Posted tagged ‘Jazz Trio’

Can Jazz Trios play ‘other’ styles of music?

April 26, 2012

Traditionally, Jazz Trios play…well, Jazz.  They might add some light pop, easy listening…but given the instrumentation of a typical Jazz Trio (be it Guitar, Upright Bass, Sax or Keyboards, Upright Bass, Female Vocal, to name a couple), the Trio will generally play the music appropriate for the instrumentation, the event, and the client’s requested ambiance (usually ‘background’ music).

However, that isn’t to say there aren’t exceptions…!!  :)

A perfect example is the Robin Kelly Jazz Trio (…yes, my Trio…).  With the instrumentation of Keyboards, Upright Bass, and Female Vocals, we were hired to play at a corporate awards dinner for the Council of Academic Programs last Thursday evening at the Newport Beach Marriott.   Don French (Keyboards), Dave Eastly (Upright Bass) and I were ready to play Jazz Favorites (i.e., It Had to Be You, My Funny Valentine, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, Route 66…you get the idea).  The evening started off just as we expected – we played nice background music while guests mingled and socialized following their Awards Presentation.

About 45 minutes in to our 3-hour playing time, things started to evolve…people started to dance a little (though there was no dance floor), they started pulling chairs around and sitting in theater formation to ‘watch’ the Trio…and then the requests started coming in…

“Play some R&B!”

“Do you know any 80’s?”

“How about Nora Jones?”

“Can you do I Will Survive?”

Well, hmmm…let’s see…Disco…with Keyboards, Upright Bass…no drum machine…I didn’t even have a tambourine!

As always, it’s our aim to please, so with the good humor and terrific talents of Don and Dave we played the guest’s requests to the best of our ability.  Dave added his vocals and we sang back-up vocals for each other.  During a break, Don hooked up a vocal mic so he could add his vocal talents to the mix.  Then, to my great amazement and delight, during that same break Dave found a ‘Drum Machine’ app on his mobile phone.  He and Don hooked up his phone to Don’s keyboards to amplify the sound…and for our last set, we played to a mobile phone app Drum Machine!!  Now, this Drum Machine had only basic types of rhythms to choose from, at whatever tempo was set at the factory.  So, it was…find a rhythm/beat/tempo we liked, listen to it for a few seconds, think of what song might go well with it…then we were off and running!

Robin Kelly Jazz Trio

Robin Kelly Jazz Trio

The crowd loved it!  They continued to dance and sing along, and shout out more requests.  We had a ball!

Thanks again to the exceptional talents of Don & Dave, The Robin Kelly Jazz Trio was able to change hats and accommodate the requests of the guests.  Frances Laven, Executive Director of C.A.P., our Client representative, was very appreciative, and acknowledged that the crowd had taken us down a different road than originally intended.  I just smiled…and encouraged her to hire a full dance band next year!  :)

MPI-OC October Event Hosted by Fairmont Newport Beach

October 7, 2011

Wednesday, October 5th, found us at the Fairmont Newport Beach Hotel attending the Meeting Professionals International – Orange County Chapter (MPI-OC) October 2011 Event.  Wow – what fun!

Can you spot yourself in this video?!

(OOOPS!  I’m still learning…I made Titles too big, even though they looked OK while creating video – I’ll have to go back and create video again with corrections!  Hope you enjoy it anyway – check back to see the corrected one!!)

The Staff at Fairmont NB outdid themselves and hosted a terrific event…quote “…they’ve set the bar very high!”   A lively 1920’s theme was accentuated by the Dave Eastly Jazz Trio (Upright Bass, Guitar, Violin) which played for Cocktails out in the Foyer, then moved inside the Ballroom and played throughout Dinner.  To further enliven the theme, two “Flapper Girls” greeted the Guests during Cocktails.  (Both provided by Essence Entertainment.)

Dinner was highlighted with a quick little “raid” (provided by Fairmont NB Staff), followed by the Keynote Speaker, Patrick O’Malleywww.617-Patrick.com.   Patrick shared his valuable knowledge of and experience with Social Media, and highlighted areas particularly appropriate for the Event Planning industry.  He is an expert particularly with Linkedin, and I learned quite a bit from his presentation.  Thanks, Patrick!


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