to her native Ohio. Lacy grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and got her BA degree at Miami University in Ohio and an advanced degree at Ohio State University. “When I was in college I could not pass a practice room with a piano in it without going in and playing.” Lacy’s close friend was a fiddle-player, so she taught herself how to play dulcimer so they could play folk, bluegrass and “old-timey” music at folk festivals. “I had a lot of different musical experiences over the years.”

She remembers, “It seemed like every musical act of that era came to perform and I went to many concerts and saw artists such as Frank Zappa, Gordon Lightfoot, Bette Midler, Peter, Paul and Mary, John Mayall, Eric Clapton, Yes, Earl Scruggs and lots more. I liked R&B from Stevie Wonder to Luther Vandross. I deeply admired Burt Bacharach’s work. I also started going to a jazz club in Cincinnati, and began listening to artists like Keith Jarrett, Oscar Peterson, and Chick Corea and Return to Forever. I have always liked a wide diversity of musical styles. Later I went through a period of studying the music of operas because it is very lyrical and melody-oriented and dramatic because it helps tell the story, and I learned how to incorporate some that into my own music.” Lacy was also influenced by new age pianists George Winston, David Lanz, Jim Brickman, and David Nevue, and by Will Ackerman’s work. “I was inspired by these artists, and realized as I composed that I kept returning to the new age genre as a way to express myself.”

“I wrote the music for Sanctuary for the Soul over the past few years,” states Lacy. “It was sort of an explosion of music for me. I felt I threw off the restrictions of playing strict traditional classical music which stresses interpretation and technique. I embraced the freedom and improvisation of new age and jazz. I felt free to express however I felt when I sat down at the piano which meant the music might be happy or sad or introspective or spiritual. My goal was to be able to impart those emotions with my melodies, and also have the music be gentle, relaxing and peaceful, to sooth and nurture the listener.”
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NEW NANCY SHOOP-WU VIOLIN ALBUM HAS APPEAL TO BOTH NEW AGE AND CLASSICAL AUDIENCES
Mar 01
2017
NANCY SHOOP-WU

Moving one's home great distances can have great, even profound, effects on nearly anyone, but this may be especially true for musicians. From the moment she set foot in the Aloha State, classically-trained New Age violinist Nancy Shoop-Wu found herself under the islands' magical spell. The result was a burst of creativity for the consummate musician as she blended both genres she loved, combining them with the musical culture of her new home, to craft beautiful music with appeal across a variety of spectrums.

Born in Connecticut, Nancy Shoop-Wu began playing the violin at age 9, encouraged and bolstered by her music-loving father, a trumpet player himself, and her pianist mother. A fan of many styles of music, her father would whistle songs she was learning while the two bonded over cooking or doing chores. Tragedy struck three years later when he passed away when Nancy was only 12. However, the painful loss became the catalyst for Nancy to get serious about her goal of becoming a professional violinist.

Her musical studies took her first to Hartt School of Music followed by Yale School of Music, where she studied with renowned violin teachers Paul Kantor and Ida Kavafian. While still in conservatory, Nancy began auditioning for professional orchestras and received her first position with the Filarmonica de Caracas in Venezuela. After nine months, she returned to the U.S to finish her training. Within a year of graduating from Yale she had won positions in New Haven Symphony, Hartford Symphony and Orchestra of New England. It was her next stop, however, which would change her life in a much more drastic way, when she successfully auditioned for a chair with the Honolulu Symphony and moved to Hawaii.

Once rooted in her new home, Nancy quickly developed a love and affinity for Hawaiian music, even as she was equally beguiled by the natural beauty which surrounded her. As a member of the Honolulu Symphony she began to explore a broader musical world, sharing the stage with not only top Hawaiian musicians, but also classical and genre crossing superstars from Yo-Yo Ma to Bela Fleck. At the same time she also began to reconnect
with her love for Celtic and New Age music, particularly the piano music of George Winston. Like a slow-cooking stew, these various influences and inspirations blended over time inside the talented musician.

Then, in 2009, the Honolulu Symphony went bankrupt. This circumstance, much like the death of her father, became motivational for Nancy. Without a creative outlet, she yearned to ignite her creative spark, to share the beautiful melodies that had been coalescing inside her and reveal her musical vision and talent to a larger world. After hearing the soundtrack to the film Departures (composed by Joe Hisaishi featuring cellist Nobuo Furukawa), she was inspired to compose her own songs featuring the violin. Calling forth her muse, she
began to compose in earnest finally finding her unique voice as a composer by blending her love of New Age, Hawaiian and Classical music.

Results sprung forth with two albums, Beautiful Mana'o followed by Rainbow Road (both were produced by Derek Nakamoto and feature two of this era’s most-acclaimed Hawaiian slack-key guitarists, Jeff Peterson and Ian O’Sullivan). The latter album was a finalist for Hawaii's Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Best Instrumental Album in 2016. Nancy is re-releasing Rainbow Road in January 2017 with bonus tracks from her first release Beautiful Mana’o.

Nancy Shoop-Wu's life evolved in a life-altering and affirming way with her move to Hawaii. She states, I have had the privilege of living in Hawaii for half of my life and have found my home here on this 'Island of Rainbows.' I was raised in Connecticut, but it was in Hawaii that a new dimension of musical expression and spirituality opened up for me. I wrote these songs to uplift and transport the listener’s heart beyond their daily existence to a another world – the world of beauty and wonder that lies within us all.

Known for her soulful and expressive playing, violinist and singer/songwriter Nancy Shoop-Wu blends her love of new age music and classical training with the impressionistic magic of the Islands of Hawaii. These uplifting songs for violin, piano, Hawaiian guitar, acoustic bass, drums, and percussion capture the beauty and Aloha spirit of Hawaii. Rainbow Road is Nancy’s second CD and was a finalist for Hawaii's Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in 2016. This 2017 re-release of Rainbow Road includes bonus tracks from her first recording, Beautiful Mana’o. Nancy’s consummate musicianship on the violin is framed by pianist Derek Nakamoto who also produced this album. Rainbow Road also features two of this era’s most-acclaimed Hawaiian slack-key guitarists, Jeff Peterson and Ian O’Sullivan as well as Nancy's debut as a singer on the track Carry Me Home.
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IF YOU LIKE SPEEDY, MELODIC, ACOUSTIC-GUITAR PICKING, CHECK OUT TERRA GUITARRA
Mar 01
2017

TERRA GUITARRA
Of Sea & Stars

The extremely-entertaining acoustic-guitar duo Terra Guitarra has created a new body of music, the album Of Sea & Stars, that makes a correlation between the exploration of earth’s oceans and outer-space because both represent places that have to be journeyed across in order to settle new lands and to gain additional insights into human consciousness, spiritual awakening and scientific knowledge.

“There is a connectedness between the sea and the stars,” explains Terra Guitarra lead-guitarist and composer Bruce Hecksel. A thousand years ago humans were starting to venture out into the oceans of the world in search of new land masses, and now we are taking our first tentative steps into space. The early ocean voyagers navigated by using the stars at night. You can even argue that our biological makeup is saltwater and stardust. And both the sea and all those solar systems out there represent places that we have not fully explored and that contain vast sources of information that we know so little about. For the most part we have not yet reached the point where we are readily astute enough to accept knowledge that could be valuable to us whether that means communicating with whales or deciphering messages from other places in the universe.

“While these concepts lent inspiration to our music, we primarily want to create inspiring art that pulls from many lands and cultures in hopes that a world-fusion sound that enables listeners to discover their common human global unity. I believe music is one way to reach for bliss, to elevate the soul to a higher plane, to find joy outside of material things, and to encourage spirituality as a way of bettering the human experience.”

Terra Guitarra’s music features Hecksel’s fluid, melodic, often-rapid soloing on acoustic guitar in combination with the incredibly-powerful and foundational rhythm-guitar playing by his partner, Julie Patchouli. On this new album they expanded their popular sound in several ways. As in the past, Patchouli most often percussively strums chords creating a full-bodied underlying resonance, but on several of the new tunes she switches to playing intricate finger-style guitar rhythms that add an additional dimension to their sound. Similarly, Hecksel has always been known for his inventive and mesmerizing solo runs, but because Terra Guitarra is such a popular live act, he wanted to make sure he could reproduce his part of the material in concert. So instead of overdubbing several guitar parts on the recording, he worked out methods of playing both his lead-lines and a harmony part at the same time.

While Terra Guitarra first rose to popularity based on their version of the nouveau flamenco sound, they also are committed to incorporating new styles into the mix. Of Sea & Stars has native wood flutes featured more prominently than before, and with a carefully-designed expansive mix, listeners can clearly hear additional instrumentation such as bass, congas, various other drums and hand percussion played by both members.

“Our music has always been Latin-based,” says Patchouli, “with rhythms and sounds from either the Mediterranean -- Spain, Greece and Morocco -- or the Caribbean, or Central and South America. But slowly we keep expanding our sound whether it is adding Native American wood flute or subtle elements from places such as Northern Europe or Africa.”

The tunes on Of Sea & Stars have a global fusion influence highlighting many cultures and sounds. “Night River” is a Middle Eastern melody played on a Native American flute over a Spanish guitar rhythm. The title refers to the Native American description of the Milky Way. “Wave Walker” is a name of a Viking ship. “Zorbas” is a cover version of the “Zorba the Greek” film theme. “Viracocha” is the name of a god of sea, land and sky who taught the civilized arts to the Incas. “Circadia” is a play on words between circadian rhythms and the French Acadian settlers who came to North America in the 17th Century. “Alegria” means bliss in Portuguese. The album closes with “Aurora,” a sonic description of aurora borealis radiating in the northern climes.

Hecksel says, “The music on Of Sea & Stars is meant to direct the listener to both contemplation and bliss. These melodies evoke a picture of Old World meets New World. First it harkens back to age-old folk minstrels, village squares paved with cobblestones, a church-spire heralding the next town on a journey, the swirling and bustling marketplace, musicians in an intimate cantina late at night. Then the images move to the mysteries of space, billions of stars in the night sky, pulsating sounds reaching our planet from the depths of the cosmos. Our music then joins in harmony with the vibrations of the universe.”

Terra Guitarra, as their name implies, focuses on two things -- guitar explorations and planet earth. The music encompasses their love of nature, travel, festivals, journeys of personal growth, and spiritual reflection. “Usually the melodies first come to me when I am in a meditative state. It could be during meditation, or those moments between dreaming and awakening, or outside experiencing nature or even when we are performing,” says Hecksel. “The melodies are reflective of the earth’s energy and vibrations.”

There is no denying the popularity of Terra Guitarra’s music, not only from the sales of their albums, but also because they perform before the public more than 200 days each year. In addition, their last two studio albums of original material, Dragonfly and Firelight, received international marketing campaigns that resulted in extensive airplay around the world. The albums went to #4 and #5 respectively on the monthly international Zone Music Reporter Top 100 Chart (the main list for this type of music globally). In addition, the ZMR radio programmers selected both recordings to be in the Top 5 “Acoustic Instrumental Albums of the Year” when they were released (and out of the 2,100 annual chart albums, Dragonfly was #27 and Firelight was #14 for the entire year). Firelight also went to #1 on the One World Music Chart and was nominated for that prestigious channel’s “Album of the Year” Award (finishing 3rd overall in that category).

Long ago eclipsing the intensive, broad-based musical studies of their youth, Hecksel and Patchouli are famous for their prodigious discipline of touring and prolific creative output. They have traveled over a million miles playing more than 3,500 performances while releasing an album per year for 20 years in the top ranks of two distinct genres, and created a trademark visual art style in paint and animation.

Bruce, who has painted all his life, began a special series of guitar-based paintings for the artwork on the first Terra Guitarra album, and his art has continued to be featured on all their subsequent CDs. Hecksel’s painting has expanded and evolved leading to national art exhibitions as well as sales of originals and limited edition giclee prints (details at terraguitarra dot com). At special concerts Terra Guitarra presents “The Landscape of Guitar,” a multi-media experience that combines their music with projection of Bruce’s artwork in animated form.

More information on Terra Guitarra is available at their website (terraguitarra dot com). Their Earthsign Records CDs -- Terra Guitarra, Winter Solstice, The Mother Night, Dragonfly, Auld Lang Syne, Firelight, Live at the Big River Theatre and Of Sea & Stars, and digital download tracks from those recordings -- are available on their website as well as at online sales sites such as CDbaby, Amazon, iTunes and many others. Fans can also purchase recordings by Bruce Hecksel and Julie Patchouli’s alter-ego group, the eclectic acoustic singer-songwriter duo called Patchouli which has more than a dozen albums available.
Music CD Release
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GASPARILLA’S ROLLS OUT THE RED CARPET FOR LOCALLY MADE MOVIE!
Feb 16
2017
It’s Gasparilla time again but this year the film creating the big buzz is the break out action film “King Charles.” With over one hundred films showcasing at this year’s event one local made film in particular stands out amongst them. The locally made action/drama “King Charles.” Rod Grant an actor/producer, teamed up with his pal Nicholas Naylor to produce the feature film. The partnership seemed to have paid off. The festival happens March 2-9th. The two actors, writers and producer/director embarked on the film journey last summer setting out to make a drama that would, quite simply, entertain audiences. The film, starring newcomers “Hilton Roberts III,” “Priscella Henriquez” and “Michael Santi,” is about a shady DEA agent (Roberts) who loses his partner to the city’s crime lord then sets out for revenge at any cost. “I got the idea to write it years ago and just felt like it made for a great film.” States Grant. The film is creating a huge buzz in the local film community. Though still in its festival run the film is receiving lots of excitement. “It’s great that people are liking the film…we just wanted to make something we hoped would entertain people,” states Grant. Both guys aren’t new to the film scene. With over 50 films between them. Both are actors, writers, producers. And both want to create an impact on the local film scene. “We want to show the world that Tampa is a wonderful city and a great place to produce their films,” adds Grant with enthusiasm. Naylor began as a child actor when he caught the acting bug. He’s since gone on to appear in over 20 films, as well as writing, directing and producing. Grant started as an author then crossed over into acting. Since then he’s gone on to appear in over 35 films, as well as written and produced. The pair share a very admirable and likeable friendship. “How many people can say they’ve made a good, quality movie?” States Naylor. “We’re both very proud of the accomplishment and can’t wait for it to come out on DVD.” He adds. “We both love what we do, and it’s all we want to do, so hopefully this is a continuation of a long and wonderful career,” says Grant, with humility. And it’s a humility you can clearly see. “King Charles” is exciting and no doubt a step in the right direction for these two local film-makers. Spend a great night at the movies and come and show your support for the Tampa arts. To find out more about the film visit the films Facebook page (type in the movie title) or Gasparilla’s website for show times: http://gasparillafilmfestival.com/

Get your tickets early though because this film is selling out!
Contact: Olga Favrow
727-533-6810
solvencyint@gmail.com
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