Feature Articles
June 2008
March 2008
January 2008
Articles 2007
Articles 2006
Articles 2005
Articles 2004
Articles 2003
Articles 2002

Capitol Jazz Society


Dixieland at




Arts Incorporated


NJO concert season




Dan DeMuth

tribute to Butch


Mark Dalton

tribute to Butch


Ahmad Alaadeen to write methods manual

September 2008
Feature Articles

Music news, interviews, opinion, memorials


Capital Jazz Society finds a new home


By Tom Ineck


LINCOLN, Neb.—The Capital Jazz Society recently found a new home for its twice-weekly gigs. After nearly nine years at P.O. Pears bar and grill in downtown Lincoln, the performances have moved to the lower level of Brewsky’s Food and Spirits, at 201 N. Eighth St. in the Historic Haymarket District.


Dixieland band packs them in at Brewsky's Jazz Underground [Photo by Tom Ineck]That change of venue came as a relief to CJS executive director Dean Haist, who had been sweating bullets since longtime P.O. Pears owner Bob Jergensen suddenly announced he was closing the doors in March, after unsuccessful attempts to sell the business.


“We had relatively short notice,” Haist said. “It was good timing for us, in a way, because we were coming up on a break and we were able to finish what we had scheduled.”


Having a few months “off” also gave CJS a chance to rethink its Monday big band and Thursday small group concert series. In an ironic twist, the former dearth of jazz venues that first inspired the CJS bookings had become somewhat of a deluge, with several area restaurants now offering live jazz at no cover charge. Students in Tom Larson’s jazz history class at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln—always a reliable audience—suddenly had more options and the CJS had more competition. The Tuesday night Jazz in June concert series also had reduced the number of listeners who turned out for Monday and Thursday performances.


As a result, the CJS has restructured its concert season to conform more closely to the UNL school year, plus a few dates for students attending the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra’s summer jazz camp.


“Scaling back a little bit is going to be good for us, and I don’t think it’s going to hurt the jazz scene,” Haist said. “There are more opportunities than there have ever been in Lincoln to hear jazz now.”


Capital City Dixieland Preservation Society Jazz Band at Brewsky's [Photo by Tom Ineck]Brian Kitten, co-owner of Brewsky’s sports bars in Lincoln and Omaha, was open to the idea of housing CJS events in the basement of the old building, which previously had been underutilized, mostly for private parties. Unofficially referred to as Brewsky’s Jazz Underground, the new space is well-suited for live jazz, with a low, wood-beamed ceiling, exposed brick, excellent acoustics, subtle lighting, good sight lines to the stage and seating for about 110. Brewsky’s also has superb food and drink menus.


“It’s a very comfortable venue,” Haist agreed. “I can’t say enough good things about the owner and the management there and the folks we’ve been working with. They have just bent over backwards. They helped financially with some of the things we needed to do to move there.” Brewsky’s purchased the piano from P.O. Pears and a public address system.


A dry run in July revealed several needed improvements, but Brewsky’s has been eager to help make the space more compatible for the presentation of live music, Haist said. He hopes to have streetscape signage soon, to draw passersby who are unaware of Brewsky’s new jazz policy. Curbside parking often is a problem in the popular Haymarket, but there is almost always ample space in nearby garages and lots.


Trombonist Bryant Scott, bassist Andy Hall, trumpeters Mac McCune and John Mills [Photo by Tom Ineck]The Monday Night Big Band officially opened the Brewsky’s jazz venue on July 21, followed by the Thursday Night Jazz Series on July 24. A special performance by the Capital City Dixieland Preservation Society Jazz Band drew a standing room-only crowd on Aug. 19 (see the review below).


Monday night performances feature a full 17-piece big band. Students and audience members are urged to bring their instruments and sit in with the band. Haist said the number of young musicians who are turning out for jazz events citywide is encouraging.


“I see a lot of UNL musicians down at Monday Night Big Band,” he said. “I see more musicians in the community that are doing a variety of things. They’ve stuck around or are going to graduate school and are active and involved.”


The Capital Jazz Society resumed a regular schedule of Monday and Thursday performances on Sept. 8. The following dates have been scheduled, with more to be added later.


Sept. 11, Thursday Night Jazz Series, Ed Love Group

Sept. 15, Monday Night Big Band, Jeff Patton, conductor

Sept. 18, Thursday Night Jazz Series, John Carlini Group

Sept. 22, Monday Night Big Band, Dean Haist, conductor

Sept. 25, Thursday Night Jazz Series, Group Sax

Sept. 29, Monday Night Big Band, Marc LaChance, conductor

Oct. 2, Thursday Night Jazz Series, Peter Bouffard Group

Oct. 9, Thursday Night Jazz Series, Scott Vicroy Group

Oct. 16, Thursday Night Jazz Series, Bob Krueger Group

Nov. 6, Thursday Night Jazz Series, Darryl White Group


All performance at Brewsky's are from 7:30-10 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for students (with valid I.D.) or $3 if you bring your instrument and sit in with the band on Mondays. Full food and beverage service is available.



Performance Review

Trad jazz draws SRO crowd to Brewsky's


By Tom Ineck


LINCOLN, Neb.—Jazz styles run the gamut from traditional New Orleans polyphony to avant-garde cacophony, setting lines of demarcation across the range of jazz evolution in its 100-year history. So, audiences can seem a little partial depending on their own particular preference.


From left: Bryant Scott, Mac McCune, Joey Gulizia, Joe Genovesi, Andy Hall and Dan Cerveny [Photo by Tom Ineck]Demographically, the most avid fans of the Crescent City’s flag-waving, good-time sounds tend to be older. Appropriately, there was an abundance of white-haired jazz devotees in attendance on the evening of Aug. 19, when the Capital City Dixieland Preservation Society Jazz Band delivered a stirring performance at the so-called Brewsky’s Jazz Underground, Lincoln’s latest jazz venue.


For those of us who appreciate good music of any style, it was a no-brainer. Some of the area’s best musicians were on hand. The acoustics and ambiance in the 110-seat, lower-level room are well-suited for live performances, and the standing room-only audience was creating some very positive energy. The result was a memorable evening for everyone.


Mac McCune uses his hand as a mute [Photo by Tom Ineck]Some of the players have been around as long as the audience members. Lincoln trumpeter Mac McCune and Omaha clarinetist Joe Genovesi are beloved area musicians who have established their well-deserved reputations over many decades of one-nighters and extended lounge engagements. Also on the front line was young trombonist Bryant Scott, a former Lincoln resident now living in Chicago. The veteran rhythm section was simply the cream of the crop: Dan Cerveny of Omaha on piano; Andy Hall of Lincoln on bass; and Joey Gulizia of Omaha on drums.


There were few surprises in the band’s repertoire, which featured such evergreens as “Just a Closer Walk with Thee,” “Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home,” “Up the Lazy River,” “St. James Infirmary,” and “I Found a New Baby.” The joy was in hearing like-minded musicians conjure up the classic New Orleans rhythms and instrumental interplay, with plenty of space for solo statements, especially from McCune, Genovesi and Scott.


Joe Genovesi and Dan Cerveny [Photo by Tom Ineck]Genovesi’s rousing clarinet work on “Bill Bailey” defined the very essence of the New Orleans sound. “Up the Lazy River” was taken at a mournful tempo evocative of… well, a lazy river. McCune’s muted trumpet statement on “St. James Infirmary” was a soulful introduction, later amplified by Scott’s bluesy trombone solo.


After a break in the action, the band returned to the stage with an additional trumpeter, John Mills. The standards kept coming, with “Basin St. Blues,” “Do You Know What it Means (to Miss New Orleans)?” “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be.” “Sweet Georgia Brown” was a fitting finale.


On “Do You Know What It Means,” McCune took a brilliant, imaginative solo that quoted “Rhapsody in Blue.” The sly trumpeter always has a few tricks up his sleeve, and his technique is never less than sterling.


The Capital Jazz Society plans to book the Dixielanders several times a year. As long as the band’s aging fans can still make it to the venue, it promises to remain a popular event.



Feature Story

Arts Inc. opens new downtown offices


By Tom Ineck


LINCOLN, Neb.—The last few months have been a little hectic for Dean Haist. While scrambling to find a new venue for the Capital Jazz Society’s live performances, he also was faced with the task of finding new offices for Arts Incorporated, the arts management and promotion business of which he is president.


Dean Haist with "motivation officer" Jose perched on his left shoulder [Courtesy Photo]Arts Inc. recently threw an open house celebration at its new digs on the ground floor of 315 S. Ninth St., in the Peanut Butter Factory building. With more than 2,000 square feet of office space for the staff of a dozen, a reception area, conference room and a street-side downtown location that raises the organization’s visibility, Haist is pleased, but weary.


“Everything kind of lined up at the same time, but it made for a difficult spring,” Haist said with typical understatement. After more than a decade in upstairs quarters at 216 N. 11th St., Arts Inc. suddenly was asked to find a new home to make way for planned renovations in that building.


“We thought we were going to be OK there until the end of 2009, which is what some of the other tenants had been led to believe,” Haist said, but he already was checking out spaces for the eventual move. He was introduced to developers Will and Robert Scott, which led him to the historic factory building. The space need some major work, and Haist had decided it against it until he got an e-mail message from his landlord saying Arts Inc. had to be out by the end of July.


“I got right on the phone and we worked out a lease for this space and got the keys and got in here and started painting. I had a Tom Sawyer party or two, where I invited all my friends and we ended up with close to 25 gallons of paint and five cases of beer, which is all I could afford to pay them.”


Arts Inc. made the move in June. After sorting and reorganizing many years’ worth of files, file cabinets and furniture, Haist and his staff have settled in to their new home, with a five-year lease and an option for five more. The area is ripe for restoration and development and the downtown location is perfect for its proximity to the Historic Haymarket area and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln city campus, he said.


“I’m hoping I won’t ever have to move again.”



Concert Preview

NJO announces 2008-2009 concert series


LINCOLN, Neb.The Nebraska Jazz Orchestra has announced its 2008-2009 concert season. It features nationally-known guest instrumentalists, popular big-band favorites NJO 2008-2009 concert seriesand new arrangements. Guest artists for the season include acclaimed trombonist Bill Watrous; multi-talented woodwind performer Mike Tomaro; world-class percussionist Dana Hall; and one of L.A.’s most highly sought and award-winning trumpet players, Wayne Bergeron.


Season tickets are available at $90 for adults and $48 for students. New subscribers can get season tickets at 50 percent off the regular price.


General admission tickets for individual concerts may be purchased in advance or at the door for each concert. Ticket prices are $20 for adults $20 and $10 for students. Concert times and locations are listed below.


Pre-concert dinners are held before each concert at a cost of $22 per person. For tickets or dinner reservations please contact the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra business office at (402) 477-8446 or njo@artsincorporated.org.


2008-2009 NJO Season:


“L.A. Legend,” Friday, Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m., Cornhusker Marriott, 333 S. 13th St. Trombonist Bill Watrous has done it all, from playing with such big bands as Woody Herman and Quincy Jones to performing on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”


“Christmas and All That Jazz,” Thursday, Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m., Embassy Suites, 1040 P St. The Nebraska Jazz Orchestra will put you in the holiday mood at this popular concert of seasonal favorites.


“Learning From the Master,” Thursday, Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m., Cornhusker Marriott, 333 S. 13th St. Young talent will be featured along with Mike Tomaro, multi-talented woodwind performer, composer, arranger, and director of jazz studies at Duquesne University. Tomaro will perform with the NJO and the 2009 Young Lions All-Star Band.


"It’s Not Rocket Science,” Tuesday, March 24, 7:30 p.m., Cornhusker Marriott, 333 S. 13th St. With a degree in aerospace engineering, Dana Hall now leads a number of his own groups and performs with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble. Included in this concert will be a local jazz ensemble as part of the “Jazz 101” program. 


“Plays Well with Others,” Tuesday, May 19, 7:30 p.m., Cornhusker Marriott, 333 S. 13th St. This concert will feature one of L.A.'s most highly sought and award-winning trumpet players, Wayne Bergeron, and the winner of the 2009 NJO Young Jazz Artist Competition.


The NJO season also includes a popular annual event, a Valentines Day dinner and dance on Saturday, Feb. 14, at 6 p.m. at the Cornhusker Marriott. The concert features Big Band classics and is not included with season membership.


The Nebraska Jazz Orchestra strives to provide accessible venues and programs to visitors of all abilities. Contact the business office at (402) 477-8446 regarding services available.




Colorado trip yields good food and music at Jay's


By Tom Ineck


FORT COLLINS, Colo.While planning to attend a weekend family reunion in Loveland, Colo., in late June, I decided to make the most of my Rocky Mountain travels by adding a few days in a cabin high on the banks of the Poudre River outside Fort Collins and a few days in Denver visiting in-laws.


Berman Music Foundation friend Andrew Vogt with the Mark Sloniker Trio at Jay's Bistro [Photo by Tom Ineck]and former Lincoln, Neb., resident Andrew Vogt has called Fort Collins home for seven years, so it seemed appropriate—while in his neck of the woods—to get in touch with Andrew, who also is a wonderful multi-reed player who keeps busy performing gigs throughout the area, when he isn’t teaching in Loveland.


We were in luck. Andrew was free for a Wednesday evening dinner before he headed over to a snazzy little club called Jay’s Bistro and Jazz Lounge to sit in with pianist Mark Sloniker, who fronts a trio there four nights a week. It was just a couple of blocks from our dinner spot, the popular Coopersmith’s brewpub in the city’s quaint Old Town section.


After visiting, eating and quaffing the local brews, we strolled over to Jay’s for an evening of pleasant musical surprises. Sloniker is a versatile musician and master of ceremonies par excellence, taking requests, chatting with customers between sets and graciously inviting visiting musicians and singers to join the band in its space near the front window. It is evident that he has been doing this for many years and has built a formidable following.


Andrew Vogt accompanies a local singer on tenor sax [Photo by Tom Ineck]What’s more, owners Jay Witlen and his wife, Jacki, have an obvious love and respect for jazz. In addition to being a great restaurant, Jay’s Bistro caters to serious music listeners with compatible ambiance and a décor that includes comfy seating, low lighting, lots of wood and brass and jazz posters and other appropriate artwork on the walls. It felt right from the moment we entered the door.


The set list was largely comprised of familiar standards, like “Pennies from Heaven,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” “At Last,” and “Misty,” but Sloniker also showed a penchant for Thelonious Monk with “Blue Monk” and “Rhythm-a-ning.” The band also gave Coltrane a not with “Equinox,” and did justice to Horace Silver with “Song for My Father.” Most unusual—and welcomed—was their version of “Sister Cheryl,” a beautiful Tony Williams composition that should be covered more often.


Andrew is a blur on soprano sax [Photo by Tom Ineck]Andrew moved easily from tenor sax to clarinet, soprano sax and alto sax, shifting the tonal center as the rhythm section kept pace. This regular gig is a labor of love for musicians and audience alike, and the fans were still shouting their approval as we headed back up the mountainous Poudre River road for the night.


A couple days later, we returned to Jay’s for a midday meal—al fresco—and it was excellent in every way. If you’re in the mood for Southwestern cuisine, try the crab chile relleno. For you panini fans, there’s the smoked salmon panini, and pasta lovers will swoon over the linguini with chicken, artichoke hearts and spinach. The dinner menu is even more exotic, including chipotle pork tenderloin, Chilean sea bass and Colorado ostrich (yep, ostrich!) filet.


Whether you’re there for live jazz or a good eating, Jay’s Bistro is THE hip destination in Fort Collins.




Fellow record collector recalls hangin' with Butch


Editor’s Note: Fellow record collector Dan DeMuth spent many hours "hangin'" with Butch, usually talking about the classic jazz, r&b and rock 'n' roll music they both loved so much. They met at Butch's home or, occasionally, on the air at KZUM community radio, where Butch hosted several jazz and soul programs over the years. DeMuth and his wife, Patti, now live in Pueblo West, Colo.


By Dan DeMuth


PUEBLO WEST, Colo.I first met Butch perhaps 15 years ago, although in retrospect I feel I knew him for a much longer time. He had a way of filling the minutes or hours to the max.


Our first encounter was at the house of a local record seller in Lincoln. Said seller would amass a few hundred records and then Dan and Patti DeMurth [File Photo]call his list of customers, inviting them to make an appointment to look over the merchandise. This dealer would keep any rare 1950s rock and roll or rockabilly in a separate box in which I was allowed to look, but not offer to buy until one of his regulars—Butch—perused them first.


A chance meeting ensued when either Butch or I showed up at the wrong time, which did allow us to meet and discuss our collecting habits. Although fellow travelers in the record-collecting business, more often than not our times together were spent in hanging out, something he really dug.


A typical “hanging session” would be initiated by a phone call from Butch suggesting we meet at his place on a certain day at a certain time. Upon arrival, the itinerary (predetermined by Butch) would be discussed—what we would do first, how long I should stay, who was coming later and so forth. There would follow a dissertation on his current likes and dislikes, ranging from local personalities and events to music artists.


Reservation was not one of his traits. He let it all hang out. More often than not I would find myself suggesting there might be some gray areas worth a little reconsideration—that all was not black and white. This usually resulted in the emanation of a grin, notwithstanding the fact he would still have a final word on the subject. These sessions were very convivial, possibly fueled by a tendency for me to imbibe (just a smidgeon) while he preferred inhaling.


Bars or clubs were generally not on his list of places to hang. We would occasionally dine out together, his preferences being fried chicken or oriental cuisine. I don’t recall ever being asked if I had a preference, but that was just Butch. Anyone who knew him well understands he didn’t mean to be offensive. In fact, the opposite is true. He could be generous to a fault. He simply had his world molded in the manner he wanted and assumed everyone else did the same.


Butch would occasionally invite me to hang out while doing one of his programs on KZUM. This would frequently find me stealing furtive glances at the board while music was playing, hoping to God that damn studio mike was really off during our “off air” conversations.


We traveled to and/or attended many of the same functions, be they jazz concerts in Lincoln, Kansas City or Topeka, or combing through stacks of records in shops in Iowa, Minnesota or Colorado. I’m missing all of those times with Butch’s passing. I’m also missing the hanging out we did via e-mails and long distance phone calls after I moved to Colorado. And I’ll wager that somewhere Butch is hangin’ out with somebody, although I’m not sure who’s setting the schedule, whether the jazz is cool or hot, or for that matter, who’s having the final word. He is missed.


Editor's Note: The Pueblo West View newspaper in its Aug. 28 edition ran a story on Dan's record collection. You can read the story at the link below:






Butch's friend Mark Dalton shares music memories


Editor’s Note: Bass player Mark Dalton’s friendship with Butch Berman extended back to their mid-teens. Dalton left Lincoln, Neb., in 1973 and settled in the Northwest, but he stayed in touch with Butch until the end. We asked Mark to share some of his memories of those early days.


By Mark Dalton


SEATTLEButch and I pretty much started performing together at the beginning. We’d both been taking music lessons for a long time and were ready to start performing.


I got the jump on him by maybe six months. I first met Berman and Tom Hinds at a Nine-Hi dance that we—the Mark Dalton still plays bass in the Seattle area [Courtesy Photo]Starfires—were playing at the Antelope Pavilion. They were just getting the Exploits together. I was 15, Butch was 14.


I joined the Exploits about a year later, and we eventually got a new drummer (Tif Tyrell, the Exploits’ drummer, was on the football team, and lost his focus on music after awhile) and mutated into the Impacts, a good surf and rock band. We were totally into three bands at that point—the Dave Clark Five, the Kingsmen and our main heroes, from Boulder, Colo., the Fabulous Astronauts!


Astronauts’ singer and lead player Rich Fifield was a huge role model for all of us—Butch, Tom and I all took turns playing lead and singing. If you’ve never heard the Astronauts’ two live albums, you should. No history of Midwest rock and roll is complete without knowing those two albums, available on a double CD from Bear Family. They came through Lincoln a lot, and we all went a saw them every time they came to town, to study their playing AND their showmanship. We studied both aspects, in as many bands as we could see, religiously. We both also loved the Fabulous Flippers, of course.


When I was a senior at Lincoln Southeast High School, though, I got a chance to join the Vogues, with some older, more seasoned players, and I took it. Butch and I permanently parted ways as bandmates at that point. He went on to start the Modds, a good Lincoln “white soul” band, with my cousin, Ron Bumgarner on Hammond B3, and then hooked up with Charlie Burton, went to San Francisco and had many other adventures, as did I.


We would always hook up back in Lincoln, though, at his place or on stage at the Zoo Bar, and stayed friends until the end. Butch loved music. He was in love with music the night I met him, and he never wavered, he never lost one bit of his love and devotion for music. It was in his blood.


As far as looking back, that’s really all I have. I don't know if you saw the piece I wrote for Butch after I came back for induction into the Nebraska Hall of Fame. I swore that would be my last bit of writing about the old days in Nebraska (it’s been 35 years since I left in ’73, after all) and it almost has been the last, but I guess you’ve coaxed a little bit more out of me.


Thanks for keeping BMF going!


Editor's Note: If you want to see what Mark Dalton is up to these days, click on the link below for a performance by the Surf Monkeys on You Tube. That's Mark on bass.





Friend of the BMF

Alaadeen to write "The Rest of the Story" manual


KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Jazz master and educator Ahmad Alaadeen has been awarded a grant from the Fund for Folk Culture to write “The Rest of the Story,” a jazz methods manual based on his approach to teaching.

Alaadeen at the 2005 Topeka Jazz Festival [File Photo]This project is made possible by a grant from the Fund for Folk Culture’s Artist Support Program, underwritten by the Ford Foundation, with additional support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Based in Austin, Texas, the Fund for Folk Culture is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the dynamic practice and conservation of folk and traditional arts and culture throughout the United States.

“I grew up in Kansas City, Missouri in the 18th and Vine area, the neighborhood which was the center of a vital African-American community and the place where the distinctive sound of Kansas City Jazz emerged,” said Alaadeen. “I learned jazz immersed in this community, from the oral tradition, directly from that first generation of jazz masters. Over the years I’ve seen jazz moving away from the African-American community, and the traditional way I learned it into the jazz studies programs found in universities. In many jazz studies programs in formal institutions, music theorists write down on paper what a particular jazz master was playing and teach that to the student. When I was coming up if you took a solo and sounded like anyone else, you would be booted off the stage.”

“The Rest of the Story” is being written from the perspective of a traditional musician, from a performer’s viewpoint rather than that of a theorist. The manual will include stories about Alaadeen’s life experiences, as well as photos. It is hoped to reach and inspire musicians across a broad spectrum to reach deeper inside the music to find their own expression.




Editor’s Note: At your request, we will mail a printed version of the newsletter. The online newsletter also is available at this website in PDF format for printing. Just click here: Newsletter