NOTE: We are proud to partner with Planet Arts and students from the Germantown Central School District on the Open MIC (Music Industry Connections) Project, in which select students had the hands-on opportunity to document the “Jazz Mentors & New Voices” concert as part of Planet Arts’ Jazz one2one concert series and have their work published at Nippertown.com.:
Review and photographs by Roberto Orozco
Additional photographs by Nora Cady and Josie Savarese
They say jazz is the music of wonder. It delivers the body, soul and mind to a place of new meaning, and that’s exactly what percussionist Michael Benedict, along with Adam Siegel (saxophone), Rhys Tivey (trumpet), Joe Finn (guitar) and Mike Lawrence (bass) displayed. Once Tivey’s trumpet pulse from “Lotus Blossom” began, everyone was in for a delightful evening. The rhythm was flawless and the beat so infectious that some of the audience members instantly began nodding their heads to the music, as if absorbed or hypnotized. Not only did the group provide some hip-swinging, finger-snapping, foot-tapping tracks, but as the show continued, the tunes kept getting better and better.
These five gentlemen – brought together by Planet Arts for this one-night-only “Jazz Mentors and New Voices” concert at the Athens Cultural Center in Athens – suddenly changed the atmosphere of the room just by playing their instruments. It takes dedication and true talent to pull off what this ensemble presented. The melodies spilled over to the street outside the Athens Cultural Center, grabbing the attention of bystanders outside. The guitar strumming, the bass plucking, and the cymbal taps and trumpet bursts were just right.
Most people would imagine such accomplished musicians having very stern and serious expressions on their faces while playing, but that wasn’t the case. It was as if they just wanted to play. They were in the groove and in the mood to do what they do best.