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Performance  |  Music by Ann Philippone

Friday, July 8, 2016, 5:30–7:30 pm

Playing piano has been my passion for as long as I can remember...... Even in kindergarten, when they went around the room asking what we wanted to be when we grew up, I blurted out, "I'm a piano player". My family is wonderfully supportive. They've been an irreplaceable constant in my life. I've been playing the piano pictured above since I was 16. I bought it from the old Rochester Club Ballroom.

I had "traditional"piano lessons as a kid, and went the classical route early on. Then it was off to school at Syracuse University, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Piano and Art History in 1987. I studied and performed overseas at L'Ecole Hindemith in Switzerland in the summers of 1984 and '85. Accompanying the 1987 Syracuse University Singers on harpsichord with a string quartet is a great memory.

I graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a Master of Arts in Music and Art History in 1996, and found Buffalo to be a great place to live, with a thriving music scene and no shortage of great musicians to play with. I met John Brady, a great musician and songwriter, who really encouraged and helped me along. I started playing with some local bands. I loved having the musical freedom that I had craved for so long. Not long after finishing grad school, I was hired by Joe Beard, and spent the next ten years playing in his band. My first real exposure to live blues music had been sneaking into clubs in Rochester, New York, as a kid and hearing him play. Joe Beard was the legendary Son House's next-door-neighbor on Gregg Street in Rochester, New York, and used to play with him and a young John Mooney on his porch. I learned everything I know about playing blues piano from Joe. He's a great guy and a great musician. I've always been so grateful for the opportunity to play with him, and I still go see him whenever I can. I recommend that you go see him too!

I got some great gigs through playing with Joe Beard's band and he always encouraged me to take every opportunity.  I did several tours with Muddy Waters' son, Big Bill Morganfield, and went to Europe to play with John Ellison, composer of the hit song, "Some Kind of Wonderful".  I was hired by James Peterson and had a blast playing with him.  Around that time, I received the WNY Blues Society Award for "Most Promising Local Talent".  I was always playing solo gigs wherever I could, and was encouraged by the owner of Nietzsche's music club here in Buffalo, NY to do a regular gig.  I started doing Sundays so I could keep up the gig schedule with other bands.  I've been playing Sundays since 2003.  I'm grateful to have this long-standing gig in such a great music club.  As house piano player, I get to open for great national acts, like James Cotton, Joanna Connor, Tinsley Ellis, and other great bands.

I still love playing with other musicians and lots of them come in to jam with me or sit in on Sundays at Nietzsche's, and at my First Saturday monthly gigs at Hot Mama's Canteen, or at my Third Thursday monthly gigs at Rohall's Corner.  

Teaching piano is also a very joyful part of my life.  I absolutely love passing on my love of piano and the skills that go along with it!  One of the most important things we can do is to teach music to the next generation!

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  • 4
    Jul 8

    Special Event  |  July M&T Second Friday

    Friday, July 8, 2016, 10 am–8 pm

    On the Second Friday of every month, thanks to the support of M&T Bank, the Burchfield Penney hosts something great!