About JazzErie

Last-minute, emergency piano surgery successful.

Howard Hamme, right, with Stan Bialomizy, Dick Thompson & Bart PlatteauIt's 7:45 p.m. on a wintry Saturday evening.  The phone rings.

Hi, Howard.  Are you dressed?"

(?? Is this some kind of a sex pervert?)

"I know that this is an unreasonable request, but We have a piano that needs emergency surgery."

(?? So?)

"We're at the JazzErie Amina Figerova concert at the Art Museum. The piano has a midrange key that won't work, and Figerova won't go on unless it's fixed.  She's the piano player, and it's her band."

You're right, you're making an  unreasonable request...but I'll do it.

That's pretty much the conversation I had with Howard Hamme, who appeared within 10 minutes with his tool bag, went right to work, located the offending key, removed the keyboard and hammers, replaced the key assembly that wouldn't work with another one from the piano's lower register, tested and reassembled the piano, all within about 20 minutes. While the rest of us non-piano-surgeons stood around agape.
Amina Figerova in Erie
Howard left for home. Figerova and her musicians played an absolutely outstanding concert.  Much joy for all!

Howard Hamme
Another way for us to express our thanks is to go to the Colony Pub & Grille, 2670 W. 8th St., any Thursday evening between 7 and 9:30 p.m., where Howard, Carl Alanakian and Harry Jacobson hold forth, as the Colony House Trio. Food and drinks are great and so is the music! A very pleasant evening.  Howard has retired from the piano sales business, but he plays up a tasteful, literate storm.  


Dick Thompson
March 8, 2014