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The Midwest Swing Set with Petra van Nuis, Andy Brown, Paul Keller, and Pete Siers

June 9, 2023 @ 7:30 pm

The Midwest Swing Set with Petra van Nuis, Andy Brown, Paul Keller, and Pete Siers

The Midwest Swing Set

with Petra van Nuis, Andy Brown,

Paul Keller, and Pete Siers

Friday, June 9th at 7:30 pm

The Midwest Swing Set reunites Michigan’s own rhythm section of bassist Paul Keller and drummer Pete Siers with Chicago musicians, vocalist Petra van Nuis and guitarist Andy Brown. In a review of one of their past performances at KCH, the Ann Arbor Observer labels Petra and Andy “Chicago’s First Couple of Jazz” while praising their “enormous repertoire of obscure songs” possessing “clever, literate lyrics, lovely elegant melodies and rich, sumptuous harmonies.” Van Nuis’ vocal quality is described as “highly expressive” with a “cool, hip, yet engaging” stage demeanor. Guitarist Brown is cited as “her ideal complement” who “solos with authority.” Keller and Siers are hailed as the “Dream Team” who make the concert “worth attending as much for the sidemen as for the main act.”

Petra van Nuis, vocals
Andy Brown, guitar
Paul Keller, bass
Pete Siers, drums
Petra van Nuis, vocals

Petra van Nuis is a jazz vocalist who has been described by DownBeat Magazine as having “a light, gorgeous, and fairly delicate voice…a gift for melody and plenty of rhythmic confidence.” All About Jazz Magazine calls her music “hauntingly atmospheric and filled with creative substance…poetic, moving and subtly provocative.” Famed jazz critic and author of “Singing Jazz” Bruce Crowther says “Van Nuis is not as well known internationally as should be the case although she has a devoted following in Japan. An exceptionally gifted singer, she has a light yet subtly textured sound and is always delightfully melodic….lyrics are clearly very important to her and she delivers them with admirable sincerity.”

A former dancer and Cincinnati native, Petra came to Chicago in 2004 via New York City with her husband, jazz guitarist Andy Brown. Petra performs regularly at Chicago’s prominent venues including the Jazz Showcase, the Green Mill, Winter’s Jazz Club and Andy’s Jazz Club. Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs has presented Petra’s groups at the Chicago Cultural Center and Chicago Summer Dance. The Jazz Institute of Chicago has featured Petra’s Recession Seven band (an authentic Chicago-style jazz collective with internationally-known horn men Russ Phillips, Art Davis and Eric Schneider) at the Chicago Jazz Festival and Jazz City.

Internationally, Petra regularly tours Europe and has five CDs released in Japan which are used as in-flight music for All Nippon Airways (Japan’s largest airline). Petra’s two most recent CDs “Lonely Girl – I Remember Julie” and “Because We’re Night People” were given 4 stars in DownBeat Magazine.

Andy Brown, guitar

Chicagoan Andy Brown has been called a “superior mainstream guitarist” in Downbeat magazine.

As a sideman he has performed with internationally known jazz musicians including Scott Hamilton, Howard Alden, Harry Allen, Warren Vaché, Ken Peplowski, Hod O’Brien, Anat Cohen and many others.

His love of great tunes as well as accompanying skills have made him a favorite with vocalists in the Chicago area. He had the good fortune to accompany Barbra Streisand when she appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2009, and he accompanies Michael Feinstein annually at Chicago’s famed Ravinia Festival.

Andy has made many festival appearances around the world including performances in Brazil, Europe and Canada. In 2012, his trio was invited by the Chicago Mayor’s office to perform for the Nobel Peace Prize dinner in Chicago where invited guests included U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, as well as the Dalai Lama and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Since 2009, Andy has co-led a two-guitar quartet with renowned guitarist Howard Alden. In 2013, Delmark Records released a CD of the group entitled “Heavy Artillery” which received four stars in Downbeat Magazine and was featured in their annual Albums Of The Year issue.

His latest CD is the critically acclaimed 2020 String Damper Records release “Alone Time.”

Paul Keller, bass

String bassist Paul Keller is a Michigan jazz hero; he loves his life in Saline, MI where he lives with his wife and two kids and performs locally – in Detroit and across his home state of Michigan. Paul wear many jazz hats: He leads several successful and busy jazz ensembles including his 27-year old, 15-piece big band The Paul Keller Orchestra; he’s an in-demand side man, a prolific composer, a creative and skilled arranger, an enthusiastic and innovative jazz educator, a recording company owner and producer, and a nationally recognized recording artist. Paul can be heard every week at his home base – Zal Gaz Grotto in Ann Arbor (on Mondays with his PKO big band and on Tuesdays with the Easy Street Jazz Band).

Keller spent several years on the road with guitarist Russell Malone and later with singer/pianist Diana Krall. Together with Russell and Diana, Paul recorded Diana’s Grammy-nominated GRP/Impulse CD All For You. These days, Paul performs frequently with guitarist/singer and jazz super-star John Pizzarelli – they just toured Brazil for a week. Paul travels the world to play special concerts and festivals with a myriad of jazz stars including Jackie Ryan, Scott Hamilton, Larry Vuckovich, Benny Green, and Warren and Alan Vache.

Pete Siers, drums

Like Clark Kent, jazz percussionist Pete Siers is soft-spoken and unassuming – but put him behind a drum set, and a hard-swinging, intensely physical, dynamically sensitive drummer emerges.  According to the Southeastern Michigan Jazz Association, when Pete plays, “readily apparent musical joy” can be expected. Paul Pearce of Bass World magazine writes that “Pete absolutely ‘sings’ with his drum kit.”

Siers has played with jazz luminaries such as Russell Malone, Mulgrew Miller, Marian McPartland, Lee Konitz, Benny Golson, James Moody, Kenny Werner, David “Fathead” Newman, Eddie Daniels, Frank Morgan, Scott Hamilton, Bob Wilber, and Barry Harris.  In addition to his expansive performance career, Siers has played on over 50 recordings.

Pete has taught percussion and jazz drumming for over 25 years, teaching privately, as well as at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor School for Performing Arts, Emory University, Purdue University and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

Details

Date:
June 9, 2023
Time:
7:30 pm
Event Category:

Venue

Kerrytown Concert House
415 N. 4th Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104 United States
+ Google Map
Phone
734-769-2999

Organizer

Kerrytown Concert House
Phone
734-769-2999
Email
kch@kerrytownconcerthouse.com