Cape Gazette
http://capegazette.villagesoup.com/p/1069610

Van Williamson Trio: Back for more jazz

Oct 16, 2013
Photo by: Cheryl Nemazie The Van Williamson Trio will perform at the 2013 Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival.

The Van Williamson Trio is returning to the 24th Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival again this year to foist their brand of  straight-ahead uncompromising cocktail music” on a slavering  public ready for anything.
“Sure, we’ve been away for a year,” said founder and guitarist Van Williamson, “but it’s not our fault they only hold this event annually.  I think it’s pretty obvious that our group and a lot of other groups would work a lot more if they did this, say, every weekend.  What gives with this schedule?”
In fact, the group has been around the beach area now and then during the last year, performing at Jerry’s Seafood in Lewes and the Cultured Pearl and the Back Porch Café intermittently.
“We had to turn down a tour to Latvia because we had local commitments that we badly needed to honor.  And when I say ‘badly,’ I don’t mean we needed to play badly (as opposed to playing well),  just that we were sworn to uphold the Trio bylaws which state that we must play whenever anybody offers us money, even if we don’t want to,” commented Williamson, getting scrambled up in his own syntax as usual.  “Fortunately, we actually wanted to play at these venues; Latvia will just have to wait.”
And so the trio will once again board the tour bus and make its way to Rehoboth, more than likely arriving just in time for the first gig on Thursday night at Dos Locos Restaurant.  “After 22 years, I think we finally cracked the code of Google Maps and can get here in less than a week,” says Williamson.  “Our driver ran off with the circus, so that set us back a couple months, but now I think we’re all squared away.”  He points out that all the members of the trio hail from the West; in this case Kent Island, Chestertown and Silver Spring.  “You think it’s easy being a musician; it’s not.  Sure, the playing is fun, it’s the sidebar stuff that drives you up the wall.  Ask any musician, but don’t get me involved.  I only work here.”
The trio plays at the Blue Bar Lounge in the Henley Park Hotel in Washington, DC, and has recently performed at the Easton Plein Air Festival, the Pocomoke City Art Stroll, the Stoltz Listening Room at the Avalon Theatre in Easton, the Talbot Mentors anniversary celebration, Queen Anne’s County Arts in the Park (Van with the Bay Jazz Project), the Rehoboth Art League, NPR, Twins Lounge in DC (Van with violinist David Schulman), and at many weddings and events throughout the region.
Follow the group’s activities at vanwilliamson.com.

Van Williamson
Group leader and guitarist Van Williamson started his career in Chevy Chase, MD.  Hailing from a long line of circus acrobats, Van began playing guitar as a way to get out from under the big top.  “I just couldn’t hack it, the trapeze, the elephants, the clowns…I decided I’d rather work with the clowns in the music business.  I miss the popcorn, though.”  He played cello in the junior high school orchestra and devolved to guitar when Elvis was king.  Genetically incapable of playing rock and roll, he joined a folk group during the height of that phase and never looked ahead.  Decamping to San Francisco around 1970, he played with the near-obscure bluegrass group Roy and the Adults, then with the Electric Guitar Quartet (“string quartet music on electric guitars—why bother?”) and on into jazz duos, trios, quintets etc.  Moving back to the East Coast, he worked at NPR for 17 years as the director of Morning Edition, retiring in 2012.  During the 90s and the aughts, he produced his own production, Radio from Downtown, a music/variety program broadcast from the Avalon Theatre to a rapt audience surely numbering in the high two digits.  He began playing solo guitar at the Rehoboth Jazz Festival during the event’s second year.  Asked to comment on the secret of his longevity at the event, he said “I’m vertical.  That’s the only thing I can think of.”

Tom Anthony
Bassist Tom Anthony has been teaching classical guitar, lute & acoustic and electric bass at Washington College in Chestertown, MD, for over fifteen years, and performing in the local area for over 20 years.  He also has his own studio at his home where he gives private lessons.  Tom has played symphonic music with local orchestras, performed in theatrical settings, and played jazz and various other kinds of music at weddings and other functions throughout Maryland &
The Van Williamson Trio is returning to the 24th Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival again this year to foist their brand of  straight-ahead uncompromising cocktail music” on a slavering  public ready for anything.
“Sure, we’ve been away for a year,” said founder and guitarist Van Williamson, “but it’s not our fault they only hold this event annually.  I think it’s pretty obvious that our group and a lot of other groups would work a lot more if they did this, say, every weekend.  What gives with this schedule?”
In fact, the group has been around the beach area now and then during the last year, performing at Jerry’s Seafood in Lewes and the Cultured Pearl and the Back Porch Café intermittently.
“We had to turn down a tour to Latvia because we had local commitments that we badly needed to honor.  And when I say ‘badly,’ I don’t mean we needed to play badly (as opposed to playing well),  just that we were sworn to uphold the Trio bylaws which state that we must play whenever anybody offers us money, even if we don’t want to,” commented Williamson, getting scrambled up in his own syntax as usual.  “Fortunately, we actually wanted to play at these venues; Latvia will just have to wait.”
And so the trio will once again board the tour bus and make its way to Rehoboth, more than likely arriving just in time for the first gig on Thursday night at Dos Locos Restaurant.  “After 22 years, I think we finally cracked the code of Google Maps and can get here in less than a week,” says Williamson.  “Our driver ran off with the circus, so that set us back a couple months, but now I think we’re all squared away.”  He points out that all the members of the trio hail from the West; in this case Kent Island, Chestertown and Silver Spring.  “You think it’s easy being a musician; it’s not.  Sure, the playing is fun, it’s the sidebar stuff that drives you up the wall.  Ask any musician, but don’t get me involved.  I only work here.”
The trio plays at the Blue Bar Lounge in the Henley Park Hotel in Washington, DC, and has recently performed at the Easton Plein Air Festival, the Pocomoke City Art Stroll, the Stoltz Listening Room at the Avalon Theatre in Easton, the Talbot Mentors anniversary celebration, Queen Anne’s County Arts in the Park (Van with the Bay Jazz Project), the Rehoboth Art League, NPR, Twins Lounge in DC (Van with violinist David Schulman), and at many weddings and events throughout the region.
Follow the group’s activities at vanwilliamson.com.

Van Williamson
Group leader and guitarist Van Williamson started his career in Chevy Chase, MD.  Hailing from a long line of circus acrobats, Van began playing guitar as a way to get out from under the big top.  “I just couldn’t hack it, the trapeze, the elephants, the clowns…I decided I’d rather work with the clowns in the music business.  I miss the popcorn, though.”  He played cello in the junior high school orchestra and devolved to guitar when Elvis was king.  Genetically incapable of playing rock and roll, he joined a folk group during the height of that phase and never looked ahead.  Decamping to San Francisco around 1970, he played with the near-obscure bluegrass group Roy and the Adults, then with the Electric Guitar Quartet (“string quartet music on electric guitars—why bother?”) and on into jazz duos, trios, quintets etc.  Moving back to the East Coast, he worked at NPR for 17 years as the director of Morning Edition, retiring in 2012.  During the 90s and the aughts, he produced his own production, Radio from Downtown, a music/variety program broadcast from the Avalon Theatre to a rapt audience surely numbering in the high two digits.  He began playing solo guitar at the Rehoboth Jazz Festival during the event’s second year.  Asked to comment on the secret of his longevity at the event, he said “I’m vertical.  That’s the only thing I can think of.”

Tom Anthony
Bassist Tom Anthony has been teaching classical guitar, lute & acoustic and electric bass at Washington College in Chestertown, MD, for over fifteen years, and performing in the local area for over 20 years.  He also has his own studio at his home where he gives private lessons.  Tom has played symphonic music with local orchestras, performed in theatrical settings, and played jazz and various other kinds of music at weddings and other functions throughout Maryland &
Delaware. He has traveled to Ireland to perform at the Clifdon Arts Festival, and has been part of the house band at the Mainstay in Rock Hall, MD, with Chuck and Robert Redd and Steve Abshire, backing up recording artists like Howard Alden, Ken Peplowski, and Frank Vignola.  He has also worked with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony, local pianist Dick Durham and singer Sue Matthews, and with the group Chesapeake Scenes, featuring music and narration about the beautiful Chesapeake Bay.  This is his 15th year with the Van Williamson Trio.

Felix Contreras
Drummer/ percussionist Felix Contreras loves legendary swing drummer Papa Jo Jones as much as he loves Mongo Santamaria,  and he brings that musically bilingual approach to his gigs at the Rehoboth Jazz Festival with The Van Williamson Trio.  This year is his 12th straight year playing in the cool autumn air during Jazz Fest and a fellow musician commented that his drum/percussion setup gets bigger and bigger every year. Whether he’s riffing on bongos or gently tapping his ride cymbal for the ting-ting da-ding of swing, Contreras is the perfect complement to his musical compadres in the trio.  During his day job, Felix is a producer and reporter on the Arts Desk at NPR where he specializes in reporting on Latin music.  He is the cohost of the popular podcast Alt.Latino and is a past host of NPR’s Piano Jazz Christmas.  His recent gigs in the DC area include performances at the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Jazz Café and the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival.

Schedule
Thursday, Oct. 17 - 7-10 p.m.,  Dos Locos, 208 Rehoboth Ave. 227-3353
Friday, Oct. 18 - 3-6 p.m., Dos Locos
7:30-10:30 p.m., Mariachi Restaurant, 14 Wilmington Ave. 227-0115
Saturday, Oct. 19 - 6:30-9:30 p.m., Tuscan Grill, 19 Wilmington Ave.  226-2201
Sunday, Oct. 20 - 6:30-9:30 p.m.,   Tuscan Grill


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