ART OF BLUES
When you hear the “Art of Blues” you know immediately you are listening to a group of musical veterans with deep musical roots who know what they are doing and who share their joy in doing it. They have all individually earned their stripes playing with the best of the best ever since the early seventies. The fact that these musicians have found common cause to revel in the art of playing the blues has led to a musical celebration on CD you won’t want to miss!
Both co-leaders guitarist/singer Steve Arvey and jazz/blues pianist Bill Buchman have led their own exciting groups for many decades and are well known in their own right. Guitarist Steve Arvey began in Chicago on Maxwell Street in the 70's performing, recording and working with the cream of authentic blues musicians in Chicago including Otis Rush, Junior Wells, Hubert Sumlin, Jimmy Rogers, Big Smokey Smothers, Honey Boy Edwards, Lefty Dizz, Big Moose Walker, BB “Big Voice” Odum, Big Jack Johnson, and Sam Carr Jr to name a few. Steve has travelled the world performing at blues festivals and has 15 CDs to his name. Pianist Bill Buchman, who played with the Mojo’s at Cornell University in the 60’s and became friends with Memphis Slim in Paris in the 80’s, is a keen student of the blues who has studied many years with jazz masters Jaki Byard and Ran Blake and has Bachelors and Masters’ degrees in music from the New England Conservatory. He has performed around the US and Europe with the likes of “Papa” Jo Jones (of Count Basie fame), Red Callender, Alan Dawson, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, John La Porta, Sammy Rimington, Joe Lee Wilson, Per Goldschmidt, and Emmanuel Abdul Rahim. Drummer Rick Andre has worked with The Drifters, The Platters, The Miracles, Leslie Gore, The Tokens, and The Coasters to name but a few. Michael Dempsey was the 5th Dimension’s bassist for four years and subsequently has performed/recorded with Linda Rondstadt, Dan Fogelberg, Vince Gill and many others and has appeared on over 100 albums. Harmonica player Tony Smith has wide playing experience and is able to channel Sonny Boy Williamson II at will.
- See more at: http://artofblues.org/band_bio/#sthash.0AfTS0j3.dpuf
Bill Buchman - Piano
Rick Andre - Drums
Art of Blues in Concert
Venice Art Center
February 10, 2016
ARTIST ORIGIN STORY: Bill Buchman
By Marty Fugate , Herald-Tribune / Saturday, November 28, 2015
Bill Buchman's "Art of Blues"
The multi-talented Bill Buchman is a prolific painter (who exhibits at Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art in realms both figurative and abstract), the author of "Expressive Figure Drawing," an instructor at the Venice Art Center, a top-flight jazz and blues pianist (performing throughout the area with Steve Arvey in the Art of Blues), and is the entrepreneur behind his own line of "Zen" sumi brushes. "The secrets lie in the beginnings," as a Zen master once said. Here's where Buchman started ...
What's your first memory of creating a work of art?
I started by copying photographs from "The Family of Man" — a famous book of photographs from an exhibition curated by Edward Steichen at the Museum of Modern Art. Not tracings, but freehand drawings based on the images in front of me. I also did several heroic portraits of JFK. I was 13 and he had just been elected.
I assume they were pretty good.
They weren't kid stuff. I still have them somewhere. That's the first time I'd ever really tried realistic figure drawing. When I was done, I said, 'Wow, I can do this.' That's what really got me going. After that, I started doing a lot more drawings.
And the more you draw, the better you draw.
Exactly. Starting from a naturalistic style, I evolved to the point where I was doing wild surrealistic drawings. I did drawings of my friends with a bunch of ink bottles and quills flying around their heads. They were 13 years old; they didn't get it. But in my mind, my friends were always pretty surreal. It didn't go over that well.
Your first encounter with art criticism?
Sure. The reaction was disappointing. You're 13 years old, you want approval. But it didn't stop me. I kept doing a lot of drawings in different media. Then I asked my mother to find me an art teacher and she did. He taught me about design principles, although he didn't call it that.
It's great she supported you like that.
Well my mother was an artist, quite a good one. My aunt was, let's just say, a more serious artist — she had higher aspirations. She was good friends with Victor D'Amico, who had started education programs in museums nationwide and was the head of the education department at the Museum of Modern Art. He wound up teaching me oil painting and figure drawing classes for two weeks one summer. When I came back, I'd already realized that's what I was going to do in life.
So, you started early and had a lot of focus at a very young age. On top of that, you had encouragement.
True, but I didn't need much encouragement. I knew I wanted to make a career in the arts. I was familiar with many of the artists at the MoMA. It didn't strike me as that unusual at the time. Then, when I did take up painting my mother gave up painting and turned her studio over to me. Fletcher Martin, a nationally famous figurative artist, eventually became my second teacher. As a teenager, I didn't realize how lucky I was at the time having D'Amico and Martin as my teachers. But the lessons they taught me, they're what I teach my students today.