‘Take Five.’ It could mean a five-minute break from a busy schedule, but often we think of the musical wonder that is the ‘Dave Brubeck’s Quartet’ famous jazz standard. This outstanding, ever popular tune was composed by Paul Desmond in 1958 and released in 1959. It is considered to be the biggest selling,jazz single in the history of jazz. Most fans can hum a few bars, at least. But now, OMG Dave Brubeck’s sons are coming to town. Now you can enjoy the tune again, this time played at the 27th Annual Chestertown Jazz Festival by ‘The Brubeck Brothers Quartet’ who will headline the upcoming event on September 9, 2023.
Although the Quartet’s style is rooted in ‘Straight Ahead’ jazz, their concerts reveal an inherent ability to explore and play odd time signatures while naturally integrating the influences of funk, blues and world music. The group’s creativity, technique and improvisation can be heard in their uncompromising music, which reflects their dedication to melody, rhythm, culture and the spontaneous spirit of jazz.
Chris and Dan Brubeck have been making more music together practically all of their lives. Drummer Dan and bassist, trombonist and composer Chris cut their first record together in 1996, nearly a half century ago. They’ve subsequently played a variety of styles in a number of different groups as well as with their father jazz giant Dave Brubeck. and with their own Brubeck Brothers Quartet. With Dan and Chris as the foundation, guitarist Mike DeMicco and pianist Chuck Lamb complete this dynamic quartet. They perform at concert series, colleges and jazz festivals across North America and Europe including the Newport, Detroit, Montreal, Playboy/Hollywood Bowl, Monterey and now The Chestertown Jazz Festivals. The Quartet’s last CD, “Life Times” was a hit on the Jazzweek radio chart where it made the Top Ten list as one of the most played jazz recordings of the year.
As tradition has it, the festival will open with Gospel. This year we are featuring an all male group, ‘The Gospel Shepherds. Having performed over the
past several years for countless appearances in churches, celebrations and festivals. The current composition is Chris Cooper, guitar and vocals, Delbert Hicks, bass guitar, Gregory, ‘Worm’ Houston, vocals, Jerome, ‘Jr.,’ McKinney Jr, drums & keyboards, Harold, ‘Buddy’ Jones vocals and Chris Frazier lead vocals. Gone but fondly remembered is Clarence, ‘Doc’ Beck, 1958-2019.
The Erik Byrd Trio from the Washington area is a Grammy Nominee and will then take to the stage. If you like spiritual and good jazz, the mixture of both is
phenomenal and worth checking out and enjoying. Pianist Erik Byrd brings his trio of Bhagwan Khalsa and Tim Wharfield for Sunday morning stomping versions of traditional hymns and spirituals. Our songstress of the festival is also local, from the Silver Spring area. Cecily Bumbray will delight you with her sweet soprano jazz voice. She will sing with her quartet. Cecily has opened for soul artist Gregory Porter and R&B stars Johnny Gill, Kenny Lattimore and Elle Verner.
Our kick-off this year will again be produced by Matt Mielnick from ‘The Mainstay. They are offering a Jazz cruise on Thursday evening launching from the head of High Street. The performer is Ronnie Leigh a Jazz Vocalist from Syracuse, New York. He’s performed with Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson and Aretha Franklin. He’s also one of the finest stylists working in Soul and R &B as well. There will be a limit of 50 attendees. Call The Mainstay for more information, 410 639-9133.
The Garfield will not have a concert on Friday night. However there will be an inaugural Latin Music Concert celebrating ‘Hispanic Heritage Month.’ This will be sponsored by Kent Cultural Alliance and the Ken County Local Management Board.
All Jazz Festival information on the The Garfield Center for the Arts website and by calling 410-810-2060.