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DJC: Jazz this week and ruminations

September 15, 2015

By Kathy Edwards McFarland

I recently visited with wonderful multi-decade Jazz vocalist and band leader Judy Chamberlain, about the difference between “learning Jazz” in school, and getting indoctrinated to the art form via live band performances, i.e. starting from the ground up. We talked for hours about how book-learning can only take one so far … going into the community, performing in front of people, receiving immediate reaction from the crowd, improving each session with the influence of mentors spurs one toward excellence in the craft.

In Denton, we are appreciative of all forms of music, but – ah – Jazz is a national treasure few have really heard.

Indie music, the notes and phrases of a Singer/Songwriter, the jiggy-jaggy runs of Hip-Hop rap and more genres have a place here, but what of real Jazz? I’m not discounting the great, long-lived legacy of the Jazz Studies faculty, guest artists and students at UNT … but true artistry out in the community, educating and entertaining listeners requires nurturing. Seeds are planted once in a while, but what of the care and feeding?

One of the latest additions to live Jazz in Denton is the Thursday night rotation of Jazz, Blues and Fusion at Andy’s Bar, 122 N Locust St, on

Andy's Bar

Andy’s Bar

the Square, downtown. I recently mentioned this – but as with many ongoing music nights, it bears repeating.

Now called “The Rotation,” Christopher Walker, Administrative Specialist IV at UNT College of Music, Bassist at Pansy Moon and Sound Engineering at Andy’s Bar, coordinates a weekly live performance fest of first-come, first-booked bands and artists from younger players (most from UNT), to veteran performers taking turns at Jazz, Fusion and Blues. This week, the two bands take us back to “school” with classic Jazz.

Thursday, Sept. 17 – 10 pm: Keith Karns provides a stunning tribute to Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, in the form of a quintet, then, at Midnight, Stuart Mack brings out the Mack 4 to source all of the involuntary head-nods and feet-shuffling. (Music starts at 10 pm. 21+. FREE. Visit –

Keth Karns and the Jazz Messengers: Keith Karns-trumpet ; Brian Horton-Sax; Damian A. García-Piano; Jack Helsley-Bass; Connor Kent-Drums
Stuart Mack4: Stuart Mack-trumpet; Mark Hartsuch-sax; Jake Greenburg-bass; Connor Kent-drums

More around Denton this week:

Wednesday, Sept. 16:

  • Bassist Jeffrey Eckels presents A Vocal Jazz Showcase at the Whitehouse, the corner of Bryan and Scripture, featuring Rosana Eckert, Pat Coil (new Jazz Studies UNT faculty member) on keys, drummer Matt Young, and Jeffrey Eckels on bass.
  • Four O’Clock and Five O’Clock Lab Bands perform in UNT’s Gateway Center – 9 pm. $5.

Thursday, Sept. 17:

  • Jazz Pianist and UNT Professor Emeritus Dan Haerle, performs at UNT on the Square, 109 Elm St., 7-9 pm. Free.

*An “Out-of -Bounds” mention – The Denton Blues Festival, presented by the Denton Black Chamber of Commerce, is Sept. 19 and 20 at Quakertown Park, 321 E. McKinney. Free.

Monday, Sept. 21:

  • A very special Vintage Jazz Society meeting at Patterson-Appleton Visual Arts Center, 400 East Hickory, Al Pierson, director of the Guy Lombardo Orchestra will present the program  at 9:30 am. A jam session follows at 10:30 am. Free – everyone welcome.
  • Late night Jazz with Jordan Coffing, female Jazz vocalist and guitarist, at the Greenhouse Restaurant, 600 N. Locust, 10 pm to Midnight.

More later, dear Readers.



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