Jim Duffy: Home
Hello, this is Three Dots Music, the home base for the musical activities of Jim Duffy.
Thank you for visiting, and welcome. To hear some tunes, please visit the expanded Music page.
Do you know about Make Music New York? For the past seven years, on the day of the summer solstice, usually June 21, Make Music New York has organized live music performances all over the city, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
This year, on Friday, June 21, Make Music New York returns, and more than 650 music groups and individual artists will be performing at more than 300 venues throughout the five boroughs.
As a city-dweller and pedestrian, I have found it a cool thing to run into. In Manhattan, and in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, I have heard some cool music ensembles and not-bad singers and fun rock bands that I wouldn't have seen otherwise. You find all kinds of music on the sidewalks that day, and in the parks, in public gardens and on corners and plazas -- folk music, pop music, soul and R&B, ethnic music of all kinds, jazz, classical, experimental, avant garde. All live and all free.
This year, I, Jim Duffy, will perform two solo sets of moody and bouncy instrumental music, using an electronic keyboard, in Queens, as part of Make Music New York, on Friday, June 21.
At 1 p.m., I will perform on the sidewalk in front of Sweet Leaf, a cafe at 10-93 Jackson Ave. in Long Island City.
At 4 p.m., I will perform another solo set in front of Cafe Bar, 3290 36th St. in Astoria.
If you're in the city that day, check the schedule for Make Music New York and go see some live music. And if you're in Queens that day, come by and say hello.
Jim Duffy -- that's me -- is a New York-based keyboard player, electric bassist, composer and session musician.
Since 2000 or so, I have focused primarily on composing, recording and performing original instrumental music. My first album of original tunes -- I still call them albums -- was "Side One," which was released in 2004. My second album, "Mood Lit," was released in 2009. The third installment is in the works.
I have also done plenty of studio session work, playing on records by the Bottle Rockets, Sour Jazz, Greg Trooper, Reid Paley, the Fleshtones, Florence Dore, Eric "Roscoe" Ambel, Joe Flood, the Damnwells, Jim Koeppel, Will Rigby and many others. And I have performed on stage with rock and roll pioneer Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon, rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson and many others.
In the 1980s, I co-founded and played bass guitar in the Boston band Rods and Cones, which was known for its quirky grooves and unbridled performances. In the 1990s, I co-founded and played keyboards for the New York band Martin's Folly, which explored many forms of 20th century U.S. music.
In the past year or two, Rods and Cones have regrouped to play some gigs in the Boston area. And Martin's Folly never quite broke up -- we sometimes re-convene for our own amazement. So I'm glad to know that my old bands can still make some sweet music.
And new projects keep cropping up. I'm part of a group called Mitra Sumara. We play Persian pop music from the pre-revolutionary Iran, music from the 1960s and 1970s. The group is led by vocalist Yvette Perez, who has gained some expertise in Farsi language and music. Yvette has assembled an eight-piece group that is starting to shimmy-shammy from Brooklyn Bowl to the Kennedy Center.
In the meantime, I've been playing some solo piano gigs, playing my own tunes, plus some bluesy and ragtimey jamming, plus some favorite pop tunes, plus some unusual takes on the American popular songbook of the 1930s and '40s, plus some ethnic music.
Again, thanks for visiting. Please have a look around, and a listen.
Here is a clip of Mitra Sumara performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 12, 2012:
To see the entire concert of Mitra Sumara at the Kennedy Center, click here.
Mitra Sumara is a 16-legged psychedelic funk band that plays a repertoire of music from pre-revolutionary Iran -- Persian pop music of the 1960s and early '70s. Ingredients:
Yvette Perez: Vocals, bandleader
Peter Zummo: Trombone, percussion
Bill Ruyle: Hammer dulcimer
Julian Maile: Guitar, vocals
Sam Kulik: Bass, vocals
Brian Geltner: Drums
Michael Evans: Percussion
Jim Duffy: Keyboards
Read about Mitra Sumara in the Washington City Paper!
Read an interview with Yvette Perez here!
And another interview with Yvette here!
Mitra Sumara at Brooklyn Bowl. Left to right, Peter Zummo, Jim Duffy, Sam Kulik, Brian Geltner, Julian Maile (obscured), Yvette Perez, Bill Ruyle. Photo by Kathleen Gacek.
Thanks to WFMU, Rob Weisberg and Transpacific Sound Paradise for hosting Mitra Sumara for a live radio broadcast. If you would like to hear how it went down, go here to hear an archived broadcast.
Mitra Sumara performs pop music of pre-revolutionary Iran. That's right: Persian pop music of the 1960s and early 1970s. This music features pulsating rhythms, wheezing electric organ, pumping horns, keening melodies and tragic lyrics that Yvette Perez sings in the original Farsi.
Mitra Sumara is hitting the groove and going deep into the pocket with this exotic and spicy psychedelic funk.
Assorted posts and essays:
Recent Listening: Mary Lou Williams, 801 Live, John Zorn
Opus No. 3 Is Under Way, and you're the first to know!
Random Notes and Updates: What this post lacks in flash, it makes up for in sincerity.
Non-Expression in Music: Does this essay make my ass look pretentious?
Rocking With Wanda: Rock and roll pioneer Wanda Jackson is finally getting her due. Here are some reminiscences from my brief stint as Wanda's piano player.
Last Call at the Lakeside Lounge: Notes on a rocking little venue's 15-year run, and its closing.
Notes From Zuccotti Park: Observations from a nearby office building.
Thank You, Burt Bacharach: Let's appreciate this man while we still have him.
While You Were Out: Experimental activities of a confidential nature.
The House of Hits: How my old Boston band Rods and Cones met a high-rolling starmaker, with world-shaking consequences -- but not for us!
Herm, Part 1: Time-traveling to a Saturday afternoon in 1981 when we tried to write an album.
The Early Rods and Cones, 1982: When you try to create something, you often end up with something quite different.
'Education in Love': Rods and Cones' greatest hit.
The Elliot Mouser Floating Blues Band: Thirty years after this band blew my mind, I started playing some gigs with them...
Play Me, I'm Yours: Sixty pianos, outdoors in New York, courtesy of British artist Luke Jerram. Here's a hands-on report.
Frank, Before and After, 1989. Here are some non-musical notes from a strange, outlier period.
Notes on Hank Jones (1918-2010): He was a jazz pianist with a magic touch and a graceful manner to match.