April 26, 2023

Jazz Musicians Perform At Plainsboro Festival

JAZZING IT UP: Danny Tobias, trumpeter, leads his quartet as part of the upcoming Jazz Appreciation Festival in Plainsboro. (Photo by Redmile)

Three noted jazz musicians – James Popik, Danny Tobias, and Tom Tallisch – will take part in Plainsboro Township’s Jazz Appreciation Festival, which opens April 28. They will present a series of three concerts on Friday evenings at 7 p.m.

Guitarist and Grammy-nominated feature artist James Popik will kick off the series with an opening concert on on April 28, at Market Square Plaza in front of the Plainsboro Library, 9 Van Doren Street. His group, the JP4, includes John Henry Goldman on trumpet, Lawrence Haber on Bass, and Karttikeya Arul on drums, halo drums and percussion. They will play classic and modern jazz.

The Danny Tobias quartet, led by Tobias on trumpet, will perform outdoors at the Plainsboro Preserve, 80 Scotts Corner Road, on Friday, May 5. The group includes pianist Silas Irvine, Joe Plowman on bass, and Gusten Rudolph on drums. Tobias is best known for improvisation, traditional jazz and swing. He says the quartet will play “swinging jazz” at the festival.

On Friday, May 12, tenor saxophonist Tom Tallitsch will perform the final concert at Market Square with members of his quartet. Accompanying him in an outdoor performance on the Plaza will be Bill Avayou on drums, Steve Varner on bass, and Mike Kennedy on guitar.

All three festival musicians are active in the American jazz scene and have performed throughout the U.S. Tallisch, a composer as well as a performer, is a Posi-Tones Records artist, with 12 albums to his credit. He has played at Smalls Jazz Club, Birdland, Minton’s, the Garage, Paris Bistro, South Jazz Club, and many other jazz venues in the Northeast. He has toured the U.S. as a leader, as well as a sideman.He is also a music teacher for pre-K through sixth grade students at the Princeton Junior School; and he works as a piano teacher to students on the autism spectrum at the Princeton Child Development Institute.

Tobias has been playing professionally since he was 15 years old. A founding member of the Midiri Brothers Sextet, he is a composer, band leader, and arranger. He works frequently with Jerry Rife’s Rhythm Kings and Jonathan Davenport’s Perseverance Jazz Band. He has performed at Birdland, the Lincoln Center Atrium, the Players Club, and many other jazz venues in New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and beyond.

Popik’s repertoire includes classical Brazilian music and American Jazz masters, as well as reworked rock anthems. A composer as well as a performer, he has played at the White House. His recent recordings include “Acoustic Sketches,” with bassist Lawrence Haber; classical jazz instrumental work, the “Sourland Symphony,” three EPs with Ten Foot Tall; and the Grammy-nominated “Fitness Rock & Roll” CD by Miss Amy and Her Big Kids Band.

Because all performances will take place outside, weather permitting, audience members are advised to bring lawn chairs. In case of rain, concerts will be moved indoors. Visit plainsborolibrary.org for more information.