Gregory James an untold Key West music legacy

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I love Key West history, especially the music history. There aren’t many Key West historical music figures larger than Fats Navarro. Navarro learned piano at age six and picked up his first trumpet at age thirteen. He graduated from Fredrick Douglas High School and soon left for Orlando, Cincinnati, Kansas City, and on to ‘big […]

Seth Kessel – enjoying Key West when the world shutdown

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Seth Kessel Born in Manhattan and raised in Brooklyn, Seth Kessel wasn’t interested in music or a musical career until age 16, when he was invited to a private drum lesson by Steven Wolf who was touring with Annie Lennox. It was a surprising life changing experience that started an obsession with drums and music. […]

What If

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What If …. By Ralph De Palma A while back, former Key West pianist Dave Burns and I were discussing Key West legendary performer Coffee Butler. Both Dave and I lived in Miami during the 60s and 70s when Miami Beach would see major artists, like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Guy Lombardo, and […]

You have to just believe

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Claire Caplan – You have to believe. Claire, an only child, was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Her mother, Leslie Caplan, a professional singer and classically trained, performs with the St. Louis Symphony Chorus and has performed at Carnegie Hall several times. She always encouraged Claire to sing. She sang in a local […]

Loves His Gypsy Jazz

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Alexander Michael – and his gypsy jazz Alexander Michael hails from North Minneapolis. His father, Greg, played guitar and started   teaching Alexander music at eight years old, around camp fires and in the kitchen. When Alexander was 20, he took a month long, 200 miles, confidence building sojourn along the Lake Superior Trail alone. He […]

A Music Masterpiece family

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A Music Masterpiece family   The Key West Lopez family have musical roots that trace back four generations and even further to their Bahamian music roots. Clayton Lopez is older brother to Calvin, and sister Wilhelmina (“Mina”), all gifted vocalists. Another brother Carlton is deceased. Clayton seemed to always have some kind of stringed instrument […]

Spread the Gospel

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Green Parrot/NOLA connection – spread the gospel For years, John Vagnoni, managing partner of the Green Parrot, looked for bands traveling in this direction from all over the Southeast and would book touring bands to perform at the Green Parrot. Key West was always an easy sell. New Orleans (NOLA) musicians have always been a […]

Jefff – just found out what the third “f” stands for

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Jefff …..  just found out what the third “f” stands for        Jeff Clark along with his younger sister Amy and older brother Bryan were raised in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. At age 6, he began taking piano lessons and singing in the church choir. When he was older, Jeff read books by Dr. Daniel […]

Yvan played guitar with an infectious joy

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Yvan Agbo played with an infectious joy Yves (Yvan) Marie Claude Agbo was born in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa on July 6, 1967. He was the youngest of six – 5 boys and 1 girl.  Yvan’s father played guitar when he was young. Everyone in the family followed in his footsteps and learned to play […]

aka: Maasai

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Abdul Mateen        aka: Maasai Originally from Harlem, New York, Abdul Mateen was born in 1954 in Women’s Hospital and lived on 115th Street.  He attended school in Queens where there was a great music program. He learned to play the saxophone, cello, and violin.  He brought the saxophone home and while outside with his friends […]

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