UWS Jazz Band directed by Greg Kehl Moore.
Photo by Rachel Prost
Jazz music filled the north end of Superior’s streets as the Earth Rider Brewery hosted the Jazz Meets Rock concert on October 7. In a special 90 minute outdoor concert the University of Wisconsin-Superior (UWS) Jazz Band performed with the Show Biz Kids and Duluth Transit Authority. “I really love playing events like this where we aren’t in a traditional concert hall because I think that it gives a more laid-back feeling to the audience as not everyone loves going to a concert hall and sitting in one spot for two hours,” said Kendra Schmidt, the bassist for the UWS Jazz Band.
Each band played a short set and finished up with a joint performance. After only a month of rehearsals the 17-piece UWS Jazz Band, directed by Greg Kehl Moore, performed music by Bennie Moten, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Soundgarden, and Michael Philip Mossman. “Chega de Saudade” featured vocals by the UWS Jazz Band’s director’s wife, Tanya Moore. “I believe the energy on stage was from all the past performances we were unable to do became liberated and alive again in public for the first time in over 18 months,” said Zach Grohn, the pianist for the UWS Jazz Band.
Steely Dan and Chicago are quite possibly Greg Moore’s favorite bands of all time. Therefore, it was only natural for him to get involved with tribute bands after his colleagues mentioned the idea. Since the two bands started around the same time Moore said there is a lot of crossover membership. “There are a couple of players that are different in each [band], but in some ways, it’s the same band but with slightly different membership and setlist,” said Moore. As a Steely Dan tribute band, Show BIz Kids repertoire included “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day,” “Beginnings,” and “Make Me Smile.” The Duluth Transit Authority, a Chicago tribute band, followed up with “Reelin’ In The Years,” “Black Cow,” and “Kid Charlemagne.”
The concert closed out the night with “My Old School” by Steely Dan and “25 Or 6 To 4” by Chicago in a combined performance with the UWS Jazz Band. According to Moore, the most challenging part about the logistics of the concert was the ambition to fit so many members on the stage. “Being able to play with these bands and share classics of Steely Dan and Chicago was a dream come true. These bands are among my favorites,” said Grohn. After a challenging year for musicians and the Jazz Meets Rock concert cancellation last year these performers let it all out on the stage.