Local quartet bring classic jazz from the 1950s and 1960s to a live setting
By Sam Catanzaro
Concerts in Los Angeles, a global hub for live music, have come to a halt amid the pandemic, as is the case with cities across the world. The local jazz quartet, “Mid-Century Jazz”, however, is bringing the jazz club to homes across the region.
“We love going to jazz clubs and the level of artistry is amazing. Most of the music played is contemporary and while that is fantastic, it is very hard to find live jazz with an emphasis on classic jazz, such as Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, and so many more greats. We want to bring classic jazz from the 1950s and 1960s to a live setting so that all generations can hear these great tunes and learn something about the composers and artists of the time. As all venues are currently closed due to COVID, we can duplicate the jazz club in the client’s private home,” said Andrea Comsky, Mid-Century Jazz vocalist.
Comsky has worked in almost every musical genre. From the musical theatre to opera, recording studios and jazz, her four-octave range allows her to cover a wide range of music, and is joined by a cast of world-class musicians.
Bassist Jack Cousin is the longest standing member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. One of America’s finest bass players, he got his start playing jazz and is “thrilled to return to his roots,” Comsky says.
Pianist Alex Mansour is a triple threat. A brilliant jazz pianist, Mansour is also an up and coming film composer and currently serves as Principal cello of the American Youth Symphony.
Drummer Jonathan Schlitt comes from a distinguished Los Angeles musical family. A true crossover musician, he plays in the recording studios, clubs and local symphony orchestras.
All of the musicians are “crossover” artists and work professionally in most genres of music, from classical to jazz, theatre, film and contemporary music.
“Audience members have commented on the “inter-generational” aspect of the group. Spanning five decades, the difference in our ages disappears when playing these jazz classics. The music is ageless,” Comsky said.
The four-member jazz quartet performs two full “sets” just as one would find in a jazz club. Each set is approximately 30 minutes long, with an intermission.
“The band members have been quarantined since March and are diligent in taking every precaution in remaining healthy. We work with each individual client to organize a safe environment for the performance. The band itself remains at least 12-14 feet away from the nearest audience member. We can perform in an indoor or outdoor setting. Working with the client, we discuss the size of the area, the number of people in the audience, how they are spaced out, etc. We are conscientious in ensuring a safe and comfortable space for everyone,” Comsky said.
For more information about Mid-Century Jazz, visit mid-centuryjazz.com or check out their Facebook page.