Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Rare Performances And Original Interpretations . . .

Cape May Jazz Vespers presents a concert featuring a rare South Jersey performance by sax legend Larry McKenna and keyboard ace Dave Posmontier. These veterans will share their interpretations of jazz classics as well as a few originals in their show at the First Presbyterian Church of Cape May on May 6th at 3 pm. For more information and directions visit www.capemayjazzvespers.com or call 609.846.3979. A $10 minimum donation is requested; limited free parking; wheelchair accessible.

Larry McKenna is a perfect example of a jazz musician who isn't well known nationally but is considered a master of his instrument in his home town. The majority of jazz lovers in New York or Boston may not be familiar with him, but mention McKenna's name to many jazzmen in Philadelphia, and they'll tell you that, along with Bootsie Barnes and Jimmy Oliver, he's one of the city's best tenor sax players.

After joining a high school jazz band at 14 and playing small gigs around Philly as a young adult, McKennagot his first significant break when, in 1959, he spent six months on the road as a member of Woody Herman's Big Band. McKenna was with George Young in 1962 and Al Raymond in 1970, and it was in the early 1970s that he started teaching at Temple University, West Chester University and Philadelphia Community College. Over the years, Larry recorded with Herman, Buddy DeFranco and Dr. Bruce Klauber as a sideman and played countless local gigs as a leader.

McKenna had been a fixture on the Philadelphia jazz scene for decades, but sadly, went unrecorded for much of his career. McKenna was in his 50s when he finally recorded his first studio date as a leader (“My Shining Hour: Larry McKenna Plays Harold Arlen”, 1997). The CD's excellence showed that he should have started recording 30 years earlier. His playing is often described as “inspired” and “passionate”. He brings a bit of the feel of Philly jazz clubs to South Jersey along with this long time bandmate Dave Posmontier.

Dave Posmontier has been playing keyboard since the age of seven and has played professionally for the past 50 years. He majored in mathematics at Temple University in the late 60's but played with the Temple Jazz Band and knew he would be a full-time musician after graduation.

In the 70's, Dave played in an organ trio with Mickey Roker and Bootsie Barnes and played extensively in the Philly area. He also joined a trio with Tony Williams and Al Jackson, also notable Philly musicians. Later, Dave worked with guitarist, Steve Giordano, playing contemporary, original music using piano, organ, synthesizers and voices.

As Dave’s chops developed over the years, his reputation grew accordingly. He has performed and recorded with many jazz artists including Larry McKenna, Christian McBride, James Moody, Chris Potter, Duane Eubanks, Mickey Roker, Bobbie Durham, John Blake, John Swana, Mike Richmond, Bootsie Barnes, Tony Williams (sax), Bob Howell, Chico Huff, Steve Giordano, Grover Washington Jr., David "Fathead" Newman, and Johnny Hartman.

Dave has also been playing traditional and innovative klezmer music with a band called, “Klingon Klezmer.” They have performed in a number of major concert halls throughout Germany and have released two CDs.

Currently, Dave is playing, composing, arranging, teaching, and participating in educational jazz concerts, workshops and clinics in schools throughout the area. Dave can be heard on several CD’s of Philadelphia area jazz artists. In 2010 he released a CD, "Posterity," featuring his original compositions and arrangements. He has recently released a live acoustic trio CD, "Deep Pockets".

This accomplish duo, McKenna and Posmontier, will be joined on the Jazz Vespers stage by veteran sidemen Dave Brodie on bass and the “swingin’ judge” Dick Klein on drums.

The show will be held at the The First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500 Hughes St in downtown Cape May. Limited free parking is available. For driving directions visit www.capemayjazzvespers.com and come early for a good seat. The show starts at 3 pm.

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