Long, Shiny, Moves People

In the lobby of the Cadillac Hotel waits a beautifully restored grand piano, an 1884 Steinway. The Cadillac is a place for down-and-outers to find a home when they have none, and the piano's part of the plan. If this all sounds like a Tom Waits song, just hold the phone, because it has a happy ending. As a memorial to his sister, one Lee Walkup (Swear -- Not making this up) bought a hundred year old set of ivories, and installed it in the joint she'd spent so long helping with – it was one of the first non-profit SRO hotels in the West when it went up in 1907. The gesture was swell, but even better is the "Concerts at the Cadillac" series, designed to "provide great uplifting music for the people of the Tenderloin," according to the Web site of the Patricia Walkup Memorial Piano. We'd add: "… and the rest of you, as well." It's a great way to unwind every week, but today, the Dan Zemelman Quartet brings some serious jazz chops (drummer Alan Hall's played with Dizzy Gillespie and Eddie Harris) and a bandleader who really knows his way around the 88s. Expect satisfyingly complicated bebop, tough yet silky.
Fridays, noon, 2008

 
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