Cherie Craze is one of Houston's unrecognized wonders. Like lots of shy teenagers, the self-taught guitarist spent a good deal of her childhood hiding out in her room, wrapped around her guitar, teaching herself to play. What sets Craze apart from most pimply-faced, angst-ridden adolescents is the fire in her heart and the amazing talent in those ten little digits. From the beginning she was good. And after years of practice, her fingers have learned to fly like tiny devils on fire over the strings of her guitar. Her pad is now piled high with just about every sort of string instrument ever invented, including a banjo, a lap steel guitar and the bajillion guitars she owns. It doesn't matter if it's classical, flamenco, western or pop-rock -- she can play it. And when she opens up her mouth to sing, out comes a sound so beautiful, it could make grown men weep. This is one fine player who really ought to quit her day job.
Cezanne Jazz Club
Though being able to sit on a musician's lap as he plays does not necessarily a great live local-music venue make, fantastic sound and a hospitable atmosphere do (we're talking about a city that is not Los Angeles or New York and where local musicians need that friendly face to turn to for work). Cezanne is the place. Under the artistic stewardship of local pianist Bob Henschen, the tiny hideaway has become a bunker for Houston's jazz pros. From the legendary late piano virtuoso Dave Catney to Malcom Pinson and his Jazz Warriors, every hep cat to ever shake his head in time to that big beat in the sky has occupied this club's warm wood room. Its good vibe and desire to celebrate Houston music are exceptional in a town of clubs whose booking agents believe only Austin acts draw crowds.
Though being able to sit on a musician's lap as he plays does not necessarily a great live local-music venue make, fantastic sound and a hospitable atmosphere do (we're talking about a city that is not Los Angeles or New York and where local musicians need that friendly face to turn to for work). Cezanne is the place. Under the artistic stewardship of local pianist Bob Henschen, the tiny hideaway has become a bunker for Houston's jazz pros. From the legendary late piano virtuoso Dave Catney to Malcom Pinson and his Jazz Warriors, every hep cat to ever shake his head in time to that big beat in the sky has occupied this club's warm wood room. Its good vibe and desire to celebrate Houston music are exceptional in a town of clubs whose booking agents believe only Austin acts draw crowds.
To know why the Margarett Root Brown Reading Series has persevered for 20 years, you need only look at some of the top-notch writers who have participated. Raymond Carver, Margaret Atwood, Donald Barthelme, Robert Pinsky, Galway Kinnel, Tobias Wolff and Jamaica Kincaid are just some of the names on the list. This season continues that same high standard, bringing in Junot Diaz, Chang-Rae Lee, Anne Carson, Frank Bidart and Maxine Hong Kingston, not to mention the Irish-born Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney and Pulitzer Prize-winners Annie Dillard, W.S. Merwin and Michael Cunningham. In fact, attendance was so high last year, Inprint Inc. executive director and series organizer Richard Levy had to find larger venues to meet demand. Readings run from September through April, in four different venues around town. $5; free for students and seniors.
To know why the Margarett Root Brown Reading Series has persevered for 20 years, you need only look at some of the top-notch writers who have participated. Raymond Carver, Margaret Atwood, Donald Barthelme, Robert Pinsky, Galway Kinnel, Tobias Wolff and Jamaica Kincaid are just some of the names on the list. This season continues that same high standard, bringing in Junot Diaz, Chang-Rae Lee, Anne Carson, Frank Bidart and Maxine Hong Kingston, not to mention the Irish-born Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney and Pulitzer Prize-winners Annie Dillard, W.S. Merwin and Michael Cunningham. In fact, attendance was so high last year, Inprint Inc. executive director and series organizer Richard Levy had to find larger venues to meet demand. Readings run from September through April, in four different venues around town. $5; free for students and seniors.

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