Jazz Club of Sarasota and Temple Beth Israel present “Jazz at the Temple,”
a concert of Brazilian jazz, on Sunday, Feb. 12, from 2-5 p.m. on Longboat Key
Nate Najar, Eddie Metz Jr., Don Mopsick, Joe Delaney and Bob Bowlby will play bossa nova tunes
SARASOTA, FL: “The Girl from Ipanema” comes to Longboat Key, at least musically, in a lively concert of Brazilian rhythms and Brazilian-infused jazz at Temple Beth Israel, 567 Bay Isles Road, on Sunday, February 12, from 2 to 5 p.m. The Jazz Club of Sarasota and Temple Beth Israel have teamed to present the event, a tribute to the early days of bossa nova. The music will be performed by an all-star quintet that glories in the bossa nova beat. Three of the five musicians–drummer Eddie Metz Jr., guitarist Nate Najar, and bassist Don Mopsick–are Jazz Club favorites who have headlined concerts for the Club and pianist Joe Delaney has played for the Club’s jazz trolley pub crawls. Saxophone player Bob Bowlby will come from Boston to join the quintet.
Admission at $25 includes the concert, snacks and the opportunity to mingle. A cash bar will be available. For tickets and information phone the Jazz Club office at 941.366.1552 (Wednesday-Thursday-Friday, 9-5) or email [email protected]
Nate Najar will begin the concert with a short presentation on the spectacular birth of bossa nova (“new style” in Portuguese). The music, a fusion of samba and jazz, burst into America’s awareness in the 1960s through a collaboration by two American musicians, saxophonist Stan Getz and guitarist Charlie Byrd, who recorded the now-classic album Jazz Samba, which included “Desafinado,” Grammy winner for the best jazz performance of 1963. They followed that with several other popular bossa nova albums.
Excitement for the music grew and was heightened by Getz’s work with three Brazilians: guitarist Joao Gilberto, credited as the man who modified the samba to create the more lyrical bossa nova music in the 1950s; his wife, singer Astrud Gilberto; and the multi-talented genius of Brazilian jazz, Antonio Carlos Jobim. They recorded the album Getz/Gilberto, which introduced another Grammy-winning song, “The Girl from Ipanema.”
The Jazz Club has carefully chosen the musicians for its Brazilian quintet according to Peg Pluto, Jazz Club president:
Guitar–St. Petersburg native Nate Najar began playing guitar at age eight and considers Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery and Charlie Byrd his primary influences. A fingerstyle guitarist in the tradition of Charlie Byrd, he has recorded tribute projects to his idol Charlie Byrd and to the music of Brazil. Najar has won accolades for two full-length recordings, including Blues For Night People: The Nate Najar Trio Remembers Charlie Byrd and garnered a Top Ten Billboard slot for Groove Me, a jazz single with Melba Moore. Becky Byrd, Charlie Byrd’s widow, said, “There is no doubt that there is a piece of Charlie’s soul in Nate’s mind, heart and fingers.”
Piano–Massachusetts native Joe Delaney brings authentic bossa nova experience to the concert. He worked in the U.S. Virgin Islands for most of the ’80s, playing concerts with Brazilian jazz star Astrud Gilberto and her son Marcelo as well as guitarist Paulo Jobim, son of composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. He returned to Cape Cod from 1989-2009, became associated with reedman Dick Johnson, leader of the Artie Shaw Orchestra at the time, and traveled with the Shaw Orchestra for six years, sometimes playing alongside his good friend, trumpet great Lou Colombo. Delaney has toured five continents with the Shaw band and his own groups, held extended residencies in virtually every live music venue on Cape Cod, and for seven years led the house trio at the Black Cat Tavern at Hyannis Harbor. He has made many recordings as leader and sideman, as well as for commercial jingles (for Pepsi, Beck’s Beer, among others), and movie soundtracks (Mrs. Worthington’s Party).
Drums–Eddie Metz Jr., sometimes called “the perfect time-keeper,” plays frequently for the Jazz Club with his trio featuring bassist Nicky Parrott and pianist Rossanno Sportiello. For the past 24 years he has lived in the Orlando area where he spent 14 years as a full-time staff musician at Walt Disney World. He continues to work at Disney as a seasonal performer and clinician and is also on the teaching staff at several jazz camps around the country. Metz has been the driving force of small groups and large bands for over three decades, including those fronted by Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Les Brown and others. He has also worked with such greats as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Ben Vereen, Sammy Davis Jr., Arturo Sandoval, Rosemary Clooney, Michael Feinstein, Chick Corea, The Coasters and Patti Page. He continues to record with top jazz artists and perform at jazz festivals and events around the country.
Saxophone–Bob Bowlby studied at the Berklee School of Music and was also on its faculty. A member of the Buddy Rich Band from November 1983 to January 1987, Bowlby toured with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Artie Shaw Orchestra, Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole, Barry Manilow, Ben Vereen, Rita Moreno and Carol Channing. He was a founding member of the John Allmark Jazz Orchestra and member of the Dick Johnson Swing Shift and Herb Pomeroy Jazz Orchestra. Bowlby has been a pit musician at the Boston Opera House, Colonial Theater and North Shore Music Theater, and played for Cats, Avenue Q, Fosse and Star Wars In Concert. He is a member of the Boston Pops Orchestra, The North Shore Music Theatre, and the Boston Opera House.
Bass–Upon graduation from the Manhattan School of Music in 1977, Don Mopsick relocated from his native New Jersey to Fort Myers, then to Orlando in 1983, where he found himself in demand statewide, especially by the Jazz Club of Sarasota, where he appeared with Kenny Davern, Bob Rosengarden, John Bunch, Don Goldie, Ira Sullivan, and others. In 1991 he joined the Jim Cullum Jazz Band in San Antonio and appeared weekly on the “Riverwalk Jazz” series on the Public Radio International network. While with Cullum, Mopsick recorded radio shows with Dick Hyman, John and Bucky Pizzarelli, Clark Terry, Kenny Davern, Linda Hopkins, Benny Carter, Bob Wilber, Milt Hinton, Ralph Sutton, Harry Allen, Ken Peplowski, Joe Williams, “Sweets” Edison, Shelly Berg, Stephanie Nakasian, Rebecca Kilgore and many other greats of jazz. Since returning to southwest Florida in 2010, Mopsick has played concerts with Dick Hyman, Peter Appleyard, Bucky Pizzarelli, Ira Sullivan, Giacomo Gates, Russell Malone and others. He has appeared in concerts and festivals nationally with Hyman, Ralph Sutton, John Bunch, Ira Sullivan, Red Rodney, Buddy DeFranco, Randy Sandke, Warren Vaché, Scott Hamilton, Bill Allred and many others. Don currently performs in Sarasota, Venice and Ft. Myers with the Billy Marcus Trio, Hot Club SRQ, the Dan Miller Quartet, and singers Synia Carroll and Deborah Opie.
The Jazz Club of Sarasota, founded in 1980, is dedicated to preserving, promoting and presenting jazz, America’s original musical art form. The Club has provided over 50 jazz-related events annually for 37 years. Chief among them is the highly respected Sarasota Jazz Festival, with the 37th Festival set for March 5-11, 2017. In addition to producing numerous jazz events, the Club also operates an active scholarship program for aspiring young jazz musicians. To learn more, visit www.jazzclubsarasota.org.