The seeds for the Who Needs Dave Jazz Ensemble were sown in the late 90's when Dave Newcorn, having been in the musical wilderness for 15+ years, stumbled one night into a jazz workshop held at the Berger Park field house in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood.
By this time the workshop had become a local musical institution, with legendary Chicago pianist Dave Drazin having guided the weekly workshop for nearly a decade. You never knew who would show up each Wednesday night--could be two drummers, three piano players, and, much to Dave Drazin's chagrin, always a shockingly high number of trumpet players.
One night, apparently tired of trying to whip into shape this motley assortment of musical crackpots, oddballs and misfits, Dave Drazin threw in the towel, announcing the workshop was coming to an end.
Reluctant to let go of this opportunity for authentic ensemble playing, Dave Newcorn turned to the other guys (no one from that era ever recalls seeing any member of the fairer sex at these workshops) and said, "Hey, let's continue to play on our own. Who needs Dave?"
Barkov readily agreed, and thus, a legend was born. In the ensuing decade Newcorn and Barkov enjoyed performing with dozens of talented Chicago jazz musicians (see alumni list below).
(To this day, it is unclear whether Dave Drazin recognizes that he is in fact the "Dave" referenced in "Who Needs Dave.")
Justin Gruby has had a long and distinguished career, notably as one of the only arms merchants able to successfully sell to all parties in the Balkan Conflict in the 1990's. After that he turned his attention to the illicit Naugahyde trade in Southeast Asia in the early aughts. Tired of being on the lam, Justin returned home, traded his exotic career ambitions for the comfortable life of a chiropractor, picked up the saxophone, and never looked back. His solo work features a blistering, take-no-prisoners style well-suited to the band's jazz and funk pedigrees.
Larry Glenzer grew up in the foothills of Appalachia, born into a family of extremely poor investment bankers. He did not find his niche musically until much later in life, around his 50th birthday (he has a rare genetic condition that makes him permanently appear 25 years old). Glenzer is an accomplished horn player, and puts his on indelible mark on the instrument.
Bob Rodriguez is one of the last known and rarest of specimens on Earth -- an electric guitar player without an ego. The WND Jazz Ensemble is delighted to have him within its ranks. With more special effects than a 70's-era Steven Spielberg film, his sound remains tasteful, liquid, and pleasing to the ears. Well-versed in many styles of jazz, Bob brings a new sound to the band. Though he may disagree, his solo work is virtuosic, and never petulant.
Gary Barkov, a founding member of the WND Jazz Ensemble, has played drums for over 30 years since his days growing up in Philadelphia. He’s been in Chicago since 1986 and has most recently worked with the Chicago-based hard rock band R&R (a.k.a. Menace, a.k.a. Big Block Chevy) and Chicago/Cleveland-based experimental music ensemble of Death on a Stick (a.k.a. Litany of Garbage). Here he showcases his more sophisticated side while demonstrating his versatility.
Get in touch with the band by contacting Dave Newcorn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dave Newcorn has been playing piano for over 30 years, and is proud to be one of the founding members of the WND Jazz Ensemble, and even happier to have the privilege to play with a group of really talented musicians. Rather than dazzle listeners with technique, Dave tries to focus his solos on rhythmic and tonal explorations. When that fails, he resorts to trying to dazzle listeners with technique. When that fails, he orders a drink.
Who Needs Dave Alumni
Over the years, these fine musicians have played with the band:
Alison Logan, vocals
David Malatesta, bass
Anthony Mancini, electric guitar
Paul Miller, trumpet & flugelhorn
J.T. Mueller, saxophone
Shoji Naito, guitar & bass
Jose Ormaza, drums
Chris Kunle Soetan, trumpet
Charley Shallcross, bass
Nick Siegel, trumpet
Dan Silver, electric bass
Ben Taylor, bass clarinet
Albert Wildeman, bass
David Bachowski, bass
Julie Bremmer, vocals
Eduardo Corzo, piano
Nicholas Furtado, guitar
Travers Gauntt, guitar
Karyn Hair, vocals
Jacque Harper, bass
Wilson Hogan, saxophone
Shuji Iida, saxophone
Sammy Kayes, electric bass
Bryan Kyrouac, saxophone
Eric Kopp, trumpet & flugelhorn
Hugh Liebert, saxophone