June 15, 2003 – The Jack Petersen Quartet takes to the stage for Friday's Sunset Jazz in Frederiksted concert, unabashedly promoting saxophonist Petersen's new album, "Jazz Play."
The concert, one in a monthly series presented by the Frederiksted Economic Development Association, takes place in Veterans Park on the waterfront, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Joining Petersen for the gig will be Benjamin Jacobs-El on piano, Mario Thomas on bass and Ken "Afra" Dailey on drums.
And, yes, you'll be able to buy a copy of the CD in the park — and get it autographed by Jack.
Sunset Jazz concerts, held the third Friday of each month, are free and family oriented. Jazz fans in the know turn out with folding chairs and blankets to sit on while enjoying the music, the sunset and the fellowship of family and friends. FEDA operates a cash bar, and Hispanos Unidos will be selling food.
FEDA encourages concertgoers to stay in town for a while afterward to take in dinner or some of the local nightlife.
Rounding out the summer's Sunset Jazz offerings will be The Caribbean Jazz Quintet on July 18 and Rhythmix on Aug. 15. For more information send an e-mail to Sunset Jazz or call 719-3672.
Here's some biographical information on the Jack Petersen Quartet:
Sax man Petersen started out playing clarinet in the eighth grade at Christiansted High School. He got his bachelor's degree in music education at Miami University of Ohio. His day job is as assistant principal at John H. Woodson Junior High School. He also serves as chair of the V.I. Council on the Arts and owns Say It With A Song, a jingle development business. (He composed the first Brow Soda jingles for the new owners.) One of the more successful working musicians on St. Croix, he has led a jazz quartet for the better part 20 years
Pianist Jacobs-El played trombone with the Newport Youth Band and moved from there to its spinoff, The New York Jazz Septet. He studied for three years at the Juilliard School, then went on the road with Slide Hampton and Lloyd Price, then joined the Coker Camble Band, which backed such Motown singers as Stevie Wonder, The Supremes and The Temptations. He first set foot on St. Croix in 1963 while touring with Lionel Hampton's band, then returned to settle permanently in 1974. He took up piano after moving to the island.
Bassist Thomas founded the band Rhythmix in 1990. The son of St. Croix band leader Scypio Thomas, he started playing at the age of 10, tapping into calypso, reggae and whatever was popular on the radio. He formed his first group, Together Root, in the ninth grade. He studied at the Military School of Music in Washington, D.C., and at Howard University, touring Africa with Howard's Jazz Septet. He has played with John Faddis, Louie Belson and Wynton Marsalis and was a mainstay in saxman Dave Yarborough's Jazz Band.
Drummer Dailey first studied flute and clarinet. He came by his first drum gig — with The Modern Ink Spots — after the group's producer heard him practicing at his mother's house in Philadelphia and knocked on the door and asked Mom if he could join the group. He has worked at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia, where the "Philly" sound originated, and has toured with Grover Washington Jr., Betty Carter and The Dells. He's one of the most sought-after drummers on St. Croix.
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