Talking With Poncho Sanchez – November 30, 2017

This week, Ira spoke with Poncho Sanchez. To listen to the interview click below.

For more than three decades as both a leader and a sideman, GRAMMY® award-winning artist Poncho Sanchez, who will be performing with his band in Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center December 1-2, has stirred up a fiery stew of straight ahead jazz, gritty soul music, and infectious melodies and rhythms from a variety of Latin American and South American sources.

Although born in Laredo, Texas, in 1951 to a large Mexican-American family, Sanchez grew up in a suburb of L.A., where he was raised on an unusual cross section of sounds. By his teen years, his musical consciousness had been solidified by the likes of John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Cal Tjader, Mongo Santamaria, Wilson Pickett and James Brown. Along the way, he taught himself to play guitar, flute, drums and timbales, but eventually settled on the congas.

At 24, after working his way around the local club scene for several years, he landed a permanent spot in Cal Tjader’s band in 1975. “I learned a great deal from Cal,” says Sanchez, “but it wasn’t as though he sat me down and taught me lessons like a schoolteacher. Mostly it was just a matter of being around such a great guy. It was the way he conducted himself, the way he talked to people, the way he presented himself onstage. He was very elegant, very dignified, and when he played, he played beautifully. The touch that he had on the vibes – nobody has that sound. To me, he was – and is, and always will be – the world’s greatest vibe player.”

Sanchez remained with Tjader until the bandleader’s death in 1982. That same year, he signed with Concord for the release of Sonando, an album that marked the beginning of a musical partnership that has spanned more than 25 years and has yielded more than two dozen recordings.


Talking With Guy Antognelli – November 16, 2017

This week, Ira spoke with Guy Antognelli. To listen to the interview click below.

Guy Antognelli, Deputy General Manager, Monaco Government Tourist and Convention Authority, studied economics at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis. He earned a Masters in Financial Engineering, then began his career in the Back Office of the Monegasque subsidiary of a Swiss private bank. Antognelli then joined the Risk and Internal Audit department of the same bank.

During the following 10 years, he contributed to the development of an insurance office in the Principality of Monaco, first as a manager then as customers’ branch manager.

In 2011, Antognelli seized the opportunity to participate in tourism outreach of Monaco, becoming the Statistics Service Officer in the Tourism and Convention Authority of the Principality of Monaco. He contributed to developing and reorienting the mission of this service, which is now in charge, not only of statistics, but also of strategic and competitive intelligence.

He was appointed Deputy General Manager in the same organization that has multiple missions: promotion of the destination abroad; welcoming visitors in the Principality; offering all necessary assistance through the Convention Bureau; and organizing events on the territory.


Talking With Tim Arnold – November 9, 2017

This week, Ira spoke with Tim Arnold. To listen to the interview click below.

Tim Arnold is owner, curator, director of the Las Vegas Pinball Hall of Fame, which houses the world’s largest pinball collection. The Hall of Fame, open to the public, is a standalone and dedicated museum, with operating pinballs spread over 10,000 square feet.

The museum is run by Tim Arnold, a veteran arcade operator who made it big in the 1970s and 1980s during the Pacman era.

In 1976 Arnold and his brother opened “Pinball Pete’s” in Lansing, Michigan, and it quickly became a gamer’s mecca. At the height of their success, the Arnold brothers weren’t counting coins; they were counting shovelfuls of coins.

When Arnold sold his part of the business and moved to Las Vegas in 1990, he picked up the phone and started talking to the Salvation Army. Midge Arthur, the administrative assistant of the Las Vegas branch of the Salvation Army says, “I got a telephone call from Tim about 15 years ago, and he said, ‘If I had money to give, what would you do with it?’

“We had a long discussion about our different rehabilitation programs. He was, I think, kind of skeptical of all organizations. He wanted to make sure the money was going to help people.”
Not long after that conversation, Arthur started receiving checks for thousands of dollars from the man she says is, “one of my strangest, out-of-the-ordinary donors we have ever had.”


Talking With Laurens Tan – November 2, 2017

This week, Ira spoke with Laurens Tan. To listen to the interview click below.

Laurens Tan is an Australian sculptor and transdisciplinary artist who is currently living, and displaying his sculpture, in Las Vegas.

His work links sculpture, architectural and animated narrative space, graphics, industrial design, video and music, and his key tool for expression is 3D.

Born 1950 in Den Haag, Holland, Tan came with his parents to Australia in 1962, where he still resides and works, in addition to Las Vegas and Beijing..

Tan’s current and recent work considers shifts in cultural identity, language, customs and is most interested in how design & culture connect.

He has a B.Ed (Fine Arts) from the University of South Australia (1978), a Master of Creative Arts (MCA) in Visual & Cultural Identity, University of Wollongong, Australia (1991), and Doctor of Creative Arts (DCA) in Communications and Media, University of Technology Sydney (2006). His primary research site for doctoral thesis ‘The Architecture of Risk’ was Las Vegas, where he also has a base and music studio.

Tan served as Artist Advisory Group Member, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2004-06), as member of the Board of Directors, Asian Australian Art Association (4A), Sydney (1997-2007), the Wollongong City Gallery (2006-2008).

He has been academic coordinator in Art (since 1980) & Design (since 1992) in undergraduate and graduate programs in Australia, USA and China.

Tan is currently Adjunct Professor at Tianjin Academy of Fine Art (since 2006) and at LaTrobe University, Melbourne (since 2011).

His work has been curated in survey exhibitions at the University of Chicago, Beijing Center (2014-15), Asian Landmark, Iberia Center of Contemporary Art (2011), Fat Art, Today Art Museum (2010), PKM Gallery (2008) in Beijing, China Code (solo retrospective) at the Melvin Gallery, South Florida College, Lakeland Fl. (2013), and previously at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, Houston Museum of Art, USA, the Shizuoka Prefectural Art Museum, Japan and at the Australian National Gallery, the Art Galleries of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Sydney Powerhouse Museum in Australia.

Tan was awarded Australia China Council Artist-in-Residence in Beijing (2006 & 2007), and more recently also in Beijing: Beijing Changnanyuan Ceramics Company (2014) and the Australia China Art Foundation (2014) and previously at the Banff Centre, Alberta Canada, the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, the Queensland University Art Museum.

He was recently commissioned by the committee on Culture, Society and the Arts of the University of Chicago for new work in his solo exhibition Empire Bookends: Basketcase at the University’s Beijing Center (2014-15).