The Lexington scene has got two more shows for you this week: Rempis/Lopez/Packard at The Kentucky School; Keigo Hirakawa at TeeDee’s


Yet more evidence that Lexington, KY is a magnet for the modern jazz scene is displayed this week, with shows that’ll give you something to do midweek and for the weekend.

On Tuesday is the next installment of the Outside the Spotlight series, featuring the trio of saxophonist Dave Rempis, bassist Brandon Lopez, and percussionist-electronics specialist Ryan Packard performing at The Kentucky School. The trio are touring in support of their latest recording The Early Bird Gets.  If they’re anything in a live setting like they are on the recorded medium, then expect the kind of focused intensity that is as likely to bleed into a catchy groove as it is to explode into a thousand fragments of melody.

[Listen to more of the album, and purchase it, on Bandcamp]

And I’m sure they’ll also have stuff available at their merch table, which, really, is the best way to support the band.  Their album is released on Aerophonic Records, and if you like what you hear on this recording, you should go give some of the other music in their catalog a listen, because it’s all bird of a feather stuff.

This is the 15-year anniversary, and Event #209, of Ross Compton’s Outside the Spotlight series.  Ross is one of those local music scene heroes who devotes a ton of sweat work bringing great music to his community.  There have been a ridiculous wealth of talent from the experimental and jazz pool that has performed in Lexington because of Ross’s efforts.  And most of those shows, like this one, is free to the public.

I’m personally excited to go see another show at The Kentucky School.  I caught one there last week, and their outdoor area was an excellent spot to catch some live music and have a beer.  Check out my write-up of the Friends & Neighbors gig for a rundown of what it was like.  Also, if the weather looks like rain, the venue has an indoor option, too, so don’t let that dissuade you from coming on out.

If you want to read more about the artist, check out Lexington journalist Walter Tunis’s write-up for Under Main.  Nobody covers the Lexington music & arts scene like Walter, so be sure to bookmark him for future reading, too.

The show details:

When:  Tuesday, April 16th, 2019 at 7:00pm

Where:  The Kentucky School.  607 North Limestone, Lexington, KY.

It’s a free show.

The Facebook Event page-> LINK

The Kentucky School’s site-> LINK

The artist’s site-> LINK

And a shout-out of thanks to the local student-run radio station 88.1 FM WRFL for their part in helping bring this music to town.

Here’s a video from a recent gig at the Elastic Arts Studio, back in my old neighborhood in Chicago…


And your weekend plans are covered, too.  On Saturday night, the next installment of the Origins Jazz Series goes down at TeeDee’s Lounge over on 2nd & Elm, right next to The Lyric Theater.  Keigo Hirakawa will be in town with his trio performing two sets, at 7pm and 9:15pm.  The pianist brings a straight-ahead sound, like a fastball right over the heart of jazz.  My personal tastes trend toward the more experimental stuff on the scene, but when it’s Saturday night and I just want to be out on the town and hear some sounds, give me the kind of jazz that originally got me hooked on this music, y’know?  This right here is the stuff.

Here’s a video from a recent show at a cool jazz joint, the Greenwich, just up north in our neighbor city, Cincinnati.  It included a performance by JD Allen, who is an Origin Jazz Series alum, as well as a musician I’ve written some glowing words about previously.  Go buy all of his music.

As I mentioned previously, this show is brought to us courtesy of the Origins Jazz Series, a non-profit that has been bringing an impressive array of jazz to Lexington.  That includes all-stars like Christian McBride, The Bad Plus, JD Allen, Chris Potter, Tryptych, Kneebody, and in upcoming show, Regina Carter & Xavier Davis.  This is their second season, and it’s in Lexington’s best interests to support this organization so that the pipeline for all this excellent music keeps flowing.  And, hell, this is an ideal way to spend your Saturday night.

Hirakawa has some CDs retailing on Amazon.  I’m guessing, however, that there will be better opportunities to buy music at the show.

The show details:

When:  Saturday, April 20th, 2019 at 7:00pm (1st show), 9:15 (2nd show)

Where:  Tee Dee’s Lounge, 266 E. Second Street, Lexington, KY.

Tickets are $17.50 for each seating or $30 for the entire night (purchase here)

The artist’s site-> LINK

Learn more about the Origins Jazz Series-> LINK

Some other shows on the horizon:

  • Tuesday, April 30 – The Chicago Plan (of Steve Swell, Gebhard Ullmann, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael Zerang) plus the quartet of Keefe Jackson, Christoph Erb, Jason Roebke, Tim Barnes @ UK’s Niles Gallery
  • Friday, May 3 – Regina Carter & Xavier Davis @ First Presbyterian Church of Lexington
  • Wednesday, May 15 – Brian Krock’s liddle @ JGumbosLex