SOMERS POINT, N.J. — The Somers Point Jazz Society (spjazz.org) is bringing back its popular monthly Winter Jazz Series starting Saturday, Jan. 19, when the VCF Trio visits Gregory’s Restaurant (900 Shore Road in Somers Point) at 8:30pm. The trio features Vic Stevens on drums, Chico Huff on bass and Frank Strauss on keyboards.
Stevens has been a professional musician since age 16, having performed live and/or in the studio with jazz guitar legends Pat Martino, Larry Carlton, Allan Holdsworth, Andreas Oberg and others. Also a pro player since age 16, Huff is primarily a self-taught musician who’s toured with the likes of James Taylor, Carly Simon, Pat Martino, John Hall, Edgardo Cintron and others. Strauss recently moved back to his hometown of Philadelphia after living in Los Angeles for 15 years. He has played, toured, arranged and recorded with a number of artists, most notably Tom Jones and Melissa Manchester.
On Saturday, Feb. 16, the series will see the Atlantic City Jazz Band (pictured below right) perform at Gregory’s starting 8:30pm, and on Sunday, March 10, the 2013 Jazz Master Award Reception will start at 5pm at Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro (908 Shore Road), with the Barry Miles Trio (Miles on piano, Tim Lekan on bass and Bob Shomo on drums) taking the stage at 6pm.
Admission is free to all performances, but donations are appreciated. For more information visit spjazz.org or call (609) 927-6677. The Somers Point Winter Jazz Series is made possible in part through the New Jersey State Council of the Arts with additional funding provided by Shore Medical Center.
The Ocean City Library and Somers Point Jazz Society will team up to present a three-part Jazz Education Series starting Feb. 24. Admission is free and all three dates will run from 2-3:30pm at the Ocean City Free Public Library (1735 Simpson Ave. in Ocean City). The programs are as follows:
Sunday, Feb. 24 — “The Jazz Bassist ... from Timekeeper to Soloist”
This presentation will be a combination lecture and performance, discussing and demonstrating how bassists have been transformed from basic timekeepers (1920-1940) in the earlier years of jazz, to finally earning their proper and important place in musical ensembles. Some of the great bass players to be discussed will be Jimmy Blanton, Charles Mingus, Milt Hinton, Charlie Haden, Scott LaFaro, Paul Chambers, Ray Brown, Ron Carter, Stanley Clarke, John Patitucci and Marcus Miller.
Jazz guitar legend Pat Martino will be one of the headline acts at this year’s Jazz @ the Point festival in Somers Point from April 11-14
Bob Perkins, longtime Philadelphia-area jazz program radio host, has been named the 2012 recipient of the Somers Point Jazz Society’s fifth annual Jazz Master Award.
The Mulgrew Miller Trio is one of this year’s headlining acts at the 15th annual Somers Point Jazz Society Jazz @ the Point Festival, which runs Thursday through Sunday, March 8-11. Miller’s trio performs two sets (8 and 10pm) Friday, March 9, in the banquet room of Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro (see sidebar for details).
One reason the Cape Bank Jazz @ The Point festival has not only survived but thrived regardless of the economy is that it’s given jazz fans top-flight entertainment for a reasonable fee. That’s certainly the case with the 13th version of the festival, which takes place this Thursday through Sunday, March 10-13, at three venues in Somers Point.
The Somers Point Jazz Society has been blessed with the support of some of southern New Jersey's best jazz artists even as they support jazz in southern New Jersey.