GateHouse Music Presents Jazz at Lyric Hall: The Kevin Saint James Band
Thursday, Jun 27 | 7:30 PM
The Kevin Saint James Band is an ongoing side project, a well-kept secret, and a continuous science experiment, conducted and perpetuated by the involvement and respective availability of its members. It’s the resulting hybrid stemming from the original pairing of Jazz pianist, Joe McWilliams and Rhythm & Blues singer, Kevin Saint James. Encouraged by then-owner, Mike Reichbart, the two, along with local songbird Kriss Santala, started doing a sort of piano-lounge show from time to time at Cafe Nine in the mid 1990’s. Having reconnected with each other just a few years ago, they resumed working at Cafe Nine, this time with the full band as it is today. Over the past few years, The Kevin Saint James Band, in one form or another, has played numerous shows in downtown New Haven at Cafe Nine, The Owl Shop, Anna Liffey’s, Cave a Vin, Kelly’s, and Olde School Saloon. On many occasions, the band was again joined by Kriss Santala and more recently by Katherine Christopher, the talented chanteuse from The Convertibles. They have also played several private functions most notably among them being at The Aspetuck Valley Country Club in Weston, CT. Longtime friend and original bassist Esdras Lubin, who recently had to take time off was replaced last year by the renowned upright master, Mike Asetta, whose credits are far too long to list here. Veteran Saxophonist Herb Wilson, who had worked countless times with both Joe and Kevin in the past, was more than willing to join in on the project and brings a rare level of expertise and sophistication to the whole experience. Phenomenal drummer JB Sutherland was called on to keep the beat and soundly completes the band.
The group uses a variety of well-known standards made popular by artists like Ray Charles, Etta James, and Louis Prima as a basis for creative reinterpretation and spontaneous transmutation. It all comes out with a surprisingly unique and personal feel – “The Gravitational Soul” – as it were, of this particular combination of personalities and each one’s own artistic input.
Playing these shows at Lyric Hall is simply a matter of common sense. It’s a way to gain support and patronage for a uniquely valuable cultural resource and it provides a fitting and characteristic setting for both the musicians and the people who want to come out and see them at work. We thank John Cavaliere, a recognized contributor to the advancement of art and culture in the Elm City, for his cooperation and support, and we look forward to putting together similar events at Lyric Hall in the near future.
The Kevin Saint James Band – https://www.facebook.com/KevinSaintJamesBand
GateHouse Music – https://www.facebook.com/GateHouseMusicNewHaven
Tickets: $25 suggested donation (includes light refreshments)
Contact GateHouse Music at 503-957-2924 or GateHouseLIVE@gmail.com. There is limited seating. It is strongly encouraged to get tickets prior to the show date. Any remaining seats will be sold – CASH ONLY – at the door on the night of the show