Mark Sloniker jazz musician and artist
Mark Sloniker jazz artist and musician
Mark Sloniker jazz musician

Latest News


Dear E-Friends,

My friend (we’ll-call-him) Chuck, sent this to me (at the bottom of this e-fomercial), regarding UPS pilots and mechanics and flight records…which is pretty funny. But first, let me tell you about some cool jazz at the Bistro that’s coming right up! But first, let me say what a joy and pleasure it is to get to play a little music for you at Jay’s or as the case may be at Avo’s last weekend for the two sold-out shows with Johnsmith and Colleen Crosson (what a sweet time that was!)…but first, let me review the rules on, just how many “but firsts” one can put in one paragraph before it starts becoming second hand information…but 1st:

Wednesday, Dec. 7th - Jay’s Bistro features that “Zany-mad-cap”, “fly-by-night”, “fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants”, “flying low”: Monster Trux Trio (Mark Raynes/drums, Cliff Notes/bass and Mark Sloniker/piano (7-10). These guys are just winging it (for sure)!?

Thursday, Dec. 8th - Jay’s says welcome to one of the most notable son-father duos in this seven zip code area, Myles Sloniker/bass and Mark Sloniker/piano. These two play so well together, you’d think they were related. The latter is certainly the co-pilot on the flight (into fancy). (6:30-10:30)

Friday, Dec. 9th - the Bistro features UNC grad student, trumpeter, David Moore on Bb trumpet with Mark Raynes, Myles Sloniker and Mark Sloniker. They just may (or may not) play “Flight of the Bumble Bee Flat”…the bitter sweet tune about a bee and a rolled up newspaper (8:30-11:30).

Saturday, Dec. 10th - We are closed this night for a private party - Jay’s becomes a no-fly-zone…it doesn’t happen very often (our sincere apologies) but as for any flights into the joyful jazz lounge quadrant: we’re grounded.

Saturday, Dec. 17th features Colleen Crosson/voice, Myles Sloniker/bass and Mark Sloniker/piano. So come fly with us then!

Thanks for Listening!

Just in case you needed a laugh: Remember it takes a college degree to fly a plane, but only a high school diploma to fix one; that's reassurance to those of us who fly routinely.

After every flight, UPS pilots fill out a form, called a 'gripe sheet,' which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.

Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by UPS pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers.

By the way, UPS is the only major airline that has never, ever, had an accident....

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit
S: Something tightened in cockpit

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what friction locks are for.

P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search

P: Aircraft handles funny. (I love this one!)
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

And the best one for last

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from the midget


Dear E-Friends,

We were with-OUT the internet for two whole days this week. What an interesting sensation!!!??? The last time I experienced anything like that was during the Mount Vesuvius Eruption, 1900 years back and the carrier pigeons couldn’t fly for several days because of the ash in the air. My “tech-Hero” Colleen re-Routed us and re-configured and re-booted us back onto the internet just now (so much has changed since Tuesday) but I’ll do my best to let you know about the great jazz @ Jay’s Bistro this weekend.

Thursday 17th Jay’s hosts bassist extraordinaire, Gene Libbea and pianist ordinaire, Mark Sloniker with some special guest appearances by (among others) Judi Lucero on flute and vocals. Music from 6:30-10:30.

Friday 18th Jay’s welcomes the very musical, Ryan Fourt/guitar, Myles Sloniker/bass, Mark Raynes/drums and Mark Sloniker/piano (8:30-11:30).

Saturday 19th Jay’s is the plaze for jazz, with Myles Sloniker/bass, Ben Waters/drums, Mark Sloniker/piano (a marvelous trio) special guests will join in and make this an even more marvelous evening (8:30-11:30).

Upcoming: Saturday, Nov 26 features Colleen Crosson/voice, Myles Sloniker/bass and Mark Sloniker/piano (8:30-11:30).

As always, thanks for listening!
(may the internet be with you!)


Dear E-Friends,

My friend David (thanks David) sent these (“Where I’ve Been”). Some pretty zany-jazzy word-play. So check out “where I’ve been” and don’t forget to check out where I’ll BE this week (namely Jay’s Bistro) for some lovely zany-jazzy note-play.

Where I've been
• I have been in many places, but I've never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can't go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.
• I've also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.
• I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work.
• I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I'm not too much on physical activity anymore.
• I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.
• I've been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.
• Sometimes I'm in Capable, and I go there more often as I'm getting older.
• One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!
• I may have been in Continent, and I don't remember what country I was in. It's an age thing?

Wednesday 9th Those two red hot jazzers from Greeley, Marty Kenney/bass and Ben Waters/drums go truckin’ with Monster Trux Trio and Mark Sloniker/piano (7-10).

Thursday 10th Our bass man/pilot/grammy winner pal Gene Libbea will join me for some note-worthy indispensable jazz (6:30-10:30).

Friday 11th (8:30-11:30) Myles Sloniker is back on bass with David Moore/trumpet, Mark Raynes/drums and Mark Sloniker/in-pun-a-tra-ble.

Saturday 12th (8:30-11:30) Alwin Robinson/drums is in from CU Boulder, Myles Sloniker/bass is in from UNC Greeley, Ben Strauss/sax is over from CSU (FoCo) and the piano player who’s name shall not be mentioned is in-over-his-head, incorrigible, innuendo and in-deep-doo-doo…IN a matter of time. So come IN soon!

Saturday 11/26 features vocalist, Colleen Crosson.

Thanks for Listening,


Dear E-Friends,

We got some very cool cats hanging out at Jay’s this week(end).

Friday 11/04 the masterful guitarist, Steve Kovalcheck joins Monster Trux Trio (original flavor) with Erik Appegate/bass, Mark Raynes/drums and Mark Sloniker/piano (8:30-11:30). This is an exceptional group of players. If you love music, you’ll love this!

Saturday 11/5 Billy (ever jubilant) Hundley will grace us with the joy and power of a voice and presence that celebrates life (no joke)! With Roger (ever swinging) Barnhart on bass and Mark (ever-ready) Sloniker on a battery of keys…this is a sweet night of song!

As always, thanks for listening!


Well I just found out that the person who cleans the teeth of the person who fixes the car of the person who repairs my lawn mower…had hired an illegal alien. What a bummer to find my aspirations for a run for the White House dashed in a heartbeat. What are you going to do?! I had all these people professionally vetted to. And this morning, right there in the paper I find out that the professional vetter I was using was working illegally too! Which I think allows me to justifiably have a vet-detta out against him. Speaking of new words…my friend John (thanks John) just sent me the latest “new words” from the Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational for “new words”. Needless to say, I’m going to have a few words with them about why my new word is not one of them…right after I see the publisher’s green card (I better go find mine first). But even Firster, a word about jazz at Jay’s Bistro this week…then on to some new words (don’t breathe a word of this to anyone).

Wednesday 26th Jay’s features that fine sound of Monster Trux Jazz Trio featuring Marty Kenney/bass, Mark Raynes/drums and Mark Sloniker/piano. Their stuff is beyond words (7/10). Oh, and you gotta come wish Mark Raynes a Happy Birthday! He’s hit the half century mark!

Thursday 27th Jay’s plays host to bassist, Roger Barnhart and pianist (one of the most carefully pronounced words in the English language), Mark Sloniker.

Friday 28th Jay’s welcomes Hugh Ragin/trumpet, Myles Sloniker/bass, Mark Raynes/drums and Mark Sloniker/piano (8:30-11:30).

Saturday 29th Jay’s is the place to hear Alwin Robinson/drums (this man awed the Bistro crowd with his drumming last month), Myles Sloniker/bass (who always awes listeners) and Mark Sloniker (awe shucks!)…these three play jazz trio (8:30-11:30)with a special guest set from 9:30-10:30 by singer Rick Blessing (who’s awe inspiring performance in a Sinatra-esque fashion, you won’t want to miss).

Friday, Nov. 4th features Steve Kovalcheck on guitar and Erik Applegate on bass. Nov. 26th features Colleen Crosson on vocals.

Thanks for Listening!

Hilarious! :-)
Subject: Washington Post's Mensa Invitational

New words*****

*The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again invited readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.*

*Here are the winners:*

1.* Cashtration* (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2.* Ignoranus* : A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

3.* Intaxicaton* : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4.* Reintarnation* : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5.* Bozone* ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6.* Foreploy* : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7.* Giraffiti* : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

8.* Sarchasm* : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9.* Inoculatte* : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10.* Osteopornosis* : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11.* Karmageddon* : It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12.* Decafalon* (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13.* Glibido* : All talk and no action.

14.* Dopeler Effect*: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15.* Arachnoleptic Fit* (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16.* Beelzebug* (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17.* Caterpallor* ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

*The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.

And the winners are:

1.*Coffee*, n. The person upon whom one coughs.

2.*Flabbergasted*, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

3. *Abdicate*, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. *Esplanade*, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.

5.* Willy-nilly*, adj. Impotent.

6.* Negligent*, adj.. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.

7.* Lymph*, v. To walk with a lisp.

8.* Gargoyle*, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

9.* Flatulence*, n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

10.* Balderdash*, n. A rapidly receding hairline. (Everyone having a high forehead appreciates this concept)

11.* Testicle*, n. A humorous question on an exam.

12.* Rectitude*, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13.* Pokemon*, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

14.* Oyster*, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15.* Frisbeetarianism*, n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16.* Circumvent*, n. An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men ****


Dear E-Friends,

Just a friendly reminder to strap on your bike helmets (as I am doing at this very moment) because as we all know, there are several tons of space junk falling on our beloved planet in the next 24-48 hours AND I want to make sure that if said satellite heads for my noggin at several thousand miles per hour, that I’m covered. Yeah, I’m pretty sure in the “docs” that came with my bike helmet – it covers that (if you got a good one, that is). I’m pretty sure Kurt Vonnegut wrote an entire book premised on the idea of what our world will be like when all that STUFF up there in orbit starts…falling-short-of-orbit! Another thing for the TO-DO list is to make sure your health insurance covers falling space junk. I pay an extra $3.72 a month for that! And well worth it! It’s right there on my ID bracelet. Now if you don’t pay the extra $3.72 a month, I do know that there’s this, hardly-known-loop-HOLE that IF (and only if) you are listening to Live-Jazz at a Local Bistro when you get wacked-on by falling space junk…then you’re covered…no-matter-what! They gotta put you right again – all while listening to Louis Armstrong’s recording of “What a Wonderful World”…and I know just the Bistro….(no, no - trust me on this one)…

Friday 9/23 Jays (we’re space junk certified) Bistro [how’s that strike you] Stellar jazz by guitarist, Steve Kovalcheck, bassist, Erik Applegate, drummer, Mark Raynes and (oh yeah, the guy in bike helmet) pianist, Mark Sloniker. I guarantee that you will FALL in love with this quartet (8:30-11:30).

Saturday 9/24 Even if you’re not FALLING for this, Jay’s Bistro is the place to “catch” vocalist, Colleen Crosson (she sings beautifully) and bassist, Gene Libbea (he walks beautifully) and pianist, Mark (Eye Candy) Sloniker (the bike helmet just adds to his aura) (8:30-11:30).

Upcoming jazz features: Marty Kenney/bass 9/28. Sam Williams/sax Friday 30th. Chris Smith/drums and Myles Sloniker/bass Saturday Oct. 1st.

Thanks for Listening!


Dear E-Friends,

Thanks to our good buddy John P. (thanks John, you did it again) we are privy to a wonderful youtube video on cows and jazz (it’s only a 2 or 3 minute clip and well worth it). Some might think “Cows and Jazz” is udderly ridiculous or that they are just milking this for all it’s worth (after all, the steaks are high and taking a pot-shot at these jazz lovers would only graze the cow-ards). And although until now this phenomena is unherd of…it behooves you to take a serious look and until you do, I feel you have no grounds to beef about this. So check it out and bring your favorite bovine down for jazz…we wouldn’t steer you wrong!

Wednesday, Sept. 14th - Jay’s “strays” into open terrain where Marty Kenney/bass, takes the low range, Mark Raynes/drums, snares a trap for those rustlers and Mark Sloniker/piano, applies his “dairy aire” to some playing by the seat of his pants. This trio will whip up some brand new hot jazz (without ever having too many irons in the fire) and play the old stock charts, too!

Thursday, Sept. 15th - Jay’s drives the jazz, while meanwhile back at the ranch…Marty Kenney/bass and Mark Sloniker/piano play “I’m an Old Cow Hand” with their hands tied behind their backs (these guys really know the ropes on this one) and no one gets led astray…I’m a frayed knot.

Friday, Sept. 16th - Jay’s is your home, home on the front range for some mighty fine jazz featuring Austin Day/sax, Myles Sloniker/bass, Mark Raynes/drums and Mark Sloniker/piano. This is a top notch bunch of hands who are not just fiddlin’ around.

Saturday, Sept. 17th - Two fine singers create a mighty fine OK Chorale. Myles and Mark Sloniker let the bull out of the shoot, then vocalist, Kalli VanderTop joins in followed by vocalist, Katie Harris. We’ll cow-tow to your every need!

Upcoming: Friday 23rd Steve Kovalcheck/guitar. Sat. 24th Colleen Crosson/voice. Friday 30th Sam Williams/sax.

Thanks for Listening! Happy Trails To You!
Mark Sloniker (aka Larry Ut)


Dear E-Friends,

What a beautiful rainy day here in Colorado. Especially after such a sunny and warm (but not too warm) Labor Day week end. May this rain green up our grass/gardens/trees etc. and stay out of our basements. Is there a patron/matron saint of dry basements to whom thee dry basement prayer can be addressed? Oh well, jazz goes well with rain…”Here’s That Rainy Day/Night” coming right up!

Tonight (Wednesday) 9/7 (7-10pm) Jazz @ Jay’s Bistro with Marty Kenney/bass, Mark Raynes/drums, Mark Sloniker/piano with special guest Sam Williams/sax. Nothing can dampen our spirits when it comes to rain-jazz or jazz-rain…Especially because when it Raynes, it pours!

Thursday 9/8 Jazz @ Jay’s Bistro with Gene Libbea/bass and Mark Sloniker/piano (6:30-10:30). Our jazz vocalist friend, Katie Harris said she’d stop by and sit in with us. Cool!

Friday 9/9 Jazz @ Jay’s with guitarist, Ryan Fourt and Myles Sloniker/bass, Mark Raynes/drums and Mark Sloniker/piano. This quartet ALWAYS is a treat to have at the Bistro.

Saturday 9/10 Jazz @ Jay’s welcomes vocalist, Billy Hundley with Myles Sloniker/bass and Mark Sloniker/piano. This power trio can weather any storm when it takes the reins of the rains…it truly reigns.

Upcoming Jazz @ Jay’s: Friday 9/16 features Austin Day/sax. Friday 9/23 features Steve Kovalcheck/guitar & Erik Applegate/bass. Saturday 9/24 features Colleen Crosson/voice. Friday 9/30 features Sam Williams/sax.

As always, Thanks for Listening,


Dear E-Friends,

That young man, cool cat, groovy bassist who has shared the stage with his old man a few times these past months packed his bags and went (off to college) over there to UNC for some schooling last week. And low and behold he got the bass chair in two of their top jazz groups. Congratulations Myles! And if wonders never cease, that same man/cat/bassist will be in our very midst, very shortly! Here’s the scoop…

Tonight (Friday 8/26) at Jay’s Bistro (8:30-11:30) Peter Sommer/sax, Myles Sloniker/bass, Mark Raynes/drums and Mark Sloniker/piano. This is always a “happening” quartet…so finish off a hot August day with a cool jazzy hang at Jay’s.

Saturday 8/27 Jay’s features the fabulous vocals of Colleen Crosson with Myles Sloniker and Mark Sloniker (or as Sly and the Family Stone would say…”it’s a family affair”) (8:30-11:30). Some special guests just may join us!

As always, thanks for listening!


Dear E-Friends,

Please find (down below) some interesting things to ponder…as if the news these days isn’t ponder-some enough. We’ll be playing some fun music at Jay’s Bistro this week so…don’t OVER ponder, just come over yonder, and wander asunder, in fun jazz you’ll wander-wonder-ponder-asunder-yonder…we promise no plunder or blunder…just jazz!

Wednesday 8/3 Jay’s plays host to Mark Raynes/drums, Myles Sloniker/bass and Mark Sloniker/piano (aka Monkster Trux Trio) 7-10. With some very special sit it guests!

Thursday 8/4 Jay’s is the place for jazz with Marty Kenney/bass and Mark Sloniker/piano (6:30-10:30) with some special guests sitting in!

Friday 8/5 Jay’s (8:30-11:30) Debut performance with Steve Kovalcheck/guitar (he’s on the music faculty at UNC) with the Monkster Trux Trio (Raynes, Sloniker & Sloniker). This will be a very exciting performance that you won’t want to miss!

Saturday 8/6 Jay’s stays a ways into the hip arrays with vocal jazz man Billy Hundley, Myles Sloniker/bass and Mark Sloniker/piano. Billy always brings a joyful vibe to the Bistro (8:30-11:30).

Upcoming Jazz@Jay’s: Friday 8/12 Austin Day. Saturday 8/13 sooper jam with Sloniker & Son Trio. Friday 8/19 Hugh Ragin. Friday 8/26 Peter Sommer.

Also don’t miss our set at New West Fest on Saturday at the Library Park Stage at 11:15am with Sloniker & Dad (featuring: Myles Sloniker/bass, Mark Sloniker/piano, Mark Raynes/drums and Austin Day/sax).

Thanks for listening!

And now for some things to ponder


1· I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.

2· There are two kinds of pedestrians: the quick and the dead.

3· Life is sexually transmitted.

4· Healthy is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

5· The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

6· Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.

7· Have you noticed since everyone has a camcorder these days no one talks about seeing UFOs like they used to?

8· Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

9· All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

10· In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

11· How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

12· Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, 'I think I'll squeeze these dangly things and drink whatever comes out?'

13· If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him?

14· Why does your OB-GYN leave the room when you get undressed if they are going to look up there anyway?

15· If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?

16· If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from?

17. If tin whistles are made of tin, what are fog horns made of?

18. Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup?

19· Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?

20· Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

And last, but not least........

21· Do you ever wonder why you gave me your email address?


Dear E-Friends (Especially You Northern Coloradans),

The fourth annual Fort Collins Jazz Experience is on (now) through this Saturday (7/16) and we’re celebrating BIG TIME at Jay’s Bistro and Beyond!!! We’ll have trombone playing rhinoceroses (talk about a horn section) and sax playing frogs (we’re knee deep in reeds) and a deceased equine percussion section (who says you can’t beat a dead horse) and a group of extra angsty poets…for a splash of cymbolism…we’ll have a bass playing bass (how low can you go…no, I’m not fishing for compliments) and a blind-folded chain saw juggling routine put on by my pathological liars club support group…and speaking of putting you on…well we just MAY, if you show up Saturday night with your axe!

Wednesday 7/13 at noon, on KRFC’s Live@Lunch: Myles Sloniker/bass, John Olson/drums and Mark Sloniker/piano will play and talk up the Jazz Experience. or 88.9 on your FM “dial”

Wednesday 7/13 Jay’s Bistro (7-10pm) Monster Trux Jazz Trio (Mark Raynes, Myles Sloniker & Mark Sloniker) will be joined by super vocalist, Billy Hundley (who will go on around 8pm).

Thursday 7/14 Jay’s Bistro (6:30-10:30) Very Special Guest, Rusty Burge/vibes will join Myles Sloniker and Mark Sloniker for an evening of trio jazz! This will be the first time Rusty and Myles play together and I promise you a memorable musical event.

Friday 7/15 Jay’s Bistro (8:30-11:30) Vibraphonist, Rusty Burge is back with our Monster Trux Trio to create an exciting night of Quartet Jazz. I guarantee an inspired night of music making!

Saturday 7/16 (1:30-2:30) on the Oak Street Plaza Stage, Burge, Sloniker, Raynes & Sloniker create a very special jazz set of originals and standards (we promise to set some new standards) so set your watch for 1:30 at Oak Street Plaza.

Later Saturday night, a fine jazz jam is hosted by a way cool trio: Chris Smith/drums, Myles Sloniker/bass & Mark Sloniker/piano. We’ll open things up with a trio set at 8:30, then welcome up sitter-inners for the balance of the night!

As always, thanks for listening!


Dear E-Friends,

Otto von Bizmark is said to have said: “When one agrees with something in principle, they have not the slightest notion of carrying it out”…Well, I certainly do agree with that in principle! However, it’s against my principles to agree with something (in principle) and not carry it out OR carry it IN (especially at school, during recess, if it’s raining) principally because it’s the Principal’s principles that we’re (in principle) carrying out/in! Now I believe Heir von Bizmark was a member of 19th century German aristocracy, so we know we can Count on him to put up his Dukes, (perhaps, against his “better principles”) if his principals go against HIS principles (and give him the Royal treatment). And then the Royal question ensues…”if he is not Kingly enough, is he at least Princ-able?! Just a thought…

Well, it’s not against my better principles to invite fine jazz musicians to make music at Jay’s Bistro! And I must agree in principle that it doesn’t get any better than this week’s jazz line-up!

Wednesday 29th (7-10) Jay’s features (in principal, for your interest) that Way-Cool, Monster Trux Jazz Trio (Mark Raynes, Myles Sloniker [& Dad] “delivering” a mad-cap blend of zany T. Monk and brainy B. Evans. And if that weren’t enough, our wonderful special guest vocalist friend, Leslie Parreco will join us for the second set! And if that weren’t enough, another special guest appearance may take place during the evening by a singer from NYC, the Big Apple (I know of none bigger) itself!

Thursday 30th (6:30-10:30) Mark Sloniker starts out so low…oh wait make that, solo! If I only play the bottom octave of the piano by myself would that make it – so low solo (why yes, in principle, it would!) and if I played only the fifth degree of the major scale (which is not my cup of ti) and did it with great angst and hipness, would that make it “solo-so-low-sol-soul-oh-oh!”…(yes, in principle, I believe it would)! Well I haven’t the slightest notion of carrying that out (too late). Speaking of “so low”, at 7:30 Marty Kenney, Downbeat Magazine-acclaimed-bassist (during his illustrious UNC college career) will join in (which certainly tends to bring UP my game) [in principle] and they play away into the wee small hours of the night (or 10:30pm, whichever comes first).

Well by now I’ve had far too much coffee…but if that’s not enough, there’s more!

Trumpeter, HUGH RAGIN joins us at Jay’s on Friday July 1st. This summer Hugh and I celebrate 27 years of playing together! And playing together with us are Mark Raynes/drums and Myles Sloniker/bass. This quartet always shines! (8:30-11:30).

Saturday July 2nd Jay’s Bistro welcomes the very fiery vocalist, Billy Hundley (8:30-11:30) and bass player Cliff Notes (which means that I really haven’t hired a bass player yet, in principle…so I better get busy…carrying that out).

So, if you are “around town” this Fourth of July week end, we truly hope that you will join us…not in principle, but in person, and will carry out, carry in and carry on with some inspired jazz for your listening pleasure! Whatever you do, have a great, safe and happy 4th of July! Mark

Wait, there’s more…

This Sunday, July 3rd, the Crosson Sloniker Consort (Colleen, Myles, and me) will be playing “Streetmosphere” at the NW corner of Olive and College (outside of Mugs Coffee) from 1:30-4:30.

Tuesday, July 5th, that very same trio will be performing at Oak Street Plaza for a Noontime Notes concert, 11:30 am - 1 pm. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the music!

Sunday, July 10th, we are back at it for Streetmosphere in Old Town Square, from 1:30-4:30 pm

Back to the Jay’s schedule, vibraphonist, Rusty Burge (member of Cincinnati Percussion Group and U.C. College Conservatory of Music Faculty) will join us during the Fort Collins Jazz Experience Weekend, July 14 and 15 (Thursday & Friday). Saxophonist, Austin Day (from the UNC jazz program) joins us Friday July 8th. Guitarist, Grant Gordy joins us Friday, July29th.

And last, but certainly not least, Rusty Burge, Myles Sloniker, Mark Raynes and I will be playing on the Oak Street Plaza Stage at 1:30 pm at the Jazz Experience on Saturday, July 16th. Rusty and I go back, playing together since the early 80s, and it will be his first time playing with my son Myles. You won’t want to miss this cool outdoor jazz celebration!


Dear E-Friends,

Thanks to all who were able to come out to “The Taste 2011” last month. It was a very sweet night and raised more than $114,000 for Food Bank of Larimer County and Neighbor to Neighbor (two very wonderful local non-profits). This was my 16th year to make music for this annual event and it just keeps getting better and better! Speaking of music and better and better…I better tell you about some cool opportunities to catch some cool tunes this week end! Here goes:

Wednesday 5/18 Jay’s Bistro features those zany loveable guys – The Monster Trux Trio with bassist, Myles Sloniker (just back from his month long road trip with the Muses’ Market (their west coast adventure took them to Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle among other places), Mark Raynes/drums and Mark Sloniker/piano.

Thursday 5/19 (6:30-10:30) Jay’s Bistro…I start out solo (so-low that I’m practically be-low C-level). Then Roger Barnhart/double bass, loads the bases and raises the bar (line) and knocks it out of the park (according to Homer). Others (including our friend Lisa) just may join us for a tune or three.

Friday 5/20 (8:30-11:30) Guitar man and longtime friend Bard Hoff joins that Monster Trux Trio (that you read about earlier) for some fun and jazz frolicking.

Saturday 5/21 (8:30-11:30) Jay’s welcomes Mike Davis/guitar, Gene Libbea/bass and Mark Sloniker/piano.

Next week: Grant Gordy/guitar on Friday 5/27. Colleen Crosson/voice on Saturday 5/28.

As always, thanks for listening!



Here’s James Taylor describing May in Colorado…“Well I’ve seen snow and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end. I’ve seen nasty times when all we found was wind…” But last night, standing at the grill on the back deck was sheer “C” (on that list above…I’ve seen all-the-above in a five minute span but that doesn’t seem to fit in the chorus of Fire & Rain). Last night, standing at the roaring fire/propane grill with a gourd/glass of fermented grapes/ a lovely cab, cooking up the meat from the days hunt – went down to the store hunting for fresh fish in the meat department…this is bliss (maybe not for the fish or the grapes). But have things really changed that much in the last, say, 75,000 years? Meanwhile, back at the grill, I whip out a sharpie and begin artfully depicting the hunt (to the grocery store) on the wall of my dwelling. Is it genetics or past life memory which haunts me with these slightly simpler times?

Of course, those were pre-sax-piano-times. The jazz was simpler, much simpler – but there’s an austere authenticity to a log and a stick that can bring down the house/cave like nobody’s business. After dinner, my daughter and I jump on the trampoline (another 21st century perk), and as the light of that gorgeous star 93,000,000 miles away begins to fade, we light the tiki torches that have been out all winter (“take that mother nature…you can snow and you can blow, but you can’t take away our light OR our grill). And the tiki lights LIGHT (as if by some timeless, season-less, senseless magic) and we jump into the May night. I hear it’s going to snow tomorrow…great weather for cave-jazz.

Wednesday, May 4 (7-10) Jay’s Cave/Bistro: Gene Libbea/bass, Mark Raynes/drums and Mark Sloniker/piano. If you ask for some blues, we’re sure to cave.

Thursday, May 5 (6:30-10:30) Jay’s (happy hour by the stalactites) Cinco de Mayo Jazz with Roger Barnhart/bass and Mark Sloniker/piano…others will join in!

Friday, May 6 (8:30-11:30) Jay’s Grotto/Bistro presents Peter Sommer/sax, Shilo Stroman/drums, Marty Kenny/bass and Mark Sloniker/piano. Sit near the fire: it keeps the saber tooth tigers away.

Saturday, May 7 (8:30-11:30) Jay’s Cavern-side Bistro [deep in the heart of Old Town] welcomes Billy Hundley/voice, Richard Mikel/bass and Mark Sloniker/piano. The echoes in here are out of this world. BYOT (trampoline, silly)

Next Friday 5/13 features Hugh Ragin/trumpet

Thanks for Listening!


Dear E-Friends,

That Monster Trux (Jazz) Trio is truckin’ your way to create a Semi-Suite supply of sharp songs to be shipped chiquely to the loading docks of your ears, pronto (aw shocks)! As a matter of fact, Monster Trux has a whole new fine fleet of fabulous “fe-hicles” for effory jazz endeavor (well, endeffer) (my “spellcheck” is going bonkers). You will never “tire” (spare me the insults) of our fleet footed fabulosity, or wheel steer you to something of even greater far-fetched-fuelishness (my spellcheck has just alerted the “Spellcheck Internet Police”). We gotta get outa here…we’ll catch you down the road…floor it (safely of course)!

Wednesday 4/27 Jay’s Bistro (and Truxstop extraordinaire)…Monster Trux Trio (7-10pm) Mark Raynes/drum brakes, Marty Kenny/bass-omatic and Mark Sloniker/piano(man)…sing us a song…(we’re on the road again)!

Thursday 4/28 Jay’s Bistro (and Jazz Lube)…Monster Trux Duo (6:30-10:30) a more fool efficient fehicle with Gene Libbea/driving bass and Mark Sloniker/driving you crazy! Others will most probably get onboard en route on-guard…on Donner…on Blitzen (we’ll sleigh you with jazz)!

Friday 4/29 Jay’s is your rest area and detour-delight – Monster Trux Trio (Raynes, Sloniker and Roger Barnhart) rendezvous with Grant Gordy/guitar as they GEAR up for great jazz at an accelerated pace! Step on it…and get over here (merge left) for gigantic jazz (8:30-11:30).

Saturday 4/30 Jay’s welcomes two wonderful singers: Kalli VanderTop (at 8:30) and Jane Kindsfater (at 9:45) with Monster Trux Duo(ver) Roger Barnhart/bass and Mark Sloniker/piano along for the ride (8:30-11:30).

Convoy if you can…car pool if you will…or commandeer a stage coach for some of the best (musical) “horsin’ around” around (chains optional)!



Dear E-Friends,

I received these quotes entitled “Quotes: Music/Musicians”. It went on to say that only musicians will understand them. A few of these may wander over to the “slightly offensive” side, but they do a pretty good job of poking fun at everyone (I found myself in here more than once). I’m interested in hearing whether “non-musicians” GET them. In the meantime, we’ll be cooking up some tunes over at Jay’s Bistro (135 W. Oak) in Fort Collins. Come and join us if you can.

Wednesday 4/20 - Monster Trux Trio with Mark Raynes/drums, Roger Barnhart/bass and Mark Sloniker/piano…as the saying goes…this trio swings! (7-10)

Thursday 4/21 - Marty Kenny/bass and Mark Sloniker/piano have a fine time playing duo music (“you can quote me on that”) (6:30-10:30). The closer you sit, the sooner you get the music!

Friday 4/22 (8:30-11:30) - Tenor saxophonist Austin Day makes his Bistro debut with Richard Mikel/bass, Mark Raynes/drums and Mark Sloniker/piano…these guys get along famously! All of their solos will have many quotes in them (you can “quote” me on that, too).

Saturday 4/23 (8:30-11:30) - Singer Colleen Crosson is in the Bistro! She sings everything in quotation marks! Mark’s my words! Gene Libbea/bass and Mark Sloniker/piano.

Coming soon to Jay’s Bistro: Friday 4/29 features guitarist, Grant Gordy. Friday 5/6 features saxophonist, Peter Sommer (with Marty Kenny/bass, Shilo Stroman/drums and Mark Sloniker/piano).


"One of the perks of being an unemployed musician is that you get to play much less bad music."
Jack Daney

"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."
Aldous Huxley

"Music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all. Music expresses itself."
Igor Stravinsky

"Hell is full of musical amateurs."
George Bernard Shaw

"The drummer drives. Everybody else rides!"
Panama Francis

"Some days you get up and put the horn to your chops and it sounds pretty good and you win. Some days you try and nothing works and the horn wins. This goes on and on and then you die and the horn wins."
Dizzy Gillespie on playing the trumpet

"Music is my mistress, and she plays second fiddle to no one."
Duke Ellington

"Jazz is the only music in which the same note can be played night after night but differently each time."
Ornette Coleman

"We never play anything the same way once."
Shelly Manne's definition of jazz musicians

"Someone who knows how to play the accordion, and doesn't."
Al Cohn's definition of a gentleman

"Music is a very hard instrument."
Vido Musso

"The only tune they play in 4/4 is 'Take Five!'"
(unknown-talking about the Don Ellis band)

"If I could play like Wynton (Marsalis), I wouldn't play like Wynton."
Chet Baker

"I'm too old to pimp, and too young to die, so I'm just gon' keep playin."
Clark Terry

"A great teacher is one who realizes that he himself is also a student and whose goal is not to dictate the answers, but to stimulate his students creativity enough so that they go out and find the answers themselves."
Herbie Hancock

"To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse."
Jack Daney

"Don't bother to look, I've composed all this already."
Gustav Mahler, to Bruno Walter who had stopped to admire mountain scenery in rural Austria.

"I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve."
Xavier Cugat

"[Musicians] talk of nothing but money and jobs. Give me businessmen every time. They really are interested in music and art."
Jean Sibelius, explaining why he rarely invited musicians to his home.

"Only become a musician if there is absolutely no other way you can make a living."
Kirke Mecham, on his life as a composer

"I am not handsome, but when women hear me play, they come crawling to my feet."
Niccola Paganini

"What is the voice of song, when the world lacks the ear of taste?"
Nathaniel Hawthorne

"Flint must be an extremely wealthy town: I see that each of you bought two or three seats."
Victor Borge, playing to a half-filled house in Flint, Michigan.

"If one hears bad music it is one's duty to drown it by one's conversation."
Oscar Wilde

"Critics can't even make music by rubbing their back legs together."
Mel Brooks

"Life can't be all bad when for ten dollars you can buy all the Beethoven sonatas and listen to them for ten years."
William F. Buckley, Jr.

"You can't possibly hear the last movement of Beethoven's Seventh and go slow."
Oscar Levant, explaining his way out of a speeding ticket.

"Wagner's music is better than it sounds."
Mark Twain

"Berlioz says nothing in his music, but he says it magnificently."
James Gibbons Hunekar

"If a young man at the age of twenty-three can write a symphony like that, in five years he will be ready to commit murder."
Walter Damrosch on Aaron Copland

"There are still so many beautiful things to be said in C major."
Sergei Prokofiev

"I never use a score when conducting my orchestra. Does a lion tamer enter a cage with a book on how to tame a lion?"
Dimitri Mitropolous

"God tells me how the music should sound, but you stand in the way."
Arturo Toscanini to a trumpet player

"Already too loud!"
Bruno Walter at his first rehearsal with an American orchestra, on seeing the players reaching for their instruments.

"I really don't know whether any place contains more pianists than Paris, or whether you can find more asses and virtuosos anywhere."
Frederic Chopin

"When she started to play, Steinway himself came down personally and rubbed his name off the piano."
Bob Hope, on comedienne Phyllis Diller

"Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them."
Richard Strauss

"In opera, there is always too much singing."
Claude Debussy

"Oh how wonderful, really wonderful opera would be if there were no singers!"
Giacchino Rossini

"I think popular music in this country is one of the few things in the twentieth century that has made giant strides in reverse."
Bing Crosby

"A ponderous orchestral absurdity."
Frank Zappa on his rock symphony debuted by the Los Angeles Philharmonic

"The bottom line of any country is, what did we contribute to the world? We contributed Louis Armstrong."
Tony Bennett


Howdy E-Friends,

Happy April Fool’s Day…that would be April 15th ! We all know that April 1st is just the warm up act…Today is the real deal! So tonight we play George and Ira Gershwin’s song “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” in all its splendor. I’m not going to write this off…it’s been taxing my attention too long…I have always gotten to the post office no sooner than 11:49pm with my filing…but tonight I will trust my return with Rex the IRS homing pigeon (since I will be jazzing it up at Jay’s) tomorrow-tonight…as we let Rex take flight from the patio of the Bistro, we will play our own version of “Cast Your Fate To The Wind”…which seems somewhat apropos if you know what I mean…if you’re singing the blues OR ending up in the black…COME down and join us if you can! We promise you GREAT RETURNS!

Friday 4/15 Fool’s Jazz @ Jay’s Bistro with Guitarist, Mike Davis and Mark Raynes/drums, Marty Kenny/bass and Mark Sloniker/piano. This group will give you incredible capital listening gains with no down side…I promise you! (8:30-11:30)

Saturday 4/16 Trumpeter Hugh Ragin graces the Bistro with bass-burtuoso-Richard Mikel and piano-man Mark Sloniker in a very hip-suite of jazz authenticity…this night will thrill you! (8:30-11:30)

Thanks for Listening!


Dear E-Friends,
It’s a jazzy weekend at jay’s bistro and beyond as this Valentine’s Day heat wave hits Colorado! Rumor has it we’ll reach 60's on Sunday, so put on some sun screen, take the car OUT of four wheel drive, pop on the AC, and cruise on over.

Saturday 2/12, 8:30-11:30 pm - Jay’s features Colleen Crosson/voice, Gene Libbea/bass and Mark Sloniker/piano (I play the part of Colleen’s funny valentine. I’m perfect for the part).

Sunday, Feb. 13th, 7 pm - Colleen and I will be hosting our annual JOY concert at Unity of Fort Collins Every year we celebrate the anonymous donation of our grand (and I do mean grand in both senses of the word!) piano that came to live with us at Unity, bringing the music to a whole new, joyful level! JOYning us in the frivolity will be Cory Carroll on bass and Rob Wojtowick (aka Oscar deZoto!) on drums. We will share potluck desserts/finger foods (chocolate is popular…) after the concert. Love offerings will go to our joyful Unity community.

Upcoming at Jay’s Bistro: Bard Hoff/guitar Friday 2/18. Billy Hundley/voice Saturday 2/19. Grant Gordy/guitar Friday 2/25. Ryan Fourt/guitar 2/26

Thanks for Listening!


Howdy e-pals! Just a quick note to let you know what’s up at the Bistro this week:

Tonight, Wed., 1/12, 7-10 pm – it’s the Monster Trux trio, with Myles Sloniker on bass , Mark Raynes on drums, and yours truly on piano.

Thursday, 1/13, 6:30-10:30 – I’ll play solo for a bit, with Gene Libbea joining me on bass at 7:30, and various other guests bound to show up throughout the night!

Friday, 1/14 – solo set from 6-8 pm, with Andrew Vogt (sax), Myles Sloniker (bass), and Mark Raynes (drums) kickin’ it up with me from 8:30-11:30 pm.

Sat., 1/15 – solo set 6-8 pm, with soulful vocalist Billy Hundley and “bad” (that means good!) bassist Marty Kenny joining in from 8:30-11:30 pm.

It’s always a happenin’ place at 135 W. Oak St. Jazz on down to Jay’s! Mark

Mark Sloniker fan page on Facebook Mark Sloniker at ReverbNation