Chris Bakriges, a pianist and composer living in southern Vermont, is coordinating six monthly evenings of jazz music inspired by the Great American Songbook- the most popular and enduring popular songs from the 1920s to 1950s—in Memorial Hall. All concerts start at 8 pm and tickets are freewill donations available the evening of the program. Performance dates are May 24, June 21, July 19, August 16, September 20, and October 11.
The first concert takes place on Saturday, May 24. Joining Bakriges is violinist Stanley Chepaitis, bassist Doug Rich, and saxophonist Willie Sordillo. Chepaitis is chair of the string department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and is a founding member of the Litton Quartet and the Gorell Trio. He learned jazz by sitting in with the great Joe Venuti and performing with Duke Ellington’s drummer,, Floyd Williams. Sordillo and Rich have carved their place among Boston’s finest jazz musicians, Sordillo is founder of Flor de Caña, a Latin ensemble that has performed opposite Richie Havens, Tito Puente, Pete Seeger, and many others. Rich is a versatile performer in both traditional and fusion jazz styles. This concert will benefit the Veterans Outreach and Family Resource Center in Bennington. More information is available at www.bakriges.com.