Combo Provides Jazz in June

» Posted by on Jun 7, 2011 in In The News, What's New | Comments Off on Combo Provides Jazz in June

Combo Provides Jazz in June

By Cecilia Nasmith – COBOURG – Northumberland resident San Murata will be joined by a couple of friends June 20 to offer a program of Jazz In June in Cobourg.

At 7:30 p.m. June 20, upstairs at Harden & Huyse (201 Division St.), Murata will blend the strains of his violin with Tony Quarrington’s guitar and Beverly Taft’s vocals, plus the keyboard artistry of special guest Yumi Nakata from Japan.

The trio of Murata, Quarrington and Taft are pleased to return to two of their favourite performance spaces: the 1927 dance hall above Harden & Huyse in Cobourg and (on June 22) their annual visit to Corktown’s Dominion on Queen. Both evenings will feature their own brand of swingy standards, sweet ballads and French chansons.

From left, the trio of Tony Quarrington (guitar), Beverly Taft (vocals) and San Murata (jazz violin) will be joined by pianist Yumi Nakata for a June 20 performance in Cobourg. Submitted Photo

From left, the trio of Tony Quarrington (guitar), Beverly Taft (vocals) and San Murata (jazz violin) will be joined by pianist Yumi Nakata for a June 20 performance in Cobourg. Submitted Photo

Murata is one of a handful of people playing the jazz violin. His charming music evokes the atmosphere of a Paris salon or a Manhattan tea room, and his approach emphasizes pure melody and romantic lyricism, with careful attention to the possibilities presented by the great songs of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern and others.

The National Jazz Awards nominated Murata as Best Violinist of the Year four times between 2002 and 2007. He appears on five CDs, including two recordings as leader. Over the years, he has performed at Toronto’s top venues, with annual appearances at the Downtown Toronto Jazz Festival since 1994 (as well as at Port Hope’s All Canadian Jazz Festival).

Quarrington has been a guitarist and producer (in many styles) for several years, in addition to playing his own original instrumental jazz. Besides recording work as a sideman with such figures as Adi Braun, and Jaymz Bee and the Royal Jelly Orchestra, his own music on 10 CDs has been quite well received.

He is a favourite of singers and instrumentalists alike for his keen understanding of a wide range of styles within the jazz genre, and his extensive knowledge of songs dating back to the 1920s. A sensitive accompanist, Quarrington is equally adept and compelling as a solo artist — both instrumentally and when he’s crooning one of his favourite old swing tunes.

Taft comes to Cobourg fresh from a month of music-making in the jazz-loving city of Berlin. Her repertoire includes standards, swing, novelty, bossa nova, chansons and blues from the 1920s through the mid 1960s, as well as jazzy originals co-penned by guitarist Nathan Hiltz.

A multi-linguist, her Bossa Nova Project (music by Antonio Carlos Jobim and his contemporaries in Portuguese and English), is also being presented at the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival this year. In April, she launched her new CD Beverly Taft meets the Nathan Hiltz Orchestra over three nights at Toronto’s Jazz Bistro, with the support of Toronto Downtown Jazz (who named the launch one of its three special-project initiatives for this year).

Pianist Nakata has performed with many of Japan’s top jazz players, and has performed with Murata several times on his annual spring visits to Japan. This will be her first visit to Ontario.

Tickets to the Cobourg concert are $20 (call 905-377-9917).

The Toronto performance two days later takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. at Dominion on Queen, 500 Queen St. E., Toronto, at the Toronto Downtown Festival Show