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Tap on the Radio 2006

TAP ON THE RADIO IN 2006 This item also published in OnTap magazine Summer 2007 vol.18 #1 In keeping with my long-running obsession with the SOUND of tap dance, I am reporting a number of live radio events which occured last year on KBOO 90.7 FM portland, our cherished non-NPR community radio station. In addition to my own one man show and various units I lead, such as my VonTap Quintet, I play as a sideman once a month with singer/guitarist Baby Gramps. (Some of you may have seen him on the Letterman show on CBS TV recently ) I tap dance, play sax, clarinet, harmonica and percussion in this unit, which has released two CDs. Sometimes after our gig we head down to KBOO to hang out and/or perform on “the Outside World” radio program hosted by Daniel Flessas for the last 25 years or so. After three and a half hours on the gig and an hour or so break, we wind up playing from 2-3am. as you can imagine, at this time of night it can be very loose and creative. i also sometimes go to KBOO after my own Friday night gigs and have been involved in some very interesting jams with accomplished improvisors whom I had never met until I pulled out the horn and laced up the shoes! A lot of this stuff is a bit far-out “free jazz” or “noise rock” but I feel it helps to broaden the popular perception of tap and it’s possibilities in the music community. I derive much personal satisfaction from these shows, which included a spontaneous duo with percussionist Artis the Spoonman, ( Soundgarden, Audioslave, Zappa, VonTap ), and an 80th birthday tribute to John Coltrane on his birthday with fellow saxist Reed Wallsmith , bass player Andre St. James and drummer Carlton Jackson. This show fell on the equinox last September and we played Coltrane’s composition titled “Equinox”, a great tune with the hypnotic type of groove favored by Savion Glover in recent years. KBOO news director Lisa Loving tapped* me to play during the evening election returns last November and some of my musical colleagues joined me in spicing up the news with live music and tap dance twice per hour for several hours. Tap dancing on the radio is fun and unusual so I thought you might enjoy the idea and try it in your community. KBOO presents a wide array of voices and includes Spanish and other non-English programming, Jazz, Rock, Reggae, Blues, Hip Hop and Mexican music, among others. It also offers a chance for young people to produce radio shows and airs news and perspectives sorely lacking in commercial radio. Streaming on the web at www.Kboo.fm www.babygramps.com www.artisthespoonman.net *pun intended