Jazz Datebook: October 3, 2019

Timely Hits:

Friday, October 4th at 7:30 p.m. Velvet Caravan plays gypsy jazz at The Block, 360 West Western Ave, 2nd Floor, Muskegon. Velvet Caravan combines Gypsy, Honky-Tonk, Swing and Latin-upbeat tunes from all over the world with thunderous virtuosism and relentless sense of humor. They are a quintet of violin, guitar, keyboards, bass and drums. See www.theblockwestmichigan.org.

Saturday, October 5th, at 7 p.m. and Sunday October 6th, at 4 p.m. clarinetist Dave Bennett performs with the Alvin Waddles Trio (Waddles, piano; Marion Hayden, bass; Dave Taylor, drums) at Big Rapids High School Auditorium, 21175 15 Mile Road, Big Rapids. Bennett grew up emulating Benny Goodman and has matured into a distinctive sounding jazz clarinet virtuoso. Presented by http://tubabach.org.

Saturday, October 12th at 7:30 p.m. West Shore Community College presents The Bebop Spartans featuring special guest Tanya Darby on trumpet at Ludington High School’s Peterson Auditorium, 508 N Washington Ave, Ludington. Under the direction of professor Rodney Whitaker, Michigan State University is a national powerhouse of jazz education, and the Bebop Spartans, MSU’s #1 Big Band, represent the next generation of great musicians. Tanya Darby is a member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and has played in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, The Ron Carter Great Big Band, and the Mingus Big Band. See www.westshore.edu for more information.

Sunday, October 13th at 3 p.m. saxophonist Jon Montgomery joins the Roger MacNaughton Trio with special guest, songstress Tami Hjelm, at Lowell Arts, 223 W. Main Street, Lowell. Jazz, funk, R&B, soul. Charlie Hoats plays 5 string electric bass; Eddie Eicher, drums. The LowellArts Gallery Concert Series runs September to May. See www.lowellartsmi.org.

Thursday, October 17th at 7:30 p.m. pianist Fred Hersch makes his long awaited debut at St. Cecilia Music Center, 24 Ransom Ave NE, Grand Rapids. This select member of the jazz piano pantheon is joined by 31 year old guitarist Julian Lage, the California-born New York-based musician boasting a long, prolific résumé. For more see www.scmc-online.org.

Friday, October 18th at 7:30 p.m. bassist/bandleader/educator Rodney Whitaker brings his jazz quartet to The Block, 360 West Western Avenue, behind the release of his new album “Common Ground, The Music of Gregg Hill.” A product of Detroit’s rich jazz tradition, Rodney Whitaker is in the vanguard of jazzmen dedicated to further the traditions of earlier acoustic stylists. See www.theblockwestmichigan.org.

Monday, October 21st, at 6:30 p.m. The Beer City Saxophones, a sax section/rhythm section ensemble playing swing and bop classics by Jimmy Guiffre, Buddy Johnson and Phil Woods, hits at The Jazz Gumbo Showcase, a presentation of the West Michigan Jazz Society, at The Casino Club, 3260 Salerno Dr. NE, Grand Rapids. See www.wmichjazz.org.

Thursday, October 24th, bass stalwart John Patitucci joins the University Jazz Orchestra and the Western Michigan University seven piece faculty jazz ensemble including drummer Keith Hall and saxophonist Andrew Rathbun for a concert of Patitucci’s music at The Dalton Center Recital Hall, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. See www.wmich.edu/jazz

Sunday, October 27th at 3 p.m. celebrate Art Blakey’s Centennial with New York guitarist Joshua Breakstone supported by bassist Marion Hayden and drummer Sean Dobbins in a program of compositions associated with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. The sixth season of The Underground Concert Series presented by Adventuremusic.org and LaFontsee Galleries with corporate support by GR Therapy Group (Experience a Difference) kicks off with a hard bop jazz fan’s delight in the music of drummer/bandleader Art Blakey (born Pittsburg 10-11-19) played by veteran guitarist Joshua Breakstone (www.joshuabreakstone.com) who’s horn-like single note lines are created with sound energy described as “fire in velvet.” Bassist Marion Hayden and drummer Sean Dobbins are Detroit’s finest jazz rhythm section.

LaFontsee Galleries and www.adventuremusic.org are pleased to unveil their new collaborative season of “The Underground Series,” four matinee concerts held on the last Sundays of October, February, March and April at 3 p.m. in LaFontsee Galleries, 833 Lake Drive SE, Grand Rapids, MI. www.adventuremusic.org.

Regular Hits:

Mondays from 8 to 11 p.m. pianist/vocalist John Shea swings downtown Grand Rapids from the front window of Rockwell’s Republic Gastropub Restaurant and Beer Garden, 45 South Division, Grand Rapids, with bassist Rob Hartman and drummer Fred Knapp. John’s songbook is 6 inches thick. www.rockwellsrepublic.com. (He’s off on Labor Day!).

Mondays from 8 to 11 p.m. live jazz at Long Road Distillers, 537 Leonard St NW, Grand Rapids, featuring In The Blue Jazz Ensemble every other Monday. www.longroaddistillers.com.

Mondays from 6 to 10 p.m., Fridays 7 – 11 p.m. and Saturdays 6-10 p.m. The What Not Inn features a revolving cast of local musicians each weekend and Mondays hosts a jam session open to musicians and vocalists. See the full schedule here: www.whatnotinn.com. The What Not Inn is located at M89 and the Blue Star Highway, 2405 68th Street, Fennville, MI. (269) 543-3341.

Tuesdays, 7:30 – 10:30, there’s an open mic jazz jam session at The Grand, 22 Washington, Grand Haven, MI. (616) 847 – 8944 often featuring the Take Three Jazz Ensemble.

Wednesdays, from 6-9 p.m. it’s “Jazz Night” at The Old Goat, 2434 Eastern Ave SE, Grand Rapids, featuring live jazz. See www.baaaaaaaa.com.

Wednesdays from 7 to 10 p.m. The Tom Hagen Trio with vocalist Rick Reuther have been appearing at Noto’s Old World Italian Dining, 6600 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids for more than 13 years, the longest continuous jazz hang in west Michigan. (616) 493 – 6686, or www.notosoldworld.com.

Thursdays at 8, Laura Bennett sings with Chris Corey on keyboards at The Zeppelin Lounge of New Holland Brewing’s the Knickerbocker, 417 Bridge St NW, Grand Rapids. See http://laurabennettmusic.com .

Thursdays at 7 p.m. a variety of jazz bands rotate the schedule at The Book Nook and Java Shop, 8744 Ferry Street in Montague. See www.thebooknookjavashop.com and click on the calendar for Thursday night.

Thursdays from 7- 10 p.m. then Friday and Saturday from 8-11 p.m. live jazz at Lily Pearls, 115 S. Washington Street, Owosso, MI 48867. See www.lilypearls.com or phone (989) 720 – 5852.

Fridays and Saturdays from 8-11 p.m. jazz at The Rendezvous in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, 187 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids.

Fridays at 7 p.m., “It’s a Friday Thing” features vocalist Kathy Lamar with pianist Bob VanStee and drummer Kevin Jones at Noto’s Old World Italian Dining, 6600 28th Street S.E., Grand Rapids. See www.notosoldworld.com or call (616) 493-6686.

Fridays through Sundays live jazz is featured in Mixology, the lounge of the the J.W. Marriott Hotel, 235 Louis Street NW, Grand Rapids. Every Friday at 7 p.m. the John Shea Trio plays.  Saturday’s the music is heard from 7-10 p.m. and Sunday’s from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., (616) 242 – 1448.

Fridays from 8-11 p.m. In the Blue Jazz Ensemble hosts a jam session t The Village Inn Pizza Sports Bar & Grille on 44th Street near Breton in Grand Rapids.

Fridays from 8 – 11 p.m. a variety of local jazz bands rotate through the schedule at 18th Amendment, 350 W. Western Avenue, Muskegon.

Saturdays at 7:30, pianist John Shea leads his trio at Noto’s Old World Italian Dining, 6600 28th Street S.E., Grand Rapids. See www.notosoldworld.com or call (616) 493 – 6686.

Sundays from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. “Jazz Brunch” at The Old Goat, 2434 Eastern Ave SE, Grand Rapids, features live jazz with bassist Chris Kjorness and drummer Tim Froncek anchoring the house band. See www.baaaaaaaa.com.

Sundays at 7 p.m. Randy Marsh’s Sunday Night Jazz Hang at The Speak EZ Lounge, 600 Monroe Avenue N.W., Grand Rapids (616) 458 – 2689.  A fun jam session celebrating a 3rd year anniversary Oct 18. Student jazz musicians under 21 with a parent or legal guardian have a chance to play from 8:15 until 9:00 p.m. Anyone under 21 has to leave at 9 pm.  The host trio plays from 7:00 - 8:00. www.speakezlounge.com.

First Sunday of every month from 5 to 7 p.m. the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra plays Founders Brewing Company, 235 Grandville Avenue S.W., downtown Grand Rapids. The GRJO is the region’s premier professional jazz orchestra. Information from www.grjo.com.