Features the guitars of Mike Barris and Jerry Topinka, the trumpet of Tom Bender,
and the voice of Jennifer Wright saluting the stars of the early age of
jazz and blues. Includes signature tunes of Django Reinhardt, Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith and others.
BARRIS, TOPINKA, BENDER, WRIGHT
SALUTE EARLY JAZZ GREATS AUG. 29
A salute to the giants of pre-war jazz and blues, featuring the guitars of Mike Barris and Jerry Topinka, the trumpet of Tom Bender, and the voice of Jennifer Wright, is on tap Friday, Aug. 29 as part of the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation's "Reckless Steamy Nights" concert series at The Woman's Club of Red Bank.
The program, called "Mike Barris & Friends - a Pre-War Jazz & Blues Tribute," will include signature tunes of Django Reinhardt, Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith and other stars of the Jazz Age. It's the group's fourth such tribute to early jazz and blues stars at the Woman's Club and its second visit to the venue this year, having played there in March.
Music goes from 8:30 to 11 p.m. at the historic Sen. Anthony Reckless Estate, 164 Broad St., Red Bank, NJ 07701. A donation of $10 is suggested, in support of scholarship programs sponsored by the Woman's Club of Red Bank and the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation. Snacks will be provided.
Mike Barris, the ebullient rhythm guitarist and ukulele player who hosts the evening, is a veteran of the New York-New Jersey club and festival scene, and writes on jazz, blues and musicianship for Acoustic Guitar, Jazz Journal International and The Asbury Park Press, among other publications. The Elberon resident also has taught a long-running Frank Sinatra music-appreciation class at Brookdale Community College. Besides supplying the group's rhythmic pulse, Barris also switches into solo singer-guitarist mode for renditions of various chestnuts, including "Puttin' On The Ritz," "I'm In The Mood For Love," and others.
Jerry Topinka, the lead guitarist, has played with guitar legend Les Paul in New York, and worked Las Vegas casino hotels with Buddy Rich. The Manalapan resident's fluid single-string solo lines also have been heard on a Grammy-nominated song - "Nostalgia," from the 2000 album "Wind" by Tchin and Yovani. Besides his effortless solos in the Django Reinhardt tradition, a high point of the evening will be Jerry's solo pyrotechnics on a variety of vintage tunes.
Trumpeter Tom Bender has shared the stage with Dizzy Gillespie and Lionel Hampton and has worked with Sammy Davis Jr. and Tony Orlando. The Middletown resident, who has also performed with the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra and The Jazz Lobsters, is in demand not only as an instrumentalist but as an arranger and teacher.
Singer Jennifer Wright, an oft-featured artist at the Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival, has shared stages with such legends as Buddy Guy and Koko Taylor. She has been nominated multiple times for the Asbury Music Awards as top female vocalist. From 1996 to 2007, she co-led and was the lead vocalist of Terraplane Blues, a finalist in the prestigious International Blues Challenge for 2000. Jennifer will evoke the sound and style of Bessie Smith, singing such classics as "After You've Gone" and "A Good Man Is Hard To Find."
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