Dick’s Den Residency: Derek DiCenzo

For the first four weeks of April, the Dicks Den Residency Series presents the music of veteran multi-instrumentalist Derek DiCenzo. Like Aaron Quinn in March, Derek is active in many styles of music and his Wednesday shows definitely reflect that. Also like Aaron, Derek was nice enough to send me descriptions of each individual night. Keep reading for Derek’s thoughts on the wide variety of performances to come this month.

I’m playing music at Dick’s Den on four consecutive Wednesdays in April. Tim Ackerman asked me if I was interested in a “residency” and I said yes, but I think the word “showcase” is more accurate. I’ll first be an electric bass player/singer in a rock band, then a jazz guitar player in a trio, then a jazz bass player in a trio, and finally a pianist/lounge singer.

The “Happy/Derek/Jimmy Band” will play on Wednesday, April 2. That’s Happy Chichester, Jimmy Castoe, and me. If anybody has a good idea for a more clever band name we’re open to suggestions. Actually we’ve tossed around hundreds of band names (mostly ridiculous) but we don’t really need a band name. I think the reason we played together in the first place was that we’re friends, and Happy was looking to play music after R.C. Mob broke up. So we would do some of Happy’s original material and some covers too. Gradually Happy formed his band Howlin’ Maggie and then did his solo act, but we continued to perform as the Happy/Derek/Jimmy band and added more and more covers and did less of Happy’s songs. We all sing and there’s plenty of 2-part and 3-part harmonies. Jim plays drums, I play bass, and Happy plays guitar, and I think a piano will be involved at some point. Expect to hear plenty of Beatles, Kinks, and Sly Stone songs, as well as Meters, Stevie Wonder, The Band, Lee Dorsey, The Who, Ween, X, Iggy Pop, and more. Maybe I can trick Happy into singing “Immigrant Song.” 10pm start. Two huge sets.

The “ADD Trio” will play on Wednesday, April 9. That’s A(aron) Scott, D(ave) DeWitt, and D(erek) DiCenzo. Aaron on drums, and this time Dave will play bass and I’ll play guitar. Sometimes we have Dave on piano and me on bass. Either way, we have this crazy musical hook-up. No plan necessary; just start playing music and see what happens. And what happens is usually pretty great. I know that sounds like a tacky Facebook tease. These Jazz Bums Set Up Their Gear At Dick’s Den And You Won’t Believe What Happens Next! I think we’ll start by 9:30 so early risers can take in a set and get home at a decent hour. Two big sets and maybe more if there’s a good crowd.

The Bobby Floyd Trio will play on Wednesday, April 16. Bobby of course is something of a local legend. I think maybe the word “virtuoso” is appropriate. For a good 10 or 15 years the Trio has been Bobby, with Reggie Jackson on drums and me on bass. Reggie is unavailable for this date, so Aaron Scott will fill in. I’ll play acoustic bass. A rare chance to see Bobby play locally at a bar/club. Set One 9:30pm-10:30pm. Set Two 11pm-midnight.

If I have the nerve, I will play some serious piano on Wednesday, April 23. I have a few pieces by Debussy and Ravel that I’d like to play. Then I’ll put on a wig and shades and become “Tony Bonanza.” I’ll have “Jonny Cha-cha” on drums (Louis Tsamous) and maybe a bass player. If I can’t recruit a bassist, I’ll do the left-hand-bass thing. “Vinnie Gusto” was our bass player, and he’s relocated to the east coast. I’ll sing “Midnight At The Oasis,” “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” “Rock the Boat,” “Lush Life,” “Lovin’ You,” and many more. [Above picture is] what we looked like a few years back.

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