The stage of The Met will be overrun Friday night with the tools of percussion as Happy Hammers join the Spokane Jazz Orchestra in the SJO season finale.
In addition to the usual SJO run of saxes and trombones, the stage will be a welter of marimbas, vibraphones and steel drums. The evening’s repertoire will include music from Dizzy Gillespie, Andy Narrell, Pat Metheny, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Sonny Rollins and Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Until other obligations drew too many members elsewhere, Happy Hammers was perhaps the Northwest’s premier percussion ensemble. Formed in 1982, they played their affecting blend of African, Calypso, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian rhythms for thousands throughout the region.
They played the Spokane Symphony’s Comstock Park concerts, the Festival at Sandpoint, the Vancouver World’s Fair and Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival.
Although the group never officially disbanded, the six original members haven’t set foot on a stage together for a long time and Friday’s show is being billed as a reunion.
The original members of Happy Hammers are Bryan Bogue, Rick Westrick, Paul Raymond, Scott Ketron, Mark Ivester and Clipper Anderson. Bogue, Westrick and Raymond play with the Spokane Symphony, teach and play in a variety of jazz and percussion groups. Ketron, Ivester and Anderson have migrated to the West Side, where they’re involved in a variety of musical pursuits.
Friday’s show will be the final concert in the debut season of musical director Dan Keberle. Featured soloists will include Dave Stultz, trombone; saxophonists Gary Edighoffer, Bruce Hume and Chris Moyer; pianist Brent Edstrom; and Andy Plamondon and Dan Keberle, trumpets.
The show begins at 8 p.m. Reserved seats are $16, $14.50 students/military personnel/jazz society members.