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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion at Havana New Hope, Eubanks Brothers at Chris’ Jazz Cafe, Kingsfoil at Chameleon Club and more

Photo via facebook.com/gingerbakers.jazzconfusion
Photo via facebook.com/gingerbakers.jazzconfusion

Lengendary drummer Ginger Baker returns with this latest project, Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion, at Havana New Hope Tonight. Recently, he released Why?, his first album in 15 years, a fusion of jazz and rock. Though the drummer recently turned 75, he’s still relentlessly touring and rocking out. Over the years, Baker has played with bands like Cream and Blind Faith as well as his own solo work.  Earlier this year, he released an Anthology “A Drummer’s Tale” album along with a picture book chronicling his career. He also did a very inspiring interview with BBC 2. Listen to a live recording of Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion below. Get more information about the show at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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The Eubanks Brothers make hometown return at Chris’ Jazz Cafe this Saturday

The Eubanks brothers | photo by Christopher Dubay
The Eubanks brothers | photo by Christopher Dubay

It’s a rare occasion these days when the Eubanks brothers find themselves in the same place at the same time. Two out of three of the Philly-born jazz siblings will share the stage for one night in their hometown when trombonist Robin and trumpeter Duane co-lead a specially-assembled quintet at Chris’ Jazz Café on Saturday night.

“I’m always excited to play with my brother,” says Duane. “It’s been a while since Robin and I have played together, so this is almost a reunion. And being back at home makes it even more special.”

A glance at the brothers’ activities suffices to show exactly why it’s so difficult for them to synchronize their calendars. Robin apprenticed with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and is currently an active member of the SFJAZZ Collective, the San Francisco-based collective that explores the repertoire of a single composer each season (they’re about to tackle the work of Joe Henderson). He’s on the cusp of releasing a new CD, Klassik Rock Vol. 1, which features electric jazz reimaginings of classic rock staples by Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Sly and the Family Stone, and is planning to record his MassLine Big Band in late July. He’s also a tenured professor at Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

Duane is also set to return to the studio next month, and has recently recorded with drummer Jeff Williams and keyboardist/producer Mark de Clive-Lowe. He’s worked with jazz greats like Illinois Jacquet and Oliver Lake and with R&B and hip-hop stars including Mos Def and The Temptations. Earlier this month he was on stage at Madison Square Garden with Rhonda Ross, opening for the singer’s mother, Diana Ross. He gets back to Philly frequently as part of pianist Orrin Evans’ Captain Black Big Band.

(Middle brother Kevin wrapped up his fifteen-year gig as leader of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show band in 2010, released a pair of well-regarded solo albums, and is currently a member of bass legend Dave Holland’s new quartet Prism.)

Born more than a decade after his two older brothers, at 45 Duane still feels like he has something to prove. Continue reading →

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