Online Staff Report
Rockford’s Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center will feature jf. gaziano & beatmerchants as part of the Jazz at Emerson concert series at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 7. This performance, along with all Jazz at Emerson concerts, will be at the historic Emerson House on the Mendelssohn PAC campus, 420 N. Main St., Rockford.
For more than 20 years, jf. gaziano & beatmerchants have been performing original music in Rockford and throughout the Midwest, including venues in Chicago, Madison, Wis., and Milwaukee. Interchangeable players accommodate Gaziano’s compositions, which are rooted in rhythm and blues, soul and jazz to produce what the band coined “sway and reel music.”
A number of songs from the band’s first two CDs have received radio play from one coast to the other, as well as abroad. Improvisation is at the heart of live performances, as the group conjures songs from its early recordings and introduces new work, some of which will comprise the band’s third and fourth discs.
In Rockford, jf.gaziano & beatmerchants have accumulated eight Rockford Area Music Industry (RAMI) awards and are members of the organization’s Hall of Fame. The band has performed with a number of national acts, and all members have enjoyed a long and beneficial relationship with Charlotte’s Web. Five songs on the group’s second CD, Such Good Times, were the result of private performances and recording sessions at the Web’s original location in Rockford.
“Jazz at Emerson” is held one Thursday per month, 5:30-7 p.m., at the Emerson House in the heart of Rockford’s cultural corridor. Concertgoers can enjoy the swinging sounds of jazz, relax with a glass of wine and light refreshments, and meet the performers after the program.
Doors open at 5 p.m. Seating is limited, so arrive early. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students. Proceeds will benefit the musicians and the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center. Flex Passes are still available offering reduced admission prices and can be used interchangeably with “Jazz at Emerson” and “Music on Main.”
Purchase tickets online at mendlessohnpac.org, by phone at (815) 964-9713 or at the door the night of the concert.
Posted Feb. 6, 2013