Our meet and greet back in September was attended by long time members as well as new faces and students.  It was a real pleasure to meet and hear the new faces.  We really appreciate the Denton Arts Council partnering with us and providing use of their Patterson-Appleton Center for our event.  We are continuously trying to build new community partnerships to foster more awareness of our organization but also to open new doors for our musician community to grow. The next Meet & Greet + Jam Session event is in the planning stages at this time but we are excited about new location possibilities for our next one in the Dallas area.  For information on our next event you can visit our website, make sure you get our newsletters or join our FaceBook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/235616120446970/
On Sunday August 19th,  I went to Louie Louie’s Piano Bar in Deep Ellum during their “Lockjohnsons Playhouse” event to hear Jamil Byrom’s group performing.  In addition to being a first call drummer in most styles in the DFW area,  Jamil is known as a winner of the national Guitar Center Drumoff competition in 2005/2006.  He has also performed with a wide variety of well known touring artists and maintains a busy teaching schedule.  His group Jamil Byrom and the Grown Folks mostly plays modern jazz originals written by Jamil and members of the group. The group really wowed the audience with the exciting nature of the selections and the skill with which they executed them.  All the players are great performers/improvisers and clearly were having fun!
On my first attempt at our new blog initiative, I also stopped by Duke’s Ice House to hear a long-time staple of the DFW music scene, the Dallas Jazz Orchestra.  This is a Grammy nominated big band headed by Galen Jeter which played for many years at the Village Country Club but has now moved their home on Sundays to Duke’s in Addison.  They have been performing since 1973 and have recorded many times.  It was truly a pleasure to hear all these seasoned professionals working together to bring timeless and challenging arrangements to life.  Nearly all in attendance knew how special it is to experience this in the 21st century as evidenced by the nearly ubiquitous capturing of video with cell phones, cameras and video recorders. 
On my first day starting this blog, I also stopped in Denton at Steve’s Wine Bar, which was celebrating its two-year anniversary, to hear saxophonist Carlos Averhoff Jr perform his original brand of modern Cuban Jazz.  Carlos recently moved to DFW to continue music studies at UNT.  His quartet included Christian Valdes, Mauricio Barroso and Carlos “Fifo” Rengifo.  They played unique arrangements of challenging standards like Inner Urge along with original compositions from Carlos’ latest release iQba “jazz meets cuban timba”.   
My first attempt at our new initiative started Sunday afternoon with a visit to the Free Man Café in Deep Ellum to hear Wives and Lovers.  This group consisted of two married couples (Kay and Kent Ellingson/Jennifer Martin and Greg Herring) joined by a bassist (Mark Wilson) and a guest trumpeter (Joseph Daniel D’Etienne).  They performed a wide variety of standards with their signature dual vocals alternating or in harmony together with well-crafted arrangements.  The crowd was attentive and clearly pleased.