Thursday, July 30, 2015

Roving Pittsburgher, Diana Krall at PSO Reminiscent of Peggy Lee

Concert Review Diana Krall 

with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

by Good News Reporter, Joanne Quinn-Smith

From the candlelit stage sitting at a grand piano the British Columbia native softly peddled songs that reminded one of a young Peggy Lee.

Her opening number, "Just Couldn't Say Goodbye" featured two of her five band members, Stuart Duncan and Guitarist Anthony Wilson.  What talent and such a match to Diana Krall's.

Chris Walden conducted the symphony for Diana's rendition of "Do It Again," what a treat for the audience.

But the piece de resistance of the entire concert was Tom Watts "Temptation" featuring Mr. Duncan, the drummer Kareem Wiggins and even the bass player. Also loved the old movies and clips on the screen behind the symphony, I am sure it was just one more thing to attract and entrance new symphony attendees.

There were other great renditions like "Summer Song,"  "Let's Fall in Love," "Love Letters" and an old standard "The Sunny Side of the Street."  What fun!

For those who remembered the 60's and 70's we were treated to Diana's renditions of "California Dreamin"" and "Operator" by Jim Croce.

Her finale was soulful and haunting, "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars."  

Truly this was a night of romance even with the early symphony performance of Overture to "Le Nozze Di Figaro" from "The Marriage of Figaro" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and "Sicilienne" from Pelleas et Melisande, Opus 80.

Joanne Quinn-Smith, Award winning internet radio broadcaster, blogger, author and internet radio and TV network editor and publisher. Joanne is the owner and CEO, Creative Energy Officer, of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates, a successful Pittsburgh-based marketing company. Joanne is internationally known as the “Get Your Google On” Gal. But better known as Techno Granny™ to over one million accumulated online listeners worldwide. Joanne has created a revolutionary online NEW MEDIA platform in Internet broadcasting, blogging and other social media participation. JQS is the online publisher of, an online community magazine to disseminate the Positive News for Positive Pittsburghers. PPL Mag is Pittsburgh’s First Internet radio and TV network with syndicated channels and online radio and TV capabilities. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Roving Pittsburgher Report, Johnny Mathis Music Made for the Symphony

Johnny Mathis Music Made for the Symphony

Review of July 17, 2015 Concert

by Good News Reporter Joanne Quinn-Smith

What a night for dinner and the symphony.  We started off dinner at Alihan's Mediterranean on Sixth St. with shiskabob and seafood raviolis topped with shrimp and baklava for dessert.  Or should I say the Pittsburgh Symphony and Johnny Mathis show for dessert on July 17, 2015. If it were not the PSO Thursday night icons and just a normal concert what an opening band for a performer.  The symphony started the show with three selections:  Henry Mancini's, "The Pink Panther," Cole Porter's
"Begin the Beguine" and a medley of songs from "The Sound of Music."  Such a beginning and then a brief intermission before the star of the show hit the stage and the audience was awe struck before he sang the first note at how amazing he looked for 79 years old and logging over 60 years in show business.

From movie themes to Mathis classics, his performance was flawless.  My cousin said his performance made her want to slow dance all night. When he performed early on "When I Fall in Love," it was easy to see how far back the song took even the men in the audience.  Another Mancini classic, "Days of Wine and Roses" was at the top of the audiences list of favorites and of course "Moon River."

But "It's Not for Me to Say," "Chances Are."  and "Gina" of course made the audience roar with applause.  So it went also with "Secret Love" and "Strangers in Paradise."  Then John hit the stage with his guitar player Gil Reigers for "Misty," "My Foolish Heart," and the much awaited, "Twelfth of Never." For his finale Johnny really showed his range and talent with a medley of Brazilian songs:  The concert ended with a Medley of Brazilian music, "Mas Que Nada",  "Manha de Carnaval" medley of Brazilian music, with Mr. Reigers soloing  and, at the very end, “Brazil.” His encore was, "You'll Never Know."

On seeing other artists with the Pittsburgh symphony I have always felt, "How nice, the symphony is trying to bring the music to the masses."  But with Johnny Mathis the masses were brought to the symphony and more than any other artists this reviewer has seen perform with the symphony, Johnny Mathis music was made for the symphony and our PSO did it proud.  What a performance and so complementary for the symphony and Johnny Mathis.