Join Merryall for Brunch and a taste of Gypsy Jazz featuring Frank Brocklehurst and his Gypsy Jazz Quartet on Sunday, August 14th, Bagels are on the menu from 11-1 pm. Then, from 1-3 pm, swing and sway to Swing-Era Jazz. Along with guitarists Ben Wood and Luke Hendon with Ben Dean on violin, Brocklehurst brings his special style of small club jazz to Litchfield Hills.
“Everyone always asks me what Gypsy Jazz is,” says Brocklehurst, who has performed with Charlie Neville of The Neville Brothers fame and the Blue Oyster Cult’s Joe Bouchard as well as in Jazz Clubs around the country. “The genre originated in the Era of Ellington and Basie and was popularized by jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt in his Hot Club of Paris in the thirties. A melting of string instruments, mostly guitars and violins…portable so caravans could go from town to town to entertain and sustain. However, in the last ten years, thanks to the internet, it has gained in popularity and now almost every state has a gypsy jazz festival.”
“We like to think of it as something for everybody, a combination of Latin and Folk melodies along with Swing and Bebop, …inspiring audiences to experience, and feel things that they never have before”, Brocklehurst added.
Says Merryall Board Member and fellow musician, Bill Petkanas, “We are thrilled to introduce Gypsy Jazz to our part of the world. Frank B is the consummate bassist, playing everything from country to funk. His Quartet plays and pays homage to this unique style of jazz in which you will hear echoes of Russian, Eastern and klezmer music. I am especially delighted to see featured this evening Luke Hendon whose playing makes Django fans think they’re hearing one of his old recordings.”
Brunch will be catered by New Milford’s very own The Bagel Barn, and will feature a variety of their renowned finely crafted bagels and house-made cream cheese spreads. Croissants, cherry tarts, cinnamon buns, an array of muffins, and fruit salads are all included along with complimentary mimosa and freshly brewed coffees and teas.
Don’t leave your seats until the last bagel and note, as Brocklehurst has invited a number of “surprise guests” on stage to sing jazz standards and favorites.
Tickets, $40 for brunch and the concert, or $25 for just the 1-3 pm concert, are available online at: merryallcenter.org.
The Merryall Center is a non-profit organization located at 8 Chapel Hill Road. For more information about the organization, including upcoming events and memberships, discounts, and pricing, visit the Center’s website at merryallcenter.org.