Final Jazz and Blues Concert of the 2014 Summer Season with Pat Loomis and Friends Will Take Place in Library Park, Tuesday, August 12 at 6:30 PM
It can’t be true but…it is: summer has marched on and the fabulous Pat Loomis and Friends band is about to present you with the last of its four themed jazz-and-blues concerts in Library Park, titled Groovin’–a Smooth Jazz Party. So bring a chair, in case the library’s chairs are already taken, and enjoy reaching back with Pat Loomis into the South End’s iconic jazz and blues music scene on Tuesday, August 12 at 6:30 PM.
The four themed concerts have been sponsored by the Boston Public Library and the Friends of the South End Library. A generous grant from the Ann H. Symington Foundation last year helped pay for the events in 2013, as well as the four this year. Groovin’ — A Smooth Jazz Party, will feature Pat Loomis (alto and soprano sax); Antonio Shiell Loomis (guitar); Frank Wilkins (keyboard); Christoff Glaude (bass); and Joaquin Santos (drums).
The first summer concert in Library Park was held Tuesday, June 24, with the theme of Groovin’ High — The Music of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. It featured Pat Loomis (alto saxophone); Scott Aruda (trumpet); Antonio Shiell Loomis (guitar); Jesse Williams (bass) and Tom Arey (drums).
The second, on July 8, was called Back at the Chicken Shack, a Soul-Jazz Retrospective. Pat Loomis played alto saxophone; Antonio Shiell Loomis, guitar; Ken Clark,organ; and Benny Benson, drums. The most recent show took place July 29, with the title of Impressions: The Music of John Coltrane, also with Pat Loomis (alto and soprano saxophone); Antonio Shiell Loomis (guitar); Jesse Tate (piano); Dan Winshall (bass); Dave Fox (drums).
The event is free. The fully handicapped-accessible South End library will be open during the event for its many varied services including public restrooms.
Shakespeare Afficionada Judith Klau Will Be at the South End Library August 5 to Tell You All She Knows about “Twelfth Night,” this Summer’s Featured Play at the Boston Common’s Bard Festival Running through August 10
This summer’s Shakespeare on the Common performance of Twelfth Night brings Judith Klau back to the South End library to continue her annual tradition of offering her insights on the festival’s starred Bard play. The South End resident and former chair of the English Department at the Groton School will be at the branch on Tuesday night at 6:30 PM. Twelfth Night is being performed through Sunday, August 10 at the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common, Tuesday through Saturday at 8 PM, Sunday at 7 PM, and is free to all.
Written in the early 17th century and set on the Balkan coast of the Adriatic Sea, the comedy’s plot centers on twins, Viola and Sebastian, who are separated in a shipwreck. A countess, Olivia, falls in love with Viola, who is disguised as a boy. Sebastian, his shipwrecked survival unbeknownst to sister Viola, becomes enamored of the countess, as well. Shakespeare borrowed the story line of siblings who look alike and are mistaken for each other when they disguise themselves from a similar story by the 16th-century English author Barnabe Rich.
“In my mind, I call Twelfth Night ‘the wacky play,’” said Klau, “but that’s only when I ignore the darker elements that lie beneath the surface of its comic madness. I think it’s the most laugh-out-loud of Shakespeare’s comedies, and the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company takes complete advantage of that with splendid, sensitive casting, especially of Malvolio (the countess’s attendant), Olivia and Viola.” Klau plans to address the significance of the characters’ names, as well as the number of coincidences that occur when a play has a combination of twins, assumed and real dead brothers, and three unlikely suitors of the same woman.
Klau said she fell in love with Shakespeare in high school, but forgot about him until she was lucky enough to spend time at the Folger Shakespeare Library as an NEH grant-recipient. “I was reinforced in my belief that he is incomparable, that his works are endlessly fascinating, and that if I tried hard enough I could make some sense out of his plays.”
The South End library is fully handicapped accessible. Judith Klau’s Shakespeare talk is free. Refreshments will be served.
At Last, Broken-down Pavement in Front of the South End Library Will Be Replaced, Starting the Week of August 4; Crumbling Surface of Library Park and its Rutland Square Entrance Will Remain Dilapidated for the Near Future
The long-overdue replacement of the hazardous pavement between the South End branch library and its adjacent Library Park will start sometime during the week of August 4, according to a recent email from BPL president Amy Ryan to the branch’s library staff. Ryan had mentioned the planned repair in her annual budget presentation to the City Council earlier this spring. For several years, FOSEL volunteers had asked the BPL to fix the surface tiles, without results. It wasn’t until the South End’s State Rep. Byron Rushing, a BPL trustee, was made aware of treacherous access to the library that the project got wind in its sails. “He told us to just get it done,” Christine Schonhart, head of the BPL’s branches, said in a April phone call.
Regrettably, the equally deteriorated pavement on the Rutland Square side of Library Park is not part of the project, nor is the dilapidated but once lovely pavement inside the park. The BPL is a division of the city of Boston, funded by its taxpayers, but even though the BPL technically owns the entire lot from West Newton and Tremont Streets to Rutland Square and the alley on the back, maintenance and repairs are inconveniently dispersed over several city agencies. Thus, the pavement on the other side of the tiny park, where it meets Rutland Square, may fall under the Department of Public Works, according to Jim Meade, superintendent of library buildings at the BPL. Library Park and its crumbling patio, on the other hand, is maintained by the Department of Parks and Recreation. While BPL’s Ryan told the City Council during the budget hearing she was in talks with the city’s parks department about the Library Park’s pavement repair, no further details about that project have been announced.
The multi-tinted tiles between the branch and the park will be replaced in the same color scheme, according to Meade, although there may be a slight difference in size, due to availability (the park and the library were built in the early 1970s). Access to the library during the work phase will be across the concrete coping from Tremont Street. Work will start early in the day to reduce inconvenience for library patrons. However, the gates on the library’s side of the park will be closed for the duration of the project which means that crossing Library Park to the branch from the Rutland Square entrance will be temporarily suspended; pedestrians have to go around the park on Tremont Street to get to the branch’s entrance. According to Meade, the project should take no more than a couple of days, at most a week.
Final Jazz and Blues Concert of the Season in Library Park Coming Up Tuesday, August 12, “Groovin’ –A Smooth Jazz Party,” with Pat Loomis and Friends
The four themed concerts are sponsored by the Boston Public Library and the Friends of the South End Library. A generous grant from the Ann H. Symington Foundation last year helped pay for the events then, as well as this year. All concerts start at 6:30 PM.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 12:
Groovin’ — A Smooth Jazz Party: featuring Pat Loomis (alto and soprano sax); Antonio Shiell Loomis (guitar); Frank Wilkins (keyboard); Christoff Glaude (bass); Joaquin Santos (drums).
The first concert was held Tuesday, June 24, with the theme of Groovin’ High — The Music of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. It featured Pat Loomis (alto
saxophone); Scott Aruda (trumpet); Antonio Shiell Loomis (guitar); Jesse Williams (bass) and Tom Arey (drums). The second, on July 8, was called Back at the Chicken Shack, a Soul-Jazz Retrospective, with Pat Loomis (alto saxophone); Antonio Shiell Loomis (guitar); Ken Clark (organ); Benny Benson (drums). The most recent show took place July 29, with the title of Impressions: The Music of John Coltrane, also with Pat Loomis (alto and soprano saxophone); Antonio Shiell Loomis (guitar); Jesse Tate (piano); Dan Winshall (bass); Dave Fox (drums)
Bill Landay, Author of the Thriller “Defending Jacob,” about a Son Accused of Murder, Says ‘What Makes a Good Father’ is Constantly on his Mind
When Bill Landay presented a draft of his third novel to his agent a few years ago, provisionally called The Combat Zone, she trashed it. Landay, who had written two award-winning crime novels, Mission Flats and The Strangler, went home with “my tail between my legs,” he told the South End Library’s audience last month. And proceeded to “cannibalize” the manuscript for what he could salvage. One of the draft’s characters was based on a case he had heard about when still a Middlesex district attorney under Tom Reilly, the state’s attorney general at the time. It involved a homicide detective in a seaside town on Long Island, NY, whose father had been executed for murder, and whose son was accused of killing a drug dealer in self defense. It was made into a movie starring Robert de Niro, City by the Sea. The generational shuffle between murderers and practitioners of law enforcement also became the central theme in Landay’s crime novel, Defending Jacob, which has now sold 1.3 million copies, with sales –especially through book clubs where the thriller is a favorite selection– still going strong.
Leaning comfortably against a library’s oak table, Landay explained to the more than fifty listeners who came to the last author’s talk of the season on June 10 that when he was a Middlesex DA, he always felt “the action was elsewhere.” You only learn about it through the witnesses,” he added. When he turned thirty, he decided to take a stab at writing about that sort of action. He cashed out some of his retirement money, moved into his mother’s basement and tended bar on the side. His first two crime novels were well received but had meager sales. Defending Jacob took off quickly, even though it was his third novel, often a hard sell. Set in Newton, MA, where devotion to family life, professional success and the drive for student achievement reigns supreme, the novel describes in excruciating detail the emotional toll exacted by the community on a family whose son is accused of murdering a classmate who bullied him. The father was a respected DA but, during the trial, it’s revealed his father was in jail for life for murder, something he had not even told his wife. Does one ever know one’s spouse, one’s child, is the theme running through the novel, a question Landay holds up and dissects in this gripping thriller, while not giving away the answer, even if there is one.
Landay’s personal life includes raising two young sons and having an estranged relationship with his own father. He said he constantly asks himself what it means to be a good father, physically and emotionally. He finds it a ‘sobering’ thought that everything he does is watched by his kids, who learn from it. “It’s like having a spy in the house,” he said. The author also commented that, when a couple is expecting a child, everyone hopes nothing goes wrong physically. “But what if it is a difficult child,” he asked: “Emotionally and psychically is where the high stakes are because you can’t divorce your child. You can’t meet the baby first. The personality and temperament of that child will be in your life forever.” Calling himself not so much a writer as “an ordinary guy who writes books,” Landay likes to go to schools and show kids “how it is done.”
It was important for Landay to avoid what’s often the case in crime fiction, namely that it’s formulaic and stale before the words hit the page. So he decided to start off with the scientific angle, namely the possibility of what is called the murder/warrior gene which, at the time, he thought was fictional but which has since become “a developing science.” However, unlike the case central to Defending Jacob, the so-called murder gene, a common mutation carried by many, is carried through the mother, not the father. Another role reversal in the novel was that Jacob’s mother suspected early on her son Jacob could have killed his classmate, while the father decided to stick with the child, right or wrong, trapped perhaps by his having reinvented a life for himself where his personal rules precluded any other option.
Landay did not read from Defending Jacob but generously spoke for more than an hour and-a-half about its genesis and did not stop until the last question from the audience was answered. “This is my last night out for this book,” he declared. “I’m now concentrating on Page One of my next novel.”