On Friday, September 16, The Mainstay in Rock Hall, Maryland welcomes jazz drummer/ vibraphonist Chuck Redd and his guests in a program titled “A Birthday Tribute to Charlie Byrd and Bossa Nova.
September 16 is the birthday of world-renowned guitarist Charlie Byrd. Byrd, who filled large concert halls and played before royalty, was somehow persuaded to perform at The Mainstay’s modest 120 seat venue in Rock Hall during its first few years. Following that first concert, he kept returning with his famous musician friends (and a young drummer and vibes player named Chuck Redd).
In 1962 Byrd released the album Jazz Samba with saxophone great Stan Getz that launched bossa nova in the United States. The recording predated the Getz/Gilberto recording of The Girl from Ipanema by two years (one of the best-selling and most recorded songs of all time).
Chuck Redd is a frequent and well-known performer at the Mainstay. He joined the Charlie Byrd Trio at the age of 21. To his credit are 25 European tours and six tours of Japan. Redd was also the featured vibraphonist with the Mel Tormé All-Star Jazz Quintet from 1991 until 1996. Redd’s career highlights include concerts at Carnegie Hall, and appearances on The Tonight Show.
Chuck will share the stage with fingerstyle guitarist Nate Najar, another familiar name to Mainstay audiences. Nate has been cited by music critic A. D. Amorosi as “the heir apparent to Charlie Byrd.” Nate credits his teacher Frank Mullen, a Washington D.C. guitarist for introducing him to Charlie’s music and the whole D.C. jazz scene. Years later, Najar would get the stamp of approval from no less than Byrd’s widow, the Mainstay’s very own Becky Byrd, who said, “There is no doubt that there is a piece of Charlie’s soul in Nate’s mind, heart and fingers.” Stand-up bass player Herman Burney will round out the trio.
Their Mainstay program will revisit Byrd’s landmark bossa nova works, as well as songs that Charlie loved by Gershwin, Ellington and Rodgers and Hart. Chuck will also offer a few anecdotes from his 19-year stint with The Charlie Byrd Trio. As a footnote, Chuck Redd and Herman Burney are featured on Nate Najar’s July 2022 release, “Jazz Samba Pra Sempre” which is currently #8 on the national Jazz Week charts.
Showtime for the live concert event is 8 pm. Tickets are $25 in advance of the show and can be purchased online at mainstayrockhall.org. Phone reservations are accepted by calling (410) 639-9133 (tickets reserved by phone are $30 when paid at the door). The Mainstay is located at 5753 N Main Street in Rock Hall, Maryland. Its regular calendar of local, regional, and nationally touring artists features a live performance every week of the year (February through December) in a variety of music genres.
The programs of the Mainstay are supported with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Kent Cultural Alliance.