Debut Release from Ted Sirotas Heavyweight Dub

December 30, 2013

Please help support the family of Dwayne Burno

This weekend the jazz community lost a master of the bass and I lost a dear friend. Dwayne Burno & I started playing together in 1988 at Berklee College of Music in Boston and remained friends ever since. Dwayne was a first call bassist for legends like Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Roy Haynes and countless others. I think the only thing that Dwayne loved as much as music was his wife Wendy and his 7 year old son Quinn. Please help them with this transition stage in their lives while the grieve the loss of Dwayne. Any amount will help. Thanks, Ted

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November 14, 2013

Lessons Learned From Our Kickstarter Campaign

Note 1/25/15: This Kickstarter campaign took place in May 2013. Keep this in mind as things change so rapidly in the cyber-world and I have no idea what changes have occurred with Kickstarter since that time.

A number of people have come to me asking for advice about doing a Kickstarter campaign. I knew nothing about Kickstarter before I launched mine, but I learned a lot in the process. A couple days after the end of our campaign I sat down and typed out some thoughts about the experience so I wouldn’t forget what I learned. I’ve shared this with a few friends, but I’m making it available publicly now in case it might help others. I’m not trying to present myself as an “expert” or anything like that. This is simply just my advice when people ask me…

Here are some things I learned from running our successful Kickstarter campaign to bring legendary Jamaican engineer & “Dub Chemist”, The Scientist, to Chicago to record and mix the debut album from Ted Sirota’s Heavyweight Dub.

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August 5, 2013

Please help Griffin Rodriguez with medical costs!

Our dear pal Griffin Rodriguez, who engineered the Ted Sirota Rebel Souls CD “Breeding Resistance”,  was in a serious bike accident resulting in brain and neck injury. He has been in critical care for four days and getting the best medical care money can buy at Cedar Sinai. Thankfully he’s out of ICU but is still hospitalized-
He’s talking and improving daily but he’s going to need our help now and going forward with medical bills, therapy, a possible future neck surgery and rehabilitation. Please give ANYTHING you can…even $5, and please post and SHARE with friends. Musicians unite, humans unite. Griff’s a dear, dear soul and deserves our love. If you don’t know him, skip a latte and pay it forward to a very worthy soul. (It’ll feel good, I promise.) All donations are going straight to Griff and Jane’s account even though the profile has my name on it since I made the page. Five thousand people donating $20.00 will get us to our goal. Spread the word.
And Jane wants everyone to WEAR YOUR HELMETS, Griff had his on, thank god.
Also, if you want to be the ultimate helper here, please don’t only rely on folks seeing this gofundme link you’re (hopefully) going to share on FB. I’m sure many of Griff’s friends will miss it by not being online right when it’s visible in their feed. Please email people you know who care and would want to help out with in your email. Thank you, Angel person, for helping out.
(Also some have asked about sending checks. Their home address is
2239 Alcyona Drive
La, Ca 90068 )

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February 20, 2013

Introducing Ted Sirota’s Heavyweight Dub!

HEAVYWEIGHT-DUBI’m thrilled to announce my newest musical project – Ted Sirota’s Heavyweight Dub (Facebook page). We are a live dub reggae band in the tradition of the great Jamaican studio and backing bands amp; producers such as King Tubby, Scientist, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Roots Radics, The Upsetters, Sly amp; Robbie, The Revolutionaries etc. The band will also feature my original music.  (more…)

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January 16, 2013

Viva Pete La Roca Sims!

59627_4356032571636_1864120790_nBack on November 20, 2012, one of my favorite drummers passed away – Pete “La Roca” Sims. I did get a chance to hear Mr. Sims play live only one time and I chatted with him for a few minutes.

This was at his first “comeback” gig in the late ’80’s/early ’90’s (I don’t quite remember the exact date) at the club Visiones in NYC. Some friends and I drove down from Boston spcifically to hear La Roca. I wondered why one of my favorite drummers, and one of the most prolific drummers of the ’60’s, had given up his career as a jazz drummer to become a laywer, so I asked him. I expected a gruff, cold response for some reason – I don’t know why. I actually got the opposite – a very thoughtful, warm, polite response, and someone who was willing to chat with this dorky little college student about some of the most important decisions of his life. His answer was simple. (more…)

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January 16, 2013

Happy Belated New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!  I’ve been M.I.A. from the website for a bit, but I’m back! Some fun gigs coming up over the next few weeks. Check the Gigs link for more info. Other than the usual Sabertooth Saturday gig, next week I’ll be playing with my old old buddy Brian O’Hern and his Model Citizens Big Band, and a trio gig with my great friends Geof Bradfield and Clark Sommers. Later in the month I’ll be playing trio with Caroline Davis and Charlie Kirchen, and then heading to Cincinnati to play with Fareed Haque and Tony Monaco. I’m looking forward to making some damn good music. Hope to see some of you out and about soon!

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August 14, 2012

Long Live Vonski!

As most of you know by now, legendary tenor saxophonist, musician, mentor, and human being, Von Freeman passed away Sunday at the age of 88. The tributes, stories, and memories are pouring out of Chicago musicians.  One would be hard pressed to find a jazz musician in Chicago that wasn’t influenced by Von in one way or another.  I just wanted to share a couple things about my experiences with Von that have always stuck with me that perhaps might not get touched on otherwise. (more…)

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December 6, 2011

ESPN Radio “Jazz” Debate!

I was driving to pick up my daughter from school this afternoon when I turned on ESPN 1000 here in Chicago.  For some reason, I still don’t know why, they were arguing over who wrote “Take Five”.  None of them had ever heard of Paul Desmond.  Their conversation was starting to piss me off so I called up.  I told the producer that “I have to set these guys straight about this stuff”.  I told him I was a jazz drummer and he put me right through!  That’s the first time I’ve ever been treated better by saying I’m a jazz drummer!  Usually they tell me to go away or go through the back door or the kitchen.  Anyway, the whole thing was pretty funny.  Check it out.  If you don’t want to hear the whole thing, I come in around 2:50.  I bet this was the first time Jim Hall’s name got mentioned on sports radio!  I’m proud of that at least.

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December 3, 2011

“The Master” Alan Dawson

I posted these videos to my YouTube channel today.  Studying with Alan back in 87-89 was a very important period in my musical development. Twenty-four years later I still have his voice echoing in my head, as I’m sure so many people do who had the great fortune to study with him.

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November 29, 2011

Lin Halliday

Lin Halliday and Ted SirotaI uploaded this picture of Lin Halliday to the gallery today.  Yes, that’s me looking like a young dork back there. This photo is from 1992 or 93. We were playing at the Get Me High Lounge on Honore in Bucktown.  For those of you who were not around back then, The Get Me High was a Chicago jazz institution.  The bathroom was actually ON the stage.  Unlike the Green Mill, where you walk alongside the stage to get to the john, at the Get Me High you actually had to walk on stage to get to it.  One of the famous stories about it is that Jimmy Carter hung out there once, while he was president, to have a beer and listen to some jazz.  I have fond memories of these times. (more…)

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