MARCH 17 • 8PMBuy Tickets
Tickets: $49, $39, $25 | Limit 8 tickets per mailing address
DOORS 7PM • SHOWTIME 8PM
The Vogel • Basie Center Campus • 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank
Spyro Gyra show no sign of slowing down. Over the last 40+ years, they have performed over five thousand shows, released thirty-one albums (not counting “Best Of…” compilations) selling over ten million albums while also achieving one platinum and two gold albums. Although few acts have accomplished this type of record, they have done it by constantly challenging themselves as is evidenced by their last studio release “The Rhinebeck Sessions” which was written and recorded over three days in the studio.
Born in Brooklyn, bandleader Jay Beckenstein grew up listening to the music of Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins and Dizzy Gillespie, and started playing the saxophone at age seven. Beckenstein attended the University at Buffalo, starting out as a biology major before changing to music performance (read classical and avant garde). During summer breaks, he and an old high school friend, keyboardist Jeremy Wall, played gigs together back on Long Island. Wall attended college in California, and after both graduated, Beckenstein stayed in Buffalo’s thriving music scene, where Wall eventually joined him.
“Not many people know it, but Buffalo was like a mini Chicago back then, with a smoking blues, soul, jazz, even rockabilly scene, of all things,” Beckenstein muses. “After being confined to classical music for so long, it was heaven. I was in the horn sections around town, backing some great vocalists.”
Spyro Gyra, whose odd name has since become world famous, was first known simply as “Tuesday Night Jazz Jams,” a forum wherein Beckenstein and Wall were joined by a rotating cast of characters. Tuesday just happened to be the night when most musicians weren’t playing other gigs to pay their bills. Around this time, a young keyboardist named Tom Schuman began sitting in when he was only sixteen years old. This young man, of course, remains a member to this day.
“Don’t forget the interminable Dead-like solos we were taking,” Beckenstein cracks. “We were the kings of self-indulgence, but eventually we earned our right to charge a quarter at the door. It was a complete shock when word of our psychosis got out and we started packing them in!”
The group’s increasing popularity – combined with the purchase of a new sign for the club – prompted the owner to insist that Beckenstein come up with a name for his band. “It began as a joke. I said ‘spirogyra,’ he misspelled it, and here we are thirty years later. In retrospect, it’s okay. In a way, it sounds like what we do. It sounds like motion and energy.”
COUNT BASIE CENTER COVID-19 ENTRY POLICY
The Count Basie Center for the Arts requires patrons to present one of the following to attend events at Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre, The Vogel or Basie Center Cinemas:
- Proof of full vaccination
- A negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of door time
For more information or for the Basie Center’s current policies regarding masking and other measures, visit http://www.thebasie.org/covid19.*
Patrons aged 11 years of age or younger are not required to provide test results or proof of vaccination status, but must remain masked.
This Count Basie Center event is being sold to full legal capacity, subject to local, state and/ or federal restrictions in place at the time of the event. If any show needs to be rescheduled and you cannot make the new date, you can request an account credit or refund. * Please be aware that while the Basie Center does its best to keep patrons informed, these policies may change without notice.