Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jane Drake, Herbie Hancock, Montgomery Pops and the Atlanta Jazz Festival

Local Jazz at Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center

The Jane Drake Trio will be at Piccolo Thursday night (5/26) for its standing gig, but that's it for music there this week due to the holiday. Sunday jazz brunch (5/29) at Ariccia continues to be accompanied by a jazz trio, which I guess is why they keep calling it a jazz brunch. Last I heard, it will be the Jack Dresher Trio with Jack on bass, pianist Joe Thomas and drummer Sam Frederick who teaches music at Troy University.

Can I just say that I think it is fantastic that the Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center, home to Piccolo and Ariccia, has chosen to identify with jazz? I would bet that there's not a club within 100 miles that hosts jazz four times a week, sometimes more, almost all year round. To all responsible, kudos and thanks.

As far as I can tell, that's it as far as jazz or classical events in Auburn and Opelika for the next 7 days or so, *sigh*. I'll move on to the localish ones, of which there are a ton.

Columbus Jazz and Opera, Montgomery Pops

Friday (5/27) jazz at The Loft in Columbus this week is the Kevin Vannoy Quartet. I think he's a guitarist. The venue does not list its jazz events on its online calendar, and if you call them, they might not be able to confirm who is playing. Their jazz booking must be a separate process from the rest of the operation. But I will say to look down on the right on Columbus Jazz Society's home page. If you see them listed, you can be sure they'll be there playing jazz, 7-9 PM **EASTERN TIME**. Right now, Vannoy is the last artist listed. I'm checking to see if Friday night jazz will continue through the summer.

UPDATE: Kevin Vannoy was canceled at The Loft due to the holiday and the finale of Columbus's Uptown Concert Series. He's been rescheduled for June 24. Friday night jazz will, in fact, continue through the summer.

I'm not sure how I missed listing the jazz group Solar last week at The Loft, but they were there. Elwood Madeo, the band's guitarist and I played a duo at Hamilton's on Magnolia in May. I enjoyed his lush voicings and melodic lines. I have played with David Morgan, the group's drummer, who is very good and very involved with the Columbus Jazz Society. I've mentioned the soulful saxophonist before, Fred Ezekiel, who was at Piccolo a couple weeks ago. Auburn Knights alum David Johnston plays bass for the group and the pianist is Donald Tipton. I won't miss announcing their concert on June 12 at the Liberty Theatre as part of the Society's monthly concert series.

Also on Friday (5/27), the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra finishes out its season with its Free Jubilee Pops Concert on the steps of the Alabama Archives and History Building. It looks like the actual Jubilee CityFest ended last week, so you shouldn't have all that to compete with to get to the show. This is a free, outdoor event.

For an opera fix, try the CSU Opera and Musical Theater Sampler at RiverCenter's Studio Theatre in Columbus on Sunday (5/29). I'll say again that Columbus State has a rapidly deepening music program. If you haven't checked out anything over there, please make plans to do so. Among other things, they run LegacyLive! which is a high-end chamber music series. It should start back in the fall.

Also on Sunday night (5/29), 1048 Jazz and Blues in Montgomery hosts a weekly jazz jam session.


For a pretty good drive to what I would imagine will be a pretty good chamber music concert, on Friday (5/27), the Alabama Symphony is presenting the first of two Summer Serenades at Brock Recital Hall on Samford University's campus in Birmingham (event page). Key performers from the Alabama Symphony Orchestra will do the Dvorak Wind Serenade and Mozart's Serenade No. 10 (Gran partita). Just to clarify, this is not a full orchestra concert. These are chamber pieces for smaller groups.

On Friday (5/27) and Saturday (5/28), musical theater superstar Patti LuPone will sing with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. I doubt that you can get tickets to this, but that's just a guess. Here's the event page.

Then this Saturday and Sunday (5/28-9) is the Atlanta Jazz Festival. Click here for the Main Stage performers. Every unencumbered jazz musician, educator, student and fan should try to get up there for at least one of these shows. A favorite pick would be violinist Regina Carter, a very big deal. See video at right of her latest project, Reverse Thread. Other picks would be vibist Warren Wolf, trumpeter Sean Jones, pianist Gerald Clayton and a Cuban-American project called Ninety Miles.

Also, a listing at Center Stage in Atlanta says that the festival is presenting Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue on Monday (5/30). Here's the event page.

Next Wednesday (6/1), Herbie Hancock plays one night only at the Alys Stephens Center (event page) in Birmingham. It's Herbie Hancock. He's a jazz legend. Here's his Wikipedia page. Here's his official site.

More to come local...
6/2-5 - Jane Drake, et al., at Piccolo, Ariccia (Auburn)
==> 6/6 - Me and Patrick Bruce at Hamilton's on Magnolia (Auburn) <==
6/9 - The Woodfield Trio at the Yellow Hammer Restaurant (Waverly)
6/20 - Auburn Summer Jazz Concert at Goodwin Hall (Auburn)

More to come localish...
6/5 - Jazz jam at 1048 Jazz and Blues (Montgomery)
6/12 - Solar at the Liberty Theatre (Columbus)

More to come ATL and BHM...
6/2 - Alabama Symphony players perform Mozart, Dvorak and Tchaikovsky at Brock Recital Hall (Birmingham)
6/3 - Black Jacket Symphony presents Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band with special guest the Alabama Symphony Orchestra (Birmingham)
6/9-12 - Atlanta Symphony Orchestra presents Puccini's Madama Butterfly (Atlanta)
6/10 - Alabama Symphony Orchestra plays Weber, Liszt, Mussorgsky, Dvorak (B'ham)
6/11 - Alabama Symphony Orchestra plays Tchaikovsky (Birmingham)
6/12 - Alabama Symphony Orchestra pops concert (Birmingham)
6/18 - Jazz guitarist Pat Martino at Center Stage (Atlanta)

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