30 years ago, Steve Abshire, Scott Silbert and Dave Schiff served together as members of the elite Navy Commodores Jazz Big Band. The three of them haven't performed together since. For First Friday in October, Joe Holt has orchestrated a musical reunion, rounding out a swinging quartet, and promising an evening of Joe Holt style memories and fun.
Dave Schiff, a 20 year veteran of “The Commodores”, is a powerful and versatile woodwind jazz instrumentalist who has traveled the world working with jazz legends such as Thad Jones, Mel Lewis Orchestra, Mel Torme and Dizzy Gillespie. Smooth jazz, straight ahead, funk... you name it... Dave can play it.
A multiple woodwind player and arranger, Scott Silbert joined the Navy Commodores in 1991 on baritone sax (he was the chief arranger for the band from 1996 until his retirement in 2017). Recently, he has stepped into the role of leader with his own band, and has earned an enthusiastic following among the massive D.C. swing dance community.
Guitarist Steve Abshire is a teacher, clinician, and a favorite in the Washington D.C./ Baltimore jazz scene. His mainstream style comes from years of study with Herb Ellis, Joe Pass, and Barney Kessel.
The Mainstay offers the perfect nightcap following an exciting day of Fall Fest music with returning favorites, the Dixie Power Trio. A long time ago in a basement far, far away, three guys got together to learn a couple Dixieland tunes. What evolved was an alternative Dixieland band that featured the tuba, a cornet, rhythm banjo and vocals. Eventually a drummer was added (as the 4th member of the “Trio”). Over time, the accordion, washboard, and harmonica, and guitar were added to the growing list of instruments. The DPT have long-since established themselves as the East Coast’s premier New Orleans music ensemble with their always-evolving, unique blues/jazz sound.
Irish-born/ Britain-based acoustic musician Anthony John Clarke falls into that special camp of musicians who have played the Mainstay and generate frequent, fervent requests to return. It doesn’t hurt to ask – so we did. And he said yes! All AJC ever wanted to be was a songwriter, and by his mid-thirties he was discovered by audiences all over the world. Twenty-five years on he has an international legion of fans and a list of upcoming appearances that stretches two years into the future.
The Seldom Scene is one of America’s best-loved bluegrass bands, and no strangers to the Mainstay. Formed in 1971 in Bethesda, Maryland the group has been instrumental in starting the progressive bluegrass movement as their shows include bluegrass versions of country music, rock, and even pop. What does it take for a bluegrass band to remain popular for more than four decades? For The Seldom Scene, it's meant talented musicians, a signature sound, a solid repertoire, and a sheer sense of fun.
Many thanks once again to the Hedgelawn Foundation for their help with our programming and their great love of bluegrass
Vocalist Sue Matthews is a familiar favorite among Mainstay audiences. Her silky voice, exquisite phrasing, and passion for finding every bit of meaning in a song lyric deftly equip her as a leading interpreter of the Great American Songbook catalog. She has entertained audiences in top jazz clubs, concert halls, and music festivals across America, and from Canada to South America, Ireland to Hungary. Her November program at the Mainstay is titled "The Songbook Singers: Frank, Ella, Judy and Tony". Sue will be accompanied by Robert Redd who tours internationally as the pianist with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Rounding out the combo will be Scott Silbert on saxophone and Herman Burney on bass.
SOMBARKIN' is a trio of vocalists whose sound is best described as Gospel. The group uses the impressive voices of all three of its members -- Karen Somerville, Lester Barrett, Jr. and Jerome McKinney – with their carefully rehearsed dynamics and timing, and spot-on harmonies to deliver an explosive performance of Negro spirituals, map songs, folk, gospel, and contemporary selections. Their technique is reminiscent of the ‘ole time religion’ and ‘campground’ style, punctuated with occasional and surprising jazz licks and blues bends. Playing with SOMBARKIN' on November 26th will be Gerry Werner on piano, Charlie Werner on guitar, and Ray Anthony on drums.