Month: January 2019

“Jazz After the Second World War” by Gil Harel, March 12, 2019

“Jazz After the Second World War” 
Davis. Coltrane. Parker. These names are pillars of jazz history. To the long-time connoisseur and the curious neophyte alike, their lives and music continue to inspire – and perplex. With its roots in gospel and blues music, jazz evolved into a popular style by the 1930s, with swing music dominating the American dance floor. But after the Second World War, things began to change at a rapid pace. Gone were the large swing bands, replaced by smaller, tight-knit ensembles playing strange and virtuosic music. Carnegie Hall, host to Benny Goodman’s band in the late 1930s, was supplanted by future jazz meccas such as Minton’s Playhouse, the Onyx Club, and Birdland. A dark side of jazz culture – drug and alcohol abuse – began to rear its head, afflicting many of the greatest performers and claiming many lives all too early. Amidst a sea of tumultuous race relations, a steadily evolving record industry, and swiftly changing musical styles, one thing remained constant – the impulse to innovate.

Gil Harel (PhD, Brandeis University) is a musicologist and music theorist whose interests include styles ranging from classical repertoire to jazz and popular music, as well as opera, medieval, and renaissance music. Previously, he has served on the faculty at CUNY Baruch College, where he was awarded the prestigious “Presidential Excellence Award for Distinguished Teaching”, as well as the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, China. Currently, he teaches at Naugatuck Valley Community College, where he was recently presented with the “Merit Award for Exemplary Service to the College.” At NVCC, Dr. Harel conducts the college chorale, teaches music history and theory, and serves as musical director of theater productions. His commitment to community-oriented lecturing spans many years. In addition to regularly leading seminars for Brandeis University’s BOLLI program, he has been hosted as a featured speaker at many learning-oriented events in Connecticut, New York, as well as Massachusetts. Outside of teaching, he enjoys staying active as a pianist and vocalist.

The event will be at the DCA.  Coffee and sweets at 6:30, program at 7:00.

Cudd, Robert

IDG: Citibank, Microsoft, 9:00, Feb 4, 2019

DMA Investment Discussion Group

  • Overall market conditions – Jim Phillips
  • Citibank – Dave Piersol
  • Microsoft – Gary Banks

30 King’s Hwy South, 1st floor Conference Room.  Host: John Hess

Charles Grady, The Opioid Crisis in Connecticut, February 27, 2019

Charles Grady will speak on the opioid crisis in Connecticut. In his talk entitled “The FBI in Connecticut: an Overview and the Opioid Crisis in Our State,” he will focus on various programs and initiatives of the FBI and speak to the issues facing Connecticut relative to its opioid crisis. Charles, born in New Haven, became a police officer in 1982. He was the first African-American motorcycle officer in the Hamden Police Department and its first African-American detective. In 2002, he retired after a highly decorated career as a detective and federal task officer assigned to the Connecticut State Police Narcotics Unit, DEA and FBI joint task force, as well as being deputized by the U.S. Marshals Service. The primary focus of his career has been in narcotics violations and narcotics-related homicides. Charles also is a professional musician and an accomplished stage, television and film actor, appearing in shows such as “Guiding Light,” “All My Children” and “Law and Order.” After his retirement, he spent seven years as an internal audit investigator for a Fortune 500 company. In 2009, he returned to government service as the first ever internal investigator for the Connecticut U.S. Attorney’s office and, in 2012, helped launch the governor’s anti-gun violence program called “Project Longevity” in New Haven and subsequently in Bridgeport. In 2015, he was chosen as the first FBI Community Outreach specialist for Connecticut, in which capacity he educates community members, law enforcement and judicial members on ways to build a safer and more tolerant community.

Arranged by Sunil Saksena

Kevin Gutzman, Thomas Jefferson, February 20, 2019

Kevin Gutzman will speak about Thomas Jefferson. Although remembered as the third president of the United States and chief author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson also was something more: the most successful constructive statesman in American history. He had radical plans to republicanize America and, working with remarkable success, to implement them.  Born into a monarchical society, Jefferson turned his great intellect and energy to making it highly egalitarian. Much of what we take for granted about America now was originally Jefferson’s idea.  It is a fascinating story. Kevin is The New York Times bestselling author of five books. He is professor and former chairman of the Department of History at Western Connecticut State University and a faculty member at His articles have appeared in The Journal of Southern History, Journal of the Early Republic, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, The Review of Politics and Journal of the Historical Society. He holds a bachelor’s degree, a master of public affairs degree and a law degree from the University of Texas, Austin, as well as an M.A. and a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Virginia.

Arranged by Sunil Saksena

Howard Blackiston, The Vanishing Honeybee, February 13, 2019

Howard Blackiston will speak on the vanishing honey bee. The sweet reward of fresh honey is not, by any means, the only reason folks are attracted to beekeeping. The value of bees as pollinators is immense: One-third of all the food we eat would suffer dire consequences if the honey bee vanished. Howard’s talk will introduce us to the multitude of benefits these creatures bring to our everyday lives, the pleasures of beekeeping and the amazing social structure of a colony of bees.  Discover what goes on inside a bee colony and understand why bees are vanishing and what you can do to reverse the situation. Howard is the author of Beekeeping for Dummies. This is the number one bestselling book on the subject and is one of the top titles in the For Dummies series of reference books. He has been a back yard beekeeper for 35 years and has written hundreds of articles and appeared in dozens of TV programs and radio shows, including the Discovery Channel, CNBC, Sirius XM Radio, Cablevision and NPR. His publications have been translated into 16 languages. He is past president of the Connecticut Back Yard Beekeepers Association.

Arranged by Sunil Saksena

Philip Vitiello, White Star Line’s Olympic Class Ships, February 6, 2019

Philip Vitiello will speak on the White Star Line’s Olympic Class Ships, Olympic, Titanic and Britannic. Almost everyone knows the story of the Titanic, which, while on her maiden voyage to New York in 1912, hit an iceberg and sank, causing the loss of 1,500 passengers and crew.  However, few people realize that the Titanic actually was the second of three super ships built in the Olympic Class for the White Star Line to compete for the Atlantic-crossing passenger trade.  At the time, these three ships were claimed to be the largest ever built. This PowerPoint presentation tells the incredible and tragic story of these three historical ships and what eventually happened to them. Included in the story is the amazing life of Violet Constance Jessop, who, ironically, sailed on all three of these ships as a stewardess and then as a nurse during World War I. Philip is the director of operations of Northeast Food Marketing in Stamford. Hehas been a Civil War historian and re-enactor for more than 40 years and the vice president of the Civil War Round Table of South Central Connecticut. He is a member of the Titanic Historical Society, as well as The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery. He previously delivered two other DMA presentations on Joshua Chamberlain, the Civil War general and on the Hunley, a Civil War submarine.

Arranged by Andre Guilbert

Steven Roach, China: Trade War to Cold War, January 30, 2019

Steve Roach will speak on China: Trade War to Cold War. He is a senior fellow at Yale’s Jackson Institute of Global Affairs and a senior lecturer at Yale’s School of Management. He formerly was chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia and the firm’s chief economist for the bulk of his 30-year career at Morgan Stanley, heading up a highly regarded team of economists around the world and currently focusing on the impact of Asia on the broader global economy. He has introduced courses on “The Next China” and “The Lessons of Japan.” His writing and research address globalization, trade policy, the post-crisis policy architecture and the capital markets implications of global imbalances. Steve has long been one of Wall Street’s most influential economists, and his opinions on the global economy have been known to shape the policy debate from Beijing to Washington, D.C. His new book, Unbalanced: The Codependency of America and China, examines the risks and opportunities of what is likely to be the world’s most important economic relationship of the 21st century. Steve served on the research staff of the Federal Reserve Board and also was a research fellow at the Brookings Institution. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from New York University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Investment Committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the China Advisory Board of the Environmental Defense Fund and the Economics Advisory Board of the University of Wisconsin.

Arranged by Sunil Saksena

Flemming Heilmann, Odyssey Uncharted, January 23, 2019

Flemming Heilmann discusses Odyssey Uncharted, a memoir of his World War II childhood and education on four continents. His is a coming-of-age story against a backdrop of historical events and is shaped by immersion in the cultures of Southeast Asia, Australia, Denmark and England. Flemming was born in 1936 of Danish parents in what then was known as Malaya. Spending his early childhood there, he was forced by the Japanese invasion to evacuate to Australia in 1941. The family spent the war as refugees. When the war ended in Europe, and prior to Japanese capitulation, the family traveled home to Denmark on a troopship, evading kamikaze attacks in the Pacific. Flemming’s education spanned Australia, Denmark and the United Kingdom, where he spent four years at Gresham, a boarding school where he instigated a successful mutiny against a tyrannical headmaster, resulting in his being ousted. Vacations were spent in Malaya surviving terrorist attacks, meeting the King of Swaziland and confronting apartheid in South Africa. He graduated from Cambridge with a law degree. The memoir covers his life through his first job at age 22. After a 40-year career as an international business executive, Flemming now is retired and lives with his wife Judy in Rowayton. They have four sons, a daughter and nine grandsons.

Arranged by Sunil Saksena

Andrew Wilk, Live from Lincoln Center, January 16, 2019


Andrew Wilk,executive producer and director of the PBS series “Live from Lincoln Center,” will talk about his long career in broadcast entertainment, with particular focus on the last seven years with the Lincoln Center series. Andrew is an experienced television and media executive with a history of creating innovative, award-winning programming. His work has earned five personal Emmy Awards with 15 nominations. He also is an acclaimed playwright, director and accomplished symphony conductor. He was chief creative officer at Sony Music Entertainment, overseeing visual content for Sony’s label groups and leading Sony’s digital music expansion. He was instrumental in the launching of the worldwide National Geographic channel and developed its initial programming. In 2011, Andrew became the second executive producer and director in the 44-year history of “Live from Lincoln Center” and “Lincoln Center at the Movies.” Andrew holds a bachelor’s degree from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. He and his family live in Westport.

Arranged by Bud Bain

Bill Rycek, History of Football, January 9, 2019

Bill Rycek will talk about the history of semipro and pro football in Connecticut. This narrative of minor league football teams in Connecticut in the 1960s and 1970s is based on extensive newspaper and periodical research and interviews with nearly 70 former players, broadcasters and journalists. Only a few players – like Marv Hubbard, Lou Piccone and Bob Tucker – made it to the NFL, but many more played for as little as $25 per game in their quest to make it big or just have fun. Wealthy men like Pete Savin and Frank D’Addario owned teams in Hartford and Bridgeport. In the days before cable television saturated the media with live sports, small town fans turned out to support their local heroes, often men who worked on construction crews during the week and stopped by the diner Sunday morning to talk football. Now in their 60s, 70s and 80s, these men share their stories of a simpler era: the good times, like the Hartford Knights’ 1968 ACFL championship season and the long bus rides and missed paydays that were as much a part of minor league ball as first downs and interceptions. Bill is a finance professional from Wallingford who has written eight books on sports history, including a trilogy on 19th century baseball, three books on baseball during the 1960s and two books on professional football in the 1960s. His work has earned a number of awards, and he has edited and contributed to other books and publications on the history of sports.

Arranged by Gehr Brown