Ben Tells A Good Story

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Ben Harrison – tells a good story Ben Harrison started taking music lessons at 14 years old from Chester Rupe who is now in the Texas Music Hall of Fame, in Corpus Christie, Texas. He wanted to be the new Elvis from the get go. Ben has a 1957 Gibson acoustic guitar, bought new, all […]

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 […]

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 […]

Din Allen – suffering of change

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Din Allen  “suffering of change.” James “Din” Allen came to Key West from New York City in 1978, to join his brother Woody and to play bass at the Rose Tattoo, (currently, Bagatelle). They performed at other locations but after the winter season ended, it became more difficult to find work. Most bands would leave […]

It was always going to be music

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RB Tolar – “It was always going to be music.” Ronald Bryan Tolar, born in 1958 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, now claims “RB” stands for Rhythm & Blues. He grew up in Gautier, Mississippi, attending school there. He started playing music at 14 and turned ‘pro’ at 15. He began gigging too much, dropping out […]

Mark Rose – a life of musical adventures

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Mark Rose – a life of musical adventures Everyone knows how much I love horns and this week will include one of my favorites. Mark Rose was born and raised in front of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the son of Trudy and Forrest Rose. His mother was a piano teacher and taught […]

The Clarinet Came To the Rescue

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Channing Lynn Griggs  – the clarinet came to the rescue Channing Lynn Griggs and identical twin sister, Jillian were born in Pensacola, Florida to U.S. Marine Corp pilot Larry Griggs and Sheryl Lynn, a nurse.  The young couple already had a set of five year-old identical twin boys and  doubled the size of their brood […]

The garage never had a car inside.

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Andy Westcott     The garage never had a car inside. Andy was born in Royal Oak, Michigan, near Detroit. He grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, where he attended school through his freshman year, later moving to Germantown, Pennsylvania, where he finished high school. His father was a drummer so naturally Andy started playing drums. Their […]

Playing Songs People Forgot They Remember

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John LaMere   “Playing songs people forgot they remember” by Ralph De Palma     John LaMere grew up in Glen Cove, a city on Long Island, just outside the Big Apple. His great-grandfather, Stanley Melinson, sang tenor on Broadway with Al Jolson in the 1920s. He has a 1927 recording of his grandfather. At age […]

Understand the importance of live music

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Hiram Garzaro   Understand the importance of live music By Ralph De Palma Born in Valencia, Venezuela, Hiram Garzaro had a hearing problem, at a very young age, that reduced his ability to hear by almost 80%. The condition was corrected by an operation when he was twelve. After waking up from the operation, Hiram could […]