April 13th, 2015
Dear Friends:

One of my great heroes was a man named Edward Leedskalnin.  Leedskalnin or "Ed", as he was called throughout his life was born in Latvia in 1887.  For reasons that are a mystery to this day, he decided in 1919 to travel to southern Florida to an isolated place that was then an arid, deserted land.  To the delight of the farmer who lived there, Ed bought a 30-acre parcel that was virtually un-farmable.

Over the next 20 years, Ed toiled away in complete secrecy.  Working only at night and completely alone, Ed quarried huge slabs of petrified coral and then, single handedly, raised enormous monoliths of coral sculpture, some weighing as much as 30 tons.  These included a 25 foot "Polaris telescope" that perfectly framed the North Star, a "rock gate" weighing 9 tons that was balanced so correctly on its axis that a child could turn it and a majestic castle made of coral, where Ed lived for the rest of his life.

How did he do this?  Ed was a hermit and lived completely alone.  He had only the most basic tools for digging and stone carving. Though he had a winch for lifting car engines the maximum weight it could lift was 8 tons, and most of his monoliths were 2 and 3 times that weight.  Ed never spoke about his work but one time when asked how he did it he replied; "I have discovered the method by which the ancients have raised their monuments".  He never said what those methods were and Ed took his secret to the grave.  He died in 1951 leaving behind The Coral Castle, which remains to this day and is open for the public to see.

How did he do this?  There are some clues.  For one, he was a student of magnetism and wrote a few self-published treatises on electromagnetics.  He built a mysterious generator out of magnets taken from car engines with which, some say, he reversed gravity and "floated" the enormous slabs.  Others say aliens helped him.  But there is another clue.  It’s a quote from Calvin Coolidge that Ed included at the end of his book:

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
One thing Ed certainly possessed was tenacity and persistence and a rigorously disciplined mind.  As Picasso said: "anything you can imagine can become real" - yes, if you work hard and persistently.  Never give up!  How did Ed raise his monoliths?  I don’t think it was extra-terrestrial or magic.  I think it was imagination and unrelenting hard work.   I think of J.S. Bach, who created a musical Coral Castle - a monolith of music.  When asked how he did it Bach replied; "anyone could do as I did as long as they were inclined to work as hard as I did".  Musicians know better than anybody about practice - disciplined concentrated daily work that yields results over time.  That same principle can be applied to one’s inner-self - building daily, a spiritual Coral Castle within your heart that is formidable and impenetrable.  The trick is to never quit, keep on keeping on.  Apply yourself daily.  Keep on practicing, Cats!

Some great music coming up this week at both corners of 10th street and 7th ave.  Check the schedule and come out!  I look forward to seeing you at the clubs.


NOW: A cover paid at Mezzrow also gets you admission to Smalls.
Mezzrow proudly endorses Steinway pianos

Monday - 4/13
Phil Harper w. Miki Yamanaka & George Delancy

Trumpet legend Phil Harper returns with his trio that features pianist Miki Yamanaka and bassist George Delancey.

Purchase advanced seats for $15 or $20 at the door.

John Merrill Solo Guitar @ 7:30 PM
Phil Harper sets at 9:30 pm and 11:00 pm


Tuesday - 4/14
Barbara Rosene & Ehud Asherie

Vocalist Barbara Rosene has a deep love for the traditional jazz and a great swinging, happy feeling.  Come out for this evening of vocal duets at Mezzrow with pianist Ehud Asherie.

Doors open @ 7 PM
Duo sets @ 8 PM & 9:30 PM

Mezzrow "polite jam session" @ 10:30 PM

To advance purchase a reserved seat click:

Wednesday - 4/15
Peter Zak & Peter Washington

Pianist Peter Zak has been a longtime force on the jazz scene.  He plays clean lines with a fluid technique, has a hard swinging feel and a modern approach.  With him is one of the best of bass - Peter Washington for a night of duets.

 Happy Hour Solo Piano @ 7:30 PM
Duo sets @ 9 PM & 10:30 PM

Mezzrow "polite jam session" @ 11:30 PM

To advance purchase a reserved seat click:

Thursday - 4/16
Guitarist Peter Bernstein

One of the premier voices of his generation on guitar, Peter Bernstein comes in for an evening at Mezzrow.

 Happy Hour Solo Piano @ 7:30 PM
Duo sets @ 9 PM & 10:30 PM

Jon Davis Solo Piano @ 11:30 PM

To advance purchase a reserved seat click:

Friday, Saturday - 4/17-18
Aaron Parks & Solomon Dorsey
  • Pianist Aaron Parks is a sparkling modernist with a wonderful musical sense of humor and sensibility.  With him is the bassist Solomon Dorsey.  Join them for a weekend at Mezzrow on our new Steinway A.

    Fri - Ehud Asherie Solo Piano @ 7:15 PM
    Sat - Spike Wilner w. special guests 
    @ 7:15 PM
    Duo sets @ 9 PM & 10:30 PM

    To advance purchase a reserved seat click:

Sunday - 4/19
Bucky Pizzarelli & Ed Laub Duo
  • Bucky Pizzarelli and Ed Laub are a natural duet - beautiful swing feeling and tradition wrapped with humor, romance and joy.  This is a feel good set of music!  Don't miss them in our intimate Music Room setting.


    Set from 7:30 PM to 9 PM


Sunday - 4/19 & Monday 4/20
Nicholas Payton & Vicente Archer
  • Nicholas Payton is widely regarded as one of the top instrumental voices of his generation.  Join him tonight for a rare evening of duets (trumpet and piano) with bassist Vicente Archer in Mezzrow's austere music room.

    Sets at 9:30 PM & 11 PM

    To advance purchase a reserved seat click:


(a selection of featured shows)

For our full schedule please go to

Monday - 4/13
Claude Diallo Trio

Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
w. Claude Diallo - Piano, Curtis Ostle - Bass,
Eliot Zigmund - Drums

Pianist Claude Diallo returns to Smalls with his excellent trio that feautres the legendary Eliot Zigmund on drums.
Monday - 4/13
Ari Hoenig Quartet
Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM

w. Tivon Pennicott - Tenor Sax, Dave Kikoski - Piano, Johannes Wiedenmueller - Bass, Ari Hoenig - Drums

Resident drummer Ari Hoenig brings in his dynamic quartet that features the burning pianist Dave Kikoski.
Tuesday - 4/14
Lucas Pino
No Net Nonet

Sets at 9:30 PM & 11 PM

w. Lucas Pino - Tenor Sax, Alex LoRe - Alto Sax, Andrew Gutauskas - Baritone Sax, Nick Finzer - Trombone, Ingrid Jensen - Trumpet, Adam Birnbaum - Piano, Rafal Sarnecki - Guitar, Desmond White - Bass, Aaron Kimmel - Drums
Wednesday - 4/15
Jure Pukl Quintet - CD release party
Special guest Melissa Aldana

Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
 w. Jure Pukl - Tenor Sax, Charles Altura - Guitar, Sam Harris - Piano, Hans Glawischnig - Bass, Rodney Green - Drums

Tenor saxophonist Jure Puki celebrates the release of his new CD with a great group that features the work of fellow tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana.
Wednesday - 4/15
Bruce Harris Quintet
Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM
w. Bruce Harris - Trumpet, Grant Stewart - Tenor Sax, Michael Weiss - Piano, David Wong - Bass,
Joe Farnsworth - Drums

Hard swinging trumpet player Bruce Harris brings in an all-star group that showcases pianist Michael Weiss and the great Joe Farnsworth on drums.
Thursday - 4/16
Ralph Alessi Baida Quintet
Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM

w. Ralph Alessi - Trumpet, Gary Versace - Piano, Drew Gress - Bass, Dan Weiss - Drums

Trumpetist Ralph Alessi makes a rare appearance at Smalls with his group that features the work of stellar pianist Gary Versace.
Thursday - 4/16
The Nick Hempton Band
Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM

w. Nick Hempton - Alto Sax, Dana Aran - Drums, Tadataka Unno - Piano, Dave Baron - Bass

The modest and understated Nick Hempton brings in his excellent quartet for two sets of swinging jazz music.
Friday - 4/17
David Schnitter Quartet
Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
$20 for this show
w. David Schnitter - Tenor Sax, Spike Wilner - Piano, Ugonna Okegwo - Bass, Anthony Pinciotti - Drums

Tenor saxophonist David Schnitter is a jazz legend having served in the ranks of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers for 12 years.
Friday, Saturday - 4/17-18
Joe Farnsworth Quartet
Sets at 10:30 PM & 12 AM

$20 for this show
 w. Eric Alexander - Tenor Sax, David Hazeltine - Piano, Essiet Essiet - Bass, Joe Farnsworth - Drums

Drummer Joe Farnsworth comes to Smalls with an all-star quartet that features the work of the powerful Eric Alexander on the tenor, David Hazeltine on piano and Essiet Essiet on drums.

Saturday - 4/18
Steve LaSpina Group
Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
 w. Joel Frahm - Tenor Sax, Matthew Fries - Piano, Steve LaSpina - Bass, Jon DiFiore - Drums

Bassist Steve LaSpina is a master and also a great composer.  He returns to Smalls with his excellent group that features the loveable Joel Frahm on tenor.
Sunday - 4/19
Emilio Solla y La Inestable
de Brooklyn

Sets at 4:30 PM & 6 PM
 w. John Bailey - Trumpet, John Ellis - Tenor Sax, Peter Brainin - Tenor Sax, Ryan Keberle - Trombone, Victor Prieto - Accordian, Emilio Solla - Piano, Jorge Roeder - Bass, Dave Silliman - Drums
Sunday - 4/19
Sole-ful Sunday Tap Show
With Michela Lerman

Sets at 7:30 PM & 9 PM
w. Michela Lerman - Tap Dancer

Tap dance master Michela Lerman returns to Smalls for an evening of swinging jazz and tap dancing.
Sunday - 4/19
Behn Gillece Quintet
Sets at 10:30 PM to close

w. Behn Gillece - Vibraphone, Ken Fowser - Tenor Sax, Jeremy Manasia - Piano, Clovis Nicolas - Bass, Charles Ruggiero - Drums


Monday - 4/13, 1 AM to close
Afterhours with Jonathan Barber


Tuesday - 4/14, 7:30 PM to close 
The Spike Wilner Trio

Tuesday - 4/14, 12:30 AM to close 
The Next Generation Sessions with Kyle Poole

Wednesday - 4/15, 1:30 AM to close 
Afterhours Jam Session


Thursday - 4/16, 1:30 AM to close 
Afterhours Jam Session


Friday - 4/17, 4:30 PM to 7 PM
Friday afternoon open jam session With :
Sanah Kadoura Trio


Friday - 4/17, 1:15 AM
Friday Afterhours With :
Jeremy Manasia Trio

Saturday - 4/18, 4 PM to 7 PM
Saturday Afternoon Open Jam Session
With : Tuomo Uusitalo Trio

Saturday - 4/18, 1:30 AM to close
Afterhours with Stacy Dillard

Sunday - 4/19, 1 PM to 3 PM
Vocal Masterclass with Marion Cowings 
$20 entry, $40 to participate


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