Jazzy evening at Fitton Center includes Dave Brubeck and more

‘Take Five’ event will also feature The Phil DeGreg trio and Rick VanMatre.

An evening of virtuosic jazz is on tap this month at The Fitton Center for Creative Arts.

An Evening of Dave Brubeck with “Take Five,” featuring The Phil DeGreg Trio and Rick VanMatre is scheduled for Jan. 21 in the Carruthers Signature Ballroom.

”This show is really something special,” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director of the Fitton Center. “Obviously, Dave Brubeck is an icon of American and world jazz … He was known for his complex, multiple time rhythms, but it’s still very approachable and listenable.”

We will have four of the best jazz musicians in the state of Ohio on stage. They are the best in their field as performers, teachers and lecturers, and they perform all over the country, he said.

“They are absolutely outstanding. The interest in this show has already been incredibly strong, given the names on the bill, and also the interest in the fantastic music of Dave Brubeck that will be played that evening. This show is one of those shows not to be missed,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.

The Phil DeGreg Trio is comprised of Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame Pianist Phil DeGreg, Aaron Jacobs and John Taylor, who will be joined by saxophonist Rick VanMatre.

“We are going to be doing a bunch of Dave Brubeck’s compositions, or things he made famous,” said Phil DeGreg. “We will be playing the music our own way. It’s not going to be a carbon copy of what people have heard, but they will recognize the songs.”

Audiences can expect to hear iconic music of the legendary Dave Brubeck including songs such as “Take Five, “Blue Rondo a la Turk,” “Strange Meadow Lark,” and “Unsquare Dance.”

“It’s jazz music, so I’m looking forward to the interaction with the band and the audience. Music is a format for us to be able to communicate with each other and the audience taps into that. So, it’s not just a matter of playing music, but actually talking to each other, which is what you do in a jazz group, ideally.” DeGreg said.

We move as a unit when we play, and we are very aware of what the other one is doing and constantly responding to it. It’s a conversation,” he said.

“A lot of people know Dave Brubeck’s music. He was the first jazz musician to be featured on the cover of “Time Magazine” … So, a lot of people are fans, and if they don’t know it, there was a reason why it’s so famous, it’s because it’s really good music,” DeGreg said.

Dave Brubeck, an American jazz pianist and composer, was influential and popular. He was declared a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress. With a successful career spanning more than six decades he became known for his distinct style, experimentation, and for making jazz accessible to listeners.

How to go

What: “Take Five,” An Evening of Dave Brubeck featuring The Phil DeGreg Trio and Rick VanMatre

When: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21

Where: The Fitton Center for Creative Arts, 101 S. Monument Ave., Hamilton

Cost: Tickets are $32 for members; $39 for non-members. Event sponsor: Dr. Kenneth and Marcia Wehr.

More info: fittoncenter.org or (513) 863-8873 ext. 110. Cash bar available throughout the evening.

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