Friday, October 6, 2017

The home of the red piano

Henry Ford once told his car-makers back in the early 20th century that they could paint his Fords any color - as long as it was black. Just like Ford's vintage Model T's back in the day, pianos are black more often than not.

Once in a while, you may find a white one, or some in their natural wood brown tones. But you really have to search to find an acoustic grand that's red.

The red piano is the visual and aural centerpiece at 88 Keys Florida, where it is a stark contrast to the primarily gray-and-black motif of this modern-looking piano bar and restaurant at the Wyvern Hotel in Punta Gorda FL. 88 Keys features jazz four nights a week. I finally got a chance to visit on Friday and found it quite different than many of the other restaurant gigs in southwest Florida.

The sleek and modern designer look is quite unusual. The room holds less than 30 people, which is not ideal, but the featured bands tend to draw regulars who are big fans. Singer-pianist Danny Sinoff's trio with drummer Patricia Dean and bassist Scott Smith performs on Thursdays and Fridays from 7-10 p.m. The Wednesday and Saturday performers vary from week to week.
Dean, Smith, Sinoff

Sinoff is always a treat. He digs mightily into the Great American Songbook, particularly Sinatra covers. While he is a fine singer, and has a strong following in that regard, I find his piano solos even more enjoyable as he takes familiar material to unexpected places. 

If you haven't heard him - or heard him lately, check him out at 88 Keys Florida, La Fiorentina Cafe Italiano in Punta Gorda on Tuesdays or the Roadhouse Cafe in Fort Myers, where he performs Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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