We hope you are all gearing up for the holidays and easing into the festive spirit. And what better way to celebrate Christmas than with some tickets for your loved ones to one of the many great Jazz concerts coming up next year at BuckingJam Palace? (it sure beats a lump of coal...)
There is lots of great music coming up and here's a preview of the two outstanding shows coming up in January to start off the year ahead.
Canadian pianist Adrean Farrugia partners with one of New York City's finest, tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm, for an intimate evening of duets. Juno award winner Adrean Farrugia has played on over forty albums, including four as a leader. He first met New York saxophonist Joel Frahm in 1990 and a creative musical connection was formed that led to the release of their 2018 duo album, Blued Dharma. Joel Frahm is recognized as one of the finest saxophone players on the New York scene today.
Hailed by All About Jazz as "wise beyond his years" and "remarkable" by Toronto Music Report, Philadelphia native, New York-based saxophonist Sam Taylor brings one of his heroes, saxophone legend, Larry McKenna, to BuckingJam Palace on January 25, 2020. Philadelphia tenor saxophonist Larry McKenna has played with Rosemary Clooney, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and countless others. Sam Taylor released his second album, Along The Way, featuring Larry McKenna in November 2017. Joining them are two top tier New York musicians: Grammy Award winning bassist Paul Sikivie and drummer Pete Van Nostrand.
The quartet Harrison^2 will be appearing at BuckingJam Palace on Thursday, February 20th, 2020.
Harrison^2 (Harrison squared) is a Toronto-based modern jazz quartet that features two up-and-coming instrumentalists, Harrison Vetro (drums) and Harrison Argatoff (tenor saxophone), alongside two mainstays and veterans of the Canadian jazz scene, Mike Murley (tenor saxophone) and Steve Wallace (double bass).
The group hatched from a chance encounter between Vetro and Wallace in early 2016, at the University of Toronto, while Vetro’s drum teacher (Nick Fraser) was on tour. Wallace was asked to sub in for a lesson, with the aim of offering his wealth of experience and some new perspective. As he and Vetro worked on time, tempo, and rhythmic feel, Wallace immediately recognized a natural musical connection. Wanting to end the lesson with some fun, Argatoff was invited to jump in and play some music as a trio. Wallace recognized and was inspired by both Vetro and Argatoff’s musicality, thoughtfulness, and creativity, very much in the Lennie Tristano/Warne Marsh vein.
The three resolved to get together and play again but scheduling made this a challenge. Finally the two Harrisons took the bull by the horns, landing a gig at The Rex in September of 2016 and asking Murley and Steve to join them; thus was a band born. With an agreed upon selection of standards, and some out-of-the-way jazz originals, the gig had an open and spontaneous feeling which was immensely satisfying. Having played together on countless occasions, Murley and Wallace were inspired by the stimulus of playing with fresh musicians. And likewise, both Argatoff and Vetro were pushed to rise to the level of such musical masters.
The band expresses a distinct Canadian jazz identity, and a forward-thinking modern approach to jazz. Together they have performed shows at Toronto’s premiere jazz club “The Rex Hotel,” as well as “The Emmet Ray”. Harrison^2 is recording a full length album in the Fall of 2019, which will be released on a cross-Canada tour February 2020.
Sam Taylor and his quartet will be appearing at BuckingJam Palace on Saturday, January 25th (8pm). Appearing with Taylor will be the legendary Larry McKenna on tenor saxophone
Larry McKenna is one of the world’s finest jazz saxophone players. He is known for his gorgeous, velvety sound, the unparalleled beauty of his balladry, and his fluid, bebop-inspired improvisations. For years, Larry’s status as a jazz great has been affirmed by his myriad fans and the jazz stars with whom he has played and recorded including Woody Herman, Clark Terry, Buddy DeFranco, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney and Frank Sinatra.
Larry also is one of the most sought-out saxophone and jazz theory teachers in Philadelphia. He has taught countless students at University of the Arts, Temple University School of Music, West Chester University, Widener University, and Community College of Philadelphia. Many of his students have pursued successful careers in music. Larry’s influence, spanning decades, can be said to have established a Larry McKenna school of saxophone playing in the Philadelphia region.
In addition to being a frequent guest on recordings by other top jazz players, Larry has released three CDs under his own name to widespread critical acclaim. His most recent CD, “Profile” (Dreambox Media 2009), mixes jazz standards with Larry’s original compositions, including the lovely and poignant ballad “Perhaps This Wintertime” with lyrics by Melissa Gilstrap, premiered by vocalist Nancy Reed. His earlier CDs, “It Might As Well Be Spring” (Dreambox Media 2001) and “My Shining Hour – Music of Harold Arlen” (EPE Records 1995), received praise from jazz critics across the United States and Canada and remain in demand.
Music arranged by Larry McKenna has been performed on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson and in the Nicholas Cage movie “Birdy,” in which Larry played and appeared. He has published many jazz-oriented arrangements for school concert bands which can be purchased from Northeastern Music Publications.
Larry resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with four cats (the feline variety).
Larry McKenna appears with the Sam Taylor Quartet at BuckingJam Palace on Saturday, January 25th at 8pm.