Live @ the Library 2019 Concert Series Closes with Dmitri Matheny Quintet

Dmitri Matheny Quintet. Photo by Billy Reinschmiedt.

On the evening of November 16th the Friends presented the last of the year’s Live @ the Library concerts. The show featured the Dmitri Matheny quintet, a jazz group with Charles McNeal on tenor sax, Matt Clark on piano, John Wiitala on bass fiddle, Leon Joyce Jr. on drums, and Matheny on flugelhorn.

(The flugelhorn is a brass instrument, shaped like a trumpet, but a little larger. Its tone is less sharp and sounds like a slightly muted trumpet. It seems to make an excellent component of a small jazz ensemble).

Matheny told the sold out audience that his aim was to indulge them in the breadth of the American songbook. The group certainly accomplished that: Burt Bacharach’s “The Look of Love,” Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely,” The Carpenters’ “Close to You,” Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman,” and Rogers and Hammerstein’s “People Will Say We’re in Love” from Oklahoma! showed off an amazingly eclectic repertoire. (Not to mention the main title theme music from Game of Thrones.) The group also played an original piece by Matheny, called “Cascadia,” an homage to his home in the Pacific Northwest. They closed the show with Duke Ellington’s “Caravan.”

This concert certainly upheld the Live @ the Library tradition of presenting world-class jazz performers in an intimate setting. After the show several audience members were heard remarking that they were impatient for next year’s series.

–David Beall