Musical Thoughts - News

Top Musicians The Industry Lost In 2016

2016 has been quite a tough year for music lovers worldwide since it has witnessed the loss of many top musicians. The year started with the exit of David Bowie, a music maestro in January and much the subsequent deaths of other legends including Sharon Jones, Leonard Cohen, Prince, and others.

Here is a look at the top musicians the music industry lost in 2016 and left us with just beautiful memories.

1. David Bowie

On January 10th, music maestro David Bowie died at age 69 following a long struggle with cancer. Bowie earned fame for such hit songs as Modern Love, China Girl, Under Pressure, Changes, Heroes, Space Oddity, and much more. Bowie was not only a successful musician but also an accomplished actor with roles in movies such as Labyrinth, The Last Temptation of Christ, and The Man Who Fell to Earth.


2. Prince

On April 21st, the Purple Rain hit-maker known as Prince died at his Minneapolis recording studios aged 57. Throughout his distinguished career, Prince won various accolades and awards including 7 Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award for Happy Feetís The Song of the Heart as well as an Academy Award for Purple Rain.

3. Frank Sinatra Jr.

On March 16th, Frank Sinatra passed away at age 72. Frank Sinatra Jr. was the son of Frank Sinatra who was yet another legend. Sinatra Jr. also had an accomplished music career of his own and had a decent career run appearing in close to 20 shows including Family Guy.

4. Leonard Cohen

On November 10th, Canadian musician Leonard Cohen departed aged 82. Leonard was a Grammy Award winner and an accomplished poet and songwriter too. He was best known for his song Hallelujah.


5. Sharon Jones

On November 18th, Sharon Jones died in New York aged 60 after struggling with pancreatic cancer. Sharon was an accomplished American soul and funk singer. She was also the lead singer of Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings.

6. Bobby Vee

On October 24th, Bobby Vee also known as Robert Tomas Velline died aged 73. Bobby gained fame in the early 60ís with hits such as Take Good Care of My Baby.

7. Greg Lake

On December 8th, Greg Lake, an accomplished British songwriter, musician, and singer passed away aged 69. Lake died after struggling with cancer. 21st Century Schizoid Man and In the Court of the Crimson King are some of the songs he will be best remembered for.

8. Leon Russell

On November 13th, Leon Russell, an American pop star died aged 74. Leon had earned quite a reputation as a studio pianist back in the 1980ís. As a studio musician, producer, and songwriter, Leon has collaborated with Ike & Tina Turner, The Ronettes, Sir Elton Jon, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and many more.

9. Glenn Frey

On January 17th, Glenn Frey who was a co-founder of Eagles died aged 67 years due to health complications since he was suffering from pneumonia and rheumatoid arthritis at the same time. Glenn was a guitarist and a co-writer of some of the greatest hits of all time including Hotel California and Desperado.


10. Mose Allison

On November 15th, Mose Allison, an accomplished American jazz pianist passed away aged 89. Allison became famous for playing an interesting mix of modern jazz and blues, playing the piano and singing too.

11. Maurice White

Maurice White, the founder of Earth, Wind, & Fire passed away on February 4th aged 74. Maurice has battled with Parkinsonís disease for a long time before his death.

12. Pete Burns

Pete Burns, the Dead or Alive singer died on October 23rd due to a heart attack aged 57. Pete was a controversial pop star that participated in the reality show titled Celebrity Big Brother.

13. Phife Dawg

On March 23rd, rapper Phife Dawg also known as Malik Taylor died at a very young age. Phife was just 45 at the time of his untimely death. He was a co-founder of the legendary hip-hop group known as A Tribe Called Quest.

14. Paul Kantner

On January 28th, Paul Kantner, a rhythm guitarist and vocalist died aged 74 due to multiple organ failures. His hits such as Somebody to Love and White Rabbit deserve a special mention.

15. Merle Haggard

On April 6th, Merle Haggard died aged 79. Haggard was best known for songs such as Workiní Man Blues and The Okie From Muskogee. Haggard has over 35 number 1 country hits in his illustrious music career.

It is quite clear based on the long list of musical artists who have passed away in 2016 that this year has been the most tragic yet, musically speaking. The 15 artists featured on this list were truly astounding and contributed greatly to the world of music, each in their special way. Each of each of these musicians have also inspired us to teach music lessons to an entire new generation of future artists. What is left is for us to cherish their music because if we do that, we can be sure that their spirits live on among us.

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Alex Clough at SOMETHIN’ Jazz Club this Monday!


Our own Alex Clough will be continuing his monthly residency at SOMETHIN’ Jazz Club this coming Monday, September 29th at 9 pm. He and his trio will be welcoming in Autumn with two sets of his music and preferred standards. He’ll offer you some music that will put you in the right mood for the change of season and passage of time that Autumn always brings to mind.

Clough be joined by Danny Weller on bass and Jay Sawyer on the drums. This will be their second performance together as a trio — last time was great so we’re curious and excited to see how the music will shape up this time around!

SOMETHIN’ Jazz Club has a $10 cover, most of which goes to the musicians, and a $10 drink minimum (c’mon, you were gonna buy one anyways!). It is located at 212 E. 52nd Street on the 3rd floor.

Looking forward to seeing those of you who can make it out this Monday!

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Swinging Free

read the the feature here.

Jazz pianist Alon Nechushtan veers into a variety of musical directions.

Alon Nechushtan has covered some ground to get where he is today. The 30something jazz pianist will be here next week to perform at Avram in Jerusalem (August 18) and the Shablul Club in Tel Aviv (August 19), bringing a hefty musical-cultural arsenal with him.

Jerusalem-born Nechushtan has been living in the US for around a decade and, by all accounts, appears to have made the most of his time there. Following sage advice from fellow Jerusalem-born pianist Yitzhak Yedid, Nechushtan enrolled at the prestigious New England Conservatory in Boston and studied with such masters as pianists Ran Blake and Paul Bley, who had also tutored Yedid.

Opting for NEC was something of a seismic career and artistic shift for Nechushtan. “I had no idea what contemporary improvisation was before I went to NEC,” says Nechushtan. “When I was at the academy, all I knew about [outside pure classical music] was third stream.” The latter is a term coined by composer Gunther Schuller in the late 1950s, which relates to a fusion of classical music and jazz.

“I took a klezmer course, too,” he says. “That definitely broadened my horizons. Before that, I thought it was Eastern European music played at weddings. I never thought I could seriously study klezmer repertoire.” While at the Boston school, Nechushtan got some hands-on experience of the genre and played in the New England Conservatory Klezmer Band.

“That is one of the most acclaimed klezmer ensembles in the world, alongside the Klezmatics,” he notes.

World-famous Jewish New Yorker trumpeter Frank London, a member of the Klezmatics, will present a workshop at the annual Klezmer Festival, which will take place in Safed from August 18 to 20, and will also perform at the Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival early next month.

The breadth of Nechushtan’s stylistic hinterland certainly comes across in his latest release, Venture Bound, which came out a couple of months ago. The nine self-penned tracks cover expansive sonic and dynamic ground. In “Dark Damsel,” the pianist delves deep into Middle Eastern territory, enlisting the help of Moroccan-born oud player Brahim Bigbane. And there are several quotes from “Morenica,” an old Ladino song best known for the versions by Esther Ofarim, Ofra Haza and Habreira Hativit.

The “Haunted Blues” cut on Venture Bound is just that, and the melody is steeped with heady blues textures and rhythms, with the odd rock-inclined departure. The closing number of the album, “Serpentrails,” references one of Nechushtan’s primary sources of inspiration – iconic bebop pioneer pianist Thelonious Monk.

Nechushtan has clearly ventured far and wide since his days at the academy in Jerusalem.

“When I told people there that I wanted to do a master’s degree in improvised music, there were quite a few raised eyebrows,” he recounts.

“Most of the people there thought that if you started studying in a particular direction, you should complete it.” Mind you, that doesn’t mean that the pianist has forsaken his musical roots.

“I continue to write classical music and orchestral works,” he says, “but I also incorporate jazz and improvised sections. It feels right to delve into different areas, and it feels more complete.” Nechushtan says it is very much a two-way street and that he plies his offerings across all kinds of domains.

“I include improvised passages in my classical works and, of course, there are many written parts in jazz works. I am considering releasing an album in the near future with [trumpeter] Roy Campbell and [bassist] William Parker. ” The pianist says that he increasingly goes with the flow.

“There is no particular direction that is the right one to follow. If something feels right for me – and that can be just a matter of intuition – I will go for it. I have around four hours of music I played with Roy Campbell and William Parker, and Daniel Carter who plays on practically every wind instrument in existence. Nothing of the music was written down. It is improvisation from beginning to end, and there is lots of interesting stuff in there. I’ll probably release it as a double album,” he says.

Should be worth the wait.

There are out-and-out avant-garde artists whose work is generally considered to be too challenging for people who prefer to get their musical kicks from the commercial and mainstream areas of entertainment.

But Nechushtan swings – frequently literally, in a musical sense – all ways.

“I write and play very communicative music and also noncommunicative music and written music and music without a written score,” he notes. “My upbringing in classical music and jazz enables me to enjoy the best of all worlds.”

Venture Bound represents a degree of closure and summation for Nechushtan.

“The CD is a sort of homage to the almost 10 years I have spent in New York, so the album is a salute to pianists whom I have heard in New York and pianists and composers that have influenced me,” he explains.

“One of them is [late French pianist Michel] Petrucciani, and there’s Thelonious Monk as well, whom I strongly reference on the album. I have lots of influences, including Israeli and Jewish influences. It all flows through me and infuses my music.”

For more information 077- 445-0701 and (Jerusalem); (03) 546-1891 and (Tel Aviv) 

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Alex Cough @ The Somethin Jazz Club Monday, August 18

Dear friends,

If you’re free this upcoming Monday, I have a performance that I’d love for you to attend. I’ll be returning with my trio to Somethin Jazz Club, where I’m in the process of laying down the foundations of my personal compositional and improvisational style. I’ve been lucky to have some wonderful partners in this endeavor and this time around will be no exception, as I will be joined by bassist Danny Weller and drummer Jay Sawyer. We’ll play a mixture of my own material and some choice selections from the Great American and Jazz songbooks.

I hope you can join the three of us and watch this process unfold.

Somethin Jazz Club is located at 212 E. 52nd Street (on the third floor). There IS a $10 cover along with a $10 drink minimum. We play two sets, from 9pm till 10:45pm. Once again, the show is this coming Monday, August 18th.

All the best,


P.S. If you want to REALLY be in the loop, please click the link below to follow me on Facebook!

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KROM is coming to New York and Chicago!

News from KROM:

Screenshot 2014-08-05 13.17.34

In New York, we are thrilled to be playing the opening night ofSubCulture’s annual Pianofest onSeptember 10th! SubCulture is a state-of-the-art new theater in Manhattan, and this two-week festival will be celebrating piano music of all genres.  We will be performing in a triple bill with New York pianist Danny Fox, and renown organist Cory Henry (of Bruce Springsteen, P. Diddy, and Snarky Puppy fame among others).  SubCulture is located at 45 Bleecker Street, and the show is at 8:00 pm on September 10th.  CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS.

And in other news, we are FINALLY coming to the Chicago area to play a CD Release Concert! We will be performing for the first time at the Sherman Avenue Theater in Evanston onSaturday, October 4th at 7:00 pm. The theater is located at 1702 Sherman Ave in Evanston. We will be playing music from our latest album, as well as a lot of great new songs.  CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS.  Chicago friends please spread the word :).

We will also soon be releasing some new videos, so to stay posted you can always check or like our Facebook





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The Swingaroos Appearing Live in NYC – One Night Only – New Songs! Hot Swing! (Almost) True Stories!

On Friday, August 15th at 7:00pm, The Swingaroos will headline at The Metropolitan Room (34 W 22nd) with an autobiographical story of life as a 1940s Territory Band – as told through their original songs and personal favorites from the Swing-Era Hit Parade. 

This is our not-to-miss musical performance of the summer, for sure! If you’ve enjoyed our sets at Henry Liquor Bar, The Antique Garage, Haymount House and The Way Station, you’ll delight in our one-night show at one of the most spectacular listening rooms/clubs in Manhattan.
Tickets are recommended in Advance! Reserve ASAP by visiting or by calling the Host at 212-206-0440. Tickets are $15 and there is a 2-beverage minimum (doesn’t have to be alcohol). 70 minute set begins at 7pm and doors open at6:15pm!
Piano Lessons UES
The Swingaroos Live & In Person
Friday, August 15, 7:00pm
The Metropolitan Room
34 W 22nd Street, NYC
Our August 15th Swingaroo Band will be:
Miss Kim Hawkey – vocals, tenor banjo, washboard
Assaf “Reverend” Gleizner – ivories
Coolheaded Chris Conte – the doghouse
Dan “the Man” Glaude – clarinet, saxophone
Twistin’ Tristen Napoli – trumpet
Nadav Snir-Zelniker (a nickname would just be too much) – tubs and skins
…with Special Guest Malachi Nimmons, Jr and more!
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Where Did Music Come From? – An Infographic

piano lessons nyc

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Considering Music Lessons? – A Music To Your Home Infographic

Piano Lessons NYC

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The Swingaroos at The Metropolitan Room, July 6


Piano Lessons NYC


  • WhenSunday, Jul 6, 2014 9:30 PM (Doors open at 9:00 PM )
  • Ticket Price$15.00  $115.00
  • Door Time: 9:00 PM
  • Show Type40s
  • Restrictions: 2 Bev Min
  • Purchase TicketHere!

Go to for more information.

piano lessons nyc


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The Swingaroos – I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me!


Check out our amazing piano and voice instructor, Kimberly Hawkey, perform with her band, The Swingaroos!

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