Posts Tagged ‘Jason Tramm’



Gordon Turk. OG organist. Paul Goldfinger portrait. 2021.



By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger


Thursday night was one of those remarkable classical events in the Great Auditorium.   An all string orchestra of about 40 pieces  (including one tympani player) assembled under the baton of Jason Tramm.  It was an ambitious program, given that it lasted only about 75 minutes.

There were two organ concertos and a hymn for organ and orchestra.  Heavy hitters of organ composers were featured including Hanson, Jongen and Poulenc. Gordon Turk was at the controls of that massive Hope-Jones organ. It was as if he were riding some sort of prehistoric musical mammoth.  Those 11,000 pipes produced so many different kinds of sounds that you didn’t miss the woodwinds or the brass.  There were low scary chords that roared and practically shook the building.  Then there were light and cheerful twinkly moments that transported the audience to a calliope on some boardwalk near the beach, and other times, the giant musical creature just purred.

The Francis Poulenc Concerto in G Minor, described by the organ curator John Shaw as a “war horse,”carried the audience to all sorts of moods and musical experiences. The tempo changed 7 times during the 20 minute concerto.   During the Poulenc, the steady rain outside became torrential. It created a constant sound, like white noise, as it cascaded off the roof of the Great Auditorium and hit the ground.  The doors were open, and the soft light outside revealed the water pouring down.  The sound of the rain became part of the concerto, and when the volume became pianissimo, you could hear nature blending with the orchestra.

Ronald Naldi, always an elegant and popular presence in Ocean Grove, strode onto the stage wearing a white dinner jacket with a black tie and black pants.  He performed an aria from Rigoletto composed by Giuseppe Verdi, who was born 200 years ago.  He also sang an aria from Tosca by Giacomo Puccini.   As expected, there were opera buffs in the house who whooped and hollered after each piece.

Ronald Naldi is so good, that one stares in disbelief to see him on the stage in Ocean Grove.


RONALD NALDI   from his album of Neapolitan and Italian songs  “Torna”



Current photo of Ronald Naldi in the Tabernacle. July 2022. Paul Goldfinger photo.




Read Full Post »

Jason Tramm, music director for the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Jason Tramm, Director of Music Ministries for the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. 2014.  By Paul Goldfinger ©


Being a conductor, Maestro Tramm often has his back to the audience so here he is in a rare frontal view.  This image was obtained at the September 1, 2014 annual Camp Meeting  Association Labor Day public summary* of the season’s successes.

Jason Tramm  is a young man who is considered a rising star in the music world.   In Ocean Grove he manages an ambitious program of choral, orchestral and oratorial works.  He believes that adding music to inspirational words creates a powerful combination, so he plans even more great choral works in the Great Auditorium next season.

But Maestro Tramm, like all great musicians, appreciates music that crosses over the genre divides.

To hear Itzhak Perlman play klezmer  or Dick Hyman crossing over from classical to jazz, or, as in this case, the great late operatic soprano Eileen Farrell performing pop music shows how that works.

And so it is with Jason Tramm who brings us all sorts of music in the Grove.   Hopefully he will be able to cross those divides regularly in the Great Auditorium so that a variety of audiences can enjoy his versatility.


EILEEN FARRELL:    What music can we post to go with Jason’s photo?  Putting up an opera aria is too easy.

Here is Eileen Farrell   with “The More I  See You” by Harry Warren  and Mack Gordon.



* 2022:    Note that the CMA did not have their public meeting this past Labor Day. We can speculate on that change, but not now.

And, we noted above that Jason Tramm is a strong believer in enhancing words with music.  We feel the same way on Blogfinger, so most of our posts are enhanced with music, just as music always enhances movies.

In our case, the coupling of music with still photography,  poetry and even opinion pieces is still an original idea of ours, and we will continue.

At one point in Blogfinger history, one of our editors complained that we were posting too much music, but I believe that music is something that we humans naturally appreciate, somewhere in our brains, so we will keep it up, and many of you have told us that you love the music.


Editor: Paul Goldfinger, MD.   Just returned from Fla-La-land, and glad to be back.

Read Full Post »

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

It was August 3, 2017, the last concert of this year’s “Summer Stars,” entitled  “Orchestral Legends and Romance.” One could not hope to hear anything better elsewhere, and this event in the Great Auditorium, on a fairly cool Thursday night, was first rate and offered some extremely unique musical elements.  The concert  was  magnificent, but don’t forget, this is not the first time that marvelous  quality music was created in the GA.

I think of Caruso, Ronald Naldi, Phil Smith, Gordon Turk, Tony Bennett, and so many others over the years who relished the chance to perform in this very special wooden building with the marvelous acoustics. And the Great Auditorium is much more than a mere concert hall—there is that massive Hope-Jones organ that leaves one awestruck when it is allowed to bellow and shake the rafters.  That occurred last night.

Gordon Turk performed two pieces that revealed how our awesome Ocean Grove neighbor, the Hope-Jones organ, could behave when coupled with a 65 piece professional orchestra guided by Dr. Jason Tramm. The results were unforgettable.

And then there was Christine Kwak, a superb violinist, a young woman who was playing  a Guarneri instrument crafted in 1751.  And, as if that were too much to ask, this violin was the one that was used at the premier in 1878  of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35.  She is such a charismatic and skilled performer who also looked beautiful on stage in a shimmering strapless form-fitting dark blue gown.

The audience loved the performances and they loved her.

John Shaw, who introduced the program, reminded the audience of the 3 components that enter into fine music: the composer, the performer and the craftsmen who made the musical instruments used by the soloists and the orchestra.

I wanted our readers who did not attend to get an idea of what incredible classical music sounds like when all the pieces fit so well,  so I made a few video clips from my seat. The images are crummy, but the story is in the sound.  I suggest you ignore the head in front and just listen to the magic.  There are two clips below.

GORDON TURK with a roaring portion of the Fantasie Dialoguée for Organ and Orchestra by Léon Boellman.  It was one of the biggest musical sounds that you could ever hear. Crank up the volume and hold onto your fillings.



CHRISTINE KWAK with Tchaikovsky’s Violin concerto in D Major, Op. 55.  Isn’t she magnificent?  And turn her volume up too, after the middle of the clip—it’s goosebump time.    Sorry for the abrupt finish and the big head at the end. My arms gave out.


Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: