MAX MONDAYS

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The quintessential New York musician, Max Weinberg needs little introduction. From his initial performance with Blackstone, his longtime para-diddles with Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band to his role as Conan O'Brien's beloved bandleader, the published author of "The Big Beat", Conversations with Rock's Great Drummers. He is one of the best rhythm-keepers and swing-starters ever, and his love for music, both classic and new, keeps him relevant and always moving forward. I have known this old man since way back when.

Every Monday, Rainbow Room offers a la carte service, with a $34 cover for entertainment. To kick off this new format for Monday nights, they are welcoming the Max Weinberg Orchestra for a nine-week summer series, "Mondays with Max." Reservations are currently available.

In his Orchestra incarnation, Weinberg is a bandleader bar none, overseeing an assemblage of 22 musicians who delve deeply into the Great American Songbook, a repertoire that perfectly matches the glitz and glamour of the landmark Rainbow Room. In advance of his summer residency, we asked Weinberg a few questions about his New York life, his Rockefeller Center memories and what it's like to play in one of the most gorgeous performance rooms around.

Max says growing up in South Orange New Jersey, a trip to Rockefeller Center was a BIG deal. Naturally Radio City Music Hall was top of the list with first-run movies (I saw the original Music Man starring Robert Preston), and the Christmas and Easter Spectaculars. My very first, clumsy, ice skating attempts were made at the Rink.

I have known Max since our teenage years, playing in his parents garage and later I had the pleasure of running into him on several occasions. He is a drummer and a high class dreamer.

Max Weinberg Big Band https://youtu.be/NNnnJIxCYH0

PHOTO: Rockefeller Center