November 08 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
This event is open to the public.
The Jerome Mirza Jazz Residency at Knox College brings world-renowned jazz artists to campus for a week of intensive and collaborative jazz activities with Knox College students, culminating in a free public concert at the historic Orpheum Theatre
The Steven Bernstein Quartet
An impactful presence on the New York scene over the past 30 years, trumpeter, composer, arranger, and bandleader Steven Bernstein has immersed himself in such a wide array of music that he defies easy categorization. His bands include Sexmob, Millennial Territory Orchestra, Diaspora Soul, Universal Melody Brass Band, Spanish Fly, Blue Campfire, and the Butler-Bernstein Hot 9.
Now celebrating its 20th year, The Steven Bernstein Quartet, or Sexmob (Steven Bernstein - slide trumpet, Briggan Krauss - saxophones, Tony Scherr - bass, Kenny Wollesen - drums), continues to deconstruct familiar pop tunes with subversive impunity. Everything from Prince’s “Sign O’ the Times” to John Barry’s “Goldfinger,” the Grateful Dead’s “Ripple,” Nirvana’s “About a Girl,” the Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday,” Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” and ABBA’s “Fernando” is fair game for this band of musical renegades. And Bernstein is explicit about Sexmob not being a cover band.
”Covers to me means you play it exactly like the record,” he explains. “I just take songs that I feel have a great melody and do them in my style. So I’ll pick a tune and tell the guys, ‘Let’s Sexmob this!’ And I realize that's what jazz musicians have always done. That’s how Lester Young and Charlie Parker and Miles Davis got popular. They played the songs that everyone knew. And because they could recognize the song then that invited them into their style."
The fact that Bernstein exclusively plays slide trumpet in Sexmob gives the quartet an even more distinctive edge. As he puts it, “When you play the trumpet, Louis Armstrong is the king. But when I play the slide trumpet, I’m the king. It’s my voice. On trumpet, there’s no escaping Armstrong and Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Lester Bowie…all those cats. But on slide trumpet, it’s just me.”
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