St. Cecilia Music Center (SCMC) will bring Multi-talented Jazz Musician Joey DeFrancesco and his quartet “The People” to Grand Rapids on February 7, 2019. DeFrancesco is a four-time Grammy® Award-nominee, with more than 30 recordings as a leader under his belt. He has received countless Jazz Journalist Association awards and other accolades worldwide, including being inducted into the inaugural Hammond B3 Organ Hall of Fame in 2014, the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame in 2016, as well as, topping the Critics Polls in DownBeat Magazine eleven times over the past fifteen years, and the Readers Polls every year since 2005. Accompanying Joey DeFrancesco at SCMC will be his group, known as “The People” – drummer Jason Brown, guitarist Dan Wilson and saxophonist Troy Roberts.
SCMC Executive Director Cathy Holbrook says, “Joey DeFrancesco and “The People” at St. Cecilia Music Center on February 7 is bound to have guests swinging in their seats. Their amazing jazz, blues, soul sound will really speak to the hearts of true jazz lovers and it’s something different then we have featured in the past with Joey on the Hammond B3 Organ.”
Concert tickets for Joey DeFrancesco and “The People” are $35 and $40 and can be purchased by calling St. Cecilia Music Center at 616-459-2224 or visiting the box office at 24 Ransom Ave. NE. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.scmc-online.org. A pre-concert reception for $15 begins at 6:30 pm, including wine and hors d’oeuvres,is available by reservation in advance (by Friday, February 1). A post-concert party with dessert, coffee and wine is open to all ticket-holdersto meet the artists, obtain autographs and CD purchases.
Applauded as “one of the best Hammond B-3 organ players on the planet” (by Jazz Times), Joey DeFrancesco released a new album with “The People” in summer 2017 with Mack Avenue Records entitled “Project Freedom”. The album features DeFrancesco on the Hammond B-3 organ, along with contributions on keyboards, trumpet and as a vocalist. “Project Freedom” mixes “barnburners with stirring, soulful material” according to Phillip Booth, writer for JazzTimes. “Project Freedom” includes inspiring originals by DeFrancesco and music covers from Sam Cooke – A Change is Gonna Comeand John Lennon – Imagine. In 2018, DeFrancesco teamed up with Van Morrison on Morrison’s 2018 album entitled “You’re Driving Me Crazy”. The album included Van Morrison, Joey DeFrancesco, Dan Wilson and Troy Roberts (from “The People”) and drummer Michael Ode in a hard-driving soul-jazz sound.
The final Jazz Series Concert during SCMC 135thanniversary season will be on March 7 and will feature rising jazz star singer Veronica Swift and the Benny Green Trio. Veronica Swift has launched her debut album “It’s Great to Be Alive” which features the great pianist Benny Green and his trio. At age 24, Veronica Swift is now being recognized around the country as one of the top young jazz singers on the scene. Benny Green, a veteran of the jazz world combines a mastery of keyboard technique with decades of real world experience playing with no one less than the most celebrated artists of the last half century.