Home page and About page photo by Janis Wilkins.

Black and white portraits by Jane Sobel Klonsky.

Site design by Red Dot Communications.

First Impressions

     Sitting in jammies on the top of the stairs, a treasured ritual, listening to the weekly living room jams. Stella by Starlight, St. Louis Blues, Sentimental Journey, were but a few of the standards they played. Piano, bass, drums and my dad played the sax. The language of “scat” flowed freely from him.

     My older brothers were babysitting and responsible for me while our parents were out-on-the-town. We were vacationing at the Americana Hotel in New York City in the 1960’s.

     Late in the evening, captivating music lured us into the hotel night club. This experience marked the first adrenalin-rush of my life – being in the glimmering club at dark, not only with the sounds of pure unadulterated jazz, but seeing men and women dressed to the nine’s, sitting at little round cloth-covered tables, captivated with one another, the scene and the music.

     Across the room was a sizable woman singing and scatting her heart out, dressed in a pale blue sequined gown. The audience and evidently the maître de, who wasn’t at the door to shoo us away, were as transfixed as we were to be in the presence of the great Ella Fitzgerald.