Jazz, not necessarily a genre that Southwest Louisiana is known for, gets up close, personal and localized with the Gary Granger Project, Saturday, 7 p.m., at Cité des Arts, in downtown Lafayette.
The band consists of local musicians from a variety of backgrounds with Gary Granger on guitar, Beau Thomas on violin, Jermaine Prejean on drums and bassist Josef Butts.
Christy Leichty, Cité program director, says the group simply shows that the homegrown musicians are more than capable of stretching their wings.
"I think we're all used to all the great music — zydeco, Cajun, Indy rock — what we're not used to are the very fine musicians who play other things," Leichty says. "Lafayette is big enough and is ready for this. It's here and the players live here."
With a history of jazz/fusion experience, Granger is able to meld jazz harmonic ideas with the guitar tones of rock, funk and blues.
The namesake and frontman of the GGP describes the group's music as “a Fusion of '60s soul-jazz, funk and blues that brings the Blue Note era into the current musical landscape,” according to the band's Facebook page.
Thomas, long known for his finely crafted Cajun fiddling, converts his fiddle to a jazz violin. And like Granger, Thomas is also skilled in country, Swamp Pop and zydeco music.
Bassist Josef Butts, a Gifted & Talented teacher in Lafayette public schools, has a history in jazz and rock, while drummer Jermaine Prejean, according to the press release, "is like a chameleon who somehow just always sounds like he has played any style for years."
"It's not the usual fare [for Cité]," says Leichty, adding that she turns to music when a play is not slated. She says last year the organization presented 24 plays, 15 of which are original, and of those, eight were written by women.
"We're growing artists here," Leichty says of the community-based arts center.
Admission is $10. Cité des Arts is located at 109 Vine St. Call 291-1122 for more information.
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