Waco jazz guitarist Chuck Jennings’ years playing in New York City clubs not only honed his considerable skills, but connected him to players of like ability and interests.
Jennings will call on the latter when two of his NYC colleagues join him and Waco musicians Ed Taylor on drums and Neal Madigan on bass to perform as the WacoNY Quintet at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Cultivate 7twelve, 712 Austin Ave. Admission is $12, $8 for students.
Alto saxophonist and flutist Lars Haake and trombonist James Hall will come in from New York for the Friday night show, with Haake rejoining Jennings at 8 p.m. the next night for an evening of Brazilian jazz at Klassy Glass, 723 Austin Ave.
The two bring not so much a New York jazz sensibility, if such a thing exists in the city’s diverse music scene, as a high caliber of play, Jennings said. Friday’s show will feature the five performing largely original music and Jennings is eager for Waco jazz fans to sample it.
Jennings and his wife Luann moved to Waco in July 2016 and found both talented jazz players and fans who turned out to hear them, even if in small numbers. “I actually was surprised when I got here (to see) how much was going on,” he said.
The guitarist has worked to nurture what he found at such places as Klassy Glass, Diamondback’s, the Hilton Waco and the Waco Hippodrome by heading a Wednesday night Cultivate Sound Sessions at Cultivate 7twelve as well as a Cultivate Jazz Jam on the final Wednesday of the month.
“There’s a really nice core audience here and we try to expand it,” he said.