It was -20 F with a breeze, a cold night and a cold walk from the car to the house concert, but there was hot jazz on tap. The Metta Quintet played terrific mainstream jazz, with superb solos by tenor sax Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, alto sax Greg Ward and keyboardist David Bryant. They were backed by rock solid rhythm from Chris Smith on acoustic bass and Hans Schuman on drums.
Great jazz in a house concert is very cool. And these guys, especially Lefkowitz-Brown and Ward, are terrific musicians.
But The Metta Quintet is more than a terrific jazz band. They are also the performing band for JazzReach. Drummer Hans Schuman is the JazzReach Artistic Director.
Established in 1994, JazzReach is a nationally recognized charitable corporation dedicated to the promotion, performance, creation and teaching of jazz music. JazzReach and The Metta Quintet do innovative, live multi-media educational programs for young audiences, captivating main-stage concerts for general audiences and informative clinics and master-classes for student musicians and ensembles. And house concerts. JazzReach is dedicated to fostering a greater appreciation, awareness and understanding of jazz as a rich, vital, ever-evolving American art form.
As a part of its Fairbanks Concert Association-sponsored visit to Fairbanks, The Metta Quintet is performing in schools, the UAF Pub, the auditorium at Pioneer Park and in a wide selection of other venues throughout the Interior. And, as FCA Executive Director Anne Biberman put it, “Everything they do is utterly different. They approach each class they teach differently, every performance, every audience. I am blown away by their versatility.”
So was WC. A very special thanks to the five artists for their terrific outreach – their JazzReach – in Alaska. Catch this act if you can.