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Markee gets a reboot as ‘A Ridenour Studio’

Posted on 03 October 2019 by LeslieM

By Diane Emeott

New owners of Markee, Keith Ridenour and Derek Assaf, recently back from building a new facility in Tennessee, acquired Markee Music from Mark Begelman in May.

Guitarist, songwriter and producer Keith and bass player and engineer Derek Assaf have been involved at Markee since its construction in 2010.

Ridenour got interested in playing guitar when he and his drummer brother Randy were kids watching a band rehearse in their living room.

“We would watch them rehearse, absorbing every fiber of the music and wanting to emulate them — and gravitated to playing. One year for Christmas, we got used drums and a used guitar! Our dad used to run dances at the old Chamber Building for the Deerfield Beach Jaycees. He used to run them at the Deerfield fishing pier as well.”

Ridenour’s father Ray also wrote poetry — inspiring Keith’s later songwriting ability.

Keith and Randy went to Deerfield Beach High School and played all the dances, including Homecoming, Sadie Hawkins … and all over Broward County, Miami-Dade County and West Palm Beach.

“We were in a band called Black Watch,” said Keith. “I was able to record my first record as a teenager, at age 17, at Mike Pinera’s studio in Miami.”

(Other bands Ridenour has played with include Harvest, a Southern Rock band; Uproar, a Pop Rock band; Razor Red, a Pop Metal all original band, and, most recently, Black Water River, a Doobie Brother’s Tribute Band.)

In 1993, Keith and a silent partner built Ridenour Studio in Oakland Park “where everyone from Ricky Martin and Aerosmith to Johnny Depp, Foreigner and Steve Winwood would play.”

Keith sold that Ridenour Studio in 2003 to move to Nashville where, for the next eight years, he continued songwriting and producing.

As CD sales became less prevalent in 2009 and 2010 (with songs available online), Keith decided to come back to South Florida to open Markee studio with former President and CEO of Office Depot Mark Begelman – who started Mars Music in Ft. Lauderdale in 1996 and later sold it.

At the end of 2017, Keith and Derek went back to Nashville. In 2018, they built ‘A Ridenour Studio’ in Murfreesboro, TN, a suburb two miles from Nashville. It caters to music students from nearby Middle Tennessee State University (MDSU), as well as the prestigious local talent pool of legendary Nashville, also known as “Music City.”

In May 2019, Keith and Derek returned to Deerfield to buy Markee from Begelman.


As a one-stop venue for all things musical, Markee offers:

Music Lessons – In its three soundproof music lesson studios, Markee provides professional lessons on guitar, bass, piano, drums, vocals, technology and songwriting by highly skilled musicians who all have a wealth of band experience.

Rehearsal Studios – Known as ‘the finest rehearsal space in South Florida,’ Markee offers six, fully-equipped, 342 sq. ft. soundproof rehearsal studios.

Recording Studio – The state-of-the art recording studio is fully equipped with Pro Tools HD and Logic 10. From Focusrite to Genelec, Markee has what it takes to record any genre of music, from Hip Hop to Gospel to Rock ‘n Roll.

Markee Performance Room: The recording studio adjoins a beautiful 875 sq. ft, fully-equipped performance room with a six-piece DW drum kit and 24-channel soundboard, perfect for full band-based recording sessions, recitals and other performances.

What’s new

Keith and Derek are in the process of upgrading all the gear and equipment at Markee, ‘A Ridenour Studio,’ in Deerfield. This includesall new drum kits in the Rehearsal and Recording studios; guitar and bass amp[lifiers]; all new vocal monitors; all new mics; cabling and a new console in the recording studio.

A new venture for Markee is offering Backline Rentals, which literally means all of the back line of musical equipment that typically appears onstage when a band plays. For example, guitar amp(s), bass amp, drums, keyboard, microphones, percussion.

Whether you need a guitar amp, bass amp, drum kit, percussion or instruments, Markee has it to rent. Keith said he and Derek were recently in talks with Pompano Beach Amphitheater about Backline Rental, as well as all other surrounding cities.

Special deals

Lesson Special – Buy three lessons, get one free ($30 per half hour, $55 per hour).

Recording Special – A Markee customer exclusive: Recording package: five hours. Get four hours of recording time plus one hour of set-up time to record up to three songs.

What Markee recommends:

Set up and mic-ing begins one hour prior to playing

You arrive 15 minutes prior to playing (for personal set-up)

Sound check 20 minutes

Recording tracks: 1 hour 10 minutes

Markee engineer mixing: 2 ½ hours

Walk out with a CD!

Regular Price: $375. Markee Customer: $262, which equals a 30 percent savings!

*If you need or desire more time, Markee will discount the regular rate of $69 per hour down to $60.

For more information, call Markee at 954-794-0033 or visit www.markeemusic.com.

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CLERGY CORNER: Let your music soar

Posted on 02 June 2016 by LeslieM

The story is told of a king who decided to reward a peasant who had done him a great service. “Shall I give him a sack of gold? A bag of pearls?” thought the king. “But these mean virtually nothing to me. I want, for once, to truly give something – something that I will miss, a gift that constitutes a sacrifice for me.”

Now this king had a nightingale who sang the sweetest songs a human ear had ever heard. He treasured the nightingale over all else and found life unbearable without it. So he summoned the peasant to his palace and gave him the bird. “This,” said the king, “is in appreciation for your loyalty and devotion.”

Thank you, Your Majesty,” said the peasant, and took the royal gift to his humble home.

A while later, the king was passing through the peasant’s village and commanded his coachman to halt at the peasant’s door.

How are you enjoying my gift?” he inquired of his beloved subject.

The truth to tell, Your Majesty,” said the peasant, “the bird’s meat was quite tough – all but inedible, in fact. But I cooked it with lots of potatoes, and it gave the stew an interesting flavor.”

Is this freedom?

People often ask, “Why does Judaism prohibit me from doing whatever I want? Why can’t we just be free, liberated and individualistic? Why are there so many laws, instructions and rituals in Judaism that govern every aspect of one’s life, from the way we eat to the way we marry? Would it not have been nice if the opening of the Ten Commandments would have read like this: ‘I am the Lord your G-d who has taken you out of Egypt in order to set you free. Now, young women and men, listen ye to my words! You can do whatever you want, wherever you want, however you want, with whomever you want, as long as you don’t hurt another person. I honor your individual rights to choose your own lifestyle and behavior, without anybody governing your decisions. Conform not to any standard; just live it up!’”

Is this why we left the house of bondage in Egypt – to become slaves to the Almighty?

The Sages saw it otherwise. “There is no free man, except for he who occupies himself with the study of Torah” (Ethics of the Fathers, 6:2.) Really? If anything, it is exactly the other way around: as long as you don’t learn Torah, you are free to engage in so many activities, the options are open. Once you embrace Torah, there goes your freedom … Torah mixes into everything … A life that is faithful to the precepts of the Torah is indeed greatly “constricted” and “confined.”

Scattering the energy

On the face of it, the Jewish code of behavior is a limiting factor, something that detracts from the great variety of possibilities that life has to offer. In truth, however, the very opposite is the case.

A life without parameters is a life that quickly dissipates into the cosmic heterogeneity in which we exist, draining it of all power and impact. When we follow our instincts, habits, cravings and appetites without any restrictions, our inner momentum, focus and depth are weakened. When we allow ourselves the freedom to go in every direction, when there are no boundaries or limitations and we are free to do everything and anything – our light scatters all over the place and we never realize our ultimate power and potential. Our energies are squandered, our richness is compromised, our creativity silenced and our brightness dulled.

Conversely, when we “restrict” the light, and do now allow it to flow anywhere and everywhere, we fine-tune our inner creativity, we cultivate our power, we become the most powerful people we can become, we access all of our momentum and we can vaporize even steel …

It is like the chords of a violin which must be tied down to allow the music to play. Torah and Halacha (law) do not come to tie us down, but rather to allow our music to soar.

The Baal Shem Tov teaches that the word Halacha is the acronym of “let the whole earth sing to G-d.” What is meat-and-potatoes for one person is a nightingale for another person, capable of producing the most beautiful music in the world.

Shavuot is the Holiday in which G-d gave the Torah to the Jewish people 3,328 years ago. This year, we celebrate Shavuot on June 12 and 13.

Rabbi Tzvi Dechter is the Director of Chabad of North Broward Beaches. New location soon! For all upcoming events, please visit www.JewishLHP.com.

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Beach Boys – LHP Tribute Band

Posted on 07 November 2013 by LeslieM

Pages 01-08 newPhotos by Diane Emeott

About 500 area residents grooved to tunes like “Let’s Go Surfin’ Now,” “Help Me, Rhonda,” 409,” “Be True To Your School,” Saturday night, Nov. 2 in Lighthouse Point’s Frank McDonough Park – played LIVE by a Beach Boys Tribute Band.

Marlies, who came with neighbors Axel and Pauline, grabbed a tasty plate of food from one of the many food trucks.

Jeff Brand and Faith, 5, enjoyed a father/daughter night out at the event sponsored by LHP Cultural Committee.


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15-year-old local Country artist gets big nod from Nashville

Posted on 31 October 2013 by LeslieM

lizzie103113By Joe Malmuth, Photo by D. Sider

Recently named one of the Country Music Association (CMA’s) 2013 New Artists to Watch, 15-year-old Lizzie Sider has accomplished a lot, including: garnering the attention of some big names in Nashville, New York and Los Angeles.

Lizzie, a Florida native who lives in Boca Raton, recently performed her song “Butterfly,” on the nationally-syndicated Queen Latifah Show.

Lizzie will perform at 80 schools throughout California during her campaign to bring awareness to the anti-bullying movement.

Lizzie’s song “Butterfly,” was written about her own experiences being bullied and how she overcame the teasing and learned a life lesson within the words of her father.

“My goal is to spread a good message and hopefully inspire these kids. I always wanted to inspire and help people. It’s something I have always been passionate about,” she said.

A victim of bullying at a young age, Lizzie shared the idea of hitting the road to promote an anti-bullying agenda with her parents, and after reaching out to California schools, the 80-stop tour was born.

“Every time after these assemblies, the kids come up to me afterwards and I get to talk to them and really make friends. I can’t describe the feeling I get when these kids tell me that I have inspired them. It really makes my heart smile.”

Lizzie performs to an average crowd of about 500 children — ranging in age from kindergarten through 8th grade.

Butterfly,” which she co-wrote with Jamie O’Neal about her experiences being bullied in school, recently ranked in the Top 40 in the Music Row Charts in Nashville.

“My dad told me, ‘Nobody has the power to ruin your day,'” which is the theme of the tour.

“Butterfly has become my anthem and I want it to inspire others and for it to give them courage to spread the message that nobody has the power to ruin your day.”

The 80 School Bully Prevention Assembly Tour in California is Lizzie’s idea and is endorsed by Pacer.org, the United States National Bully Prevention Organization.



Lizzie is working on a new album for release sometime in 2014 and recently participated in her first CMA Fest with her own booth and a LIVE performance at the famed country music venue, The Wildhorse.

She will be touring Florida schools in January and February 2014.

**For more information, go to:





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Moonlight Melodies this Friday in Deerfield

Posted on 13 June 2011 by LeslieM

This Friday, June 17 at 7 PM, the City of Deerfield Beach kicks off the beachfront Moonlight Melodies Concert Series with a performance by the retro rock band 441.

Bring your beach chair and take in the oceanfront sounds of the Moonlight Melodies concert series, co-sponsored by the Deerfield Beach Cultural Committee and the City of Deerfield Beach The free concerts are held in front of the Main Beach Parking Lot, SE 1st Street and Ocean Way. Refreshments will be available for purchase. Guests are encouraged to bring beach chairs and blankets for seating comfort.

Future concerts in the series include:
July 22 – TBD
August 12 – Midlife Crysis
August 26 – The Tom Jackson Band
September 9 – Scott Ringerson, “The Elvis Experience”

For more information on the Moonlight Melodies concert series, call 954-480-4430.

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