New episode of "Breaking It Down With Jeff And John" celebrates Steve Gadd!  

Hello all! 

Just in time for holiday listening, our latest episode of the "Breaking It Down with Jeff and John" podcast is live, celebrating the artistry of drum legend Steve Gadd. 

From his roots in Rochester, NY to studios and concert stages around the globe, Gadd has influenced a generation of drummers and left an indelible mark on the sound of American popular music. On this very special episode Jeff and I are joined by five esteemed drumming colleagues - James Saporito, Steve Murphy, Ray Marchica, Steve Singer and Justin DiCioccio - to examine the evolution of Gadd's musicianship and discuss our favorite Gadd performances.  You do not want to miss this one! 

CLICK HERE TO BREAK IT DOWN WITH JEFF AND JOHN 

Many thanks to all of you for your continued support and enthusiasm, and have a happy and safe Thanksgiving! 

Be well 

JM 

Steve Gadd photo by Steve Singer

 

• James Saporito is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music. He is currently the associate principal percussionist of the New York City Ballet Orchestra. 

• Steve Murphy is currently touring the nation as the drummer with The Hit Men (alongside Jeff Ganz). He has also toured extensively with the Alan Parsons Live Project and the perennial Happy Together tours (alongside John Montagna). 

• Ray Marchica is a graduate of Brooklyn College, where he studied percussion with Morris Lang of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. He has toured and/or recorded with Roy Buchanan, James Brown, Barbara Streisand and many others, and has been a member of the Ed Palermo Big Band for over 25 years. He is also a veteran of numerous Broadway shows and was the drummer on The Rosie O’Donnell Show. 

• Among Steve Singer’s drumming credits are the Broadway and international touring productions of Chicago and Dreamgirls, including first runs in Tokyo. An accomplished photographer, his photo of Steve Gadd used in this episode has been published around the world. 

• Justin DiCioccio is internationally recognized as one of the foremost jazz educators of our time. Formerly the Associate Dean of the Jazz Arts Programs at Manhattan School of Music and the jazz director at LaGuardia High School of Music and Art, he currently presents jazz clinics and concerts internationally.

Sanborn Sessions: A New Day for “Night Music” 

Photo Credit: David Sanborn by Sam Zhang courtesy of the artist

https://www.culturesonar.com/sanborn-sessions-a-new-day-for-night-music/

Those closest to me know how passionate I am about "Night Music," the revolutionary music series hosted by David Sanborn on NBC from 1988-1990.  So you can imagine how excited I am about "Sanborn Sessions," the new web series that finds Mr. Sanborn reviving the eclectic "Night Music" format for the digital age!  Check out my latest piece for CultureSonar featuring an exclusive interview with Mr. Sanborn about this tremendous new venture (the pilot episode is killin'), and find out how you can get involved! 

Be well

JM
 

New episode of "Breaking It Down With Jeff And John" is live!  

Today's episode is entitled "Yesterday And Today."  Jeff and I re-examine some of our favorite music from our youth to see if it holds up to our modern-day, grown-up scrutiny. Click the photo and listen to find out what happens to old favorites with new ears!

LISTEN TO MUSIC
LISTEN TO MUSIC
LISTEN TO MUSIC
IT'S GOOD FOR YOU! 

Be well
JM

"BREAKING IT DOWN WITH JEFF AND JOHN" is live!!  

http://www.culturesonar.com/breaking-it-down-ep1/

It's been so hard to keep this a secret until now!  My dear friend and fellow bassist Jeff Ganz and I have created "Breaking It Down," a music podcast for CultureSonar.  We will explore the music, players and ideas that inspire us, and hopefully convince you to do the same.  

Today's premiere episode celebrates the musical legacy of Motown bassist James Jamerson (1936-1983).  This is some grade-A music geekery here, so dig in and enjoy! 

Be well

JM

"Night Music:" NBC's high-art answer to MTV 

http://www.culturesonar.com/nightmusic/

For two seasons on NBC (1988-1990) David Sanborn hosted "Night Music," showcasing the finest musicians in jazz, rock, R&B, the blues and everything in between. My final CultureSonar piece for 2017 celebrates this ground-breaking TV series, a "vortex of music and love" that marks a peak moment in American cultural excellence.

I wish you all nothing but the best of health and happiness for 2018; see you on the next one! 

Be well

JM

10 Quintessential Bass Lines in ’80s Pop 

http://www.culturesonar.com/10-quintessential-bass-lines-80s-pop/

A young man and his Peavey Fury bass, circa 1987.  What music inspired this fine youngster to pick up a bass guitar and learn how to play?  How were his sensibilities formed about what the function of the bass ought to be (supportive AND melodic)? 

Like, click the link to find out in my latest totally awesome CultureSonar piece, "10 Quintessential Bass Lines In 80s Pop!" 

Be well

JM

That Was Me.....?

It's the end of an era, but the beginning of a new one!

In 2004, one year after joining the Alan Parsons Live Project, I launched the first version of johnmontagna.com.  This was before the social media explosion; YouTube and Twitter were still a year away, and Facebook had only just launched.  Among my peers, I was "Future Boy" with my fancy website!  I shared photos and audio clips, blogged about my experiences on the road (and at home in NYC), sent out email blasts, and generally enjoyed the ability to "maintain a presence" with an audience beyond the bandstand.

Fast forward 12 years, and the world is a much different place.  We're all connected, all the time, thanks to multiple platforms that mostly co-exist and feed off of one another.  To quote The Guess Who: seasons change, and so did I.  And so it was time to re-boot johnmontagna.com for the times we're in now, versus a decade ago.  I welcome you to the new version of the site, and I hope you enjoy what you find here.  Check out the photos, listen to some music (and make a purchase if you're feeling generous), watch the videos, and keep up with where I'll be performing and when and with whom.

I'm as eager as ever to stay connected to you all as I enter this newest phase of my life and career.  But as I look forward, I also am looking back on the 12 years since I first launched my "online presence" with a mixture of wonder and nostalgia.  Is that really me in Tokyo with Denny Laine?  Or in Atlantic City with Todd Rundgren?  The "WTF With Marc Maron" theme song...that was ME?  

Enjoy, and thank you all for your continued support and enthusiasm.  
Be well
JM 



     
Sept. 22, 2016 TALKING BEATLES: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years ______________________________________________________________