Cincinnati Jazz pianist Phil DeGreg continues his long love affair with Brazilian musical tradition
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Cincinnati Jazz pianist Phil DeGreg talks about his recently released third album of Brazilian Jazz exploration, Brazilian People, and the state of Jazz in Cincinnati and beyond.
by Mike Breen
Despite losing their namesake venue, beloved local jazzers to continue every-Wednesday shows at Japp’s
Much has changed for the legendary Cincinnati live music venue the Blue Wisp Jazz Club over its 40-plus-year existence. Though it has consistently been the club for Jazz in Cincinnati over most of that period, the Blue Wisp has moved four different times over four decades. In its most recent locale at the corner of Race and Seventh streets downtown, the club owners also tried to attract more business by serving food and varying the types of music performed. But it wasn’t enough and the Blue Wisp has once again closed its doors (though various reports suggest it could find yet another new location in the future).
One thing that hadn’t changed at the Blue Wisp, at least since it began in 1980, is the Blue Wisp Big Band. The group of all-star local musicians has maintained one of the longest residency in the region, performing its skilled take on vintage Big Band Jazz like clockwork every Wednesday. The band is a Cincinnati institution. When the Wisp shut down, the members of the Big Band were determined to not let their remarkable run end with a whimper. Instead, the Blue Wisp Big Band sought to continue its every-Wednesday residency at another venue. (In case you’re wondering, the group owns its moniker, so they can legally continue to use the “Blue Wisp” name.)Veteran local Jazz pianist and Blue Wisp Big Band founding member Steve Schmidt says they’ve landed their new spot, Japp’s Annex on Main St. in Over-the-Rhine, and will pick up its Wednesday night shows beginning this week. Schmidt says the group will perform every Wednesday at Japp’s, at least through the end of July, when they’ll reassess the situation just to make sure it’s a good fit. The Big Band will again be playing two hour-long sets each Wednesday, the first starting at 8:30 p.m. The cover charge will be less than it was at the Wisp — just $5. (Parking is available in the lot on the corner of Main and Central Parkway, as well as in the garage behind the club on Sycamore.) “We are excited about trying out this (Over-the-Rhine) spot and happy that the ownership and staff at Japp's is excited, too,” Schmidt says. “We are all thinking of ways to make it better for the customer and the band as we go along. The band wanted to start quickly, not to be dormant for too long.”Several of the principal members of the Blue Wisp Big Band did a walkthrough several days ago to get a feel for the new space and were happy with what they saw (and felt).“I got a very good feeling about the room,” Schmidt says, “both in terms of space — spacious yet intimate — and acoustics. I think the other guys felt the same way. (Founding BWBB anchor/drummer) John Von Ohlen rightly pointed out that there is a lot of wood — the floors and the large bar. As John said, in the fullest and most complimentary sense of the word, ‘It's a joint!’ It's what he had in mind when he formed the band and put it in the original Blue Wisp in O'Bryonville. He said he wanted a world-class big band in a beer tavern.”“In a word,” Schmidt adds, “(the new space) has soul.”
Thursday and Friday • Blue Wisp Jazz Club
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Talented Jazz vocalist Annie Sellick
returns to Cincinnati this week for three shows at the Blue Wisp with
her trio (drummer Chris Brown, bassist Jerry Navarro and pianist Chris
Chicagoan Dave McDonnell energizes the Cincy Jazz scene with dynamic chops and incredible experience
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Chicago native Dave McDonnell and his wife settled into their
Cincinnati experience with their daughter’s arrival a couple years ago,
but the saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist attended a similarly joyous
birth when he and a collection of Chicago colleagues recorded his
about-to-be-released Post Jazz album, the dragon and the griffin.
Pianist Ed Moss’ unique Jazz club remains one of Cincinnati’s best-kept secrets
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 6, 2013
A unique and comfortable listening room created by Jazz pianist Ed Moss, Schwartz’s Point Jazz Club is a mystery to most Cincinnatians, despite the fact that many drive by the club on a regular basis.
by Mike Breen
The classic, long-running Cincinnati Jazz series returns to Eden Park tonight
One of the oldest free series of its kind in the region, the It’s Commonly Jazz
showcases have now been running for 28 years, presenting marquee
artists like Eddie Harris, McCoy Tyner, Javon Jackson and David
The free series — running every Thursday in August (lucky
Jazz fans get five events this year) — returns to the outdoor Seasongood
Pavilion in Eden Park tonight. The opening show features renowned
saxophonist Craig Bailey.
Nice interview from Greece with Bailey:
Here is the rest of the It’s Commonly Jazz lineup for 2013:
Trinidad-born Etienne Charles, acclaimed for his mix of island rhythms and Jazz, plays Aug. 8.
Charles jazzing up Marley:
Young tenor sax wiz J.D. Allen performs at the Aug. 15 show.
Allen and his trio play "The Matador and the Bull":
Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter/actor Gregory Porter on
Aug. 22, presented with Learning Through the Arts, Inc. as part of the
Crown Jewels of Jazz Heritage Festival. For tickets to (and more info on) the
Crown Jewels fest — running at various venues in Over-the-Rhine and Mt.
Adams Aug. 21-24 — click here. Here's LTtA's Kathy Wade explaining the festival:
Gregory Porter's official music video for "Be Good (Lion's Song)":
For the finale, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, who will be joined by his group of young Jazz lions, Wolfpack, comes to the ICJ stage on Aug. 29.
Warren Wolf's video biography:
Music runs 6-8 p.m. For complete info, visit itscommonlyjazz.com.