Special to the EagleHerald<br>
Tom McDermott, a talented piano player and compose from New Orleans, will play a Tuesday at Riverside Golf Club. The public is welcome. There is no charge, but people can provide a freewill donation.
Special to the EagleHerald
Tom McDermott, a talented piano player and compose from New Orleans, will play a Tuesday at Riverside Golf Club. The public is welcome. There is no charge, but people can provide a freewill donation.
MENOMINEE — The combination of friends and music hits the right note — as could be seen many times during this weekend’s Waterfront Festival.

The melodies strike up again Tuesday when New Orleans musician Tom McDermott will play at Riverside Golf Club for the public.

Rita Posselt, a Marinette native who lives in New Orleans, coaxed her friend to play here while he stays on a loop through the Upper Peninsula after performing in Minneapolis.

“Tom is an old friend,” Posselt said Sunday, “and he’s also one of the most renown musicians in New Orleans and elsewhere.”

McDermott is a premier piano player and composer, and started his 2014 summer concert tour in Austin, Texas, traveling through New Mexico, Arizona, California, Washington, Oregon and Colorado on his way to Chicago and finally, St. Louis.

Posselt said, years ago, her mother, Ruby Miller, invited McDermott to stay at her bed-and-breakfast, The Cedars Guest House in Marinette, if he was ever in the area.

“A few nights ago, he called while he was doing a road trip through the Badlands before heading to Minneapolis and he said he had a Wednesday concert in Chicago. He asked if the offer was still open,” Posselt said.

McDermott is staying a couple of nights, and Posselt talked him into doing a concert while he was in the area.

“I really, really wanted to share his talents with the folks up here, so I got him to play,” she said.

She located a venue — Riverside Golf Club — but needed to find a piano. Dr. J. Kelly Maguire, a locally-known pianist, offered his keyboard for the event.

“It worked out just great,” Posselt said.

McDermott will play from 7 to 9 p.m., in a solo concert that is open to the public. There is no charge for the event, but Posselt said people can provide a freewill donation.

“There are no reservations, it’s just a casual event. Tom is a really laid-back guy,” she said.

McDermott grew up in St. Louis, where he earned a masters’ degree in music, wrote music journalism for the morning paper, and soaked up the sounds of ragtime and traditional jazz that flourished there in the 1960s and ’70s. In 1984, spurred by his love of James Booker, Professor Longhair and Dr. John, he moved to New Orleans, a trip enabled by a gig at the World’s Fair.

Tom has written for the theatre (the Obie-award-winning off-Broadway show, “Nita and Zita”), and appeared in bit roles in the movies (”He Said She Said”). In the New Orleans-based HBO series “Treme,” he played himself five times in three seasons and had 10 pieces of music used on the soundtrack.

He has recorded 13 albums as a leader, and there is more info on these recordings in the CDs section. These recordings include 75 original tunes. His music has been heard frequently on NPR, i.e. “All Things Considered,” “American Routes” and “The Moth.” A group he co-led with clarinetist Evan Christopher, the Danza Quartet, appeared on NPR’s New Year’s Eve show “Toast of the Nation” on 2008-2009.

He recently released a new album, “Bamboula.” The album is named after a Gottschalk melody that gets a tambourine-tapping choro-meets-traditional-jazz treatment; Mr. McDermott also thoroughly revamps two Scott Joplin pieces.