These Days Jazz Quartet
This Sunday's Fusion Coffeehouse Jazz Series presents a session that has been nearly four decades in the making when Raphael welcomes the "These Days" Jazz Quartet to the Jazz Spot.
In the late 70's keyboardist (and WZZQ FM radio mainstay) Sergio Fernandez started a band with some friends that has become the longest running group in the Metro or most any other area, for that matter. The band is called "These Days" featuring Jewel Bass and Raphael recalls, "On one of my first drives into Jackson back in the 70's I was tuned in to 'ZZQ' which was the hippest FM rock station around. There was a DJ named Sergio on the air, and in between Led Zeppelin and the Allman Brothers or something he slipped in some Gary Burton and I thought, man...THAT'S really cool! I guess it's inevitable that our paths would cross."
Over the years the band's changing membership has included legendary saxophonist and original member Ron Wesley, Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson, Motown vocal star G.C. Cameron, 2016 Grammy nominee Vasti Jackson, Fusion regular Barry Leach, New Orleans sax man Scott Johnson and many others. One thing that has not changed, however, is the jazz influence and presence in it's music.
Since it's beginnings and especially since the 80's it has been sort of "two bands in one" – known for its jazzy takes on pop and R&B tunes but beginning its performances with jazz selections ranging from Monk and Miles to Latin and fusion-tinged originals.
The core group of the band is unofficially the "These Days" Jazz Quartet and consists of founder and keyboardist Sergio Fernandez, drummer Gene Bradley, saxophonist Todd Bobo and Fusion's own Raphael Semmes on bass and vocals. On this special edition of the Fusion Coffeehouse Jazz Series you will hear and explore the jazz side of one of the most present and enduring groups in all of Mississippi's music scene.
This is truly a "don't miss" session and early arrival for best seating is highly recommended.
Our festival featured Astral Project, Bill Summers' Jazalsa, The Vamps, Raphael Semmes Jazz Ensemble and much more!
Astral Project (New Orleans)
Headlining this year's fest is legendary New Orleans group "ASTRAL PROJECT" whose wholly original approach to jazz and stellar musicianship have made them a "must see" attraction for jazz aficianados and festival goers worldwide with Down Beat magazine calling them "One of the most distinctive and cohesive groups in jazz."
Bill Summers & Jazalsa (New Orleans)
To say that Bill Summers is a percussionist is like saying a Steinway is a piano: the noun conveys none of the history and quality of the owner of the title. Summers is a musician of the highest order, playing anything from traditional African instruments to pop bottles, and a cultural visionary who brings diverse people and ideas together. For our festival he brings his group "Jazalsa" to add a very danceable latin vibe to our lineup.
Raphael Semmes Jazz Ensemble(Jackson, MS)
Fresh on the heels of his selection as Best of Jackson "Favorite Jazz Artist," Raphael Semmes returns to the festival stage with some of his favorite local musicians.
The Vamps (Jackson, MS)
“The Vamps” return this year to take their festival record to 10-for-10! They headlined our inaugural festival 10 years ago and have graced our stage every year since.
The Musicians (Jackson, MS)
Willie Silas, Sherrill Holly, Bernard Holly, Dowel Taylor, and Bernard Jones (collectively known simply as "The Musicians"), are an amazing group of Jackson's finest veteran musicians.
Southern Komfort (Jackson, MS)
Jackson’s award winning, high-energy, super soulful brass band “Southern Komfort” retuns once again for what has become an annual tradition: closing out the festival by leading the audience on a jazz parade through the main drag of the Township itself.
Jackson State University Jazz Ensemble
Under the direction of Dr. Russell Thomas, Jr.
Under the direction of Larry Panella
Murrah High School Jazz Band
With introduction by Mayor Gene Magee
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