In college, I used to read our town’s weekly arts mag to find cool new musicians I had never heard of, then googled them, rocked out to their tunes online, and bought tickets to see them live. Jazz, blues, folk, bluegrass, you name it.
These days I’m not so musically adventurous, I have to admit. I rarely step out of my musical comfort zone of the artists I’m used to unless I’m really intrigued.
Tonight is one of those times.
I’m a huge jazz fan. Thanks to my daughter-in-utero’s taste in jazz music, I actually listen to my Frank Sinatra/Louis Armstrong Pandora station throughout my day (it’s good background music for legal work).
But I’d never heard of MOT American jazz and rock pianist, organist, vocalist, and writer Ben Sidran, who is playing a 7pm show at the fabulous Dakota Jazz Club this Sunday night, Sept. 9th (tix are $30 each unless you win them from TC Jewfolk).
And now I’m hooked.
Some of you know Ben Sidran as the composer of “Space Cowboy,” which he wrote for Steve Miller.
Others may know him for writing the soundtrack to “Hoop Dreams.”
If you’re a UMadison alum, you may have even taken one of his classes, since after attending UMadison, and spending time in England as a session musician for artists that included Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Peter Frampton and Charlie Watts, and rocking out in Los Angeles, where he began his career as a recording artist and record producer, Sidran returned to Madison in 1971 and has kept the university town as a home-base ever since.
The man is hella prolific. He’s written 25 solo albums over the past few decades, the most recent being the one I’m currently jamming to, “Dylan Different,” released in 2009.
He’s widely recognized as the host of National Public Radio’s landmark jazz series “Jazz Alive”, which received a Peabody Award, and as the host of VH-1 television’s “New Visions” series, which received the Ace Award for best music series.
And recently he’s been lecturing about “Jews, Music, and the American Dream,” talking about some of the themes & people in his new book by the same title, which Daniel J. Levitin, author of This Is Your Brain On Music, called “An extraordinary tour de force, weaving cultural, political, musical and economic history. Part textbook, part family history, Sidran is a warm, funny, and authoritative guide in this thrilling, adventurous social history of popular music. A must-read for all music-lovers.”
But really, all you need to know in order to want to win a pair of tickets to Ben Sidran’s show at the Dakota is how awesome his music is. And for that, I give you…
Need I say more? Didn’t think so.
We know you want these tickets.
So how can you win a pair of tickets to see Ben Sidran live at the Dakota on Sunday, September 9th?
Just answer this question in the comments to this post before Friday at 6:00pm…
Who is your favorite jazz musician?
There’s no right answer. We’ll draw the winner randomly and announce the winners late Friday night. You tickets will be at will-call at the Dakota on Sunday (FYI – their food is pretty fabulous too, so we’d recommend you head on over there a bit early to grab a table where you can listen to the music and eat a delicious meal).
Enjoy the show! And good luck!