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October 2018 Public Happenings

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Martan Mann

(Most of these gigs are in the San Francisco, San Jose & Monterey Bay Area)

Hi All.
It’s October and it’s definitely feeling like Fall.  I’m playing lots of excellent gigs in different locations.  It’s a great time for me.

Clif Payne

Featured Gig:  Our next duo show is with the soulful jazz singer, Clif Payne at Angelicas, November 14.

This will be a night of musical improvisation and creativity and FUN.  Hope you can come.  Tickets are FREE if ordered online at Angelicas website ($10 at the door).  Make your reservations early.

Clif Payne – Biographical Profile 

Clif has performed with Freda Payne, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Norman Connors, Bobby McFerrin, Ellis Hall, Sheena Easton, American Idol judge & vocal coach Peggy Blu, Four Play drummer Harvey Mason, jazz fusionists Hiroshima and former Chicago vocalist Bill Champlin. Clif has opened for Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Rubén Blades, Dan Siegel and Dionne Warwick.

Clif was born in the Harlem Sugar Hill area of Harlem and now resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. His eclectic vocals span the genres of jazz, R&B, gospel, blues, rock, folk, pop and classical.

“I frequently use the ‘jazz’ description because it allows me to be me:
A singer who loves to be eclectic & expressive in a variety of musical genres.” CP

Clif is “a lush tenor with soaring melismas in his individual passages.”
Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times.

In 2016, Clif released his debut solo album–Welcome To My World–that also features a Clif/Freda duet-“No Payne, No Gain.”  She is best known for her hit song “Band Of Gold.” A dance mix of “No Payne, No Gain” produced by the UK’s Nigel Lowis was on the 2016 Grammy ballot for nomination for Best R&B Vocal. “No Payne, No Gain,” written by R&B Hall of Fame inductee Preston Glass (“Miss You Like Crazy, “Don’t Make Me Wait For Love”) spent 2 weeks at the top of the Soul/R&B charts in Great Britain, receiving the title of UK’s Soul Song of the Year.  In August 2016, Clif and Freda performed their duet live in LA at Herb Alpert’s Club Vibrato. Also on Welcome To My World are original En Vogue vocalist Maxine Jones and Midnight Star’s Reggie Calloway. Welcome To My World was produced Preston Glass, and Grammy orchestra music director Larry Batiste.

The power trio of Glass, Batiste and Payne reunite for his 2018 release – TOO!

Dynamic Duets –  Clif teams up with an array of musical legends including George Benson and Little Anthony on this Preston Glass-produced album.

Love and Compassion –  produced by Glass includes a track featuring The Manhattan’s Gerald Alston and Clif’s Welcome To My World track,

“Peace Is More (Than The Absence of War).”

Disco Soul Gold – the #1 R&B/Soul album in the UK for 2017, was produced by Nigel Lowis and includes the dance mix of “No Payne, No Gain.”

A musical epiphany for Clif occurred back in the 1970s upon hearing a 45-rpm record of Donny Hathaway, “Jealous Guy,” from the Donny Hathaway Live record. “I was floored!  So, I went out and bought the whole album!”

Bobby McFerrin is credited with “discovering” Clif, who saw McFerrin singing at a club one California evening. Clif went in, talked with Bobby during a break and talked McFerrin into singing with him.  Bobby asked Clif, “Are You good?”  Clif replied, “Yes!” Bobby then asked, “Are you REAL Good??” Clif said, “Yes!!”  At the start of the next set, McFerrin introduced Clif to the audience and then let Payne, “do his thang!” The audience response was so great that McFerrin sang with Clif and invited him to be the special guest at McFerrin’s next gig. At that gig, he gave Clif his first California gig as a soloist.

Music figures prominently in Clif’s family. His father, James “Buddy” Payne was a reedsman who gigged with jazz legends Lionel Hampton, Fletcher Henderson and participated in the Harlem Renaissance. Clif’s mother was a talented vocalist who once backed Nat “King” Cole in a vocal ensemble. The Payne family lived in the same apartment building that, at the same time, was also home to Duke Ellington and drummer Cozy Cole (Ringo Starr’s favorite drummer).  Ellington lived on the 4th floor, the Payne Family and Cole lived on the 3rd floor, circa 1954.  The apartment building located at 935 St. Nicholas St. in Harlem is now a designated national landmark.

Shandra Bennett, Clif’s cousin, is a background vocalist with country superstar Martina McBride.


I totally enjoy playing the grand piano at the elegant Cetrella in Los Gatos most Fridays and Saturdays;  playing solo at Merrill Gardens; at the stately San Jose Country Club.  I’m playing solo at Dominican Oaks and Merrill Gardens.   I also play for the Sundays  at at Westhope Presbyterian Church in Saratoga.  Come here often to check out newly added gigs.  (See the listings below for more information.)

I’m loving playing the “Art of the Duo” concerts at Angelicas in Redwood City.  They have been a huge success.  Thank you to Sandra MarloweTammi Brown, Cathy Segal-Garcia, Kay Kostopoulos, Mary Jenson, Daria, Azure McCall, Darryl Rowe, Roberta Donnay, Molly Holm, Wendy Waller, Ellen Johnson, Deborah Winters and Lin McPhillips for playing great shows.

Our next Angelicas “Art of the Duo” is with the fabulous Clif Payne on Wednesday, November 14.

We have updated and revamped the JazzSkills for Piano website. Check it out.  We are now offering a brand new introductory offer.

For you church pianists out there . . . . I just finished my new course, HymnSkills:  Developing Hymn Improvisation.

Courses by Martan Mann

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JazzSkills for Piano is now here!!!

Check it out.  Receive Four Free Videos.

Here’s some exciting new news regarding my new online jazz piano improv course, “JazzSkills for Piano (Getting from Here to There).   This is an intensive, deep, serious course in developing the skills necessary to play jazz piano.  It’s the subconscious which does the playing . . . you have the FUN.  This is your time to get started!

JazzSkills for Piano:

  • Over 200 lesson videos
  • Downloadable PDFs
  • The Private Lesson Blog
  • JAZZ MASTERCLASS: Step-by-Step (stand alone lessons)
  • Skype
  • Webinars
  • Lots of text and much more.

Log on to receive Four Free Videos.

[TURN OFF THE MUSIC AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE TO LISTEN TO THIS VIDEO.]

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JAZZ MASTERCLASS: Step-by-Step

Martan Mann has created single stand-alone intensive lessons for the jazz pianist.  These lessons are available for separate sale for $30 (to view for three months).

These are my latest standalone lessons from JAZZ MASTERCLASS: Step-by-Step.

Just Released:

  1. “Learning Giant Steps for the Jazz Pianist”
  2. “Modal Improv for the Jazz Pianist”
  3. “Learning Stride Blues for the Jazz Pianist”
  4. “Pachelbel Improv”
  5. “Learning Boogie Woogie”
  6. “Preparing to Play in All Keys”
  7. “Preparing to Learn a Tune”
  8. “HymnSkills: Developing Hymn Improvisation (Latest Release)”

This series of lessons give step-by-step instruction in analyzing and developing specific tunes and styles.  This solves mysteries.  This gives answers Now!  You can choose your tune and/or style to develop it fully and creatively.  New Step-by-Step Lessons will be added often.  Visit his website:  Musicmann.com to join his mailing list to stay current on the release of new lessons.

These lessons are fairly advanced and assume that you already have basic skills as a jazz pianist.  If you need to work on your jazz skills . . . consider enrolling in Martan’s intensive online jazz piano course JazzSkills for Piano.  This course will definitely take you “From Here to There”.  Visit JazzSkills for Piano to receive Four Free Videos.

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Recording and Rehearsals for Vocalists

I want to remind vocalists that I can provide rehearsal and recording services. I have a beautiful Yamaha C7 and excellent recording equipment. It’s quick and easy to record a demo or complete CD. CD artwork is also available.

I can also create Band in a Box charts and recordings which sound like a real band. You’ll be amazed!!!  TURN OFF THE MUSIC AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE.

The above is an audio file, “You’d be so nice to come home to”. It has my live piano playing mixed with the BIAB file. The first and third chorus is a backup for the vocalist. The second chorus is a sax solo. BIAB can put the song into any key, style, soloing instrument, tempo, etc.

Call me at (408) 234-2364 for more information. Or, send an email to martan@musicmann.com.

“I love to back vocalists!”

Music

What is this thing called love?

This is from a live concert at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center with Michael Strunk, drums, Dan Robbins, bass and me on piano.  (TURN OFF THE MUSIC AT THE TOP OF THIS SITE.)

 

MartanBlog

Visit MartanBlog to read Martan’s latest blog posts.
(Also visit:  JazzThought.com for more blog posts and jazz quotes.)

 Improve Your Jazz Improv

It’s one thing to improvise. But, what happens when your improv gets boring, stale and repetitive? What are some ways to “restart the engine”? In my own personal playing, I’m always looking for ways to “renew the spark”. I realize that my best improv is when I literally

Read More . . . .

Music Language

This is a blog post article by Martan Mann
Author of JazzSkills for Piano®
View other posts at MartanBlog.

We have often been told that “music is the universal language”. Another way to look at this is to consider music as a direct language of emotion. It is an instant access into the subconscious of the listener. It is powerful!

I’m not an expert on brain functions, but I’m fairly sure that the same center of the brain that allows to speak, converse, create and conceive is the same “language center” which allows us to improvise and compose music. If that is true, we can directly improve our ability to improvise by learning music the same as we learn other languages.

I have some exercises which will develop your music-language skills.

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Time is not a click.

This is a blog post article by Martan Mann
Author of JazzSkills for Piano®
View other posts at MartanBlog.

Music is not about perfection.  It is about feeling.  Jazz, in particular is about groove.  It is groove which gives jazz it’s identity, it’s purpose, it’s joy.  You know groove when you hear it.  You know what it feels like.  The main issue is . . . how to develop a great groove in your playing?

I’m pretty sure that ALL great players practice to a metronome.  Practicing to a metronome develops an internal “click” in the player’s subconscious.  However the click is only a reference point.  If you have recorded your music, you, and all the players on the recording, have probably listened to a “click track” while recording.  All the players have the same reference point of time.

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