Jazz Up Close

Jazz Up Close

Click here to read WNPR’s profile of Jazz Up Close series

We are excited to announce the 2024 Jazz Up Close events!

May 4: Mike McGinnis Trio

September 14: Donald Edwards

All events take place at the Russell Library in Middletown, CT and are free and open to the public thanks to support from Resonant Motion’s donors and the Middletown Commission on the Arts.

One of RMI’s missions is to give people REAL access to the soul and beauty of jazz music. We say “real” access because often simply having a concert occur in a particular community isn’t enough (though it is certainly an important component). Jazz, and especially instrumental jazz, has a layer of abstraction that can initially be off-putting to some would-be listeners. BUT, we have found that this can often be overcome just by giving those folks a bit of understanding – what’s going on in the music, what’s the inspiration behind it and who are the real humans creating it? This is not an academically hoity-toity question of deeply understanding history and theory (though for those motivated accordingly those are exceptionally stimulating areas), this is a much simpler matter of giving people who have ears and emotions a few basic tools with which they can connect those things – to feel the depth of emotions evoked by these sounds.

This is the basis of the Jazz Up Close idea. The artists explain their process and inspiration and attendees get to engage in meaningful dialogue. If you have musical training, great. If you have none whatsoever, great. This access requires nothing more than attentiveness and curiosity.  In past seasons, we’ve featured great talents and communicators such as Freddie Bryant, Steve Wilson, Gerald Cleaver, Meg Okura, Joe Locke, Claire Daly, and Victor Lewis.

Just because a season of Jazz Up Close has passed, it doesn’t diminish the importance of the mission, the messages, or the lasting legacy of the performances.  Please check out previous seasons including stellar performances from and compelling discussions with our guest artists.

2023 Season: Dennis Mackrel, Caili O’Doherty/Cory Cox, Gregory Tardy

2022 Season: Claire Daly, Steve Hudson, Yoron Israel

2020 Season – Jazz Up Close (from afar!): Curtis Nowosad/Corey Wallace III/Brent Birckhead, Erica von Kleist/DeWitt Fleming Jr, Nicole Zuraitis/Dan Pugach

2019 Season: Sanah Kadoura, Joe Locke, Todd Marcus, Gerald Cleaver

2018 Season: Amanda Monaco, Hailey Niswanger, Joseph Daley, Ike Sturm

2017 Season: Sunny Jain, Meg Okura with Sam Newsome, Rogerio Boccato, Robby Ameen

2016 Season: Caroline Davis, Monnette Sudler, Steve Wilson, Godwin Louis

2015 Season: Freddie Bryant, Johnathan Blake, Steve Wilson, Nadje Noordhuis