Jazz Drummer McKenzie Will Open Musical Series
Jerry McKenzie’s Just Jazz Trio will open the performing arts season, Great Performances in a Sacred Space, at First Presbyterian, Farmington at 4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 21.
Just Jazz will offer a little Streisand and Sondheim with guest vocalist Edye Hyde Evans, guitarist Michael Hyde and Johnny Trudell on trumpet.
If anyone wonders how a Streisand song will sound performed by jazz musicians, Gage has an answer: “Jazz just needs to be beautiful music well done. Wait until you hear Edye sing.” And watch and listen to what McKenzie on the drums and his musicians can do.
All McKenzie wants from his guest performers is the list of songs and the tempo of each. “I know the rhythm,” McKenzie said. “I just need an indication of the song.”
Amen to that, Gage said. “That is the inherent art form (in McKenzie). With Jerry, I am watching a musicial artist who is uplifting the performance of other people. That’s why other performers love to work with him as a leader. He has respect for other musicians.”
In fact, McKenzie, a former drummer for the Stan Kenton Band, consistently offers other musicians and vocalists opportunities to get in front of audiences. Earlier this year, McKenzie introduced child trumpet prodigy Geoff Gallante this past June at First Presbyterian.
“All I ask is that they make us (the trio) look good,” McKenzie said, who typically opens his shows with a reassuring comment: “We are going to bathe you in music all afternoon.”
McKenzie’s trio and his guest musicians and artists set the tone for the season of concerts that run through May 17, 2015 at the First Presbyterian Church.