Monday, April 8, 2013

Friday Night's Alright For Live Music + Brian Charette's Sextette in NYC

Firehouse 12, 45 Crown Street in New Haven, welcomes the creative music quartet Conference Call for 2 shows on Friday April 13.  The foursome - Gebhard Ullmann (reeds), Michael Jefry Stevens (piano), Joe Fonda (bass) and George Schuller (drums, percussion) - last played the Elm City performance space/ recording studio in September of 2008 but don't expect to hear a repeat of those sets and that music.  All 4 are composers and continually update the band's repertoire. Do expect to be surprised by the varied sounds of Ullmann's saxophone and clarinet playing, by the way Stevens constantly probes and works within the arrangements, at Fonda's strong bass work and outgoing personality and Schuller's playful as well as forceful percussion.

Conference Call plays at 8:30 and 10 p.m. (separate admission charges) - to find out more, go to  

Guitarist/composer Frank Varela heads a double bill this Friday at The Buttonwood Tree, 605 Main Street in Middletown.  The Berklee School of Music graduate has worked with the likes of organist Jimmy McGriff, drummer Max Roach and the great banjo master Tony Trischka.  Joining him are bassist Bob Laramie and drummer-vocalist Rick Marshall.  The trio's music is a blend of jazz and rock influences, leaning more towards the former but with audible traces of the latter.

Opening the show at 8 p.m. will be pianist/vocalist Avi Wisnia.  Wisnia has a charming voice and his music shows the influence of several Brazilian composers.

For more information and reservations, call 860-347-4957 or go to

Organist/composer/arranger Brian Charette released one of my favorite CDs of 2012, "Music for Organ Sextette" (SteepleChase Records).  He created an impressive repertoire for his group that features his organ, drums and 4 reed players.  Well, he's written more music for the groups's next CD and will be playing it live on Wednesday April 10 and Thursday April 11 in Smalls, 183 West 10th Street in New York City. The Sextette will play from 9:30 until 12 midnight and you should be able to watch the show live online at (you have to join the website to view the clubs stream.) To learn more about the organist and his projects, go to

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for all your support, Richard!!!! Did you know I played with Frank Varela, Bob, and Rick for years in Street Temperature 20 yrs ago?