Sunday, May 06, 2012


Music is a language of many genres with each type encompassing variations.  We generally have favorite styles, instrumentation and performers, within any category which influences our preferences.   I enjoy many music types but not always every variation in any one music group.    Jazz is one of my favorite genres, probably stemming from my early exposure to tap dancing and piano lessons beginning during preschool years.
My older brother reinforced my jazz interest with his trumpet playing.  Years later when my husband-to-be and I met, his avocation as a professional jazz musician gave us an instant emotional connection.    His performing years in our Midwest home state had long since ended.  Six years ago he died suddenly in our Los Angeles area home where we'd lived for many years.  I’ve written here previously that my healing process has included adding to my activities attending some local live jazz venues.
NINA BECK is a classy jazz pianist I unexpectedly and delightedly encountered at the Hip Kitty, a local Claremont, CA, newly opened jazz club and fondue restaurant those years ago.    Finally, I’m sharing her talents with you which I’ve long intended doing.  She continues to periodically perform there.
This particular video is NINA at JIMMY MAK’S in Portland, Oregon, in a special performance at “One of the world's top 100 places to hear jazz." ~ Down Beat Magazine.

Nina is a professional pianist and vocalist with an extensive repertoire of American Songbook standards, jazz tunes and ‘oldies’ favorites.  She performs solo or in various size groups primarily in Southern California.  

Oregon audiences were fortunate to have an opportunity to hear her music.  Friends I met at a local jazz concert re-located to Portland so are hoping Nina will appear there again. 

Nina began playing the piano at age five, then trained through her high school and college years in New York City.   She has studied with world reknowned artists including the late John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet.   Her web site bio notes she is  

“a published songwriter and member of BMI, Nina has a catalog of well-crafted original songs in many genres including adult contemporary, country, blues, swing, jazz, retro Latin, R&B (ballads), and movie themes.”    

Studio City, Laguna Beach, San Pedro, Long Beach clubs.....are among the locales where Nina has lately appeared, sometimes with her 4-piece band and vocalist Andy Cowan, whose performance includes Sinatra-like renditions of tunes.

Here's Nina on keyboard with her trio and Andy Cowan singing "The Moon Was Yellow"  (most fitting since last night was the Supermoon when the brilliant yellow globe was closer to Earth than most years.)

Nina provides an entertaining enjoyable music listening experience whether a club date or one of her private bookings.   


  1. Wow....I've never heard enough music over the past almost 50 years, so I can't say anything intelligent about jazz....but i find it--and this especially--very soothing. who knows why. when i walk down the street now, since getting my CI, i hear what i can only describe as "splinters" of music. Nothing so well formed as this, even if it's free form, but the same sounds...just splinters of them.

    Anyway, what an interesting post!

  2. I like the soft jazz best. My folks were fans of the Dukes of Dixieland. They heard the group play at a night club in Chicago, and Mom never forgot them. I tend to like the soft NYC style jazz played late at night. Piano is best for me so I like the first clip best.

    PS, I meant to tell you I loved your squirrely piece from yesterday. You write very creatively.

    Also, I wish you would (if you are allowed to do so) write more about your experiences with retirement facilities. Thanks, Dianne

  3. Dixie is my favorite music, but Nina and friends were just wonderful. Thanks for the intro.

  4. I'm glad you found Nina's jazz "very soothing." I appreciate your putting into words what you hear and feel when you listen to music. Interesting sound description when you walk down the street. Cochlear Implants have had a significant effect on many lives. Guess the brain is continuing to learn how to listen for these musical notes, or perhaps it plateaus with music eventually.

  5. Schmidley: Yes, I'm partial to piano in small intimate club settings. I prefer acoustic instrumentation, too. I recall the Dukes and enjoyed them, too.

    Dick: Guess you'd like the Dukes of Dixieland, too, -- "When The Saints Go Marching In."

  6. I really enjoyed that JoAnn. I've always liked piano in small club settings too. ~Joy

  7. FWIW Dept.: Sorry about the paragraph spacing problem above the first video. I tried multiple times before and after publishing, but Blogger wouldn't allow me to correct the way they jammed the lines altogether, though that's not how I originally typed it and sent it for blog publishing.