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A&E >  Music

Spokane Jazz Orchestra revives ‘The Groove Summit’

Harkening back to their 2017 concert of the same name, the Spokane Jazz Orchestra’s Groove Summit is returning to the Bing Crosby Theater for a jazzy night of standards, newer treatments and a few original works.

Featuring music director Don Goodwin and pianist Brent Edstrom, the program will include a variety of styles all tied together with a “groovy” beat.

“The groove is really important, whether it’s swing groove, or funk groove, or a rock groove, it just has to kind of move and have and have that energy,” Goodwin said. “The name also kind of suggests a kind of party atmosphere – so no matter the style, the music seems to have that aspect to it.”

But what does “groove” actually mean?

It’s tricky, Goodwin said. Anything with a steady beat technically has a groove. There are certain tempos where you don’t feel it. But somewhere between too fast and too slow – that’s where you’re going to find the groove.

“Somewhere in that sweet spot in the middle, there’s a wide range of those tempos where you’d think, ‘Yeah, this music has groove,’” he said.

“I’d add that groove is sometimes kind of intangible in that it’s sort of the composite of all the musicians and where they’re laying each of their parts against that tempo,” Edstrom said.

You could have two groups playing a standard 120 beat-per-minute song, but depending on the way one plays the baseline, the drum, the piano, “you can achieve something that really kind of transcends the beat into this magical feeling.”

A jazz pianist, composer, arranger, session musician and long-time member of the orchestra, Edstrom teaches composition, theory, and jazz studies at Whitworth University. His recent engagements include national tours with Motown star Freda Payne, commissioned jazz band arrangements for a gala concert honoring Clint Eastwood, and performances with notable players like John Clayton, Eddie Daniels, Victor Wooten and Clark Terry among others. He also arranged some of the music for the recent performance of Peter Rivera’s R&B Celebrate Symphony.

During the concert, Goodwin will take breaks from conducting to perform on a Hammond B3 organ.

“It’s a big instrument,” Goodwin said. Imagine an upright piano with an extra set of keys, pedals and electronic switches. Playing with hands and feet at the same time is common, but the Hammond also adds a new level of volume control with their signature Leslie speakers which rotate while producing sound.

“It’s a really special instrument with a lot of very cool tools that enable you to kind of sculpt the sound in a really interesting way,” he said.

An instrument often used in jazz and classic rock, the B3 organ, Goodwin explained, contributes a great deal to that “groovy feeling.”

“I always have to use the word righteous – it’s such a cool sound,” Edstrom said.

For information, visit spokanejazz.org or call (509) 999-4458.

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