Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Angelo Meli
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Angelo Meli

Jack Pine - March 23rd, 2009
Angelo Meli
Jack Pine 3/23/09

When guitarist Angelo Meli was asked if someone could become a better musician after 50 years and beyond, he pretty much scoffs at the question.
“Oh yeah, unless you have some physical impairment,” Meli says emphatically, after finishing his weekly Tuesday solo gig at Oryana Food Co-op in Traverse City. “I’m sure I am a better guitar player than I was a week ago.”
His response wasn’t anything like a boast. Meli, 58, knows that practice and focus brings positive results. He has been playing guitar most of his life and is currently playing more than ever. In addition to Tuesday’s at Oryana from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., he gigs regularly with the Neptune Quartet and the Rhythm Kings and he now has over 20 guitar students. He is one of a handful of local musicians that run around town with their equipment, from lessons to gigs, just like in the big city.
Meli began playing guitar in his teens and started to get serious about it when he worked for renowned guitar maker and player Dan Erlewine in Ann Arbor. Meli also had a job working maintenance at the University of Michigan Medical School.
“My boss would say ‘If you get your work done, you can bring your guitar here and practice,’” Meli says. “I would get my work done in four hours and practice four hours in a little janitor’s closet.”

FROM BERKLEE TO R&B
From there Meli went to the well-known Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he learned how to read music. He then toured with a rhythm and blues band that played Holiday Inns. He eventually landed in Florida, where the financial realities of life on the road as musician were becoming apparent and he went back to school and got a degree in accounting.
Citing the discomfort of wearing a suit and tie in Florida in the summer time, Meli turned his thoughts northward. In 1981, he was able to get a job with a firm in Traverse City. He has been there ever since, working as an accountant until last July when, as he says, he was able to “hang up his calculator.”
Meli never stopped playing guitar though, and has spent many of his weekends at outlying bars in Fife Lake, Thompsonville and Frankfort. He has played in blues bands, variety bands and a Tex-Mex outfit that played a little bit of everything. For several years he was in the house band that hosted open mic nights on Mondays at the Union Street Street Station.
In ’01, Meli’s evolution as musician took another step forward when he joined up with Don Julin, Glenn Wolff and Crispin Campbell to form the Neptune Quartet. Neptune plays a blend of jazz, classical, folk and a bit of Frank Zappa for good measure. It is structured and studied music, but also creative and free flowing and includes lots of space for improvisation - both of which are Meli’s strong suits.
“I owe a lot to Don Julin, in so far as being a musical mentor,” Meli says. “He’s a great band leader. He’s disciplined and demanding in a good way and is also a
great player.”

EXPERIMENTAL GUITAR
Meli and Julin also play as a duo at Scott’s Harbor Grill in the summer and the Neptune Quartet stays busy playing summer festivals, private parties and at Poppycock’s, located in downtown Traverse City, about twice a month. Neptune has recorded four CDs together and their music is often featured as interlude music on Interlochen Public Radio’s news station.
At Oryana, Meli plays what he calls experimental guitar. He stands in the middle of about a half a dozen effects boxes. He creates and layers bass, rhythm and percussion tracks and plays the song on top of it all on his shimmering sounding and looking Carvin electric guitar. The songs include jazz standards such as “My Favorite Things,” and “All Blues” and then he’ll throw in Hank Williams “Cold, Cold, Heart” as well as several Beatles covers. On this Tuesday, Meli played a beautiful version of John Lennon’s “Julia.”
“I never played solo before this,” Meli says. “I wanted to see if I could get it all happening, not have it sound like karaoke and make it sound musical. I don’t know if I have succeeded or not, but it’s getting better all the time.”
Getting better is a persistent theme with Meli. Practice, study and discipline is his approach and is what he teaches his students, but for him it doesn’t stop there.
“Guitar is my instrument,” Meli says. “But it is the music that has the meaning. To me, music is a spiritual language that can transcend everything else. I am always trying to read better and play more
precisely. It is like learning a language. The more words you know, the more articulate you can be, the better you can communicate the music.”

Angelo can be contacted for lessons and gigs at: angelomeli@ymail.com or at Zamar Guitar: 231-929-0097.


 
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