Piedmont Piano Company is pleased to present
Macy Blackman and the Mighty Fines
"Nothing but Fun"
The nucleus of the band, Macy Blackman, Nancy Wright, and Bing Nathan, will be joined on this occasion by two of the Bay Areas finest musicians, drummer Jay Hansen and clarinetist Danny Bittker. Danny brings all sorts of fun percussion instruments, which sets the tone for the show "Nothing but Fun." They will play material that’s percussion-heavy at times, all of the most fun stuff from their four CDs.
$15 General Admission
Hearing Macy Blackman is like stepping into an uptown New Orleans club such as the Dew Drop Inn circa 1955. Indeed, pianist/vocalist Macy Blackman has been playing this music since it really wasn't very old. Born in 1948 in Wilmington, Delaware, Macy spent his formative years in the Philly area. While in high school he formed The Evergreens, a band which specialized in backing up classic R&B groups such as the Orlons, and Lee Andrews and the Hearts.
He moved to New York City in 1966 where he lived until 2000, playing in every imaginable capacity. From the mid 70's on he specialized in New Orleans R&B. Through one of its masters, drummer Charles "Hungry" Williams, Macy met and performed with Mac Rebenneck (aka Dr John). Macy also played with a wide range of musicians regularly backing up The Drifters and The Coasters.
A renowned musicologist, Macy moved to San Francisco in 2000 to teach courses at UC Berkeley. These popular classes explored major American musical styles of the twentieth century - rhythm and blues, swing and classic jazz. For the first few years in San Francisco, he featured himself as a jazz pianist. In 2003, he returned to playing New Orleans R&B and formed The Mighty Fines. macyblackman.com
Nancy Wright came to San Francisco in 1983, establishing herself as a blues and R&B player. She has recorded and performed in the U.S. and abroad with artists including John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Elvin Bishop, Katie Webster, Joe Louis Walker, and Commander Cody. She has performed at a wide variety of venues, from Carnegie Hall to the Annual Sturgis Biker Rally, as well as the San Francisco, Chicago, and Delta Blues Festivals. Nancy plays King Curtis style tenor with great fire tempered by jazz sensitivities. Nancy has been a treasured addition to the Mighty Fines since 2007. In 2013 Nancy was honored as the Golden Gate Blues Society's Sax Player of the Year. nancywrightmusic.com
Bing Nathan studied jazz arranging and composing with Fred Karlin and Bill Mathieu while growing up in the Chicago area, double bass with Stuart Sankey at the Aspen Festival and privately in NYC. He then attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he studied bass, piano, and composition, played in the Orchestra conducted by Igor Stravinsky!
Since moving to the bay area in 1965, Bing has performed with The Ulysses Crockett Afro Blue Persuasion (afro Cuban jazz), John Shine and Company (singer-songwriter), Charlie Hickox and the Moons (original r'n'b), Lost Weekend (western swing), Notes from the Underground (rock), Darby Slick and Hair (before the musical came out!), Rockin' Daddy (rockabilly), the Ultras (surf rock), as well as with several symphony orchestras.
Bing was the bass player on the movie soundtrack for "Big Bad Moma" with David Grisman and Jerry Garcia, toured and recorded two CD's with Lavay Smith's Red Hot Skillet Lickers (early R&B). He has also led his own bands, Bing's Swingin' Thing, The New Bing Thing, and Commander's Pals. Since 2003, he has been a mainstay with The Mighty Fines, also handling back up vocals. Currently, in addition to playing with Macy in the various duo, trio, quartet and quintet lineups, Bing plays in Richard Chon's bands, the Saddle Cats, the Moonglow Trio, and the Oaktown Strutters. bingnathan.com
Jason “J” Hansen has been playing the drums all his life. Born near Chicago, IL, he was beating on pots and pans at the age of two. At about age 12, His family moved to California. Around that time his music teacher took him to see Buddy Rich in concert, and his life was forever changed.
J. Hansen has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, South America, Australia, and Asia; has appeared on TV and radio, and has recorded at NPR Studios, XM/Sirius Studios, and Fantasy Studios among others. His drumming, singing, and songwriting were featured for nearly 15 years in both Little Charlie and the Nightcats and Rick Estrin and the Nightcats. J made five recordings with the Nightcats for Alligator Records during his tenure with the band (2002-2016). In 2017, J joined blues supergroup the Welsh/Ledbetter Connection, with whom he continues to tour the world. J. Hansen released an album of his original songs called Give the Drummer Some in 2009, which received favorable reviews in Downbeat Magazine, Blues Review Magazine, and Vintage Guitar Magazine. J has also performed with: Lavay Smith, Wee Willie Walker, Elvin Bishop, Kim Wilson, Tommy Castro, Pinetop Perkins, Curtis Salgado, Janiva Magness, Jerry Portnoy, Carl Sonny Leland, Steve Lucky, Rusty Zinn, Charles Wheal, Nancy Wright, the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and many other great musicians.
J. Hansen resides in Northern California. In addition to his tour schedule, he is very active in the San Francisco/Oakland live music scene, and teaches music in his local area’s schools as well as private lessons at his home studio.
Danny Bittker has played woodwinds and steel drums in a wide variety of musical ensembles and contexts. He has performed worldwide with Mo' Fone, Mitch Woods, Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums, the Rova Saxophone Quartet, Calypso Rose, Bonnie Raitt, Grover Washington Jr., Andy and Jeff Narell, and many others. He hails from New Haven, Conn. but has been based in the Bay Area since 1981.