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Sussing it out

Jeff Sussmann is used to taking to the stage for all kinds of gigs -- as part of a band, providing choral music support, playing folk-inspired chamber music, taking a role in ensemble jazz, and collaborating in dance-and-instrument concerts. Now he is going solo at Gig Performance Space, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22. The performance, which features both acoustic and electric percussion and is titled Try This at Home!, will let Sussmann show how his hands and feet are under perfect control while being floated on a rhythmic sense that your heart would find comfortingly steady.

A cofounder of "The Drum Is the Voice of the Trees" percussion festival, Sussmann has worked with artists and ensembles including Michael Stearns, Steve Roach, Ottmar Liebert, and ThaMuseMeant. He teaches in the College of Santa Fe's Contemporary Music program. Tickets, which are $15, can be reserved in advance by calling 984-1799 or purchased at the door the evening of performance; 1808-H Second St.

-- Craig Smith

Still doing it his way

Paul Anka was still a teenager when he wrote and performed his first hit, "Diana." (Check out YouTube to see the old video of him performing it against a stage set of barren trees!) It was more than 50 years ago when he first crooned that hit on American Bandstand. A lot of the teen idols of the time were one- or two-hit wonders, but Anka survived the changing tastes and times in the music industry, penning songs that became hits for other performers (including "She's a Lady" for Tom Jones and "My Way" for Frank Sinatra); performing on television and in the occasional film (the World War II epic The Longest Day); creating new hits as he got older (such as 1974's "Having My Baby," which I like to sing at the office, much to my co-workers' dismay); and, of course, playing the casino circuit.

Anka plays the Tewa Grand Ballroom at Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22. Tickets are $49 and $59; call 1-800-905-3315. The resort is about 15 minutes north of Santa Fe at 30 Buffalo Thunder Trail, just off US 84/285. Incidentally, did you know Paul wrote "Puppy Love" for his one-time girlfriend, Annette Funicello? Sweet.

-- Robert Nott

Winners among the reeds

Two gentlemen named Jon are playing for the Los Alamos Concert Association this weekend, and it should be a shimmering kind of artistic experience. Clarinetist Jon Manasse and pianist Jon Nakamatsu are both first-rate performers and subtle musicians, not to mention powerful technicians.

The pair has chosen familiar and unfamiliar music for this concert. Brahms' F Minor sonata for clarinet and piano is one of the cornerstones of the repertoire, but Norbert Burgm-ller's Duo in E-flat Major is the kind of piece that is known to clarinetists and their families but not the general public. Ravel's Piece en Forme de Habanera, transcribed by Gaston Hamelin, offers a welcome peek at France's enduring love for the clarinet, which is reflected in the fact that French-made clarinets are considered the best in the world. Nakamatsu gives a solo performance of Mendelssohn's Rondo Capriccioso in E Major, op. 14, and Manasse solos Bala Kov[sz] cs' Hommage a Manuel de Falla.

The performance is at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, in Duane Smith Auditorium, 1300 Diamond Drive in Los Alamos. Tickets are $35 and $30 for seniors; those from 6 to 18 are admitted at no charge. For information call 662-9000 or see

-- C.S.

Furry's a jolly good fellow, so keep him warm and dry

If you have a pet, do you have an emergency plan for it should you have to evacuate your home, or will you leave your beloved buddy to the fates? It's a tough question with no easy answer (let's face it -- you may not be home when disaster strikes, and even if you are, your options may be limited), but it's one that thousands of residents of New Orleans faced when Hurricane Katrina struck.

The Best Friends Animal Society sent out pet rescuers after the storm, and according to journalist Cathy Scott's book Pawprints of Katrina: Pets Saved and Lessons Learned, more than 5,000 animals were saved and some 1,500 reunited with their owners. Scott signs copies of the book, which includes a foreword by Santa Fe animal lover Ali MacGraw, and talks about her experiences from 4 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22, at Garcia Street Books, 660 Garcia St., 986-0151. The many photos in the book -- taken by Clay Myers -- really convey the hope and heartbreak of the situation.

-- Robert Nott
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Title Annotation:Pasatiempo
Publication:The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM)
Date:Nov 21, 2008

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