Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Final Dress Rehearsal

Well, this was it- the last chance to polish up our songs before the Freedom Jazz Festival performance on August 1.

The band lineup will include Annie Favors, Toria Hart and Dick Jacques (vocals); Sam Fiske (trumpet); Wes Simmons (tenor sax); Matt Riley (flute); Ira Adleman (alto sax); Todd (trumpet); Tim Stevens (bass); Gene Eagen (drums and percussion); Martin Stovall (percussion and drums); Craig Thorpe (guitar); Christian Lamot (piano) and Tim McNamara (guitar). Maybe we should call ourselves the "McRae Park Medium Band."

The FJF schedule has us on stage from 1:50-2:20 PM. The set list is:

Introduction of the Workshop and the band by Annie Favors

"Four Brothers" arranged by Christian Lamot (instrumental)

"I'll Remember April" sung by Toria Hart

"Feelin' Good" sung by Annie Favors

"Have You Met Miss Jones" sung by Dick Jacques

"In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" arranged by Tim McNamara (instrumental)

"Centerpiece" sung by Annie Favors and Dick Jacques

So there it is (or more accurately, there it will be): the result of a couple of months of hard work developing and honing the songs and arrangements. We hope that people enjoy it!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Good Times

Or good timing, anyway. Tonight we played through the set list for the Freedom Jazz Festival performance on 8/1/09 and timed the songs to make sure they'd fit within our 30 minute slot. We settled on six songs for our set: "Four Brothers," "Feeling Good," "Have You Met Miss Jones?" "I'll Remember April," "Centerpiece," and "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed." "St. Thomas" remains an option if we need another song.

Tonight we had lots of folks at the workshop: 17! The lineup included Gene (drums), Martin (percussion), Tim (bass), Annie (vocals), Ira (tenor sax instead of his usual alto), Craig (guitar), Matt (flute), Romney (baritone sax), Mary (trumpet) and her sister Sarah (trumpet, too), Dick (vocals), Christian (piano), Vicki (vocals), Norman (piano and drums), Steve (trumpet and flugelhorn), Sam (trumpet) and another Tim (guitar).

On 8/1/09 the Workshop will be playing at the Freedom Jazz Festival (link over on the right) at Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis. The schedule has us playing from 1:50-2:20 PM. Please come on out and hear us!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Same time, same place!

Monday July 13 saw us inching inexorably closer to the August 1 performance at the Freedom Jazz Festival. Boatloads of us turned up: Sam and Todd (trumpets), Ira (alto sax), Wes (tenor sax), Jeff (cello), Roger (bass- first time at the workshop), Matt (flute), Gene (drums) and Tim (guitar). Christian (piano) was out ill. We worked our way through "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed," "Four Brothers" and "St. Thomas" for instrumentals, all three tunes sounding better than ever. Annie, Vicki and Dick joined us for vocals and we covered "Feeling Good," "East of the Sun," "Have You Met Miss Jones," "Centerpiece," "I'll Remember April," "What Is This Thing Called Love" and a few others.

Annie talked about the schedule for the FJF, which includes the Workshop playing from 1:00-1:30. The roster of musicians for the performance is complete and it's time to get into the home stretch.

Next week we will time the songs to make sure that we can get the set done within the 30 minutes allotted to each performance at the Freedom Jazz Festival. The set list seems to be shaping up to be "Feeling Good," "Centerpiece," "Have You Met Miss Jones?" "What Is This Thing Called Love?" "Four Brothers" and possible "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" or "St. Thomas."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Independence Jazz

The first Monday jazz workshop in July was a hot one- lots of people, small room, limited ventilation... and the music too. The first hour was attended by Sam and Todd (trumpets), Romney (bari sax), Wes (tenor sax), Ira (alto sax), Paul and Tim and Craig (guitars), the other Tim (bass), Gene (drums) and Christian (piano). We also had a first time experience of having a cellist (Jeff) in the mix! Annie and Vicki (vocals) rounded out the bunch.

The song selection was again focused on the August 1 performance at the Freedom Jazz Festival: "Four Brothers," "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed," "St. Thomas," as instrumentals and "Feeling Good," "I'll Remember April," "Blue Room," "What Is This Thing Called Love?" "Since I Fell For You" and "East of the Sun" being played. We also trooped through "Blue Monk" and "Black Orpheus" for fun.

Next week, same time, same place!