THE BRUBECK BROTHERS QUARTET
Chris and Dan Brubeck have been making music together practically all their lives. Drummer Dan and bassist, trombonist, and composer Chris cut their first record together in 1966. They have subsequently played a variety of styles in several different groups, as well as with their father, jazz giant Dave Brubeck. The dynamic Brubeck Brothers Quartet is made complete by guitarist Mike DeMicco and pianist Chuck Lamb. Together they perform at concert series, colleges, and jazz festivals across North America and Europe including the Newport, Detroit, Montreal, Playboy/Hollywood Bowl, and Monterey Jazz Festivals. Although the Quartet’s style is rooted in “straight-ahead” jazz, their concerts reveal an inherent ability to explore and play odd time signatures while naturally integrating the influences of funk, blues and world music. The group’s creativity, technique and improvisation can be heard in their uncompromising music, which reflects their dedication to melody, rhythm, culture and the spontaneous spirit of jazz. “The BBQ attains that rare field level where music is both relaxed and expressive, and their joy in its creation is contagious. There’s nothing out there that comes close to their unique blend of inventiveness.” All About Jazz
Grammy-nominated composer Chris Brubeck continues to distinguish himself as an innovative performer and composer who is clearly tuned into the pulse of contemporary music. Respected music critic for The Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein called Chris: “a composer with a real flair for lyrical melody–a 21st Century Lenny Bernstein.”
Chris has created an impressive body of symphonic work while maintaining a demanding touring and recording schedule with his two groups: the Brubeck Brothers Quartet (with brother Dan on drums), and Triple Play, an acoustic trio featuring Chris on piano, bass and trombone along with guitarist Joel Brown and harmonica player extraordinaire Peter Madcat Ruth. After a concert with Triple Play in California, Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times wrote: Triple Play was rollicking good fun … led by bassist, trombonist and pianist Chris Brubeck, the trio stole the show with its flair and virtuosity.”
Born in Oakland on May 4, 1955, Dan Brubeck was a highly energetic child who found his calling at the trap set. Mentored by two consummate polyrhythmic masters, Joe Morello and Alan Dawson (at the Berklee College of Music), he was working professionally before he finished his teens.
Over the years Dan was featured on nearly a dozen albums with his father, and toured widely with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, including many appearances with the world’s leading orchestras. He’s been an integral part of the various Brubeck bands, including the Darius Brubeck Ensemble, Two Generations of Brubeck, and the New Brubeck Quartet. He’s toured internationally and recorded three widely played albums with his electric jazz group, The Dolphins, and co-led the Brubeck LaVerne Trio with his brother Chris and pianist Andy LaVerne. A stylistically versatile musician, he’s toured with acts ranging from The Band and David Benoit to Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond. He’s recorded with jazz guitar legend Larry Coryell, singer~songwriter Livingston Taylor, jazz~pop singer Michael Franks, and pioneering blues guitarist Roy Buchanan.
Mike DeMicco’s expansive embrace of music has led him to work with prominent artists in many genres. He’s toured the world extensively since 1980, performing and recording with a diverse cross-section of jazz, blues and popular artists, including Dave Brubeck, The Brubeck Brothers Quartet, Jack DeJohnette, Nick Brignola, Warren Bernhardt, Lee Shaw, Rory Block, James & Livingston Taylor, Professor “Louie” and The Crowmatix, and many others. Mike’s selected performance highlights include appearances on PBS and NPR; at the major European and North American jazz festivals; and at prestigious clubs and venues such as The Kennedy Center, Ronnie Scott’s, LA’s Jazz Bakery, The Blue Note, Birdland, The Five Spot, The Bottom Line, Wolf Trap, Great American Music Hall, and BB King’s.
Chuck Lamb has been a member of the Brubeck Brothers Quartet since 2002 and is not only an exciting and emotive pianist in his own right, but also a prolific composer of jazz, fusion, classical and world music. As part of the Brubeck Brothers Quartet and with his own groups, Chuck has performed at numerous renowned venues around the world, including most of the major Jazz Festivals and in such international venues as Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow with the Russian National Orchestra and with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra in Singapore.
FRANK VIGNOLA/MARTIN TAYLOR DUO
Frank Vignola’s stunning virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the world’s top musicians, including Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, Wynton Marsalis, Tommy Emmanuel, Mark O’Connor, Boston Pops, New York Pops, and guitar legend Les Paul, who named Vignola to his “Five Most Admired Guitarists List” for the Wall Street Journal. Vignola has performed at some of the most prestigious concert halls and festivals in the world including the Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Center, Liverpool Philharmonic, Quebec Music Festival and Italy’s Teatro Olimpico.
Martin Taylor, multi-award winning guitarist and composer, has established a unique musical career as an international acclaimed musician. His inimitable style has seen him recognized as the world's foremost exponent of solo jazz guitar playing. Completely self taught, Martin has enjoyed a remarkable musical career spanning across five decades. As well as being a true guitar innovator, he is also a master concert performer, dazzling audiences with his solo shows, which combined virtuosity, emotion and humor.
Together this dynamic duo feature some of the finest guitar playing ever seen on stage. Not to be missed!
The musicians of "Novel Jazz" have been performing straight-ahead jazz around Maine and New England for over three decades. They draw from the Great American Songbook and specialize in the works of Edward Kennedy ("Duke") Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. The band members hail from all over Maine. Fifteen years ago, they embarked on a project to go through the massive archive of compositions by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, who wrote about 2,500 pieces between them, transcribe some lesser known gems for the band and reinterpret them with a 21st century sound. Their first CD was released in 2008, their second was released in 2011. The band released their third CD, Novel and Novelle... More unearthed treasures by Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington, in June 2015. Their fourth CD was released in the summer of 2019. Public radio did a special radio news interview on the Ellington/Strayhorn project of Novel Jazz. Several two-hour programs dedicated to Novel Jazz have been broadcast on Maine Public Radio's jazz show, Jazz Tonight over the years.
DENNY BREAU TRIO
Denny Breau’s rhythmically flawless and dazzlingly clear style allows him to do amazing and stunning things with a six-string guitar. He first draws in an audience with a finely arranged melody and then slides effortlessly into scorching fingerwork that sets ears aflame. The lighting fast guitar lines that seem almost humanly impossible to accomplish are balanced with those that have a quiet intimacy and wrap tenderly around his carefully crafted songs. He mixes genres with ease — folk, Delta blues, country and jazz — “creating a totally accessible musical mélange that captivates as it entertains,” according to Lucky Clark writing for the Kennebec (Maine) Journal.
Guitarists in the audience often suspect that they have been left in the dust and regularly tell Denny that they might as well hang up their guitars! As Denny greets concert-goers and shakes hands following his performances, guitar players invariably ask how he performs certain techniques and Denny, who has a passion for teaching, is happy to show them. This is especially true when demonstrating the guitar style of Chet Atkins, who was a family friend and major influence. Shows usually include a “smartly executed Chet Atkins medley by Breau who truly does the late Atkins proud,” according to a review in Dirty Linen magazine.
It is not an exaggeration to say that Denny was born to the instrument on May 26, 1952. His parents, Hal Lone Pine and Betty Cody, were popular country performers and RCA recording artists beginning in the 1940s. His older brother, the late Lenny Breau, is considered a jazz guitar giant. A recent Dirty Linen review of Denny’s solo CD of “neighborly song portraits of weathered souls” said that “listening to Denny nimbly bend his acoustic steel strings…one can hear a jazz player’s elegant fluidity.”
Denny started playing guitar when he was 9 years old and was performing professionally by his early teens. During more than 30 years as a full-time musician, he has performed with many well-known artists and picked alongside outstanding guitarists including Bryan Sutton, Harvey Reid, J.P. Cormier, Pat Donohue, Dan Crary and Steve Kaufman. He has long been in demand as a studio musician and has done jingles and sound tracks for radio and television as well as recorded and produced albums for other artists.