Petr Cancura on The Organ Trio

Jazz Festival Programmer Petr Cancura on Those Triple Threat Set-Ups

The organ trio is one of the most classic of configurations within jazz and you’ll see many of them at every one of our festivals. Last year, we had Larry Goldings with Peter Bernstein and Bill Stewart. This year, the slot will be filled by the brilliant Joey DeFrancesco Trio. They play at 7 pm on June 20 at NAC’s Studio. (I would get there early for this one as it might just sell out).

What’s not to love about the Hammond B3, guitar and drums? Together they make for such a classic, groovy sound. 

I remember talking to our very own local organ guru Don Cummings of the Back Talk Organ Trio who, you may recall, played our main stage in 2012. While we were on the subject of organ players, he pointed out how important it is to play the organ as anorgan and not like a piano. Why? Because the organ is not touch sensitive, the sound is either on or off, and you control the expression with a foot volume pedal—it’s an art of its own to make the organ speak.

And although the layout is that of a piano, the organ is an entirely different instrument.

Another impressive aspect of this instrument is how the organ player fulfills the function of a keyboardist and bass player at the same time. 

The organist will play bass lines with either their left hand or foot, while soloing, or accompanying the guitar solo, with the right hand. This is pretty incredible to do, and the level that Joey does it at is incredible.

How incredible you ask? Well Joey’s life markers tell that story: 

  • He played organ with Philly Jo Jones and Hank Mobley when he was 10
  • Joey signed an exclusive record contract with Columbia Records at age 16
  • He toured with the Miles Davis band at 17, then with the Ray Charles band, George Benson… and on and on.

What it comes down to is that Joey is one of the greatest organ players alive, he is on fire and this will be fantastic without a doubt!!! He is joined by George Fludas on drums and Jeff Parker on guitar. 

Show details and ticket info: http://ottawajazz.wpengine.com/artists/joey-defrancesco/

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