As hot as jazz gets, the internationally renowned Laroo/Byrd Quartet makes its Berkshires debut on Saturday, July 14 with a dinner show at our newest popular venue, American Legion Hall. An optional dinner buffet makes for a complete evening’s entertainment. Dinner starts at 6:30pm; show at 7:30. Tickets are on sale now, click here for details.
Having appeared here in Pittsfield as part of the Latin Jazz Trio some 10 years ago, the monster pianist Warren Byrd returns in a new quartet configuration with his wife, the trumpeter and saxophonist Saskia Laroo. The Laroo/Byrd Quartet (or “4tet,” as it is often called) is the transmutation from their popular duo configuration into a full band with added bass (Rick Rozie) and drums (Jocelyn Pleasant).
Hailing from Hartford, Connecticut, Warren Byrd is a pianist/vocalist with a long list of international credits, tours, and celebrated work. Though earning a full scholarship for a voice major at Hartt College of Music, he chose to focus on jazz piano and composition, emerging primarily self-taught. His work is a testament to his gifts: freelancing with such notables as Archie Shepp and Eddie Henderson to leading Gospel choirs to composing for theatre and dance. He is co-founder/leader of Duo Laroo/Byrd and the Afro-Semitic Experience, performs as a freelancer, with Saskia’s other groups, as a solo pianist and with his own Byrdspeak Ensemble.
A native of Amsterdam, Saskia Laroo is a premiere figure in music and one of the finest female trumpet players in the world. She began playing trumpet at age 8, and as a teen picked-up cello and guitar. Though first enrolling as a Mathematics major in college, she switched to music, graduating from the Muziekacademie of Hilversum. Versatility has propelled her illustrious career, from barnstorming with Latin, jazz and pop bands, to collaborations with legends such as Hans Dulfer and Teddy Edwards. She released her first CD, “It’s Like Jazz” in 1994 under her own label Laroo Records. Since, she has produced seven CDs and a DVD varying from classic jazz to Club-influenced acid jazz fusion. She has performed worldwide in hundreds of settings.
The optional dinner buffet is highlighted by Brenda Torchio’s renowned chicken piccata. $17, all-inclusive, but please make your reservations in advance.