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Live At The Linda: "Keys of Jazz"

Michael Benedict and Bopitude, The NoLaNauts and Stephane Wrembel
Michael Benedict/ NoLaNauts/ Stephane Wrembel

Each Wednesday and Sunday evening at 8 p.m. “Live At The Linda” brings you some of the best musical acts to grace the stage at The Linda - WAMC's Performing Arts Studio. This week we take in the “Keys of Jazz,” with Stephane Wrembel, Michael Benedict and Bopitude and The NoLaNauts.

Stephane Wrembel was here at the Linda just a month or so back he fed our brains and soul with as much philosophy as music. He is a one of a kind musician, both historian and archivist of all things Django Reinhardt but also of the history and distinctions of Jazz. HE enlightened us with his perspective in this set and it got us thinking, about what jazz is. To him, it’s the origins of not just his Django Reinhardt style, of which he is acknowledged as the finest likely in the world, but the bounce and disciplines of old school swing.

He’ll describe it in this set. Let’s take a listen. From February 2022, here is Stephane Wrembel live at The Linda.

Alright next up in the Keys of Jazz is something completely different, from the historically beautiful Django and swing roots of Wrembel to the absolute be-bop or rather hard-bop of Michael Benedict and Bopitude. Maybe this is what you think of when you think Jazz. Michael Benedict and BOPITUDE is a Hard-Bop Quintet/Sextet that draws on the familiar of the Hard Bop era and uncovers material that has had little or no exposure from the past, bringing a 21st century approach to this important era of Jazz. The group features Michael Benedict-drums and leader, Bruce Barth-piano, Chris Pasin-trumpet, Brian Patneaude-tenor saxophone and Mike Lawrence-bass. On BOPITUDE’S second album, world-renowned baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan, joined the group. This concert comes from a few years back, here is Michael Benedict and Bopitude.

Once, again, and now for something completely different. And I’ll admit, it may be a stretch. When I think of Jazz, and all its many flavors and forms, my mind often travels south to the city of New Orleans. Mardi Gras, the Neville Brothers, Little Feet, Cajun, Creole and Zydeco, all of it. It’s not Jazz’s only home, but let’s face it it’s the most fun one. No one embodies the spirit of New Orleans in the Capital Region of New York than our friends The NoLaNauts. A spicy groove collective dedicated to serving up a healthy dose of "Who Dat Funk"

The NoLaNauts reflect years of living, visiting, immersing and loving New Orleans, its people and their rich culture. New Orleans is the most interesting city in the United States and it lives by its own rules and traditions – Mardi Gras – Jazz Fest – Red Beans – Tipitina's – PoBoys – Preservation Hall – Crawfish and festivals that celebrate every aspect of being alive and being in the Crescent City.

The NoLaNauts are the dream of Tom O’Connor and Brian Lawlor who have faithfully participated in every available New Orleans experience including decades of nearly religious attendance at New Orleans’ Jazz and Heritage Festival. Tom and Brian have played music together for over 30 years and seized the opportunity to assemble some of the finest musicians in the area to bring a taste of the New Orleans music scene to life in the Northeast.

So it may not be strict Jazz, but that’s our point this week, nothing is and it all is. Disagree, send me your letters. From 2021 here is the NoLaNauts Live at the Linda.

Thanks for sticking with us this week and we play in the Keys of Jazz. Join us next week for our broadcast of "Peter’s Picks,” Linda General Manager and LATL host Peter Hughes celebrates one year at WAMC with some of his favorite artists to grace The Linda stage. For more information on this show or any upcoming events follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, or visit thelinda.org.

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Peter Hughes is the General Manager and Programmer/Presenter for The Linda: WAMC Northeast Public Radio’s Live Performing Arts Studio. He is also the on-air host of "Live at the Linda" a twice-weekly variety music program on WAMC on-air and online that broadcasts concerts and content both recorded and live from The Linda studio in Albany NY, but also interviews and conversations with artists of all stripes.