Thu, May 11 -
All purchases are non-refundable/non-exchangeable.
Sun, May 14, 2017
Tickets may be purchased on-line or by phone.
Night of show seating typically available.
The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley welcomes 12x Grammy-nominated jazz band Spryo Gyra. Band members are Jay Beckenstein (sax), Scott Ambush (bass), Tom Schuman (keys), Julio Fernandez (guitar) and Lee Pearson (drums). Show times Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and 9:30pm and Sunday at 7:30pm. Doors open at 6:00pm Thursday and 5:30pm all other nights.
As Spyro Gyra looks forward to 2016 and beyond, they show no sign of slowing down. Over the last 40+ years, they have performed over five thousand shows, released thirty-one albums (not counting “Best Of…” compilations) selling over ten million albums while also achieving one platinum and two gold albums. Although few acts have accomplished this type of record, they have done it by constantly challenging themselves as is evidenced by their last studio release “The Rhinebeck Sessions” which was written and recorded over three days in the studio.
“As I thought about doing another record, I asked myself, what is it that makes Spyro Gyra special?” Beckenstein explains, “I decided that it was the fact that we have been together so long that the communication between us has become almost mystical. Our ability to improvise on the fly has become so strong because we have played together so much. It was time to go into the studio with very little planned and see what might come out of it.” He concedes, “It was a bit of a gamble but we’re lucky to have a loyal fan base who are probably going to be interested in what we’re doing. I was also fairly confident that whatever came out of it would be pretty close to the way we have approached our live shows for years.”
Spyro Gyra, whose odd name has since become world famous, was first known simply as “Tuesday Night Jazz Jams,” a forum wherein Beckenstein and Wall were joined by a rotating cast of characters. Tuesday just happened to be the night when most musicians weren’t playing other gigs to pay their bills. The group’s increasing popularity – combined with the purchase of a new sign for the club – prompted the owner to insist that Beckenstein come up with a name for his band. “It began as a joke. I said ‘spirogyra,’ he misspelled it, and here we are thirty years later. In retrospect, it’s okay. In a way, it sounds like what we do. It sounds like motion and energy.” In their earliest days, Spyro Gyra took their cues from Weather Report and Return to Forever – bands whose creative flights were fueled by a willingness to do things that had never been done before. The first few years saw the group’s identity split into a dynamic live act and a producer centric recording process, borne out of the rotating cast of characters in the jazz jam beginnings. These albums were the product of the band and a great number of the top session players in New York. In 1983, Beckenstein made the decision to make the albums the work of the band members he shared the stage with night after night, only supplementing with occasional guests.
"When we first started," Beckenstein recalls, "a lot of the jazz purists got on our case about calling what we did jazz and now it's funny to hear us getting respect from the same people. Like, wow, what you guys did was so much more intriguing than some of the stuff they hear today… Art manifests itself in a multitude of styles and contexts. Isn't that why we started to play in the first place?"
Earl KlughThu, Apr 20 - Sun, Apr 23
Celebrating 41 years, Klugh is a master of nylon acoustic guitar and fingerstyle technique. “…a guitarist with impeccable technique.” – The New York Times
Lizz Wright with opener Beth WoodTue, Apr 25 - Thu, Apr 27
Star Tribune exclaims, “Wright is equally capable of impressing a distinctive original on your memory bank or reorienting a familiar contemporary song via her personalized treatment and testimony, which ranges naturally through gospel, folk, jazz and R&B idioms.”