May 20, 2017; 8 p.m.
From their humble beginnings in Buffalo, NY, jazz icons Spyro Gyra have earned an international audience over their 40-year career, selling more than 10 million albums and playing more than 5,000 shows on five continents in that time. The hard-working, innovative ensemble has never rested on past successes, one reason why they still remain topical in today’s contemporary music scene.
Spyro Gyra released their 30th album of new material, “The Rhinebeck Sessions,” in 2013, a record that JazzTimes called “inspired.” Travis Rogers of the Jazz Journalists Association picked it for Jazz Album of The Year. Something Else Reviews called it “their finest album since their early ’80s heyday” and made it a Top 20 pick for the year. And George Harris of the Jazz Weekly enthused, “I gotta tell ya, these guys still sound GREAT!”
During their 40th anniversary year in 2014, Spyro Gyra showcased their breakthrough album “Morning Dance” from 1979. In June 2016, they released “The Best of The Heads Up Years,” a compilation of tunes from 2001-09.
“My hope is that our music has the same effect on the audience that it does on me,” says group leader Jay Beckenstein. “I’ve always felt that music, and particularly instrumental music, has this non-literal quality that lets people travel to a place where there are no words. Whether it’s touching their emotions or connecting them to something that reminds them of something much bigger than themselves, there’s this beauty in music that’s not connected to sentences. It’s very transportive. I would hope that when people hear our music or come to see us, they’re able to share that with us.”