Jazz, Music, Philadelphia

A necessary concession

I started this blog a few weeks ago with the intent of sharing my thoughts on my few interests in life.  So far, a few posts in, I feel like I’ve managed to start off on the right foot.  This post however is coming from a different part of my life that, however daunting and unpleasant it may be at times, is too of utmost importance.  Sometimes it is important to promote/talk-up/ramble about yourself.  Let me proceed…


Wednesday, May 25th, my band will perform at Chris’ Jazz Cafe in Center City, a place that controversially exists as the only jazz club in Philadelphia.  This gig is an exciting occasion for several reasons!

First, this Wednesday will be only the fourth time my band has performed since our recording session this past July (heard here).  The commitment and skill brought the bandstand by my fellow musicians will give no impression of this systematic lay-off in our schedule.

Second, we will playing a lot of new music!  Some may have heard a short bit of this new music last month at the Green Line Cafe in West Philly but that was honestly an abridged presentation of the material.  This Wednesday, we will hopefully have the time to stretch and really create in these new spaces.

Third, the musicians configured to be “my band” are truly awesome.  Not only do they bring great energy, creativity and honesty to my music, they are really fun to be around!  I feel that this shared energy and joy is apparent to the audience.

Lastly, this Wednesday happens to be one of the last gigs in the US for one of my mentors, pianist Skip Wilkins.  Skip will be joining us as he has on occasion in the past, bringing a truly jazz perspective to my personal, not-quite-jazz compositions.  In my four years of study at Moravian College, my times around Skip have always been formative and inspirational.  Lessons spent analyzing Steve Swallow compositions, playing free improvisations or deconstructing an American Songbook standard.  Numerous times I’ve heard Skip perform with his quintet or in duo with a rotating cast of great musicians from Philadelphia, the Lehigh Valley and Pocono mountain region.  Sharing the bandstand for several years in the Tony Gairo-Gary Rissmiller Jazz Orchestra.  The sessions spent listening to and discussing records we both admired.  All these experiences have found their way into how I make music in both composition and performance.

This Wednesday is really going to be fun, especially for me.  I hope you can join us.


Mike Lorenz Quintet

w/ Mike Cemprola, alto saxophone; Skip Wilkins, piano; Brian Howell, bass; Matt Scarano, drums

Wednesday, May 25th 2011

@ Chris’ Jazz Cafe

1421 Sansom St.

Philadelphia, PA



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