The performance and visual display is in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great Armenian-American composer and musician, Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000). On a personal note, in the neighborhood where I grew up in Pawtucket, my two closest neighbors were Armenian families, the Boghossians and the Martiesians. Lucy Martiesian was a piano teacher and was famous in the neighborhood for cooking up giant batches of cookies for all the kids. My admiration for the Armenian people and their culture is quite profound and I would urge you to rush over to Gallery Z and get tickets for this show (Lucy's cookies, sadly, are no longer available).
OFFICE OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS/UPCOMING EVENTS
The tragic passing a couple of weeks ago of Larry Friedlander ("Cool, Cool World," March 3), owner of the Hi-Hat night spot in Davol Square, has inspired his many friends to quickly put together a musical tribute in his honor. It's slated for Sunday, April 10 from 3 to 9 pm at the Hi-Hat, and proceeds will go toward establishing a Larry Friedlander Scholarship to benefit music students.
Loads of top quality jazz bands and "celebrity bartenders" are being featured. And yes, yours truly is one of those "celebrity bartenders," apparently slinging drinks with City Council President Michael Solomon. (Hint: if you want a proper drink that day, you best order it from Mike.) Tickets are on sale at the Hi-Hat, Lupo's, Lucky's, the Hot Club, Local 121, the Met, Nick-a-Nee's, Z Bar and Trinity Brewhouse.
. . . Last Sunday, I walked into the Met for the mighty Klem-led Blues Jam show and Met head ramrod Rich Lupo blurted out, "So, I understand that you're having a torrid affair with Phoebe Legere." Where insane rumors like this start, I have no idea but, suffice to say, I have never even met Phoebe in person. We have been conducting an amiable conversation via telephone and email recently. If this is what constitutes a "torrid affair" these days, I've been conducting a raft of such things, not the least of them with my bank.
What's important here is that Phoebe Legere & the Ooh La La Quintet has a gig at Chan's on April 16. Phoebe works with the Biggest Little's own top genius visionary musician, (Sir) George Leonard. To say that this is a "don't miss" show is an understatement. Phoebe's one of the most powerful vocalists, keyboard masters, and all-around entertainers in the land. Know this: Lady Gaga and Madonna are merely pitch-corrected, pale corporate imitations of Phoebe Legere.
And, it would be wrong not to add a little self-promotion here: Phoebe & George will be opening for the ultra-fabulous (if I do say so myself) Young Adults — shows taking place Memorial Day weekend (May 27-29) at the Met. Best to order your tickets now.
And if you miss Phoebe at Chan's, don't kick me, kick yourself.
RIP, RALPH J. HARTMAN
There was a modest obituary in the BeloJo on Monday noting the passing of Ralph J. Hartman, 90. Unknown to many, Ralph was responsible for creating some of the most beautiful places in our state. He was a landscape architect who, many years ago, oversaw the total rethinking and overhaul of most of the landscaping in Roger Williams Park, where he was superintendent from 1961 to 1976. He created Providence's tree planting program and, among his notable achievements: the beautiful Japanese gardens at RWP.