A special benefit event that bassist Matt Paetsch brought to life for Halloween 2014 as part of his Dick’s Den Wednesday residency has returned for a second year. Revenge of the Hashtaggastroindygrowler By Communitypaloozaaroofest 2015 will take place at Dick’s Den on Thursday, October 29th, from 9pm to 1am. The event features 10 singers from 10 different musical projects in the area backed by a jazz band playing arrangements of popular rock, metal, pop, country, and rap tunes in a jazz setting. The event will benefit the Faith Mission Homeless Shelter – the suggested donation for admission is $4 or a new or gently used blanket and 100% of the funds raised go to Faith Mission. New for 2015 is a horn section, so Matt Adams (tenor sax), Tim Perdue (trumpet), and Dale Alkula (trombone) will join Brett Burleson (guitar), Danny Bauer (piano), Maxwell Button (drums) and Paetsch in the septet. Two new singers, Kelly McLennan and Joey Gardina, will join the party this year, joining the returning cast of Jon Coleman, Jon Elliott, Jesse Henry, Amber Knicole, Jenny Lute, Jen Miller, Mark Rhodes, and Andy Shaw. I had a great time at last year’s show, and this one should be even better. Keep reading for thoughts from Paetsch on the ideas behind the show.
The concept of the night is a “reverse Halloween show,” where instead of a band dressing up as a popular act and performing straightforward covers of their songs, the songs themselves are dressed up in various jazz styles. Paetsch told me that his arrangements this year include “some really silly things and some really great things. That was kind of the point of the whole project when I started doing it last year – [the songs] can be really funny and silly, but I might find something in here that I would play on a regular gig, and there’s definitely those things [as well].” Paetsch also finds it important for jazz musicians to update their repertoire with songs that average people know today, as opposed to standards from the 1930s-1950s. Not to say that material isn’t valuable, but it can alienate potential listeners of today, and he wants to expose new people to jazz using current/more recent familiar tunes. With some arrangement work, modern pop songs can function as vehicles for conventional jazz performance, just like a traditional standard. “All I’m doing is taking what is out there, the known quantities that the average listener knows, and trying to bring it into our medium, so that people might be drawn back into jazz.” Come out Thursday and hear some of the best local musicians put a jazz spin on some popular favorites for a great cause.