Daniel "Sly" Slipetsky (left) and Michael Fan
Daniel “Sly” Slipetsky (left) and Michael Fan

On Dec. 31, 1913 a young Louis Armstrong celebrated New Year’s Eve by running out on the street and firing a pistol. He was arrested and sent to the Colored Waifs Home for Boys. There, an instructor at the home, Peter Davis, taught Louis to play the cornet. What if it had been a violin?Come take a musical stroll through the history of jazz with violinist Michael Fan and pianist Daniel “Sly” Slipetsky in their program, “If Louie Played the Fiddle.” The journey will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday (Aug. 25) in the Great Room of the Arizona Senior Academy.

Fan, first violin in the Tucson Symphony and Concertmaster of the Tucson Pops Orchestra, is also an accomplished composer. He has written chamber music for varied ensembles as well as “Musical Adventures” for children featuring original stories along with music.

His Dr. Solara and the Fossil Fools was performed on the Mall in Washington D.C. to accompany the University of Arizona’s entry in the Solar House Decathalon. His solar-powered piano trio, The Solar Storytellers, performed his Phoebe, the Photon at the Aspen Science Festival.

Michael enjoys improvisation and non-classical styles including klezmer, tango and jazz. You may find him jamming with Sly Slipetsky and Tony Frank at local venues.

Slipetsky is a free-lance jazz pianist/tuba player who began studying piano at age 8 and picked up the tuba at 14. During high school summer music camps, he received his first taste of jazz and improvising. He further honed his jazz skills at universities in Delaware and Arizona.

Active in the Tucson music scene, he has performed as soloist at McMahon’s Prime Steakhouse, and at Elliott’s and Unplugged with Tony Frank on trumpet and vocals.

Written by Leslie Nitzberg, Academy Village Volunteer

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What if Satchmo Played the Fiddle?: August 2015