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SJFS 2011 recap May 4, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography.

Jay Rowe‘s ninth annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars concert was spread out over two nights. Last Friday, there was the jam session at Daniel Street in Milford featuring Steve Cole and Jeff Kashiwa(6/22/12 UPDATE: Daniel Street closed in January.)

Saturday had the main concert at the Parsons Complex Auditorium.  It was my fifth SJFS and the second where I didn’t stay the night.

Kevin McCabe of Jumpstart Jazz Productions was the first to greet the audience:

Then, Jay Rowe, the man behind the concert, following Kevin’s introduction:

Jay was backed up by Best Kept Secret, made up of Steve Scales on percussion:

Trever Somerville on drums:

And Dave Anderson on bass:

Of course, Jay was on the keyboards:

Without further ado, the photo recap is underway.

SONG #1: Martinis and Bikinis (Jay Rowe)
Originally heard on:
“Live at Daniel Street,” 2011
Featured musician:
Ken Navarro

After a few minutes, Jay welcomed Ken Navarro to the stage for the rest of the song:

SONG #2: Eric’s Dream (Ken Navarro)
Originally heard on: “Brighter Days,” 1995; “Ablaze in Orlando,” 1998
Featured musician:
Ken Navarro

Ken wrote this song for his son Eric, who was nine years old at the time.  He’s now 25.

SONG #3: Lakes (Ken Navarro; Pat Metheny cover)
Originally heard on: “The Meeting Place,” 2007
Featured musicians:
Ken Navarro, Jeff Kashiwa

Jeff was on the tenor saxophone:

The next four pictures are of Dancing Eric Triffin:

SONG #4: The Lucky One (Jeff Kashiwa)
Originally heard on: “Play,” 2007
Featured musicians:
Jeff Kashiwa, Ken Navarro

Jeff wrote “The Lucky One” for his wife and child.  He truly is the lucky one.  It was the first time he’d ever played the song live.

SONG #5: You Make Me Blue (Chieli Minucci & Special EFX)
Originally heard on: “Without You,” 2010
Featured musicians:
Chieli Minucci, Jeff Kashiwa, Marion Meadows

Time to introduce Marion Meadows!:

Marion was on the soprano sax:

SONG #6: Treasures (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: “In Deep,” 2002
Featured musicians:
Marion Meadows, Chieli Minucci

Marion and Dancing Eric juxtaposed:

Wild applause:

SONG #7: Thursday (Steve Cole)
Originally heard on: “Spin,” 2005
Featured musicians:
Steve Cole, Chieli Minucci, Ken Navarro

Steve played tenor sax:

SONG #8: Angel (Steve Cole; Sarah McLachlan cover)
Originally heard on: “Moonlight,” 2011
Featured musician:
Steve Cole

Dave Anderson played acoustic bass on “Angel”:

SONG #9: Movin’ Up (Jeff Kashiwa)
Originally heard on: “Play,” 2007
Featured musicians:
Jeff Kashiwa, Ken Navarro

It was that time in the show to introduce the feature teacher himself, Bob Nunno!

SONG #10: Donna (Bob Nunno)
Originally heard on: Yet to be released
Featured musicians:
Bob Nunno, Chieli Minucci

Rounding out the lead saxes for the night, Bob played tenor:

“Donna” is Bob’s tribute to his wife.

After “Donna,” Jay shared the story of how he met Ms. Theresa Voss, the Foran High School choral director:

I was playing piano for the [Milford] tree lighting ceremony and I was told that I would be accompanied by the Lauralton Hall Chorus.  And it was great.  They were such a great chorus.  …  It was a pleasure musically to play with them.  And I admire Theresa, how great she was as the choral director.  So, when I heard she got the job at Foran High, I thought, oh my God, this is going to be great.  They’re gonna have a great chorus.  Sure enough, she built up the choral program and made it what it is now.

After recounting the Select Ensemble Chorus’ first four appearances at SJFS, he welcomed Ms. Voss to the stage:

The chorus soon followed:

Then, Jay told the audience that it was Ms. Voss’s birthday and invited her back to the stage from the orchestra pit…

…where the chorus and audience sang “Happy Birthday” to Jay’s keyboard accompaniment:

After Steve Scales noted it was his birthday, too, and Ms. Voss returned to the pit to direct the chorus, it was time for:
SONG #11:
Katy’s Groove (Jay Rowe)
Featured musicians:
Foran High School Select Ensemble Chorus

“Katy’s Groove” was dedicated to pop singer Katy Perry.

A round of applause:

The performance went so well, Jay wanted a way to officially record it.

He then dismissed the chorus until later:

SONG #12: Suede (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: “Player’s Club,” 2004
Featured musician:
Marion Meadows

Surprise!  Marion began in the audience:

We jumped right from “Suede” to:
SONG #13:
South Beach (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: “Body Rhythm,” 1995
Featured musician:
Marion Meadows

Jay’s solo:

A sample of “Mas Que Nada” found its way in the solo:

Steve Scales, Trever Somerville, and Dave Anderson were next on the solo train:

Dave took the solo lead:

A standing ovation!:

Marion: “It’s an absolute honor and a pleasure to have known Jay Rowe for so many years.  I’m proud to say that Jay Rowe has been a member of my touring band for 19 years.  So, that says a lot about friendship and the love I have for this gentleman.  A round of applause for Jay Rowe.”

He also thanked Dave, Steve, and Trever.

SONGS #14/15: Ken Navarro solo feature: Letter From Home (Pat Metheny Group cover)/Europa (Santana cover)
Ken Navarro only

“Letter From Home” was dedicated to Tom and Melissa who are serving our military in Iraq.  Tom is the son, and Melissa the daughter-in-law, of Libby and Lauren, a couple from Atlanta in the audience.  (1/6/12 UPDATE: You can hear these songs and more on Ken’s new album, “The Test of Time.”)

SONG #16: Festival (Special EFX)
Originally heard on: “Peace of the World,” 1991
Featured musicians:
Chieli Minucci, the ladies of the Foran High School Select Ensemble Chorus

There was one song left.  All the musicians returned to the stage.
SONG #17 (Finale):
Hyde Park (The “Ah, Oooh” Song) (Jeff Kashiwa)
Originally heard on: “Another Door Opens,” 2000
Featured musicians:
Everyone, Foran High School Horns

The audience played a role, too, as Jeff informed them.  You’ll see what role below.

“Ahhhhh, oooooh”:

The final note of the night:

Afterward came the meet and greet with pictures.

First, Marion Meadows:

Ken Navarro:

Jeff Kashiwa:

Steve Cole:

Chieli Minucci:

And Jay Rowe:

This year’s Smooth Jazz for Scholars was another success from start to finish.  Next year is #10!  See you then.



1. smoothjazzdaily - May 5, 2011

Fantastic report, Mike!

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