Dayton Art Institute remixes monthly jazz series
By Adam Alonzo
While many live music venues have vanished over the years the Dayton Art Institute continues to host a popular monthly jazz series. Its diverse audience enjoys outstanding performances, along with good food and drink in an elegant atmosphere.
Now called Jazz & Beyond, the lineup has expanded to include new styles and performers. The 2012 season brings back area favorites such as the Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Soul Express and Puzzle of Light.
“It also has some exciting surprises from groups that have never played here before, or who have played in town very few times,” said Alexis Larsen, the Art Institute’s events and marketing specialist who scheduled the series.
Jazz & Beyond takes place at 5:30 p.m. in the Shaw Gothic Cloister on the first Thursday of each month (except for July). Beverages and hors d’oeuvres are available for purchase
The next concert on April 5 will be by Kick-N-Flava, a local seven-piece band that has played at the Art Institute several times. Kick-N-Flava was formed in 2003.
David Matthews, percussionist and vocalist with the group, said, “We provide an evening of smooth, contemporary jazz and old-school R&B.” A show by Kick-N-Flava delivers throbbing bass and steady drums, along with sax and trombone that link the band to the jazz tradition. The combo also includes guitar, keyboard and an array of percussion instruments.
“We’ve got the seven pieces that allow us to do any type of music,” Matthews said. He mentioned stylistic influences that included Kenny G, Grover Washington Jr., Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. Kick-N-Flava’s individual band members have at least 30 years of musical experience.
“These guys understand the even when we’re doing cover tunes, we’ve go to add our own flavor to it,” Matthews said. “You might like our version better than the original.
“There’s a big dance floor right in front of the bandstand at the Dayton Art Institute,” he said. “We try to make sure that people use it.”