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Live Jazz this weekend

By Kathy Edwards McFarland

As we thank our service men and women this Veteran’s Day weekend, let’s take in some great local, live music …

Saturday, Nov. 9:

Natalie Gandy and Friends 4 Live at Steve’s Wine Bar

Natalie Gandy Saturday Night Jazz at Steve’s Wine Bar, 111 Industrial Street from 8:30 to 10:30 PM.

Natalie Gandy, Vocalist, and Friends 4 Live with Paul Reitz on guitar, Bill Brott playing bass, and John DeBellevue on piano, offer up a stellar selection of Jazz music for you.

Steve’s Wine Bar is a relaxed and fun venue for friends to meet for great wine and beer by the glass, by the bottle, as well as cigars to-go.

Sunday, Nov. 10:

Mark Graham and Cassandra Berry
  • Cassandra Berry and Mark Graham are back at Sweetwater Grill & Tavern, 115 S. Elm St., singing uplifting songs that bring our community together. Join us from 1-2 PM for Denton’s beloved Sweetwater Sunday Gospel Hour. Jimmy and James will have a delicious buffet to feed your bodies, while Cassandra and Mark’s music will feed your souls! Reservations HIGHLY recommended (940) 484-2888.

Marshall Smith’s BRAZZ – the all-brass Jazz quintet – plays rich, mellow standards at Armadillo Ale Works at 221 S. Bell Avenue, from 5:30 to 7:30PM. No cover charge. Fine to bring your own lawn chair and/or food!

Art by Michael Long.

Armadillo Ale Works offers a variety of their own craft beers(some of which are only $3!) and sodas, as well as offering coffee, chips, and snacks. Patrons are also allowed to bring in outside meal.

November Music at downtown delight

By Kathy Edwards McFarland

November nights at Sweetwater Grill & Tavern, 115 S. Elm Street, offer a bounty of cool Jazz – from Latin stylings to classic standards … and drop by Sunday, Nov. 10 and Nov. 24 for brunch – $15, from (10AM-2 PM) and the Sweetwater Sunday Gospel Hour featuring Cassandra Berry and Mark Graham at 1 PM. Remember, no cover, great food, beverages and live music.

Do you have your reservations for this Sunday’s Gospel Hour at Sweetwater? Call (940) 484-2888 so you don’t miss this fantastic event!


Tuesday, November 5:    

Mister Joe’s Dixieland Band at 7 PM, followed by Gypsy Jazz with Le Not So Hot Klub du Denton at 8. Bring your dancing shoes!

Wednesday, November 6:

Gabrielle Stravelli

Gabrielle Stravelli Quintet featuring Pat O’Leary (bass), Brad Leali (saxophone), Dave Meder (piano), and Quincy Davis (drums)

Thursday, November 7:

UNT Faculty Showcase featuring Nick Finzer (trombone), Brad Leali (saxophone), Quincy Davis (drums), Dave Meder (piano) , and Eric Hitt (bass)

Sunday, November 10:

Sweetwater Sunday Gospel Hour at 1 PM, featuring Cassandra Berry, and Mark Graham.

Tuesday, November 12:

Latvian Jazz Vocalist Evilena Protektore with Lynn Seaton, Peter Rioux and Rich DeRosa.

Thursday, November 14:

Brad Leali Quintet featuring Philip Dizack (trumpet), Quincy Davis (drums), Raul Reyes (bass), and Dave Meder (piano)

  • 9:30 – 11 PM: Student Jam

Tuesday, November 19:

Sweetwater Jazz Quartet featuring Jim Riggs, Neil Slater, Ron Fink, and Jeffry Eckels. The house band brings the best in Jazz standards to the Sweetwater patio stage for your enjoyment with a yummy menu and refreshing beverages.

Thursday, November 21:

QuB’D featuring Brad Leali (saxophone), Quincy Davis (drums), Frederick Nicholson (bass),and Greg Satterthwaite (piano).

Sunday, November 24:

Sweetwater Sunday Gospel Hour at 1 PM featuring Cassandra Berry, and Mark Graham. Brunch from 10 AM to 2 PM offers a variety of drink specials, and wonderful brunch items.

Tuesday, November 26:

Jose Aponte’s Latin Jazz Night presents David Pierce and El Nuevo Mi Son.

Latvian Jazz vocalist at Sweetwater

By Kathy Edwards McFarland

Evilena Protektore

Latvian jazz vocalist Evilena Protektore will perform at Sweetwater Grill and Tavern, 115 S. Elm Street, on Tuesday, November 12. She will be playing with Lynn Seaton (bass), Peter Rioux (piano), and Rich DeRosa (drumset). There will be two sets from 7-9 PM.

In addition to the Sweetwater performance in Denton, she will volunteer her time to do a workshop for the UNT Music Business and Entrepreneurship departmental class on Wednesday, November 13 at 11-11:50 in the College of Music Recital Hall.

Evilena Protektore and Lynn Seaton met during his semester teaching and performing in Latvia as a Fulbright Scholar. They recorded three tunes together including “You Don’t Know What Love Is”: available on video here:

She is coming to the USA to record a collaboration with Paul English, Lynn Seaton, Rich DeRosa, and David Harris in Houston.

About Evilena Protektore

Evilena Protektore is a jazz singer from Latvia, graduated from Jazz Department of Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music with a Masters degree and stayed there as a jazz vocal teacher. She spent a year studying in Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia (Italy) with Prof. Maria Pia de Vito and taking part in a vast number of projects with local musicians, and half a year in Hannover (Germany) with Prof. Romy Camerun. In 2016 received a Nic Gotham prize for the contribution to jazz music and jazz life in Latvia.

Protektore participated in various festivals and projects: “Jazz in Latvia” compilation album, “Pori Jazz” (Finland), “Limassol Jazz” (Cyprus), “Live in Blue Bay” (Ukraine); and contests: Riga Jazz Stage (Latvia), “Nomme Jazz” (Estonia) and got a Grand Prix award at “JazzVoices 2014” (Lithuania).

Evilena has collaborated with Lynn Seaton (USA), Rob Duguay (CA), Inga Berzina (Latvia), Serge Junior Robinson (United Kingdom), Tommaso Troncon (Italy), Fil Straughan (UK), Andreas Stefanou (Cyprus), Andreas Rodostenos (Cyprus), Nicolas Tryphonos (Cyprus), Leonid Nesterov (Cyprus), Tie Pereira (Brazil), Aviv Kohen (Israel), Gilad Abro (Israel), Anne Geertsen (DK), Onur Mulayim (TR), Gianmarco Tommai (IT), Federico Santoni (IT), and K.Trio (NL).

More photos are available here:

Late Summer Jazz Notes

By Kathy Edwards McFarland

Out and About

After a long May waiting to have that particular woman’s operation, and an arduous June in the hospital for sumpin’ else, I have comeback stronger and more motivated to share Jazz news near and far.

Tower of Power

One of my favorite music shows back in the day was with Tower of Power, who have been performing since 1968 and have landed eight songs in the Billboard 100. Tower of Power is known for their talented horn section that has appeared on a number of other artists recordings such as Aerosmith, Elton John, Huey Lewis, Paula Abdul and Santana. After 4 decades of making great music, they make their Billy Bob’s, 2520 Rodeo Plz, Fort Worth, debut in Saturday, September 7, 2019, 10:30 PM – 12 AM. Read this:

Jose Aponte
  • My Jazz hang-out for many moons has been Sweetwater Grill & Tavern, 115 S. Elm, in historic downtown Denton. Stop by this week to enjoy a cold brew, or margarita, something yummy off their menu and shake your tail-feathers to the Latin rhythms of Jose Aponte and the Caribe Club Latin Jazz Quintet, Tuesday, August 20 from 8-10 pm. (This, you cannot miss!)
  • But wait, there’s more … the Quincy Davis Quintet will bring their soul and funk on Thursday to the Sweetwater patio stage from 8-10 pm.

Down on Industrial Street, you can choose your food variety, your drink special and your music genre, as Dan’s Silver Leaf, 103 Industrial, and Steve’s Wine Bar share the same block.

A Taste of Herb

Wednesday, August 21 at 5 pm, A Taste of Herb offers up a fun Happy Hour vibe at Dan’s Silver Leaf, 103 Industrial with a tribute to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Dan’s website is

  • A vibrant Jazz schedule opens up many Jazz evening possibilities at Steve’s Wine Bar, 111 Industrial with Gwynne Montgomery Johnson hosting an evening of vocal Jazz tonight from 8-10 pm.

Wednesday, Josh Hanlon and We3io bring a stellar set of Jazz standards to the venue. For a full events schedule, visit

You can find a full range of weekday events at Discover,

And don’t forget to tip the band.

This week in Denton

By Mr. Joe Pinson

Alexander Hamilton once said: A well adjusted person is one who makes
the same mistake twice without getting nervous.

  • Steve’s Wine Bar, 219 E. Hickory, is moving to the new location at 111 Industrial after 3 pm Thursday, May 16!

“Come join us as at our new digs with Riggs and Slater.  We launch our new location at 111 Industrial this evening, 8-10 pm, with the Legacy Quartet

Jim Riggs and Neil Slater

Jim Riggs – saxophones 
Neil Slater – piano 
Steve Hefner – bass
Destin Wernicke  – drums

  • Thursday, May 16:
    QB’d featuring Brad Leali and Quincy Davis at Sweetwater Grill & Tavern, 115. S. Elm St., from 8 to 10 pm – no cover
  • Thursday, May 16:
    Strictly Dixie performs at Willow Bend, 2125 Brinker Road, 2 pm – visitors welcome – in the main living room – enter through the front door – FREE
  • Friday, May 17:
    Petty Theft at Dan’s Silverleaf, 103 Industrial, at 9 pm – $12
  • Saturday, May 18:
    Live Music at the Chestnut Tree, 107 Hickory St., on the Square from 10 am to 1 pm– no cover
  • Sunday, May 19:
    Lee DeWyze at Dan’s Silverleaf at 7 pm – $15
Paul Slavens
  • Monday, May 20:
    Paul Slavens & Friends, Dan’s Silverleaf at 10 pm – FREE
  • Tuesday, May 21:
    Patio Jams with Juicy the Emissary, Dan’s Silverleaf at 5 pm – FREE Simon Flory + Union Specific + Giulia Millanta + Leoncarlo at 8 pm – $8
  • Tuesday, May 21:
    Glendale Drive featuring Dale Morris, Jr., Glenn McLaughlin, and Drew Phelps from 8 to 10 at Sweetwater Grill & Tavern – FREE

Please send corrections or additions ASAP. A copy of this document is also available at – click on THE WEEK AHEAD

Tech, all that Jazz

By Kathy Edwards McFarland

Blogs are fun and informative, and did I say, fun? But rarely when technology out-paces the editor.

Denton Jazz Chronicles is back, and wow, do we need to catch up!

The 2019 Edition of the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival may have been a bit damp from rains earlier in the week, but started on a beautiful Friday, ending with the Ravi Coltrane Quartet on the Jazz Stage. I was there with many, many more festival and Jazz fans. Righteous night.

Saturday proved to be sunny, warm and wonderful at the fest. Taj Mahal took the Jazz stage for a fantastic headliner set.

Two after-hours Jazz Jams helped red-hot musicians continue their groves at Sweetwater Grill & Tavern and Steve’s Wine Bar. Such a night – both of them.

Steve’s Wine Bar moving on up

The little (itty-bitty) wine shop, at 219 E. Hickory, offers amazing wine, and cigar selections, but has been overwhelmed with listeners and wine aficionados each night a Jazz group plays.

Steve and Karen Severance

This week, owners Steve and Karen Severance will move their wine bar half a block South, to 111 Industrial St. The new space is bigger, newly refurbished and ready for the faithful followers and new visitors.

March blows in with cold wind, red hot Jazz at Sweetwater

By Kathy Edwards McFarland

So what, if the high-temperature tomorrow is 44 degrees. You still can warm up with the great Louisiana cuisine, wonderful people and fantastic New Orleans-style Jazz at Sweetwater Grill & Tavern, 115 S. Elm.

But that’s just the beginning of Jazz music and the new/old Denton landmark:

  • Tuesday, March 5: Annual Fat Tuesday Celebration with Strictly Dixie, the Vintage Jazz Society and an Open Dixieland Jam (7-10 pm); with Special Cajun Menu, and adult beverages  
  • Thursday, March 7: UNT Jazz Showcase featuring Mike Steinel
  • Tuesday, March 12: Sweetwater Jazz Quartet featuring Jim Riggs, Neil Slater, Ron Fink, and Jeffry Eckels  
  • Thursday, March 14: A Taste of Herb – a Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass tribute band
  • Tuesday, March 19: El Nuevo Mi Son, Cuban folk music, directed by David Pierce  
  • Thursday, March 21: QuB’d featuring Brad Leali and Quincy Davis  
  • Tuesday, March 26: Ed Soph Trio featuring Roger Hunt, Corentin LeHir, and Ed Soph  
  • Thursday, March 28: N’Awlins Gumbo Kings – Finishing out the month with more New Orleans-style Jazz, and originals, such as “Coffee Regular,””UFO Saloon.”
N’awlins Gumbo Kings

Trombone gimmick to Big Band standard

Reprinted from

In many ways, the trombone is the most unlikely of standard jazz instruments. At the end of the 19th century, as New Orleans gained its reputation as a thriving music hub, the trombone was often relegated to the back of the proverbial bus – literally. When groups of musicians gathered on horse-drawn carriages (for parades or funeral processions), and later on streetcars, cramped quarters often forced trombonists to sit at the back of the transport carriage in order to have enough room to fully extend their slides.

A very young Trombone Shorty plays while Bo Diddly looks on.
A young Trombone Shorty with legendary guitarist Bo Diddley in 1990
Via NPR: Michael P. Smith/ Courtesy of Troy Andrews

As a result, “tailgate trombones” typically performed facing backward, mainly embellishing the music with performance techniques such as growls, scoops, falls and slides. Even as Dixieland grew in popularity during the first quarter of the 20th century, the new style was headlined mainly by trumpet and clarinet soloists (and pianos, during non-moving performances).

Editor’s Note: Remember Fat Tuesday at Sweetwater Grill & Tavern, 115 S. Elm, on March 5. Yummies and drinkables from 11 am to ? Music with Strictly Dixie, The Vintage Jazz Society and the raucous, conga-line filled Jam goes from 7 to 10 pm.

Trombonists were considered to be part of the rhythm section, and even secondary to percussionists, who often used ordinary household items such as washboards and teaspoons to keep time and embellish the trumpet and clarinet melodies and harmonies.

The role of the trombone began to change when Weldon Leo “Jack” Teagarden (1905-1964) burst onto the jazz scene as a soloist in 1920, touring first with Peck Kelley’s “Peck’s Bad Boys,” then moving on to tour as a soloist with Doc Ross’s Jazz Bandits and the Original Southern Trumpeters before forming his own group, Basin Street Blues. As three- and four-piece combos gave way to the big bands of the late 1930s and 40s, four-player trombone sections became a standard feature the format, together with saxophone, trumpet and rhythm sections.

Today, a century after Jack Teagarden’s revolution, artists such as Wolter Wierbos, Rob McConnell, Slide Hampton, and many others have made the trombone an indispensable feature of the world of jazz. Tune in to our Swing & Big Band, and Swinging channels and get to know this versatile, and occasionally cheeky, instrument!

Checkout Jazz Radio on Facebook @

Glendale Dr. trio plays Sweetwater Grill & Tavern

By Kathy Edwards McFarland

Tuesday, February 19th

Enjoy the musical forces of fiddle-meister Dale Morris, Jr., superb guitarist Glenn McLaughlin, and Drew Phelps (the hardest-working bassist in Texas) play a variety of Gypsy Jazz, Western Swing and Country on Sweetwater’s patio stage, 115 S. Elm St., Tuesday, February 19, from 7-9 pm.

Drew is friend with both Dale and Glenn; having met Glenn “a good ten years ago,” while touring with the Quebe Sisters; and Dale, “about five years” while working with Dave Alexander at the upscale (now closed) Stampede 66.

“We found we had real good chemistry as a trio,” said Drew. “And we wanted to work together again.”

About Dale Morris, Jr.

An award-winning fiddler from the age of six, Dale grew up around the contest circuit influenced by Benny Thomasson, Orville Bums, The Solomons, The Franklins, Joe Venuti, Keith Coleman, Buddy Spicher, Tommy Jackson, and a few others. He attended the Fiddlers’ Frolics for the first time at the age of six and remembers the encouragement given by Cliff and Velda Fryer in his early contest years.

Dale Morris Jr. on fiddle and Gerald Jones on guitar perform at the faculty concert at Acoustic Music Camp in Arlington, Texas, Aug. 6, 2015.

Upon graduation from high school, Dale went to college on a music scholarship and performed with the jazz band at Weatherford College, in Weatherford, Texas. Dale has spent time in Branson, playing with World’s Favorite Hobo, Boxcar Willie, and Marty Stuart and The Hot Hillbilly Band touring the US and Canada.

In 2001, he started touring with country music legend, Ray Price. Thus far his work with Ray has led to numerous television appearances and tours with Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson as part of the Last of The Breed Tour. His music has appeared on motion picture soundtracks, television jingles, and music videos. Dale is a highly sought after studio musician and has recorded with such artists as Charley Pride, Deryl Dodd, John Mayall, Bob Wills Texas Playboys, Ray Price, Marty Stuart, Chuck Rainey, and many others.

About Glenn McLaughlin

Glenn resides in Fort Worth, where he continues his professional freelance music career playing solo performances, fronting his own groups, and joining others such as The Ginny Mac Band (Ginny Mac is his sister!), The Gypsy Playboys, Gypsy Cattle Drive, Johnny Case Trio, Mikki Daniel, Bobby Dade Band, Joe Savage Band.

He has shared stages with the likes of The Texas Playboys, Tommy Allsup, Asleep at the Wheel, Hot Club of Cowtown, Woody Paul (Riders in the Sky), Ricky Turpin, Johnny Gimble, Tommy Morrell, Joey Carter, Brave Combo, Leon Bridges, The Sidekicks, FUMC Big Band, Johnny Mack, Randy Rheinhardt, Stas Vanglevski, Rapidgrass Quintet, Roy Williams, and others.

Glenn McLaughlin.

About Drew Phelps

Bass player Drew Phelps grew up in North Texas — in Denton to be exact. Playing bass guitar while in junior high school, he was turned onto the music of the Allman Brothers and Freddie King. It wasn’t until he entered college that he turned to bass. During the 1980s, he hooked up with veteran modern jazz musicians like James Clay and Nuradeen Fameen. Awarded a scholarship to the School of Fine Arts at the Banff Centre in Canada, he went on to study with modern bass player Dave Holland. Along the way, Phelps has recorded with a variety of groups, playing a variety of musical styles — the Dixie Chicks, Dallas jazz pianist Dave Zoller, and fusionist and hard bopper Ronald Shannon Jackson. He released his debut album Round to It in 2000.

Quebe Sisters Band “Take the A Train” – 2010

For many years, Drew played bass for The Quebe Sisters Band, whose music was influenced by Americana, Progressive Western Swing, Jazz-influenced Swing, Country, Texas-Style Fiddling, and Western

Old fashioned Jazz jam session at Sweetwater tonight

By Kathy Edwards McFarland

Tonight: Feb. 7 at 7-10 pm

Members of the Count Basie Orchestra will be joining Brad Leali and his quartet, plus the University of North Texas Jazz Showcase, featuring trumpet professor Rodney Booth for an impromptu, old-fashioned jam session on the patio at Sweetwater Grill and Tavern, 115 S. Elm St. (No cover for this event.)

Crawfish is back on the menu at Sweetwater!

“I don’t know how many musicians will show up,” said Leali. “Its impossible to be specific.”

Leali introduced members of the Legendary Count Basie Orchestra as family, during a sold-out performance Wednesday night at the Murchison Performance Hall. He played with the band for eight years. Leali cautioned the Jazz students in attendance that performing to one’s potential requires working in a professional band.

About the

  • Saturday, the CBO will play at Scat Man Lounge, 111 West 4th Suite 11 Ft Worth, TX, hosted by Saxophonist Shelley Carrol.
  • Director Scotty Barnhart and vocalist Carmen Bradford will be in attendance Sunday for the Grammy’s. The Count Basie Orchestra has received its 20th Grammy Nomination for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album 2019 with “All About That Basie.”
  • Watch on Feb. 10, on CBS –

“In the history of Jazz music, there is only one bandleader that has the distinction of having his orchestra still performing sold out concerts all over the world, with members personally chosen by him, for over 30 years after his passing. Pianist and bandleader William James “Count” Basie was and still is an American institution that personifies the grandeur and excellence of Jazz. The Count Basie Orchestra, today directed by Scotty Barnhart, has won every respected jazz poll in the world at least once, won 18 Grammy Awards, performed for Kings, Queens, and other world Royalty, appeared in several movies, television shows, at every major jazz festival and major concert hall in the world. The latest honor is the critically acclaimed release in 2015 of A Very Swingin’ Basie Christmas!, the very first holiday album in the 84-year history of the orchestra. Released on Concord Music, it went to No. 1 on the Jazz charts and sold out on Amazon! Special guests include vocalists Johnny Mathis, Ledisi, our own Carmen Bradford, and pianist Ellis Marsalis.”

About Brad Leali

Professor of Jazz Saxophone Brad Leali’s “… solos are sparkling and Cannonball Adderley influenced” (Evening Standard, London). “Saxophonist Brad Leali was among the most soulful and exciting I’ve heard recently” (New York Times). With a unique style and sound, which echoes the influences of his past, Brad Leali is one of the most notable saxophonists of current times. A native of Denver, Colorado, Brad was raised in the Baptist Church. In addition to gospel music, he spent countless hours listening to the music his parents played (Coltrane, Cannonball, Bird, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, and Nancy Wilson). It’s no wonder that at a very young age, he was able to combine gospel, jazz, and R&B into his playing.

About Rodney Booth

Rodney Booth has been an active professional musician for over 30 years. A native of El Paso, Texas, he began his professional career at age sixteen as a trumpet player in his father’s bands. He received his degree in Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas and was a student of Don “Jake” Jacoby. Rodney was a member of the renowned One O’Clock Lab Band.

Rodney Booth has been an active professional musician for more than 30 years. A native of El Paso, Texas, he began his professional career at age sixteen as a trumpet player in his father’s bands. He received his degree in Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas and was a student of Don “Jake” Jacoby. Rodney was a member of the renowned One O’Clock Lab Band.