Yesterday, the Washington, D.C. area music community gathered at Calvary Lutheran Church in Silver Spring, Maryland to remember and celebrate the life and music of jazz guitarist- Paul Wingo. Born in Havre de Grace, Maryland in 1946, Paul’s career spanned his early teen years in Cambridge, Maryland playing with the “VOLTS” through his years with the Army’s premier jazz ensemble, The Army Blues, to his many gigs with national and international jazz artists, including Zoot Sims, Phil Woods, Charlie Byrd, Herb Ellis , Steve Allen and Dinah Shore. Paul was a Baltimore jazz institution in his own right, performing every Tuesday night at Bertha’s ( mussels ) Restaurant in Fells Point for 3 decades. ( He even rated a mention in a story by best selling mystery author Laura Lippman ) Paul was known as much for his quiet, gentle  and unassuming personality and as a deeply committed teacher and friend as for his complex and fiery guitar licks. His friends and fellow guitarists and musicians paid their heartfelt goodbyes at this tribute hosted by WPFW-FM host, Tom Cole. A man of peace and profound commitment to his music, Paul will be greatly missed by all those whose lives he touched with his music and deep sense of love and spirituality. photo afbIMG_7872.jpg photo afbIMG_7880.jpg photo afbIMG_7887.jpg
Steve Abshire, looking far too stern for such a lovable guy photo afbIMG_7905.jpg
WPFW’s own Tom Cole photo afbIMG_7913.jpg
Steve Herberman and Steve Abshire
 photo afbIMG_7947.jpgSue Matthews and Steve Herberman
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Sue Matthews photo afbIMG_7964.jpg
Bassist Paul Langosch photo afbIMG_7994.jpg
Paul’s student, Andrew Latona
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Aaron Rubinstein and Jan Knutson photo afbIMG_8052.jpg
Jan Knutson photo afbIMG_8082.jpg
Clarinet virtuoso & music educator, Dr. Charles Stier photo afbIMG_8092.jpg photo afbIMG_8106.jpg
Tom Lawrence photo afbIMG_8121.jpg photo afbIMG_8125.jpg photo afbIMG_8134.jpg
Pianist Stef Scaggiari
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 photo afbIMG_8168.jpgFormer Airman of Note, Rick Whitehead
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Christiana Drapkin photo afbIMG_8195.jpg photo afbIMG_8209.jpg
Carlos Barbosa Lima
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Jazz Violinist, Susan Jones
 photo afbIMG_8255.jpgWendy Eisenberg photo afbIMG_8266.jpg photo afbIMG_8282.jpg photo afbIMG_8314.jpg photo afbIMG_8318.jpg
Saxophonist, Bruce Swaim photo afbIMG_8328.jpg photo afbIMG_8335.jpg photo afbIMG_8352.jpg
Chuck Karner and Laura Lee



On a recent visit to New York City to photograph the National Endowment for the Arts JazzMasters awards, I was fortunate enough to have a few minutes of down time to wander the nearby streets of the city. Although the sidewalks and streets bustle with the swirling masses of humanity, and every face is a new and interesting study in the massive diversity of human-kind, in this instance I chose to train my lens on the fascinating and never ending array of faces that reside on the facades of the buildings surrounding Central Park West. Here is a small sample.




It was another sad day in the snack food kingdom as manufacturer Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe announced the demise of the beloved Gibble’s brand, maker of potato chips & Cheese Puffys. Like such revered food icons as Hostess Twinkies, and other lamented, but lesser known food dinosaurs as Kellogg’s Concentrate, the Gibble’s brand will apparently be going the way of the dodo as Martin’s corporate branding shifts in favor of more upscale “boutique” snack products.
One loyal consumer feels the sting and is thrown into a sense of snack food despair!
When George Crum, a Native American chef, served the first potato chips to Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1853, he used the animal fats available in his day to produce his new product. Today, with all the various oils on the market, Gibble’s still uses LARD- an animal fat-to make their potato chips. Why? Because we believe that simple and natural is best. Do you realize that, commonly, to produce vegetable oil, seeds must be roasted, steel rolled, and flooded with hexane solvent to extract the oil, which is then treated with lye, neutralized with hydrochloric acid, filtered through diatomaceous earth, and deodorized under high temperature? LARD is a rich, naturally stable fat, rendered from pork that provides the true home style flavor most people prefer. Pure energy. Simple and delicious. We at Gibble’s are proud to use the same fine ingrediants that made us a hit many years ago at our farmer’s market stand- Chips so wonderfully good they’re “NIBBLE GIBBLE-ICIOUS!” We want to be your potato chip. ( the product statement on the back of every bag of Gibble’s )
They were yummy good!! Ingrediants: Potatoes, Prime Processed Lard, Salt, & TBHQ added to protect flavor.Photobucket
Nearly forgotten- Kellogg’s Concentrate, Recently deceased- Hostess Twinkies



Photobucket “MURDER!” exclaimed a surprised Cyril Marple. “Good heavens, man! That’s a hell of a twist first thing in the morning. And look at the state of my kitchen. Have you been having an orgy in here?”
An amused twinkle creased the corners of Cuthbert Stephensby’s blood shot eyes. “ Steady on, Cyril, steady on. “, the portly gentleman chuckled. “ Only if you count my affair with that pound of bacon you had so kindly left in the Fridgedaire. I assumed you had intended it for my consumption?”, he queried as his tongue flicked out in search for a grease spot barely concealed in the forest of his regimental moustache. “ Here, drink your coffee. I say, this Sumatran roast is devilishly good. Must set you back a pretty penny, wat?”
Indeed, that particular addiction was one of the few luxuries that Cyril allowed himself these days, that and the occasional purchase of an old Al Bowlly disc at the St. Waldo’s jumble sale if one turned up in playable condition. Unlike his better known sister Jane, the “talented amateur”, Cyril Marple had been a professional copper for some 28 years at The Yard, rising from a foot beat in Southgate, to the rank of Chief Inspector before being made redundant at the age of 52 and unceremoniously put out to pasture here in Runnycheese on Cornbread in favor of younger, and cheaper officers. He had continued to keep his hand in the game, helping the local constabulary in solving particularly difficult, gruesome and peculiar crimes, always to little or no acclaim or recognition, or renumeration for that matter, and it often rankled his delicate ego and sense of self that he was now viewed as a has-been with little to contribute beyond assisting in finding the occasional Jack Russell gone walkabout. His powers of observation and deduction were, if anything, at their zenith, but Marple’s creative mind often felt the fetid tug of stagnation when faced with forced idleness. A zeal for puttering about the garden had never appealed to him, and he had been jumping at shadows for far too long.
Marple raised the cup of coffee to his lips. The fine Indonesian beans were earthy, not too darkly roasted, and the intense chocolate and caramel biscuit tones were nicely muted with the addition of the fresh, clotted cream from the Hocking’s dairy down the way. While outwardly easy-going and usually of a jovial and chipper disposition, the last few months of inactivity had set Marple on edge, and the added financial strain of prolonged unemployment tended to make him a trifle testy. He desperately needed to get out of the cottage and find a worthy activity for his under-worked brain.
“Murder, you say? “, Cyril cleared his throat and took a bite of sausage. He thought he heard his girthy companion mutter something about “scrapple” beneath his breath. Scrapple? He’d have to look that up later. A new poison? A dance? He seemed to recall that it was somehow associated with the Yanks. Mr. Marple surveyed the devastation that had once been his kitchen. The high profile consulting positions that he had been promised had never materialized after his redundancy, and now his former friends and colleagues would not even return his phone calls and telegrams, and he was at a loss to understand the reason. Shunned, ignored. How embarassed his old friends must feel! He missed their company. The old comradery. Marple took another sip of coffee, then pulled the red dressing gown closer around himself and tightend the knot on the sash. His hand dipped into the oversized pocket and his fingers instinctively found themselves fondling a short length of cord connecting a series of rough bead-like objects, forming a kind of necklace. He gently pulled the trinket from his pocket and massaged the discs between his digits. “Aha,” he thought.” The little grey shells!”
Cyril Marple narrowed his gaze and turned to focus his full attention on the man sitting across from him at the cluttered and flour dust covered table.
“Now, my friend! You must tell me all you know about this murder. And, please, my dear Stephensby, leave nothing out.”


with apologies & sincerest admiration to Dame Agatha
Cover Design adapted by Spencer Stewart

Cyril Marple awoke with a start. The smell of freshly brewed coffee filled the air of his immaculately tidy cottage. He sat up in bed and perused the surroundings of his prim bedroom. The rose patterned wallpaper was the same as always. The leather bound copy of Sir Titus Weatherspoon’s autographed copy of “Poisons of the World” was just as he had left it the night before, opened on the Chippendale bed stand and bookmarked to his favorite chapter on Curare, the deadly South American poison favored by the natives indigenous to the Amazon rain forest. The Big Ben alarm clock showed the time to be 7:45 as an early morning sun pierced the fine Irish lace of his bedroom curtains with the promise of a warm and peaceful day in the quiet English village of Runnycheese on Cornbread. The song of a red-rumped Swallow from a branch outside his window caught his attention and he rubbed the wispy silver hair on his nearly bald pate. “My word!”, he ejaculated. “I’d completely forgotten. Cuthbert!”
Mr. Marple rose from the rumpled bed and eased into his red brocade dressing gown, a gift from his older sister, Jane, who lived a short distance away in the village of St. Mary Mead. Like his sibling, Cyril had never married, and lived the unencumbered life of a life long bachelor, a man firmly set in his ways and daily habits, and the inviting, but unexpected aroma of freshly brewed coffee rising from the kitchen had caught him unawares. Cyril brushed past the rumpled size 46 tweed trousers draped carelessly across the polished mahogany bannister and bounded toward the kitchen, the smell of coffee and frying bangers and mash filling his nostrils.
“What ho, Old Trout!” came the exuberant exclamation from amidst the chaos of Cyril’s formerly pristine kitchen. Pots, pans, flour, lard, tins,eggshells, knives, forks, whisks, butter, butcher’s paper, beans, grounds and a vast array of assorted debris littered the kitchen. In the eye of this hurricane of clutter stood a husky figure of a man, his snowy white beard flecked with raspberry jam,his bottle thick spectacles dusted with flour, holding aloft a fork with a large rasher of dripping Canadian bacon. A smile and the air of gentle satisfaction floated about him like the London fog. “Care for a cuppa?” he asked.
“Good Lord, Stephensby! Look what you’ve done to my kitchen!”
“Well, good morning to you, too, Old Man. A stout English breakfast was the least I could do, after your hospitality last night.”
The memory of the previous evening came creeping back on stealthy cat’s paws. The public house. The warmth of the fire. The exquisite port. That sixth or seventh glass of port. Marple closed his eyes. When, seconds later, he reopened them, the grinning face of his corpulent companion still beamed at him from the ruins of his kitchen. A small black cloud of smoke was beginning to rise from the toaster.
With an agility that belied his large stature, Cuthbert Stephensby simultaneously crammed the bacon into his eager maw, whirled toward the burning toast and flipped it into the already overflowing dustbin, and grabbed the percolator from the stove.
“Come now, Ducks”,said Cuthbert. “Sit down and have some breakfast. I have some news that just might get your juices flowing. Here, drink this!” he ordered, offering a slightly stained antique porcelain tea cup overflowing with bitter coffee as Mr. Marple surveyed the battle zone for an unoccupied chair. Marple pulled the dressing gown tighter as he brushed aside some loose tea and an errant sausage from atop a kitchen chair and sat gingerly down. Mrs. Glossop will have a fit come cleaning day, he thought, as the rotund raconteur pushed a plate literally dripping with sausages, fried tomatoes, cheese and what, he suspected, had once been black pudding toward him, leaving something like a slug trail across the flour-dusted table. “What, no spotted dick?”, Marple inquired.
“Laugh if you like, Cyril, but you’ll need your strength today.”, said Cuthbert. “While you were sleeping in, the Vicar from St.Waldo, the Blessed came ’round. There’s been a death in the village last night. …..and it looks like MURDER!


PhotobucketThis week’s roadtrip was to the beautiful, yet chilly town of Newport, Rhode Island. As is my usual custom, breakfast was always at whatever diner was close at hand, a haven of coffee, bacon and homefries, served by a friendly, yet saucy waitress, in my mind at least always going by the name of Bernice or Flo. Here is a brief photo essay of breakfasts served up on the frost of those brisk New England mornings.
It’s all about where you sit your weary butt down.
Variations on a theme of bacon and eggs
Al Macs ( awaiting re-opening ) Joe’s and Bishop’s


Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, supporters of the arts, ( hold it, scratch that last part )- As I sit on my balcony on this cold,damp & dreary day, shaking my cane and cursing at the neighborhood urchins ( #@!!&%%~!! Kids!! Get off my lawn!!) I find myself drifting back to a simpler time, a time before e-mails and the internet, before smart phones and downloads, when people were connected, face to face, and loyalty and friendship had meaning. I know I have a thin skin, personally, and will never be able to run with the big boys, but it seems to me that during these tough times that some small degree of support among the ranks of my fellow artists, and friends of the arts, is not too much to ask. I mean really, does it take all weekend to wash your hair?
It has been almost 25 years since my last gallery show, and friends and colleagues alike have implored me, prodding and cajoling me to mount a new public display of my art and photography. “We want to see it in person”, they all plead- “We want to see you!” Sure, my work may be on nearly 300 CD and album covers, and in magazines and articles, not to mention all over the mighty world-wide-web, but folks seemed to be asking to see some full sized works that they could actually buy, and hang upon the walls of their hip and cozy personal cribs. A point of pride to own works by an artist they actually know, or at least have the opportunity to come out and socialize with old chums and add their warm and attractive bodies to the crowds sipping free wine and knoshing on cheese and cookies.
A golden opportunity arose this month when talented old friends Rita and Chris graciously offered to convert their centrally located suburban home into an art gallery for the weekend, re-arranging furniture, opening their kitchen, sub-letting their cat and generously offering to move their own art and allowing dozens and dozens of new hooks and nails to be driven into their walls to support the hanging of pieces by myself and 5 other kind and talented artists. Each of us contributed our creative resources as well as sweat, time, labor, food, coffee, wine, more food and most importantly, our extensive mailing lists and contacts within the creative communities. With our various fan bases within the vast networks of the Smithsonian, National Gallery, Art Alliance and , for me, the local and national music community, we expected a respectable, if not huge, turn out!
Of course, being from the arts community, we are all nothing, if not realistic, when it comes to these things, but I must confess to being disappointed with the turn out on my behalf. I suppose that after a year of shocks and surprises- the first times ever of being stiffed on two big projects, of not being invited to CD release shows this year, of musicians not sending copies of finished projects for my portfolio, I suppose it should come as no surprise that of 300+ invitations that I sent, plus countless calls, Facebook postings, mailings, etc., etc. only 3 friends would feel it worth their time to come out and publicly show their support and interest in a local arts event. Yes, I know, I know, I am overly dramatic, and I do take these things too personally, but really……… How long does it really take to wash that little bit of hair you have left?
Photobucket Various photographs available at the 2012 Art Show
Rarely seen drawings and paintings by Michael G. Stewart were on sale and display


Once again, the intrepid photographer is on the road, southbound through West Virginia on the way to scenic Kentucky, Land of Bluegrass, Bourbon and, of course that tasty delicacy, Pig’s Brains. Since there are several aspects of this journey, each a visual treat in itself, I will break up the postings into individual portfolios, and hope you enjoy them for their specific merits.


Photobucket It was a sad day in the Washington music world yesterday as Chuck Brown, the acknowledged “Godfather of Go-Go”, passed away at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He was 75. Mr. Brown was a recipient of the National Endowment of the Arts Heritage Fellows Award in 2005, and was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2011. I worked photographing Mr. Brown on numerous occasions over the years, most recently in 2011 when he performed with blues harmonica wizard Phil Wiggins at the ALTA awards at Montgomery College in Silver Spring. He was a larger than life creative force in the Nations’s Capital and will be sorely missed.Photobucket


“An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.”
James McNeill Whistler
OK, OK, I suppose I should just apologize right now and get it out of the way. This insignificant bit of writing may come across to some as a bit of a rant. We self- absorbed creative types tend to run aground in these waters from time to time, so feel free to go make a sandwich, feed the cat or watch Survivor: South Philadelphia.
It’s a bit of a rough go sometimes being self employed as an artistic gun for hire. By its very nature you have to invest a little creative ego into every project you tackle, and sometimes you can feel a bit disheartened when you see your most interesting creations shot down in flames. This can be especially frustrating when too large a part your collective body of work in print tends to resemble something cobbled together by Mr. Magoo ( those of you too young to remember- Google him!) or determined by the capricious whim of a client who says “oh, my Mom likes this picture better we had taken at the mall.” ( true story on an album cover design)
Good art is just that- Good Art. In these days of universal technological access, some may tend to forget that it is the human vision, and the application of that vision, that creates wonderful and compelling images, be it a simple, un- Photoshopped B&W photograph, or a surrealistic flight of fancy consisting of dozens of unrelated images captured over years of photographic wanderings.
Recently, I’ve started combining the two very different artistic strategies, with varying degrees of commercial and artistic success. Much like painting, it is a very time and labor intensive process and, much like painting, it is the small, subtle details that go unnoticed which make the final creation a work or art, as opposed to merely an exercise in computer wizardry.
So, OK, OK, I’m stepping off the soapbox. Maybe I’ll go take some real pictures. I still shoot everything in manual mode, manual focus. Like my life, all the mistakes are my own.
2010 CHRISTMAS CARD Locations from Montana to New Jersey
An Exercise in mixing it up
Imagine YOUR face here! Ready to go, in the pipeline, just send money