ALTON — The Jacoby Arts Center pays homage to the “cool jazz” sound of native son Miles Davis when the James Hegarty Trio takes the stage on Friday, July 17.
Comprised of talented regional artists, the James Hegarty Trio is known for its spontaneous improvisations, ranging from exciting dynamic driving intensity to quiet moments of lyrical counterpoint.
“The concert will present music from and associated with Miles Davis’s album ‘Kind of Blue,’ which has remained the highest-selling jazz album of all time since its release in 1959,” said James Hegarty, jazz pianist and composer. “‘Cool jazz’ has an easy, melodic groove that builds around musical themes, which allow musicians a lot of room to improvise.
“This room allows us to play Davis-era jazz while also giving us the opportunity to draw on one another as well as other contemporary musicians,” explained Hegarty, a professor at Principia College. “Each of the three members has an equal amount of importance and impact on the resulting sound, so finding three musicians who enjoy working together and share a vision that complements each other is what makes a trio really work.”
Paul Steinbeck on electric bass and Gary Sykes on drums round out the trio. Each artist is a leading figure in St. Louis’ jazz scene.
The group will perform as part of Jacoby’s Friday Nites Live! at 8 p.m. Doors will open at 7:30, with seating available on a first-come basis.
“Friday Nites Live! is gaining momentum from week to week, and we are excited to see our audience grow because it is a privilege to showcase the depth of local artists’ talent,” said Denny Scarborough, Jacoby’s president. “Based on this summer’s success, Jacoby will be expanding our performing arts offerings in the fall with the addition of a new professional theater group, Bankside Repertory Company, who will be Jacoby’s resident troupe of professional actors.
“To preview the coming theater season, Bankside Rep will perform short one-act plays at 7:45 p.m. on July 17, 24 and 31,” Scarborough continued. “We are thrilled to be able to provide the community with another quality experience that will inspire, challenge and entertain in unexpected ways.”
The company will make its debut with “Things That Go Bump in the Night.” Founding members of Bankside Rep include Chrissy Calkins-Steele, Sue Ellen Coughtry, Caleb King, John O’Hagan, Trish Brown Schmidt and Jeff Steele, who will take turns performing in succeeding weeks.
Bankside Rep will begin its residency on Oct. 9 and 10, with the premiere of “Call Me Waldo” by Rob Ackerman.
The James Hegarty Trio concert will also feature the artisanal baking skills of LuciAnna’s Pastries. Known for their delectable creations, LuciAnna’s is providing espresso tarts, chunk spice cookies and lemon meringue tarts as treats for the evening.
Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10, and no reservation is required. Food and drink are available at an additional cost.
For information on the series, call (618) 462-5222 or visit www.jacobyartscenter.org.