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Wanda's Picks Feature: John Handy

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Wandas Picks

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Today we will feature John Handy, musician, composer, well known for his songs: Hard Work, Spanish Lady, Dancy Dancy, If Only We Knew, & Body & Soul. "Jazz encyclopedias list John Handy as an alto saxophonist who plays the tenor, saxello, baritone, clarinet, oboe and vocals. He is actually a consummate world musician and teacher who has devoted his life to using music to elevate the human spirit. His soulful and fiery saxophone style is instantly recognizable to generations of jazz fans world-wide. As a performer and composer he continues to sweep audiences into ecstasy with his vast range of creative, emotional, and technical inventiveness. With a superb knowledge and practical experience with music of several cultures, he fuses, with each selection, a musical genre that is coherent, provocative, logical, and enjoyable. Known most readily as a saxophonist in jazz quartet and quintet settings, John Handy is also featured in solo, duets, and large ensembles ranging in size from big bands to concert bands, symphony orchestras, vocal groups, and choirs. As a singer, he brings a kind of storytelling narrative to the blues that is entertaining, educational, and moving; while his "up tempo" scat vocals could be compared to the best scat singers anywhere. He sings ballads with inventiveness that is rare among singers" (JohnHandy.com) He is going to be performing this weekend at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival. Visit http://www.johnhandy.com/ and www.healdsburgjazzfestival.org or call the Festival office at 1-800-838-3006. The musicians on the Healdsburg show are Carlos Reyes on violin and Parguayan harp, Nina Sheldon on piano, bassist Jeff Chambers, drummer Deszon X Claiborne, and singer Kenny Washington. I found this website that features John and Kenny. Visit http://wfiu.org/nightlights/handy-with-the-horn-john-handy-at-75/ Next week we will feature pianist, George Cables, who is in town for a three day date, June 8-10, in San Francisco with two good friends of his, Bobby H