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The Jazz Times of Nashville 11/27

The Jazz Times of Nashville is a bi-monthly column from editor and jazz writer Wyatt Parks that provides the reader with a streamlined medium for important Nashville jazz news and insights, including major events and appearances, album releases, and more. The column will put an emphasis on major local and national acts, but also attempts to cultivate the jazz scene by including information about university groups and up-and-coming jazz acts. 

Welcome back to the Jazz Times of Nashville. As always, an incredible lineup of talent in the coming weeks. Hope everyone has a great and safe Thanksgiving!

Rudy’s Jazz Room

Friday, November 28 – Charles Wigg Walker
Rudy’s continues its Friday Happy Hour Soul and Jazz Series with Charles “Wigg” Walker. Walker was born in Nashville in 1940 and remains one of the few remaining original soul singers from when this music was first hitting the scene. Walker’s career has spanned more than fifty years, having recorded for Chess Records and touring the country with the J.C. Davis Band opening for giants of the era including James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Etta James, and many more. This experience gives him an authenticity that few have been able to match.

8:00 PM – Bob Harsen Band
Boston native and Berklee College of Music graduate Bob Harsen is an incredibly accomplished drummer who has toured, recorded, and performed with a number of big names in the industry, including Randy Brecker and Tiger Okoshi. Harsen has given clinics worldwide, as well as performed at the Montreal Drum Festival in 2001. He currently resides in Nashville and is regular session musician and performer.

11:30 – Geoff Pfeifer
Nashville-based saxophonist Geoff Pfeifer and his quartet are a gritty, edgy, group offering real New York City-style jazz. Playing a mix of original tunes and Wayne Shorter music, listeners will be sure to feel the energy with this group.

Saturday, November 29
5:30 PM – Pat Coil Quintet
Originally from Jefferson City, Missouri, Pat Coil is an accomplished pianist, composer, arranger and producer, as well as a highly respected studio musician. Coil has recorded six albums of his own, and has composed for TV series and movies.

The quintet includes Steve Kovalcheck, Jeff Coffin, Brian Allen and Jim White.

8:00 PM – Jaimee Paul & Leif Shires
Growing up in the church, Jaimee Paul was steeped in its traditional music, heavily influenced by Gospel and the Blues. After moving to Nashville for college, Paul quickly had her vocal talent recognized and eventually toured with superstars Wynonna, The Judd’s and most recently Kelly Clarkson. Leif Shires began his career playing in theme parks and on cruise lines. After moving to Nashville, he discovered Paul’s incredible vocal talent, and this blossomed into a musical collaboration. Together they have performed all over the world, including for presidents, prime ministers, and other world leaders.

11:30 PM – Oracle Blue

Jazz Fusion band Oracle Blue returns to Rudy’s. The band grew out of a university jazz combo, and has turned itself into a touring band. The band’s exact style is difficult to pin down, as their repertoire includes both original recordings featuring elements of a number of genres, as well as reinterpretations of classic jazz standards. Our Derek Volkmann attended one of their previous performances at Rudy’s. Check out his review here.

Thursday, December 5 9:00 PM – Elias/Enslow 5tet
A quintet featuring some of Nashville’s top talent, The Elias/Enslow 5tet features Nikki Elias on vocals, Tyler Enslow on bass, Marc Widenhofer on drums, Jeff Goodkind on keys, and Don Aliquo on sax. With influences from Sarah Vaughan to Chick Corea, this group offers a unique jazz experience.

Friday, December 6
5:30 PM – Talisha Holmes
Backed by one of Nashville’s most talented jazz groups, Cliff Richmond and the CliffNotes, Talisha Holmes will showcase her eclectic style, blending everything from jazz to soul to frunk to whatever else inspires her in the moment.

8:00 PM – Don Aliquo Presents the Music of Billy Strayhorn
The quintet led by saxophonist Don Aliquo will present a concert featuring compositions and re-imaginings of compositions by the legendary jazz composer Billy Strayhorn. Strayhorn is widely regarded as one of the most innovative and important composers in jazz history.

The quintet will feature Jamey Simmons (trumpet), Steve Kovalcheck (guitar), Jim White (drums), and Jonathan Wires (bass).


11:30 PM – Nikki Elias and the Cosmic Collective
Representing the ever-changing landscape of jazz music brought on by the next generation, the Cosmic Collective covers a wide variety of genres, from jazz and Bossa Nova to pop, funk, and R&B. The band consists of formally trained area musicians including bassist Tyler Enslow, keyboardist Jeff Goodkind, and saxophonist DeVante Buford.

5:30 PM – Cliff Richmond and the CliffNotes
Guitarist Cliff Richmond leads a powerful group serving up a blend of soulful, swinging, and funky jazz. The group’s music incorporates a wide range of styles from mainstream swing to rhythm and blues, Latin and reggae.

8:00 PM – Coffin/Carlock/Felder/Pastorius
Rudy’s hosts a concert of truly incredible talent with a band featuring Jeff Coffin, Keith Carlock, Nir Felder, and Felix Pastorius. Each of these musicians is incredibly accomplished in his own right, each having performed and toured with big names in the industry, including the Dave Matthews Band, Steely Dan, Esperanza Spalding, and the Yellowjackets.


11:30 PM – Geoff Pfeifer
Another chance to catch this electric group.

University Jazz Life

Middle Tennessee State University
Monday, December 2 3:15 PM – Jazz Arrangers Concert
Students of the Jazz Arranging class at MTSU will present a concert featuring their arrangements of jazz standards, featuring the MTSU big band, as well as jazz small groups.

Those are your highlights for the next two weeks. Thanks!

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