Considered one of the prominent forces in the renaissance of organ jazz in the 1980s and beyond, Joey DeFrancesco at 45 has already enjoyed a three-decade career that shows no sign of reaching its apex. A favorite of Twin Cities audiences at the Artists Quarter and Dakota, Joey D now makes his debut in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge, September 19-20 (7 and 9 pm shows). He’ll be performing with his trio, Troy Roberts (saxophone) and Jason Brown (drums).
Joey began playing organ as a young child under the watchful ear of his father, jazz organist Papa John DeFrancesco. In his native Philadelphia, young Joey sat in on his dad’s gigs with some of the city’s top artists– Hank Mobley, Philly Joe Jones and more. As a high schooler, Joey caught the ear of a visiting Miles Davis, and soon was one of the two youngest musicians ever invited to join Miles (the other was Tony Williams). Touring with Davis, Joey became interested in trumpet, later complementing his organ with trumpet. Joey held an exclusive recording contract with Columbia, releasing a series of albums that helped seal his international reputation. He toured with a quartet and later trio, which became the longest-running organ trio of the modern jazz era, featuring guitarist Paul Bollenback and drummer Byron Landrum.
When he was only 22, Joey was invited to join John McLaughlin’s Free Spirits, touring for four years. He has since also performed with Ray Charles, Bette Midler, David Sanborn, Arturo Sandoval, Frank Wess, Benny Golson, George Coleman, James Moody, Steve Gadd, Elvin Jones, Jimmy Cobb, George Benson, John Scofield, Joe Lovano, Larry Coryell and Bobby Hutcherson, as well as myriad foreign jazz artists who joined him on international gigs. Joey has received three Grammy nominations: In 2004 for his record Falling In Love Again, in 2010 for his release Never Can Say Goodbye, and in 2015 for Enjoy the View. Winner of Down Beat Magazine’s Critic’s Poll in 2002-2008, 2012, 2014, and 2015, as well as the magazine’s Reader’s Poll every year since 2005, he was inducted into the inaugural Hammond Organ Hall of Fame in 2014. He’s also received a long list of awards from the Jazz Journalists Association,
Currently, Joey tours with his current trio and performs with all-star projects in major jazz clubs and festivals internationally. He also is the weekly radio host of “Organized” on SiriusXM. He has released over 30 recordings, most recently Trip Mode (2014, High Note).
A native of Perth, Australia, saxophonist and composer Troy Roberts performed in Europe and the U.S. after completing college, appearing with Aretha Franklin, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Dave Douglas, and Kurt Elling, among others. He completed his Master’s Degree at the University of Miami, and in 2012 performed with an international septet (with Wayne Shorter, Richard Bona, Vinnie Colaiuta and Zakir Hussein) for the first International Jazz Day at the United Nations. Troy won three consecutive Down Beat Student Awards as Jazz Soloist, a Grammy nomination for his role in Sammy Figueroa’s The Magician, and was a semi-finalist in the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. Troy has released six recordings as leader, including his latest, Secret Rhymes (Inner Circle Music).
A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, drummer Jason Brown studied with the great Billy Hart. For the following seven years, he toured and recorded with Carmen Lundy and Pat Martino, and has also worked with Lizz Wright, Cedar Walton, Nicholas Payton, Wayne Escoffrey and Kurt Rosenwinkel. Brown has recently performed in the Amina Figarova Sextet and led his own bands at Small’s Jazz Club and other venues in New York.
These will be the first shows at the Dunsmore Room featuring the B-3 organ, as Crooners transitions from a borrowed Bösendorfer to its own Steinway D piano.
The Dunsmore Room of Crooners Lounge is located at 6161 NE Highway 65 (Central Ave), just north of I-694 in Fridley. Each night there will be two sets, at 7 and 9 pm, each with tiered seating. Reserve and select seats, and view the full schedule, at www.croonersloungemn.com