Jazz Concert Showcases a Master of Creativity
Jazz fans will have a rare opportunity to hear an entire evening of music by iconic bebop pianist Thelonious Monk (1917-1982). His legendary music is swinging, humorous, challenging and quirky. Only a genius could put all those elements together – and only highly skilled jazz artists can successfully interpret it.
A group with the acumen and experience to do so is D.C. based quartet Jeff Antoniuk and the Jazz Update. The quartet uncovers seldom-played gems such as “Boo Boo’s Birthday” and reinterprets well-known pieces such as “Straight, No Chaser.” This ever evolving, power packed program has wowed jazz fans in many American cities.
As first call players and university jazz professors, Jazz Update band members are well equipped to play Monk. His complex and lyrical tunes come alive in this melodically and rhythmically sensitive group: bassist Tom Baldwin, pianist Wade Beach and drummer Tony Martucci. They recorded “Four in One” on their 2007 album, Here Today. Their second album, Brotherhood (2010), featured a monster mashup of Tadd Dameron’s “Hot House” with Monk’s “Evidence.” Critics praised both recordings.
George Fendel of Jazzscene says, “This is a quartet steeped in a 21st century style of hard bop that still values solid melody lines, probing improvisation, and, when called for, sheer beauty.” Ron Netsky of Rochester City Newspaper says the quartet has “a creative spark that never lets up.” (See http://www.jeffantoniuk.com for more.)
Bandleader Antoniuk holds a master’s degree in jazz performance and West African ethnomusicology from the University of North Texas. He has toured widely since leaving Alberta, Canada. A master of modern jazz known for his own rhythmically inventive compositions, he has received numerous awards such as grants from the Canada Council and National Endowment for the Arts and the Sammy Nestico award for big band composition. The concert and a December 29 jazz workshop are presented by inDepth Jazz Clinics & Concerts.