Saturday, August 10, 2013

Killer B3 Award Winning

SBFF winners packet
This summer, Killer B3 screened at the 15th Annual San Francisco Black Film Festival (SFBFF).  What a great experience.

The SFBFF is held at several venues in and near San Francisco's artistic rich Filmore District.  We just read an article that said, less than 5% of all films entered in film festivals are actually accepted.  Needless to say, we are honored to screen at any venue.
Boom Boom Room doorman rocks Killer B3 T-Shirt.  Photo by Stan Pechner
Killer B3 Sticker gets a well earned drink at the bar of Boom Boom Room.  Photo by Stan Pechner
Killer B3 screened at the Boom Boom Room, a really cool and eclectic music club a stones throw from the historic Filmore Theater.  The Boom Boom Room used to be owned by blues legend, Johnny Lee Hooker.  The bar is one of few clubs anywhere that has a Hammond B3 Organ permanently on site.  Bands love it! Now, they don't have to lug their Hammond to the gig.
Musician jams on Hammond B3 during show at Boom Boom Room.
A lot of cool things happened during the SFBFF.  First, we won our first festival award.  Yep, Killer B3 is officially an award-winning film.  Killer B3 was awarded Honorary Mention for Best Documentary.  We didn't win the top spot, but we are proud to have the film recognized for being one of the best in the fest.
Some of the winning goodies sent over from SFBFF
More goodies from SFBFF winners packet.
The team at SFBFF sent us a nice awards packet.  It came in a vintage film case.  Inside was tons of cool things we will treasure.  Thank you SFBFF for a wonderful four days in one of the greatest cities anywhere in the world.
SFBFF Volunteer gets his Killer B3 T-Shirt during interview with Murv.
I got a chance to meet some really cool people during the San Francisco trip.  I'm learning, you find your own little crew to hang out with at these festivals. 
Filmmakers (L) Pat Ward Williams, Joana Lima Martins, Denise Ward-Brown, Murv Seymour leaving the Make out Room in S.F.
You would think, as producer of Killer B3, we probably have met everybody featured in the documentary.  Not true.  Pete Fallico is someone who has helped us immensely with the production of Killer B3.  In fact, Pete has been invaluable.  After eight years of working on Killer B3, we had never met Pete.  Pete's interview was shot as a favor by my long time friend, Stan Pechner.  Stan lives in the S.F. Bay area and so does Pete. 
Pete Fallico and Murv hanging out in the Johnny Lee Hooker booth at the Boom Boom Room.  Photo by Stan Pechner
Needless to say, I was excited to meet Pete at the SFBFF screening.  Pete said the film was incredible.  He said he was really impressed with everything, especially the editing around all the music featured in the film.  He also said we nailed it by paying such great detail to Jimmy Smith's contribution to the Hammond sound. 
Murv talks with SFBFF attendees before screening.  Photo by Stan Pechner
See you at the New Jersey Film Festival on September 8, 2013.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Killer B3 Screening Near You

It's been a minute since our last post.  It's always been our intent to keep this blog updated.  But, it's been tough to manage all the different elements of Killer B3 as things continue to grow.  We're not complaining, we're just sorry to keep you waiting.
(L) Murv and (R) Joe talk to Hammond fans during Killer B3 fundraiser at the Palladium's Side Door in St. Petersburg, FL   Photo Courtesy:  Jay Nolan
Since October, Killer B3 has been selected to three film festivals.  In March, we made our world debut in our own backyard at the Gasparilla International Film Festival (GIFF) in Tampa, Florida.  GIFF was recently voted one of the top 25 film festivals worth attending by Moviemaker Magazine.
(R) Murv and Joe answer questions after GIFF screening.  Photo Courtesy:  Jay Nolan
We screened to a sold out house at CineBistro Theater.  It was amazing!  What a great venue to watch a movie.  It's like watching a flick from the couch, or your favorite chair at home.  We were emotionally touched to see people receive Killer B3 with laughter, tears and overall joy.
(L) Gene Yagle takes photo of (L) Joe and Murv during Q&A session at GIFF.  Photo by:  Jay Nolan
Our buddies Jay Nolan and Gene Yagle snapped a few shots of the historic day for us.  Overall, we couldn't be happier with our experience at Gasparilla.
(L) Joe gets interviewed by GIFF board member/pressman Frank Robertson.
One of the coolest things about our GIFF screening, actor Colin Farrell was posted up on the red carpet immediately after our screening.  Yea, we shared the red carpet with a Hollywood star, sort of.  Lol.  Farrel made a surprise visit to GIFF to support a film produced by one of his friends.
Colin Farrell works the red carpet next to us!  Photo by:  Jay Nolan
(L) Murv Seymour, Joe Bamford, Sr., Peggy Bamford, Joe Bamford, Jr., (R)Kristine Bamford,  Photo by:  Jay Nolan
In June, Killer B3 screened at the San Francisco Black Film Festival (SFBFF).  Because of budget restraints, Joe didn't make the trip. 
Murv invites patrons of the Boom Boom Room to watch Killer B3.
SFBFF is held in the incredible Filmore District of S.F.  What a cool place.  It's so filled with the artistic vibe.  You've got the Filmore Theater.   There's Yoshi's Sushi and Jazz Club.  There is also tons of great food venues on Filmore.  One of our popular Killer B3 stickers is hopefully a permanent fixture on the back stage door at the Filmore.

Festival volunteer Greg "Dread" gave me and Killer B3 cameraman Stan Pechner a VIP tour of the historic venue.  "Dread" used to work there, and still does from time to time.
Murv and SFBFF volunteer Greg "Dread" while backstage at the Filmore Theatre.  Photo by:  Stan Pechner
Killer B3 was screened at Johnny Lee Hooker's former blues club, the Boom Boom Room.  Organizers thought it was a perfect spot to screen because the club has a great history with the Hammond organ.  The club has an in-house Hammond B3 so traveling musicians don't have to lug theirs to the club.
Keyboardist jams on the in-house Hammond B3 at the Boom Boom Room.
Killer B3 was screened twice over the SFBFF weekend.  I gave out Killer B3 T-shirts to various people.  It's a cool way to promote because the shirt gets people talking about your project.
Killer B3 fan proudly holds up Killer B3 T-Shirt.  Photo by:  Stan Pechner
Les the doorman sports his Killer B3 Shirt outside the Boom Boom Room.  Photo by:  Stan Pechner
We had a larger turnout for our Saturday afternoon showing.  Both audiences were filled with fans of the instrument and fans of the SBFF.
Boom Boom Room patron and SFBFF supporter enjoys Killer B3 screening.

Killer B3 received Honorary Mention for Best Documentary at the SFBFF.  This is obviously a big deal for us.

Pete Fallico attended our SFBFF screening.  Pete is a S.F. Bay area radio programmer, concert promoter and President of the Jazz Organ Fellowship.  We would have never been able to produce Killer B3 without Pete's helping hand.  You can see it firmly planted on my shoulder.
(L) Pete Fallico meets Murv for the first time in the Johnny Lee Hooker booth after screening at SFBFF. Photo by: Stan Pechner
(L) SFBFF volunteer Jauque tries on his Killer B3 T-Shirt during SFBFF interview session in the filmmakers lounge.
It's important to meet and chat with as many people as you can at these festivals because other filmmakers provide tons of tips on how to work the festival circuit.  They tell you things nobody else tells you about film festivals.  
(L) Filmmakers Pat Ward Williams, Joana Limas Martins, Denise Ward-Brown, Murv hanging out after hours in S.F. near the Makeout Room
Yes, the Makeout Room is the real name of the a nightclub.  And no, I didn't make out!  Wait a minute...

Monday, November 5, 2012

Killer B3 Band Makes Debut

The Killer B3 Band showed its stuff at Skippers Smokehouse in Tampa, FL in October.  The hand picked band performed its second live show in less than a month to help raise awareness and funds for Killer B3.

Shawn Brown (L) Nate Najar (M) Jeremy Carter (R) Kenny Suarez (Back) - Photo courtesy Jay Nolan
Who knew producing a documentary would lead to promoting a live concert.  In an effort to spread the word and raise cash, we figured it couldn't hurt to host a concert featuring the Hammond organ sound.  Anchored by organist Shawn Brown, the KB3 band features some of Tampa's top musicians.  

The Band made its debut in September 2012 at the Palladium's Sidedoor in St. Petersburg, FL.  With limited marketing, and on a shoestring of a budget, the show was almost a sellout.  Fans were treated to nearly three and a half hours of music.

Audio Download of the KB3 Band Live at the Palladium is available on the website for $9.99 and free shipping anywhere (Ships 10/23/12)
For those who live outside the state of Florida and abroad, we figured fans could appreciate an opportunity to buy the music from the Palladium show.  Yes, we recorded the show.  Yes, you can purchase a copy of it to enjoy on your own.  Just go to our website, and download the audio from the show from our Shop Page.
Killer B3 Fans enjoy organist Shawn Brown during fundraiser at the Palladium in St. Petersburg, FL - Photo courtesy Jay Nolan
We also gave fans a sneak peak at the documentary.  Just before the band played, we also debuted our theatrical trailer for the film.  It's a power packed three minutes that really captures the energy of why the Hammond Organ sound is unmistakable.

The hope is to put on a live show every one or two months.  There is no better way to introduce people to the beauty of this instrument and its sound.

A big thanks to Jay Nolan for taking some incredible snaps for us.  If you need photos that capture the spirit of being their, Jay Nolan is your guy.  Checkout his website

Thanks a bunch for stopping by.  Please spread the word about this project, blog and everything else.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Killer B3 Post Card Contest Crowns First Winner

In case you missed it, we had a postcard contest during the last part of July and all of August.  Basically, we sent ten KB3 postcards to anyone who wanted them.  The person who most creatively used their postcard was crowned winner (as decided by the number of likes to their photo on our FB page).  Needless to say, the response has been incredible.

Joe shot a little promo from Costa Rica.  Yea, I said Costa Rica!  It stars one of many of the visitors camped outside his rural cottage each day.  It's too funny! 

Shot of KB3 postcard outside the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, IN
We continue to gain fans in all parts of the world.  According to our Facebook stats, we have fans in 7 countries, and in almost as many languages.  We also have over 33,000 hits on our Killer B3 Youtube Channel.   We sent out cards to people in all corners of the world.  People sent back creative pictures featuring our KB3 postcards.  While we had our personal favorites, fans of Killer B3 on FB decided the winner.  The grand prize was a free Killer B3 T Shirt and bragging rights.
Killer B3 T-Shirts are now for sale on our website,  The money generated goes towards getting Killer B3 released.
This winning snap from Sherri Talley in Shreveport, LA won the hearts of KB3 fans on FB and the free T-Shirt.  

 Winning our postcard contest wasn't easy.  Many KB3 fans went above and beyond the call of duty to show their support for our documentary.  Sherri Talley even took some snaps during Hurricane Issac.  Lol.  Now that's committed!

Terry Levandoski clearly gets around.  He sent in some incredible shots from all parts of the U.S.

Terry Levandoski sent this in from the streets of Vegas.  Lets hope he had a winning way while in Sin City.       

Terry Levandoski took time to take this shot on Greg Allman's organ while at the Allman Brothers Museum in GA
Terry Levandoski had lunch somewhere in CA with his KB3 postcard.
Our pal Gene Yagle took a trip out to the Pacific Northwest.  Gene sent in some nice shots featuring the Space Needle and other great landmarks in the region.
Gene Yagle sent this in from somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

Killer B3 Director of Photography, Joe Bamford got the idea for the postcard photo contest while hanging out in Chicago this past summer at the Blues Festival.  After seeing some of his shots, we figured this was a cool way to spread the word about KB3 while having some fun.
Joe Bamford sent this in from downtown Chicago.  Of course Joe is in-eligible to enter his own postcard contest.  Nice try buddy.  Lol.
Joe Bamford sent this in from his cab ride while in Chicago.  Looks like his cab driver is seriously chillin'.
We are thinking of making the postcard contest a monthly competition.  We're kind of curious to see what other parts of the world will entries come in from. 

Diane Roberts sent this in from Yankee Stadium.  We know she's a rabid Rays fan.  We're guessing the Rays were in town.
Rich Murphy sent this one in from the high skies.  Not sure, but I think his electronic device should be in the off position.  And, that postcard should be wearing a seat belt.
The Band Earshot Graffiti sent this in from one of my favorite restaurant's in LA.  They were prepping for a gig at Superior Grill in Shreveport.  Awesome!
Brooks Paxton caught this snap of a Killer B3 postcard getting down and dirty on the work site.

A big thanks to everyone who took part in the August contest.  We are planning on doing it again, so stay tuned.  You too could win a KB3 T-Shirt!  Maybe the coolest thing about the KB3 postcards is you can actually use them.  Yes, you can mail them to someone if you like because they are REAL postcards. 

More exciting Killer B3 news is on the way.

Visit for more information on Killer B3.  Please like us on FB, and checkout our Youtube Channel for more videos.  Buy a KB3 T-Shirt today and get free shipping, and you're supporting our great documentary.

Murv  & Joe
Producers, Killer B3

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Killer B3 the Music

If you love music, you will love Killer B3.  Sure, the story is centered around the sound of Hammond organs and the contribution of its players, but when it's all said and done, music and passion take center stage in Killer B3.

We have been fortunate.  Over the past six years of shooting Killer B3, we have been up close with some of the greatest organ players ever. But, the musicians playing the backup role are monsters of music too.  

Blues based guitarist Willie Lomax of Lutz, Florida has a soulful, blues based sound.  Willie has actually has helped us a bunch over the years in getting this film done.  We will be loading some clips of him playing at some point. 
Tampa guitarist Willie Lomax
We used his studio to shoot one of our first promo videos for Killer B3.  It's a pretty cool video.  The video features organist Shawn Brown gettin' down on some swinging blues.  A small space, we lit it fairly loose.  We wanted to conceal the player and push the focus towards the sound of the organ and the passion of its player.  In the beginning, we didn't know a lot about Hammond organs.  I remember we were leery about Shawn playing an organ that wasn't a B3.  We later learned, the core Hammond sound is the same in many models.  Only true die hard of organ enthusiast might notice the organ Shawn was playing wasn't a sporty B3.  

Our first road trip out of Florida took us to Columbus, Ohio.  We were treated to the blazing Hammond B3 sound of Tony Monaco.  We were really blown away to find that Tony learned to play the Hammond by playing the accordion.  He actually showed Jimmy Smith, Jr. how he played his dad's songs on the electronic box.

Tony's trio is fueled by drummer Louis Tsamous and guitarist Robert Kraut.  Both are amazing musicians.  Amazingly, they match Tony's incredible musical energy . 

Robert Kraut is amazing.  He is melodic in his chords and soloing.  When he is not making amazing music, Kraut teaches psychology.  I remember before we started shooting Tony's show, Robert requested we keep our distance while he played.  I didn't get that close to him during the concert, but Joe really got in Robert's grill for some shots.  Lol.  Kraut was so in the moment as he played, I don't think he even noticed.

One of the more traveled musician who caught our eye during production was percussionist, Walfredo Reyes, Jr.  Walfredo has toured with Santana, Steve Winwood and too many other music greats to name.  He came to Tampa to Jam with Willie Lomax and Shawn Brown.  

During our visit to Club Smoke in New York, we knew we were going to see legends like, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jimmy McGriff and Reuben Wilson.  We were pleasantly surprised to hear the smooth sax licks of Jerry Weldon.  You know Jerry's sound from the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Harry Connick, Jr., George Benson and so many other great musicians.  

I know everybody is wondering when Killer B3 will hit screens.  It will be in 2013 for sure.  In the meantime, we're going to be working on a way to release a companion project that features the music from Killer B3.  

Sorry for the delay in posts.  We have been hustling to raise funds to pay for the many expenses of putting together a project like this.  We will be launching a fundraising effort pretty soon. In the meantime, visit to find out more about how you can help.  Also, like us on Facebook, and visit our Youtube channel to checkout more videos.

Murv & Joe,
Producers, Killer B3

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Joey DeFrancesco Sits Down For Killer B3

Until you have to do it, you cannot imagine what it's like to coordinate your no budget production schedule with the greatest musicians in the world who are traveling non-stop.
Joe DeFrancesco plays his rare Corina Blonde B3
So far, we have traveled to just shy of a dozen cities.  To start the new year, we headed to Scottsdale, Arizona.  There, Joey DeFrancesco and his organ playing dad graciously opened their homes, archive of photos, and personal memories to us.  

Getting to Scottsdale started out as a cold journey.  Before leaving Tampa, the ground crew at Southwest Airlines had to de-ice the plane.  No joke!  I don't know how cold it got that morning, but it was cold enough for us to scrape frost from the car with a spatchula.  Don't judge.  When we get frost in Florida, we scrape with whatever flips our eggs best.
Joe took this picture of the plane being de-iced at Tampa International Airport
We spent about two days in Scottsdale.  I have been to the area a bunch of times, Joe hasn't been since he was a kid.  We both were blown away with the lay of the land.  First, we couldn't help but notice the mountains.  They are not big, but distinctive.  We felt like we were on the set of a John Wayne movie.
One of the amazing Cactus' we saw sprawled throughout the desert.  This thing was at least 15 feet tall!
Secondly, the varieties of cactus' is incredible.  Some grow close to the ground in a cluster.  Others are well over 15 feet tall.  Their limbs grow outward like arms with a bent elbow.  They reminded me of a giant pretzel, like the ones you buy in the food court at the mall for five bucks.
A shot of me and Joe in the desert
After checking in to the hotel, we made it to Joey DeFrancesco's house around three o'clock in the afternoon.  With a hug and a smile, Joey greeted and treated us like family.  Our first stop, his garage.  There he has enough Hammond organs for a starting basketball team spread around in what he said will one day be his studio.  He has a bunch of Leslie Speakers too.  A couple of them were passed down to him from the late great Jimmy Smith, Sr. 

Of all the Hammond organs Joey has, one in particular is breathtaking.  It is probably why he has it sitting in his living room, just steps from the front door. 
Joe DeFrancesco plays his rare Blonde B3
Joey has a Corina Blonde B3.  Yep, that's right, a Blonde B3.  We had never heard of one.  I guess out of the couple hundred of thousands of B3's made, less than a hundred were Corina Blonde.  In all his time around Hammond organs, Joey told us, he has only seen three Blonde B3's.  While Hammond made plenty of other model organs in Corina Blonde, they were very selective about building B3's with this look. 

Golden in color, it is obvious why this rare beauty is called a Blonde B3.  Joey said, back in 50's, Hammond used to leave some organs unfinished to accommodate any custom orders.  It was not an advertised style available to just anyone.  You had to be special, and you had to have some extra bucks.  Joey said his Blonde B3 is by far his favorite of his Hammond organs to play.
Joey D plays talks about his 1957 Blonde B3
Walking around Joey's home is like a journey through a musical museum.  There aren't many people that have a trumpet passed down from Miles Davis.  And if that's not enough, he also has several organs and Leslie Speakers passed down from Jimmy Smith, his mentor and friend.

Joey was hand picked by Miles Davis to join his band at the age of 17.  He proudly showed us a horn Miles gave him with his signature bent mouth piece.  The horn sits proudly in a nook near Joey's living room.  Joey said, Miles was his inspiration to start playing the trumpet.  Today, Joey routinely plays the trumpet during many of his gigs.

On day two of of shoot, we spent time with Pappa John DeFrancesco.  Pappa John has a great history on the Hammond too.  Just hours before our flight back to Tampa, we had just enough time to visit him at his home in nearby Maricopa, Arizona.
Just minutes before our interview, I had a few laughs with Pappa John DeFrancesco at his home in Maricopa, Arizona
At 71, Pappa John is still recording great music.  We were listening to his 2010 CD, A Philadelphia Story, in the truck. 

Pappa John and his wife of 50 years, Lorene were so gracious to us.  Pappa John told us how his son Joey's name became synonymous with organ music.   Simply put, he said Joey would practice Jimmy Smith's music all day and everyday.  What ever Joey heard, he could play it.  As a kid, the only way to punish Joey was to stop him from playing the organ, he said.

During our more than 3 hour conversation, Pappa John told some great stories about Joey, the organ and the music legends they have  brushed elbows with.  Surprisingly, Pappa John doesn't take much credit for Joey's talents.  He said, Joey did all the work himself.
Pappa John DeFrancesco tells us candid stories about his son, Joey and other organ greats
Two stories really stick out.  First, the story of what 7 year old Joey did to meet Jimmy Smith, Sr. for the first time.  Both father and son remember it well.

When Joey was 7, he found a phone number to the Jimmy Smith Supper Club.  It wasn't hard, the number was printed directly on a the cover of a Jimmy Smith album as part of the artwork.

Disguising his voice, Joey not only called the number, but he left a name and number on the answering machine.  Young Joey didn't leave his name, instead he said he was Stanley Turrentine.  Yep, the  7 year old passed himself off as the saxophone great.

Perplexed and flattered by the call, Jimmy Smith returned "Stanley Turrentine's" message.  Lol.  Joey D and Jimmy Smith eventually became musical collaborators and close friends till Jimmy's death in February of 2006.
(L) Pappa John DeFrancesco, Lorene DeFrancesco, Joe Bamford, Murv Seymour
The other story that had us cracking up was when Pappa John talked about one night he had to load his organ on stage for a gig. Of course, he had to load it up a steep staircase.  Every organ player has a story like this, but Pappa John's story was uniquely funny.

Keep in mind, a B3 weighs every bit of 400 pounds.  Using skills that rival McGyver, Poppa John said he and the band had a plan.
Pappa John DeFrancesco sits and talks with us at him home in Maricopa, Arizona
One musician tied a rope around the B3's sporty legs.  While Pappa John is saying this, me and Joe were already laughing.  Lol.  I'm laughing now just thinking about it again.  Lol.

Pappa John and another musician figured they would push the organ, while the other musician pulled.  Suddenly, the musician pulling said he couldn't hold the rope any longer.  Both Pappa John and the other band member had no choice, they took off running down the steps.  I imagine a scene like the one in Indiana Jones, where Indiana Jones was chased from a cave by a giant boulder.

Pappa John and his band mate were quickly followed by the barreling organ.  He said the organ was popping light fixtures as it made its way toward the bottom of the stairs.  They barely got out of the way, Pappa John said.  He said the organ flipped end over end before coming to rest.  They changed out some broken tubes and clicked the organ to the on position.  Believe it or not, It worked.  The organ fired up!  They performed the gig as scheduled.  But he said, they were docked pay for each of the light fixtures they took out.  He said he told the owner of the club to get an elevator.

After our talk, Poppa John treated us to a little of his playing.  Man,  he knows how to swing that organ!

Big thanks to the DeFrancesco's for making our trip to the Phoenix area so great.
Pappa John DeFrancesco plays a little blues after his interview
See you next time.  Check out our Youtube channel, we're always adding new clips.  Don't forget to like Killer B3 on facebook.  You can also visit our website @ for the latest on KB3.  Happy New Years again everybody!

Murv & Joe
Producers, Killer B3