Sax Drive, episode #4

My new band Sax Drive is playing later this week.

November Sax Drive - Made with PosterMyWall

Lauren Barnett, who plays alto sax in Sax Drive, hosts this really cool event on the third Thursday of each month at Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Ave.  At 10pm until midnight you can sit in a cozy lounge, listen to great music and draw to your heart’s content – Lauren provides the supplies.

This month Lauren has connected her Drawing Free For All with the groovy jazz sounds of Sax Drive: five saxophones, bass and drums. Joining her are Scott Pearce on alto, Nicole Auger and Micaela Morey on tenor, Tavo Diez De Bonilla on bass, Trevor Yearwood on drums and yours truly on the bari sax.

Sax Drive plays from 10-11-pm and is followed by Tom Richards on piano.

It’s our fourth appearance and we’re premiering a couple new tunes. It’s bound to be a fun time.

I’ll be dedicating the show to the memory of my teacher and friend, Paul Bendzsa, who passed away last Thursday.  I know he’d appreciate our music and also the connection with visual art.

Samba Elegua, October PSK

Another event at the last Pedestrian Sunday in Kensington (PSK) was a performance by Samba Elegua, of which I’m a member – since August I’ve been in good standing after a near-total absence since the fall of 2017 (wink, wink to Samba Elegua members).  We played along Augusta Ave from 6:00 to 6:30pm: samba, dancehall, funk and samba-reggae, all to our hearts’ delight.

I love this band. I love the people in it and I love the vibe.  As our website states, Samba Elégua is “a non-profit, volunteer-run musical community, powered by the passion of its members. It is free to join and open to all, from novices to experienced players.”

Notice this last bit.  WE NEED MORE MEMBERS!!!  Especially, we need caixa players.  (caixa is a Brazilian snare drum).  There were only two of us at the last performance and, as loud and as passionate as we are, two of us can’t keep up with the pounding of the big surdos, who typically lay down the beats behind us, and the thrilling, melodic clatter and clanging  of the the tamborims and agogo bells ahead of us.

Here’s a picture – taken by my buddy-in-brass-bands, trumpeter Gerry Bortolussi – of us milling about before we get set to play.  Some are into the cat-themed, Halloween spirit; I’m not sure about myself, whom you can see to the right all dressed in black and decked out in hat and shades.

SambaElegua-PSK-Oct2019