Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Jerry Bergonzi back on the Jazz Hastings stage

World-renowned saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi is becoming a bit of a regular at Jazz Hastings. After two triumphant appearances in the last two years, he will be back on Wednesday 6 March (not the usual Tuesday) to play at the East Hastings Sea Angling Association on the Stade, as Julian Norridge explains.

Jerry Bergonzi got his introduction to the wider jazz world in the early 1970s through one of its reigning legends. “I had been playing on some avant-garde gigs in Boston with Dave Brubeck’s son Darius, who called me to be in a band that would open for Dave and then close concerts with Dave’s trio.

“This was the Two Generations of Brubeck Band, which I toured with for three years. Then, after a break, I did another three years as the saxophonist in Dave’s quartet.” Bergonzi’s complex, assertive tenor saxophone improvisations brought a more contemporary element into Brubeck’s established style.

Between 1973 and 1981, Bergonzi recorded nine albums with Brubeck. He has also performed and recorded with other major stars such as Bill Evans, Paul Desmond, Dave Holland, Gerry Mulligan, Jack DeJohnette, Roy Haynes and many more.

Michael Brecker, another legendary saxophonist who won 15 Grammy Awards, was once asked by an interviewer how it felt, at the peak of his powers and with the world at his feet, to be the king of the tenor saxophone. Brecker replied: “I don’t know. You’d better ask Jerry Bergonzi.”

Bergonzi is renowned for his innovation, mastery and integrity as a performer and composer. In an endless series of rave reviews, he is credited for his relentless drive, inner fire, total command, awesome technique, elastic lyricism, rich resonance and musical vision. He is also an acclaimed author – he has written a series of books on improvisation – and educator. He teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

Jerry will be joined by hugely respected and highly experienced British jazz musicians Will Barry on piano and Mark Hodgson on bass, alongside the Barcelona-based Irish drummer Stephen Keogh.


Jerry Bergonzi Quartet Jazz Hastings, Wednesday 6 March, East Hastings Sea Angling Association (on the Stade behind the lifeboat station). Doors open 7.45pm for 8.30 start, tickets £15 on the door.


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Posted 17:23 Thursday, Feb 29, 2024 In: Music & Sound

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