Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Phil Dunlap Quintet to debut Saturday, June 29 at SLAM, with Nicholas Payton as special guest

As director of education for Jazz St. Louis, Phil Dunlap certainly gets ample opportunities to use his piano chops during the regular working week. However, the SIUE alumnus also does a fair amount of playing on the side, doing casual gigs and leading both a trio and the Legacy Jazz Quintet, a group that draws on the repertoire of well-known jazz composers for gigs at Jazz at the Bistro and elsewhere.

Now Dunlap (pictured, top left) is launching a new jazz quintet, which will make its debut in a special performance at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, June 29 for the grand opening of the new wing of the St. Louis Art Museum.

The lineup of Dunlap's new quintet includes drummer Montez Coleman, bassist Jahmal Nichols, saxophonist Ben Reece and trumpeter Danny Campbell. They'll be joined for the performance at SLAM by several special guests, including the well-known New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton (pictured, lower left), who played here last season at the Bistro, plus fellow St. Louisans Willie Akins on tenor sax and Brian Owens on vocals.

Given Dunlap's fondness for the hard-bop sound, "we will definitely include some (music) from that era, including some Blue Mitchell and Chick Corea tunes from the 50s," he told StLJN. "The set will also include some original compositions, written specifically for this ensemble."

The Phil Dunlap Quintet concert with Nicholas Payton at the St. Louis Art Museum is free and open to the public. (Fans and friends also should note that Dunlap also will be performing this Friday at the Bistro, teaming with pianist Adaron "Pops" Jackson of Good 4 The Soul for "88 Squared," a rare two-keyboard effort backed by Nichols and drummer Marty Morrison.)

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