Thursday, January 14, 2010

Music, Music, Music

What a week I've had, indulging my love for music!  Sunday I started off at the Burlingame Hyatt, listening to Margie Baker who I did the blog about recently.  I had sent her a copy of it since this delightful retired school teacher doesn't even use a computer ( she is over seventy ) - she has one, she says, but it is still in its box!.  She had called and left me an endearing phone message, thanking me profusely for what I had written.  She said it made her feel like crying, it touched her so deeply.  Margie was terrific, as always, and Shota Osabe, was on the piano - my dear friend, along with a great bass player and a drummer I hadn't seen before who was outstanding. 

Monday night, I went to Zingari, the intimate jazz lounge at the Hotel Donatello, that is part of Zingari Restaurant, one of my favorite places to see performers - small, with just a few tables and a bar off to the side.  Shota told me Sunday that he would be playing for Kathy Holly,  who I know, so that's all I needed.  My friend, Silvia, went with me.  I was so delighted to find a handicapped parking place right down the street, which I always consider a good omen!

Kathy Holly is a native San Franciscan whose love of show business begin at the venerable age of six when she had the lead in a school play.  From then on, she began doing plays for her own family, elisting her young relatives as the actors and, of course, Kathy was the director!

Kathy is multi-talented.  She can sing, dance and act.  She sings in eight different languages and has performed all over the world.  Her venues have included hotels, cruise ships, clubs and restaurants.  That's what I love so much about her shows - she acts out her songs and they are all wonderful!  I was telling her how much "Scotch and Soda" impacted me the other night
when Anne O'Brien did it.  Kathy sang it for me and it was easier to hear this time.  Of course, I had been playing it on my computer all weekend!

The lovely Kathy Holly at Zingari Jazz Lounge at the Donatello Hotel, San Francisco

My favorite piano player of all time, Shota Osabe, with Kathy Holly

Getting close and making beautiful music

Kathy says every lady HAS to have a boa!

My beloved friend, Silvia Solorzano

Tuesday, Shota was playing for Amanda King at Zingari.  He's been telling me for the past two years that I should see her.  Well, all I can say is that I was completely blown away with this woman's unbelievable talent!  That I deprived myself of hearing her voice for the past two years is incredibly sad.  She is such a joy.  Amanda has songs that she absolutely will not sing -
some she calls "karaoke" and, when a patron requested, "Summertime," she said she would not do that ( though I bet she would be incredible singing it ).  She sings songs she likes though she does take requests.  Another patron asked for "New York, New York."  Amanda said, "Sorry, I don't do cabaret."  With a big smile, though, she offered to do her favorite song of the moment.  I forgot what it was but, oh, my goodness, was it fabulous!  I asked her if she did blues and she said she'll work on it.  Shota Osabe is her pianist and he's been working with her so I asked for some blues!

Toward the end of the evening, an Australian couple came in and joined us.  They were doing a month long trip of the U. S. and were staying at the hotel.  Another lady, a drug sales rep was also in the lounge.  She'd been to Zingari the year prior and saw Amanda.  When back at the same conference this year, she came to Zingari and was thrilled to find Amanda performing again.  She had requested a song for which Amanda didn't have the lyrics.  This young lady promptly pulled them up on her I-phone  ( modern technology ) and Amanda sang it.  After Amanda had announced her last number, the Aussies asked for "It's a Wonderful World" which, of course, Shota could play ( I wonder if there is anything this man doesn't know ) but, for which,
Amanda did not have the lyrics.  So Amanda sang it, with Mr. Australia, joining her, then we all began singing along.  It was really kind of moving and a very nice United Nations end to the evening!

The fabulous Amanda King

A magical voice!

Amanda, Mr. Australia and "It's a Wonderful World" - thanks to an IPhone!

Since I constantly rave about Shota Osabe, whose piano is simply superb - he's actually the draw that got me to see many of the great singer's I've met in the San Francisco area, I've added a couple of links where you can hear him at work, performing with other artists.  He has a couple of great CDs of his own but I see no separate entire pieces on YouTube ( get to work on that, Shota-san! ).


  1. Carmen, that Kim Nalley and Amanda King at Pearl's is off the cuff. Was that hot or what? I love Kim's voice and Amanda King is right up there with her. It's cool to see Shota doing the blues. He was AWESOME in that video.

    As for Kathy Holly, though I haven't see her live I'll just say, no comment :)

    Thanks for sharing these vids, it was cool to see Pearl's again.

  2. Carmen I so love how you follow your passion of music and you describe each event so well I feel like I was actually there. Oh and yes it is a wonderful world isn't it.....:-) Hugs

  3. I am sure Amanda King has a fabulous voice, but I am blown away with her amazing hair do! Very attractive!

  4. Oh Carmen, it must be wonderful to meet many talented performers and artists like that.

  5. My dear friend,
    you are music yourself.
    I love how you enjoy your days...

  6. What a lovely thing to follow your favorite pianist around and meet all his singers/performers here and there. But then, you are in San FRancisco. Lucky you.

  7. I don't think I've ever met any of the musicians I'm a fan of. It must be a treat to know some of the people that make music.

  8. wow you sure had a rocking musical time!

  9. I also found Shota backing Ayako Hosokawa singing Old Cape Cod - very nice.

  10. Poetic Shutterbug - wasn't that Amanda King -
    Kim Nalley duo at Pearl's incredible!
    Nice, too,that you could actually see Shota
    playing for a change!

    Bernie - it IS a wonderful world. Too bad more
    people don't seem to realize it.

    Traveljoan - did you click on any of the links
    so you could hear Amanda? And you are right,
    her hair is beautiful!! I wonder how long
    she has to sit to get it done.

    Icy BC - it is nice that these folks appear in
    small venues so you do actually get to chat
    with them and get to know them as friends.

  11. Dulce - you are so sweet. Yes, being here near
    San Francisco is wonderful. There are so
    many nice little spots where you can hear
    music without going broke!

    lakeviewer - Shota says I'm like his agent! I
    bring all my friends to meet him and his
    harem of vocalists. He's truly become a
    wonderful friend over the five years or so
    that I've known him. I would go just to hear
    him play piano. His two CDs are beautiful.

    Ratty - it's been so much fun for me getting to
    know these musicians on a more intimate
    level - a whole new world for me, that's for

    magiceye - going to see some of these enter-
    tainers is really a good night out, that's
    for sure. It definitely gets you out of
    the doldrums.

    Alaine - I listened to was lovely.
    I'll ask Shota if he played for her here or
    on one of his many trips back to Japan.

  12. you know what, I love to lounge in the hotel lobby whenever there's a pianist or any simple soothes my soul

  13. Carmen, you are wonderful to be such a great supporter of the music that makes hearts sing! I hope to see you at one of Amanda's next shows, and just to let you know that she will be at Enrico's (504 Broadway, SF CA 94133) this Friday (11 June 2010) from 7:30p to 11:30p. Shota was already booked for the evening, but Manda will be joined by the fabulous Ken Muir on the keyboard. It should be a wonderful evening for good music and good friends. Please join us, and thank you for your great support!