The Somers Point Jazz Society forges ahead with live music and educational programming through the colder months.
Mid-winter may be approaching, but the Somers Point Jazz Society (SPJS) has a sizzling slate of activity going on, starting with the seventh annual Somers Point Winter Jazz Series that will feature the VCF Trio as its opening act Saturday, Jan. 19, at Gregory’s (900 Shore Road in Somers Point).
The trio takes the stage at 8:30pm and includes Vic Stevens on drums, Chico Huff on bass and Frank Strauss on keyboards.
Stevens has played professionally since age 16, having performed live or in the studio with jazz guitar legends Pat Martino (whose trio headlines the SPJS’s 16th annual Jazz @ the Point Festival April 11-14), Larry Carlton, Allan Holdsworth, Andreas Oberg and others.
Also a professional since his teens, Huff is largely a self-taught musician who has also toured with Marino and fellow music luminaries James Taylor, Carly Simon, Edgardo Cintron and others. Strauss recently moved back to his hometown of Philadelphia after having toured, performed, arranged and recorded with a number of notable artists in the Los Angeles music scene for 15 years, among them Tom Jones and Melissa Manchester.
"We're all happy and honored to be part of the festival this year," says Huff. "The trio started out as a project where we could do music that challenged us all. We had a gig that we did in Philly where we got to play once a month, giving us a chance to really dig into these tunes, as well as playing a few of Frank [Strauss'] originals. The three of us have played together for years in the old AC days but rarely had a chance to stretch out like this. Really fun stuff!"
On Saturday, Feb. 16, the series will see the seven-piece Atlantic City Jazz Band perform the traditional New Orleans jazz, bop and swing it is has become well known for starting 8:30pm at Gregory’s, and on Sunday, March 10, the 2013 Jazz Master Award Reception will start 5pm at Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro (908 Shore Road), with the Barry Miles Trio (with 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 to the SPJS are appreciated. For more info visit spjazz.org or call 927-6677.
The SPJS and Ocean City Free Public Library are teaming up to present a three-part Jazz Education Series on consecutive Sundays Feb. 24, March 3 and 10. Admission is free and all three dates will run from 2-3:30pm at the Ocean City Library.
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
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey's first in the four-program Monday Night Jazz and Blues Series could hardly begin on a more distinguished note, as eminent South Philly-born jazz guitarist ...
If your favorite music is the sort that is uniquely American, has evolved and endured for over a century, and has created its own dialect and new meanings for words like "cool," "hip," "square," "dig...
As a member of an Italian-American family growing up in Youngstown, Ohio, Joseph Donofrio's affiliation with music began with his being prompted to learn the accordion by his parents at age seven. At...
Peering out of the second floor window of his white stucco home on East Mill Street in Northfield, Art Blakey could see nothing but sky and greenery. He used to say it felt like he was in a tree house -- miles away from the hustle and bustle of New York City or Paris. If the the late musician had peered into the future, however -- say about 30 years -- he couldn't have possibly foreseen the events that would transpire in his temporarily adopted hometown region this weekend. The Cape Savings Bank Jazz @ The Point festival, March 1-4, being presented as a multi-event tribute to the jazz legend, will honor a man who spent the better part of the 1950s through the 1980s helping to shape (and keep alive) the hard bop side of jazz. While doing so he performed all over the world, recording on hundreds of sessions and, perhaps most significantly, fostering the careers of numerous young jazz players who would become huge forces on the jazz scene themselves -- Clifford Brown, Keith Jarrett and Wynton Marsalis, to name a mere few. Although he was born in Pittsburgh and spent most of his life as a...
Mesterhazy had just played with his renowned trio at Sandi Pointe in Somers Point the night before, Wednesday night, April 11.
This Friday and Saturday, March 23-24, Michael Pedicin, a Linwood resident who grew up in suburban Philadelphia, will follow up what he’s called his most successful CD with four live recording sessions at Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro, 908 Shore Road in Somers Point. He and his quintet will perform two eight-song sets each night at 7:30 and 9:30pm.
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).
“We haven’t had a disappointing month yet, and Dan and Sandi have been fantastic. They’ve gone above and beyond anything we could ask them to do, and the audience has been terrific. It’s been a lot of fun. We couldn’t do it without the support of the community and without the help of Dan and Sandi. They’ve really championed the cause of jazz music in the Somers Point community.”
In its first three years, the SPJS Benefit and Silent Auction has raised between $4,000 and $5,000 annually based on a $20-per-person donation, and the silent-auction sale of items donated by the community. This year’s donations include several jazz-oriented pieces of artwork.
What has evolved into a most popular and highly anticipated festival featuring many top-flight jazz musicians from in and around the area turns 12 years old this month.
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.
In a classic clapboard home near the bay in Somers Point, Nick Regine talked with us about his favorite "gigs" -- as founder, charter member, and president of the Somers Point Jazz Society, which pro...