Dedicated to the Continuation and Preservation of America's Indigenous Art Form
The Jazz Alive 2021 Concert Series
Jazz Comes to Easton’s Historic Waterfowl Building
A three-concert series kicks off July 24 at 7pm.
Three jazz concerts in a club-like setting, featuring respected performers from the region and New York City’s jazz scene, will fill the historic Waterfowl Building in Easton, Maryland with music this summer. The series marks the debut of live performances presented by Jazz Alive, a charitable foundation based in Talbot County, at the historic Waterfowl Building’s Festival Hall. Located at 40 South Harrison Street, the popular venue serves as the headquarters for the Waterfowl Festival held annually in November.
All concerts begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 for adults and $15 for students and are available at jazz-alive.org or at the door the day of the event. A cash bar and light hors d’oeuvres will be available for purchase. Proceeds from ticket and concession sales support Jazz Alive’s mission of providing educational support in developing future artists and preserving this great art form through school and community programs.
The Hot Club of Baltimore performs arrangements of the Django Reinhardt repertoire, French waltzes, and Trad Jazz. The ensemble boasts a variety of configurations including an instrumental trio of two guitars and upright bass, a classic quintet with violin, a late 40's configuration adding piano, drums, and horns, and a Django Big Band inspired by Reinhardt's legendary performance with Duke Ellington at Carnegie Hall. Hot Club of Baltimore has been featured multiple times on Jon Larsen’s Django Festival, an annual compilation of the best Gypsy jazz in the world. Lead guitarist and composer Michael Joseph Harris made the front page of The Baltimore Sun Weekend section in 2016 and was named one of the top 10 artists in Baltimore by Baltimore Style Magazine that same year.
Hot Club of Baltimore has recorded 4 full length albums since 2014. They have performed at The Kennedy Center, Charm City Django Jazzfest, The Soundry, Ramshead Live, Django Birthday Festival, Djangoary Festival, Valhalla Boathouse Theater, Django By The Sea, Django-a-gogo, Festival Django Reinhardt, Napa Valley Jazz Society, Midwest Gypsy Swingfest, Baltimore Jazzfest, The French Embassy, and the IMT Folk Series.
The group often features captivating vocalist Alexis Tantau who sings in both French and English including songs by Edith Piaf, Eartha Kitt, Charles Trenet, Maxine Sullivan, Jacques Dutronc, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, and Henri Salvador.
Michael Joseph Harris - lead guitar | Alexis Tantau - vocals | Kristoffer Belgica - rhythm guitar | Shawn Simon - bass
August 21 - Great Guitars: The DC Edition
In the tradition of the Great Guitars which included jazz guitarists Charlie Byrd, Herb Ellis, and Barney Kessel, jazz guitar prodigy Jan Knutson teams up with two of DCs guitar greats, Steve Abshire and 7 string guitarist Steve Herberman for a veritable jazz guitar fest!
"Steve Herberman exhibits a vast harmonic palette involving uncommon stretches on the fretboard along with a real capacity to burn on fluent single note lines... His sheer command of the instrument puts one in mind of such jazz guitar masters as Joe Pass, Joe Diorio, Lenny Breau, and Gene Bertoncini. His nuanced touch, excellent tone, tasteful, even phrasing and fresh writing style, further elevates Herberman far above the pack of other talented Berklee grads...definitely worth checking out for fans of advanced jazz guitar." - Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes
Steve Abshire has appeared in concert twice with the "Great Guitars". Once, back in the 1980's with Herb Ellis and Charlie Byrd, (filling in for Barney Kessel), and recently with Bucky Pizzarelli and Frank Vignola. A member of various Navy Bands
for 24 years, Steve landed the position of guitarist/featured soloist with the Commodores, the U.S. Navy's premiere jazz ensemble, for 18 of those years until he retired in from the Navy in 1997. He can be found on numerous recordings, including six of his own. In 1987 his first recording, "Big Brass Bed Blues", received a 4 1/2-star rating from Downbeat Magazine, which called him "...fluent, assured, directly communicative . . . definitely one to watch".
Jan Knutson has been playing the guitar since 2009. He has studied with Rodney Jones, Peter Bernstein, Steve Abshire, Paul Wingo, Shawn Purcell, Frank Vignola, Frank Latino, and Heather McKay in addition to online lessons with Martin Taylor. In August 2018 after completing two years at the Manhattan School of Music, Jan joined the US Army Band “Pershing’s Own” as a guitarist.
Steve Herberman - guitar | Steve Abshire - guitar | Jan Knutson - guitar
Hailed as “one of the world’s leading exponents of the jazz harmonica” by JazzTimes Magazine, Hendrik Meurkens has been described as “Brazilian samba swing with Toots Thielemans’ virtuosity”. His 24 CDs have received rave reviews and strong airplay and established his immediately recognizable style of Brazilian Jazz. He received the Brazilian International Press Award in 2014 and critics, as well as the jazz listening public, have recognized Meurkens' incredible talent - listing him repeatedly in the Downbeat and Jazziz Polls.
Joining Hendrik will be master guitarist Paul Bollenback, for whom George Benson called “a versatile dynamo on guitar . . . his approach to jazz and blues has a uniqueness unto itself”.
Bollenback has appeared on the Tonight Show, Good Morning America, the Today Show, and Entertainment Tonight, and has played with an impressive spectrum of musicians, including Joey DeFrancesco, Steve Gadd, Gary Bartz, Terri-Lyne Carrington, Herb Ellis, Jack McDuff, James Moody, David “Fathead” Newman, to name just a few.
September 18 - Jazz Harmonica Virtuoso Hendrik Meurkens | Guitarist Paul Bollenback | Bassist Paul Langosch
Rounding out the trio is bassist Paul Langosch. A veteran of the jazz scene with an impressive list of credentials including Jon Hendricks, George Shearing, Rosemary Clooney, Mel Torme, Susanna McCorkle, and over 20 years as bassist for Tony Bennett performing on 10 Bennett recordings, many television shows, and multiple tours to Japan, South America, Europe, Great Britain, and Australia.
Hendrik Meurkens - harmonica | Paul Bollenback - guitar | Paul Langosch - bass