The KGB trio (Bob Kaufman, Bruce Gertz, & Jerry Bergonzi) is one of the hottest jazz tickets in Boston right now! Tenor saxophone legend Jerry Bergonzi first gained worldwide recognition while performing with the Dave Brubeck Group from 1973 through 1975. In 1977, Bergonzi formed the group Con Brio," with bassist Bruce Gertz, drummers Bob Kaufman and Jeff Williams, pianist Eric Gunnison, and guitarists Mike Stern and Mick Goodrick. At that time they recorded six records for their own independent label called Not Fat Records. These recordings featured Bergonzi's talent as a composer. Today, Bruce Gertz, Bob Kaufman, and Jerry Bergonzi continue to perform together full time. Bob Kaufman has drummed with legends like Steve Lacy. Bruce Gertz has toured and performed with Billy Eckstine, Maynard Ferguson, Marlena Shaw, Gary Burton, and Dave Brubeck. The KGB trio can be heard at major venues in Boston and across the United States.
The Daniel Bennett Group is one of those unusual American bands who can boast having a strong cult following among both jazz and indie folk audiences. The music is a strange clash of jazz, folk, and 20th century minimalism. The Daniel Bennett Group has shared concert stages with Screaming Headless Torsos guitarist David Fiuczynski, indie folk rocker Denison Witmer (Sufjan Stevens), and Los Angeles synth pop guru Joy Electric. The Daniel Bennett Group's debut album We Are Not Defeated" (Tri-Head Productions) was released in 2004. In 2006, the Daniel Bennett Group released a ground-breaking promotional EP as a lead-up to their full length album. After an extensive year of promotion and traveling, the band entered the studio to record their full length album, A Nation of Bears. Boston saxophonist Daniel Bennett has traveled the country, performing at venues like Lincoln Center, Merrill Auditorium, Eastman Theatre, George Eastman House, Jordan Hall, Hale Auditorium, Open Fest, Six Flags Darien Lake, and the Rochester Lilac Festival. Bennett has also performed with the Portland Symphony, the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra, the Duprees, and the Socially Awkward Composers group. Bennett moved to Boston in 2004 to complete his masters degree in performance at the New England Conservatory. He began performing with acoustic guitarist Chris Hersch in February of 2005. Six months later, Bennett discovered maverick bassist John Servo in upstate New York. Since that time, the trio has performed at major venues across the United States.
The Quartet of Happiness takes modern jazz and infuses it with a hefty dose of cheekiness and irreverent humor, wrapping it all up in the sort of theatrics reminiscent of Blue Man Group. The group has made it its mission to take jazz out of the ivory tower and make it accessible to a wide-ranging audience. Playing games, wearing costumes, and engaging the audience with their antics, the Quartet of Happiness' performances are at times reminiscent of a cross between an improv comedy show and a theater of the bizarre. It's part jazz, part performance art, and all of it the child of insane wit. The architects of Quartet of Happiness are saxophonists Kelly Roberge and Rick Stone. The pair met while each pursued a Master's Degree at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Frustrated by the role of modern jazz as the province of intellectual wonkery, Roberge and Stone shared the inspiration to put the sense of pure, childish fun back in jazz. The two are joined by Austin McMahon on drums and Kendall Eddy on bass. The Quartet of Happiness has toured the Northeast, Midwest, equally at home playing in a downtown New York club and schools in the middle of Iowa. An important part of the band's ethos is reaching out to younger audiences in schools and clinics. Some notables that members of the quartet of happiness have collectively performed and/or recorded with include Billy Hart, Bob Brookmeyer, George Garzone, the Either/Orchestra, Steve Lacy, David Liebman, Ira Sullivan, and the band Boston."