a kaleidoscope of jazz, world music, poetry, and magic
$20.50 advance / $22.50 at door
Purchase tickets online
October 07 8:00 pm
The earPlay Jazzquintet brings together a multitude of musical influences – from Brazilian choro to vintage funk, Afro-Cuban to jump swing, country-western to the latest in digital sound design – and interweaves them with jazz and 20th century classical idioms. The resulting tapestry of sound is a mix of structured composition and bold improvisation, with elements of poetry and stage magic stitched in for dramatic effect.
Michael Smolens is the leader of the group. A composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist for nearly four decades, Michael takes his inspiration from the contemporary jazz of Art Lande, the vocal flights of Bobby McFerrin, the Sufi poetry of Hafiz and Rumi, and the stage magic of Jeff McBride, as well as the music of Brazil, West Africa, northern India, and modern composers like Brian Eno, Steve Reich, and Gabriel Faure. The San Francisco Chronicle called Michael “a highly skilled writer whose works recall Miles Davis’ ESP period as well as the exoticism of groups like Oregon.”
Michael sings and plays piano, synthesizer, alto flute, and balafon, a West African cousin of the xylophone. Alex Murzyn plays three kinds of saxophone, two kinds of flute, and bass clarinet. Fred Randolph plays bass, guitar, saxophone, flute, and percussion. Brian Rice places drums, tabla, and percussion. Michael Hatfield sings and plays vibes, accordion, percussion, and marimba lumina, an electronic instrument that sounds like a conventional marimba, and he also uses a sampler to record and play back brief “samples” of music. Guest artist Heather Rogers incorporates spoken word and stage magic into the performance. The earPlay Jazzquintet has appeared at Yoshi's Jazz House, Old First Concerts, Sonoma State Forum Series, and the West Coast Orff-Schulwerk Jazz Conference.
For a kaleidoscopic experience combining jazz and world music, poetry and magic, open your mind to the earPlay Jazzquintet.
Listen to tracks from earPlay Jazzquintet: