Keep your eye on where you're going, but never forget where you came from!

This post follows up the last two blogs of mine, in which I ponder and pontificate the merits of doing other peoples music as opposed to ones own, and the current state of the mass music market in America (specifically the USA, because it's totally DIFFERENT in countries like Japan, where Original music and Jazz in general is quite heralded by comparison). For better or for worse, I'm in the USA now, and my time in the Far East as a prolific composer and frequent performer of original music with stellar-quality bandmates (see some of my shows in Tokyo and Yokohama Japan to see and hear what I mean: is but a fond & cherished memory! 

Having said that, I'm quite happy to announce that my 17th album is a return to my "roots' of playing standards in a guitar-led trio. Finally, when someone who expresses an interest in hiring my jazz trio for a function event and asked what we sound like, I have an accurate answer! We sound just like this:

Because, with so many of past releases of mine featuring larger ensembles that no longer exist, or All-Original music scored for 3 horns, tabla and Afro-Cuban percussion, neither of which likely represents what one will hear if a Cincinnatian hires me to play a function event at the Kenwood Country Club, I can now inform all prospective local clients as to exactly what they can expect to hear if they hire the Greg Chako Trio in the Greater Cincinnati area! YAY! So, please pick up a physical copy from me or stream it where you normally do, and if you want that kind of music for your private party or function event CONTACT ME:

My musical efforts are always looking ahead, imagining in my mind where I want to be in the future. But this week, I am so exciting to get nostalgic about my origins as a jazz performer in Cincinnati, Ohio, with my upcoming gig Friday May 10th with an organ trio @The Northern Row Brewery in OTR:

When I was a youngster just starting out, I went to Sonny's Place on Sunday afternoons to “sit in” with Hammond B-3 organist, Sonny Miles. I recall being the only White boy there, often the youngest too, and the cliental was the after-Sunday-church crowd in a predominantly African-American neighborhood. It was AWESOME! 

The Organ Trio with guitar was extremely popular in those days, and historically, seems to be a MidWestern “thing”. Later on weekend evenings, I sat in with Jimmy McGary and his band featuring Bobby Scott on drums and Wayne Yeager on B-3 organ at the old Cory's on the corner of Vine and E. McMillan in OTR. That is where I first met Bobby and Wayne, both of whom became friends of mine. We often shared a stage together too. I played with Bobby and Jim Anderson for a hot minute in their group, Cohesion, and when I began booking jazz at Doc's Place in N. College Hill, I hired Wayne as part of the “house band” there. 


Unfortunately, Bobby Scott passed away in 2018, but thankfully organist Wayne Yeager is still among us! Wayne recorded with me on two recent albums made in Cincinnati, Friends, Old & New, and Life After 40

So, while my eyes are constantly looking ahead, I am also going down memory lane, so to speak, as after all these years of shared history on the local jazz scene, Wayne Yeager and I will come together this coming Fri. May 10th for a traditional guitar-organ trio not unlike the one we played in almost 40 years ago! I hope you'll join Wayne and I, with drummer Michael Meloy, this Friday for some traditional guitar-organ music - we bring over 200 years of experience to the stage - but what you'll hear is (I promise!) as fresh and new as Spring and fresh-cut flowers. You'll hear Blues, Standards, Bossa, & Chako Originals, or as I like to call it: The People's Music!

Again, here's the link: 

Greg Chako, Mon May 6, Blog #15 from “Up & Coming”

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