Dick’s Den Residency: Stan Smith

The Dick’s Den Wednesday Residency program continues its streak of excellent jazz programming with a March schedule led by guitarist and educator Stan Smith. He has lined up a special five week slate of jazz shows by both established bands and rare lineups that include Smith on guitar, so come check out improvisational jazz in a variety of settings. Each week’s show will run from about 9pm to 1am, and cover is $5. Keep reading for details from Stan Smith: “It would take at least a couple months of Wednesdays to include all of the Columbus musicians I admire but I feel very good about the line up I have assembled for my March residency at Dick’s Den.

Wednesday, March 1st – Ryan Jewell – drums, Steve Perakis – bass, Lisa Bella Donna – keyboards (and possible guitar).
I would categorize this group as playing Melodic Atmospheric Grooves. We first performed at Carabar on some of my Thursday gigs in 2016. Each of us felt a special connection with this quartet so I wanted to start the month at Dick’s with this group. There will be as much “free improvisation” as improvising on set tunes and with these musicians the free playing sounds as organized and focused as a preconceived composition. So, free to be what ever occurs to us in the moment and all of us hold melody and groove in equal importance as pure musical color.

March 8thDescendre
This group started several years ago as a trio with Lisa Bella Donna (keyboards, guitar), Jim Tussing (electric bass) and Justin Campbell (drums) focusing on Lisa’s compositions that were unapologetic nods to 1970’s Jazz Fusion and film music. Eventually they began adding other musicians and I was fortunate to be one of them. Lisa’s music is as complex and structured as it is free. Every performance is completely fresh and the years of playing together bring a unity that is very special. Four of us as one voice.

March 15th – Nova Madrugada: Roger Hines – bass, Danny Aguiar – drums, Michael Cox – saxophones, Ron Hope – percussion.
Loosely translated from Portuguese, nova madrugada means new dawn but the deeper meaning refers to the entire process of night transforming into morning. A consistent yet ever fresh and changing event. That’s how this group approaches the music we play. The group started in the 1980’s as an outgrowth of a quartet featuring Andrew Waters, Jim Rupp, Roger and me that I put together for a summer recreation/parks concert. Roger suggested we make it a consistent band which I agreed to only if he took the leadership role. Through the years the personnel has shifted considerably but when Danny Aguiar (who is from Brasil) came into the fold a unique magic occurred that we had been looking for since Roger and I have both been so influenced by many styles of Brasilian music. Most of the music will be my compositions.

March 22nd – Wally Mitchel – drums, Jay Miglia – saxophones, Roger Hines – bass.
When I returned to Columbus in November 1976 after 4 years in Boston, 2 of the first musicians I connected with were Roger and Wally. We have performed in many configurations off and on since and every time a deep magic happens. Wally is one of the most brilliant musicians I know and his musical brilliance combined with his extraordinary spirit provide a musical journey every one should experience. This night we will be playing some standard jazz material as well as some of my music.

March 29th – Tony McClung – drums, Phil Maneri – bass, Lisa Bella Donna – keyboards.
I have admired Tony McClung’s approach to music for many years but we have seldom had a chance to perform together. This night will remedy that. I am especially looking forward to the combination of Tony and Phil Maneri, whose bass playing encompasses everything I treasure about music. Adding Lisa to this will be a perfect ending to the 5 Wednesdays I have the pleasure of presenting in one of Columbus’s most treasured venues – the One and Only Dick’s Den.”

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