Life is Grand, baby! (Paperback)
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Life is Grand, Baby (Notes on Performing) by Paul Toshner. Memoirs and insights on the intimate performance of song from a real-life Piano Man. "For the first time I'm sharing secrets I've built up over the years as a concert act, a lounge act, piano-bar act, a shopping-center act, a restaurant act. Added to these are some more personal m moire-like moments and "lessons learned." I hope my book brings a deep and practical understanding and improves the lives of those who listen to you, and that you go places and enrich people who might be melancholy with a song and a smile. I address the need to be concerned with the way something is delivered, as much as what and where it's being delivered.
Born to a businessman and an aerobics instructor, and very much part of mainstream society, at 27 Paul decided to try a new kind of life. His quest for experience and understanding transformed him, taking him over oceans and across continents, to piano bars and community halls in London, Switzerland, Denmark, China and the USA, as well as Yeshivas in New York and Jerusalem. Hello, my name is Paul Avrom Toshner. I was born in the Glasgow Victoria Infirmary, Scotland. I perform lyric-based song with a bit of chat. I started off life as a musician playing piano in Princess Square, a classy Glasgow shopping center. I moved on to local hotel lobbies (The Grosvenor and the Albany). But it all started when I got to cover for a job in Denmark for a friend who played in "The Baby Grand" called Danny Thompson. He couldn't do the gig and offered it to me. There I met another piano player and he introduced me to his agent. It went from there to piano bars in Denmark, ski resorts in Klosters and St. Moritz Switzerland. Followed by concert work in community halls and assisted-living homes in London and the USA, as well as residencies in various hotels in London's West End. I am a "returnee" to Orthodox Jewish life, finding deep meaning in its practices more and more as time goes on. I believe it is no coincidence that my playing has improved as a result.
"I wish I'd have met Paul Toshner 30 years ago, he has taught me many things about the world... about work, gals, money, investment, how to deal with people under any circumstance, fairness, kindness, hard work, consistency, the value of perseverance, the importance and the guts to destroy your own work, if necessary, in order to start up again from zero, just to upgrade that 'little' notch, the absolute always essential tool of not taking things too seriously, specially, and more particularly oneself "-Mesoud Benasuly. Guitarist