There also will be a lingerie modeling show.
photos by Christine Lyons
The Wakefield Jazz Quartet plays
straight-ahead jazz standards, the American songbook,
the great jazz composers, including Miles, Monk & Ellington;
some blues; and the Latin sounds of bossa nova.
Come see KG’s art http://kgstudiosoakland.com/
WJQ formed in 1998 when members Kathy Dodge, Richard Lyons and original bassist Peter Sepsis met at The Jazzschool in Berkeley. After the class ended, the three kept playing together and were joined by multi-saxist Peter Greenstein, a bandmate of Kathy's from another group. In 2000, Chuck Ervin took over duties on bass and since 2005, Ed Elliot, has been WJQ’s bassist and vocalist.
The band takes its name from historic Wakefield Avenue, known to at least two of its residents as the "Beale Street" of Oakland. Though only one block long, Wakefield Avenue is home to at least five bands and two recording studios. Wakefield Avenue has been a musical center for many years. In fact, archeologists, called in to excavate below the foundations of Wakefield homes, have found Paleolithic picks, reeds and drum heads used by the original residents of the area to play at harvest and fishing celebrations, which, sociologists say, evolved into what are today called "gigs."
Richard Lyons, a resident of the island city of Alameda, has played guitar and piano off and on for most of his life, moving from classical music (piano) to popular music and jazz (guitar) and back again several times. He is now firmly planted in the jazz guitar camp, enjoying the improvisational and rhythmic aspects of jazz, as well as the ability to carry his instrument.
I became a jazz fan in five minutes in
one night. As a youngster, I had been subjected to the mandatory piano and
theory lessons popular with many middle American homes at the time. Of course,
the result was a complete revulsion of musical instruments for years.. Then one
night, while watching a TV variety show, I saw a band play- with an afro-american
guy playing what looked like a xylophone. He was getting some incredible sound
and rhythm out of it, and he looked like he was having the time of his life! I
loved it. I asked my dad what kind of music it was. 'Son, that's progressive
jazz,' he said.
Since that night, I've been a fan, a record collector, and a part-time player.
Kathy Dodge has provided the thump, sizzle and crash for a variety of bands, including jazz and Cajun, in the past 15 years. She has studied piano and, despite her music theory coursework, plays ukulele, too. When she's not playing music, she can often be found entertaining children from 9 to 99 with her puppetry.
Send e-mail to Peter Greenstein