Off Square On Air is brought to you by Off Square Music and the Woodstock Opera House
Off Square on Air is a series of two-hour concert/interview shows. We are excited to invite you to this pilot for what we hope will become a major real-time and online contribution to great music.
Our first concert, Wednesday, September 7, 7:00 pm CDT brings you Don Stiernberg and John Parrott (see below for more information).
Hosted by Joe Pesz, each event in the series features a performer or a group of performers bringing us what we love — their music. But there’s more!
As host, Joe Pesz chats with performers between songs, drawing out their unique stories, thoughts, experiences, and tips. The live audience is invited to become co-creators, adding to the experience with their own questions, comments, and stories. Zoom attendees — you too are invited to join in via Chat!!
Shows are ticketed events in person and for live-streaming on Zoom. Reserve in advance for live shows as well as to receive the Zoom link for the live-stream.
Check back to this page for new information – concert-related sales and possible contests or giveaways!
Attend at Stage Left. Tickets are $15.00/pp to attend the live event at Stage Left Cafe. Get your tickets for the live event here, at the bottom of this page.
Attend via Zoom. You can also enjoy the concert from home! Tickets are $10.00/pp to attend via Zoom. Get your Zoom tickets here, at the bottom of this page. Prior to the event, we’ll send an email with the Zoom link to everyone who purchased tickets.
Following live shows, events are edited to one-hour webcasts and made available as a webcast in the Off Square Music website Video Gallery.
Don recently began his fifth decade as a working musician. Along the way he has been involved in many musical activities: performing, writing, recording, producing, and teaching, but is best known for his mandolin playing.
Born and still based in Chicago, the mandolin found Don as he grew up “out in the woods” in the nearly-rural suburb of Wauconda, Illinois. A desire to make music with his banjo and guitar playing brother led Don to appropriate a mandolin that had been given to him.
Things came into focus both mandolin and life-wise when his parents sent Don to study with Jethro Burns, famous comedian (Homer and Jethro) and the greatest mandolinist of his time. From the very first lesson, Burns was more than a teacher. He was role model, hero, mentor, and friend, and Stiernberg was hooked and hooked bad on the mandolin. His earliest professional experience was in a bluegrass band with his brother (The Morgan Bros.) and a bit later in The Jethro Burns Quartet.
Currently Don is regarded as a leading exponent of jazz mandolin style, and a respected teacher.
The most recent of his nine recording projects is “Good Numbers,” a collection of standards and jazz tunes played by his working band, The Don Stiernberg Trio. Also released in 2016 were three online video instructional courses for Soundslice.com.
The trio has performed coast to coast as well as in Germany and Brazil. Don conveys his love of the mandolin and music at events such as The Mandolin Symposium (CA), The Swannanoa Gathering (NC), Django in June (MA), Mandolin and Guitar Camp North (MA), Steve Kaufman Acoustic Camp (TN), River of the West Mandolin Camp (OR), Cape Cod Mandolin Camp (MA), Ashokan Swing Week (NY), Accademia Internacionale di Mandolino (Italy), European Mandoline Akademy (Germany)and Momento Rio Bandolim (Brazil).
John is “a superb rhythm guitarist based in Wisconsin. He performed with Jethro Burns after Homer Haynes passed away. John’s great rhythm playing can be heard on many recordings, including ‘The Swing Sessions’ with Don Stiernberg and Jim Cox.” ~ Editor’s Note on a piece about Freddie Green by John Parrott: https://www.freddiegreen.org/technique/parrott.html
John “is a rare species in the vast genus of acoustic guitarists. He plays the archtop rhythm guitar in a style that was common from the 1930s to the 1950s (think Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, and Bob Wills). For forty years he’s applied his skills, sensibilities, and adult chords to the field of String Jazz, backing up such luminaries as John Hartford, Vassar Clements, and Steve Goodman. John is especially noted for his many years of laying down the swinging pulse for the great jazz mandolinists Jethro Burns and Don Stiernberg. John currently works and records with Milwaukee musicians Chris Hanson, Robin Pluer and an assortment of jazz and swing artists.” ~ From Isthmus Jan. 7, 2020
John is “‘Guitar George’…he knows all the chords…” (Sultans of Swing) ~ From Rich Prezioso
Joe is a well-known figure in Woodstock music circles. He is on the board of Off Square Music and as part of it involved in organizing and promoting music in the area.
Joe was part of a well-known and much-loved band in the Woodstock area, the Stage Leftovers. The Leftovers (Pete Jonnson, George Koester, Brian Murphy, Laurel Palma, Joe Pesz, Rich Prezioso, Les Urban, and Joe Wadz) played twice monthly for more than 12 years at Stage Left Cafe.
Interviewing experience? Joe got lots of it chatting with musicians as host of Woodstock Roundup, a radio program modelled on Prairie Home Companion that he introduced on Harvard Community Radio.
We hope to see you at Stage Left Cafe or on Zoom and look forward to your feedback on this pilot program.
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