This Saturday, June 10, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Cavalryman in Laramie, Wyoming
I’m so excited about the opportunity to play a vocal-piano duo show with a brilliant up-and-coming jazz pianist, Spencer Zweifel.
Spencer is an astonishing young pianist from Fort Collins. He is finishing a degree in jazz studies at the University of Northern Colorado under Dana Landry and making waves. Spencer just completed an EP with his own trio featuring Ryan Black on bass and Ryan Leppich on drums. It’s prodigious and you can catch it on his website. Spencer also has a regular gig every Wednesday night at Ace Gillette’s in Fort Collins.
About the Show
We’ll be playing a mix of standards, pop and Latin tunes that, I think, really showcase the voice/piano setting. Doing a duo is challenging and means that two musicians have to communicate in a very close way. I would liken it to doing a musical tango–each partner has to listen and move together in a very intimate way. Spencer has a great ear and sense of balance and space. We’ll be performing some of my favorites from several genres. In the Latin vein, I’ve chosen “Mas Que Nada”–classic Brazilian samba made famous by Sergio Mendez (that really showcases Spencer’s virtuosity as a pianist), “Corcovado”, a bossa by Antonio Carlos Jobim, “Perfidia” by Mexican composer Alberto Dominguez, and “Besame Mucho” a famous ballad by Consuelo Velazquez. We’ll also be doing some jazz classics you don’t hear every day like “Lush Life” by Billy Strahorn, “Comes Love”, “Born to be Blue” and “Afro Blue.” I’ll also throw in couple pop tunes–“Frim Fram Sauce”,”Scotch and Soda”, “Cow Cow Boogie”–that I like to do just to keep it lively.
Where to Get a Great Piece of Wyoming Culinary Art While Listening to Jazz
Some of you may know that I used to live in Laramie, Wyoming and loved the Cavalryman Steakhouse. It’s a little piece of Wyoming that melts in your mouth. What a great thing it is to be able to enjoy a great meal in a great location with fabulous folks in Laramie.
Spencer and I go on at 4 p.m. this Saturday, June 10, and will play until 6 p.m. Hope you can join us and stay for dinner. Jane
Last Friday, we played for “Up, Up, and Away!” the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Gala at Little America.
I turned on my recorder and let it run to capture some live music samples from our gig. It was a great night and there were some great moments. I love this combination of players and instruments. For last week’s gig, we had Shawn Mickelson on trumpet and flugelhorn, Peter Queal on guitar and vocals, Chris Allen on vibraphone, Dennis Griffing on bass, and Ward Durrett on drums backing me up on vocals.
We started off with an hour of music for the cocktail hour then played a couple of sets after dinner. Here are several tunes that I uploaded from the after-dinner music.
We also captured some video accompanied by audio feeds off of the board which I’ll post when I get them back. Hopefully, that will give you a better sound quality and you will be able to see us playing as well, but I hope this gives you an idea of what this show was like.
I have just discovered Peter Queal’s latest album of music, HUMILITY , featuring thirteen songs, mostly original compositions, in the jazz and world music traditions.
Regarding this project, Peter writes:
This music is about events in my life that I’ve experienced through travel, relationships and situations that have led me to a realization that the best of life is experienced through an ever stronger awareness of the meaning of humility. I believe humility can lead us to the keenest realization of the truths that make up reality. Herein are the results of skills learned over the span of 50+ years of musical awareness and creativity. There is a lot of vocal and instrumental improvisation on this record, some of it transcribed from recordings by greats such as Wes Montgomery and Bruce Forman and much by myself. I invite you to share in the fruits of my quest for musical and artistic knowledge in the sonic and poetic mediums. I have a strong desire to epitomize humility by learning and sharing. Enjoy!
Why I love Peter’s album
I love this album for lots of reasons, but mostly, because it has a very worldly feel with lush vocals, tight harmonies and beautiful guitar work. Peter has spent his life getting to know his instrument and plays masterfully with a mixture of power and finesse. He has added percussion tracks including bells, shakers and congas. His vocals are honest and immediate completely in-keeping with the lyrics. Peter sings like he means it. The harmonies of “Somony” are rich and luscious while his jazz improvisation on “Blues With a Feeling” is spot-on.
Some cuts tend to the world music tradition, and “Ominous Weather” features Paul Taylor on didjeridoo while others are more straight-ahead blues and jazz. I especially love his version of the Rogers and Hart classic, “Falling in Love with Love,” and “Blues with a Feeling” which he wrote with his friend and fellow musician, Curt Landes. It’s so totally hip, a jazzy/bluesy tune that really grooves.
Humility was a finalist among listener picks for best Wyoming/Regional album of 2015.
Where you can hear Peter play live
I am truly honored to have the opportunity to play with Peter in my group, JRQ. In addition, Peter plays solo along the front range and Wyoming. He is a frequent guest at Jay’s Bistro in Fort Collins, Colorado the home Mark Sloniker’s fabulous jazz group. Peter also plays with the John Mills orchestra based out of Greeley.
We are thrilled that JRQ will be providing entertainment for this year’s Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet on March 17 at Little America here in Cheyenne.
This year’s gala is being presented by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Wyoming to recognized 150 years of community excellence and celebrate 110 years of supporting the business in our city. The event will recognize exceptional businesses and professionals in Cheyenne including the Chamber’s Person of the Year award.
We will be playing for the cocktail reception which begins at 5:30 and then after dinner and the awards presentations, we will start up again and continue through the evening playing our favorite jazz, Latin, swing and vintage pop tunes.
We’ve added drums and vibes!
I am especially excited to be playing with this expanded group of fabulous musicians. Joining Shawn Mickelson on trumpet, Peter Queal on guitar and vocals, and Dennis Griffing on bass will be Chris Allen on vibraphone and Ward Durrett on drums. The sound that is happening is really tight and very jazzy.
It is unusual these days to encounter a vibraphonist, especially one of Chris Allen’s caliber.
Chris is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston and studied under jazz legend, Gary Burton, among others. (Here is an interesting story on Gary Burton’s life in jazz.) Chris is also an assistant professor of biology at the Colorado State University in Fort Collins and avid rock climber.
Ward is an astonishing drummer. He has been a professional musician throughout his life working in every aspect of the percussion and audio industry. He manages Drums West at Boomer Music Company in Fort Collins.
Shawn Mickelson, Dennis Griffing and Peter Queal
Of course, it is always a delight to be joined by Shawn, “Griff” and Peter who have been part of my group since last year. Shawn is a manager at The Music Depot in Cheyenne. Griff plays with the Cheyenne Symphony and teaches in Fort Collins. Peter now lives in Greeley and has just finished a new album, Humility.