Howard County Times

Local jazz musician Mike Pope performing June 9 [Marriottsville/Sykesville/Woodstock]

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The towns of Marriottsville, Sykesville and Woodstock all span the Patapsco River and thus are in two or more counties. Although this column focuses on Howard County, our day-to-day lives do not stop at the county line. Sometimes I like to include information from "the other side" if it may be of wider interest.

Recently I learned Mike Pope, a world-class jazz bassist, resides in the Carroll County side of Marriottsville. Although he has traveled thousands of miles across many different continents, he considers himself more firmly settled now, with two children and a new outlook on life after surviving a health scare in 2011.


These life events have helped shape his latest album, "Cold Truth, Warm Heart," which, he says, "was written for the players who were playing it. The idea was to write stuff that was inspired, worrying less about how it would all go together than how it felt in the moment."

With this album, he wears many different hats: composer, arranger, bandleader and musician.


Pope is touring with House of Cardinals, a band that includes Eldar Djangirov on piano, Bob Franceschini on tenor saxophone, Joe Locke on vibraphone and Mauricio Zottarelli on drums. Their next concert is scheduled for Friday, June 6 at 8 p.m. at An Die Musik in Baltimore. From there, they head to Regattabar in Boston, Mass., on June 10. Go to to learn more.

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Although I am a little late, I would like to acknowledge the May Band Musicians of the Month at West Friendship Elementary School. Kudos to Jack Baxter, percussion; Diana Chatrchi, flute; Max Fagerstrom, trumpet; Anna Hebner, flute; Cassidy Keyser, clarinet; Juliette LaVeck, flute; David McDonald, trombone; Noble Przyborowski, alto saxophone; Niko Sambat, percussion; and Jacob Wise, trombone.

These fine musicians, along with their fellow band and orchestra members, will perform in their Spring Concert on Friday, June 6 at 7 p.m., at the school.

Sykesville Main Street is hopping this month! If you like shopping, wine and live music, then head over June 6 for the next First Friday event. The jazz band Transfusion will perform in the gazebo from 7 to 9 p.m., and stores will remain open until 10.

The Sykesville Farmer's Market also begins this month and runs every Sunday through September, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., on Baldwins Drive by the fountain park. Vendors will sell a variety of vegetables, herbs, baked goods and wine.

The Sykesville Cinema outdoor movies series will feature "Despicable Me" on Saturday, June 14, 8:30 to 10:20 p.m. at Millard Cooper Park. Remember to come early and bring your own chairs. Popcorn, candy and beverages will be available for purchase. If the weather looks bad, call the Sykesville Cinema Hotline at 443-300-8724.

Go to for directions and additional information, or contact Main Street Manager Ivy Wells at or 410-795-8959 with any questions.

Caregivers may appreciate an opportunity to renew and heal on Saturday, June 7, 2 to 4 p.m., as Gordon Creamer facilitates the quarterly Caregiver's Support Group at the Retreat & Conference Center at Bon Secours, 1525 Marriottsville Road. Participants may either drop in or pre-register at 410-442-3120; the cost is $15.