$10 music charge, $10 minimum, call 203 792 1500 for reservations
Glenda Davenport, vocals Bill Crow, bass Hiroshi Yamazaki, piano
"Swinging arrangements that elegantly cushion Glenda Davenport's warm, knowing and highly appealing voice." —NiteLifeExchange.com
The lush vocals of Glenda Davenport will serenade us with classic jazz songs on Sunday, May 26, over the Memorial Day weekend. It's Glenda's first performance at the Pizzeria. Born and raised in Mt. Vernon, NY, Glenda Davenport began her singing career in 1992. She was a winner at The World Famous Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night in April 1993 and the opening act for comedian Bill Cosby in 1994 at Purchase College.
Glenda has performed with many jazz stars including Bucky Pizzarelli, Pete Malinverni, Houston Person, Benny Golson, Lou Donaldson, and Eddie Bert. She has appeared at the Saratoga Jazz Festival, the Binghamton Jazz Festival, and such top New York clubs as The Village Gate, Birdland, Iridium, Kitano, and The Metropolitan Room. Glenda has two CDs, "Sophisticated Lady" & "More Than You Know," and performs regularly throughout the Tri-state area.
"I've been fortunate to be able to watch Glenda develop into a mature, skillful singer with depth, emotion and swing," says Crow. "I like playing for her, listening to her, and watching her delight her audiences.”
Bass player Bill Crow is well known to Pizzeria audiences: a jazz legend, exquisite musician, humorist, and occasional blues vocalist! He has worked with a constellation of jazz stars, including Stan Getz, Marian McPartland, Nina Simone, Quincy Jones, Benny Goodman, Gerry Mulligan, and Duke Ellington Orchestra. The talented pianist Hiroshi Yamazaki has appeared at the Pizzeria with Bill, with whom he frequently plays. From Osaka, Japan, Hiroshi began classical lessons at age 7 and discovered jazz as a teenager. He has lived in the New York area since 1987 and is on the faculty at the Music Conservatory of Westchester. Hiroshi has worked with such jazz greats as Ron Carter, Lewis Nash, and Leroy Williams.
Together, this should be a lovely night of music with three great friends and stellar musicians.
TrioShalva with percussionist Nadav Snir-Zelnikern
Live jazz Sunday evenings from 6 to 8
Reservations Recommended, 203 792 1500
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Live jazz on menu each Sunday
Robert Miller, The Danbury News-Times
Published 11:17 p.m., Wednesday, March 14, 2012
In California, a legendary jazz club, The Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, in Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco, has been around since 1964.
"They have Sunday concerts,'' said Michael Lauretano, owner of Pizzeria Lauretano on Greenwood Avenue in Bethel. "The performers who played San Francisco on the weekends would go there to play Sundays.''
That is why, in part, Sundays at Pizzeria Lauretano are generally booked solid as its jazz concerts fill the room nearly every week.
"It's part of our identity,'' said Lauretano, who loves the music he brings to his restaurant. "It's part of our value.''
"It enriches the legacy of the music,'' said master vibraphonist Arthur Lipner, of Wilton, who ended a two-week European concert tour by jetting back to Connecticut and playing two enthralling sets Sunday at the pizzeria with his quartet. "And it enriches our community.''
Lauretano said saxophonist Michael Leventhal, of Redding, pushed him to start featuring live music four or five years ago. Leventhal came in to eat one day, heard the recorded jazz Lauretano was playing for customers and urged him to start having live concerts. The Sunday concert series was born.
"It started very organically,'' said Judith Joiner, who handles the restaurant's publicity. "At first, it was 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. It was an occasional concert, and it was free. Then we started having music every Sunday. We gradually added a cover charge. Now, you have to call ahead for reservations every week.''
Lauretano said Leventhal and other musicians have helped him book excellent jazz artists who live in the area. By now, he said, he has a regular stable of repeat performers. "They all want to come back,'' he said.
Mort Lewis, of Bethel, who has managed Dave Brubeck and Simon & Garfunkel in past decades, is a regular. He calls the restaurant "The Birdland of Bethel.''
"I can't believe the high quality of the music,'' Lewis said. "There guys are really great musicians.''
Add to that the brick-oven-baked Neapolitan pizza and a glass of good wine.
"I love jazz,'' Lewis said. "And I love coming here.''