Jazz Combo Part Two: A St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
By Emily Hughes, Live Wire Managing Editor
The Landmark Café on Main Street in downtown Manchester was given the gift of a full house on Friday night due to St. Patrick’s Day. For two former Jazz Combo students, Noah Negron and Jason LaPierre, who performed in late January, it was an opportunity to play a venue that was more than eager to bring them back.
“It is always a pleasure to play jazz to those who enjoy it as much as we do,” LaPierre said.
The concert style was different this time around as the band members added two new members to the roster: bassist named Derrik Basse and drummer Jeremy Besk.
While they didn’t attend MCC, Negron met Besk through playing at Manchester High School’s Jazz Combo and Jazz Ensemble while Lapierre met Basse through an advertisement for lessons; Negron and LaPierre then realized they had mutual friends.
With these recent additions, backing tracks were no longer needed. “It sounds fuller, said Negron, “while backing tracks can be useful, they are restricting.”
“With the band, we have more freedom,” said Negron. LaPierre later added that the band is also better because they “can work off each other” rather than keeping in rhythm with the tracks.
The concert started with bagpipes, which were played by Paul Peterson of the Manchester Fire Department. The jazz set began shortly afterwards with a set list that included “Misty,” “Take Five,” and “Out of Nowhere.”
In between their set, Irish step dancers Molly Atzbach and Alexa Wisnieski performed. Former MCC Jazz Combo student Armany Manrique, who came to see the band, also took over on trumpet for Negron and eventually joined him and band for a couple more songs on their set list.
Although Elaine Hadge and Jim Deere have managed the café since 2012, concerts started only a year and a half ago.
Since then, they have hosted bands such as a classic rock band called Skylark Drive and cover band Sweet Tarts. Negron and LaPierre asked if they could play a set, and the date was set for January 27.
Hadge and Deere, were delighted by the positive feedback from restaurant goers. They were more than eager to host them when Negron and Lapierre asked if they could play there again. “They have quite a following,” Hadge commented when asked about how she thought Friday evening went.
“It wasn’t hard to believe; there were plenty of customers sitting at the bar and filling the restaurant air with good spirits” she said.
When asked about the band’s future performances and/or shows, Lapierre stated that they are playing at the café again on Saturday, April 29 and to stay tuned for other opportunities that come their way.
To find out more about concerts being held at the Landmark Café, visit their official Facebook page which can also be found on their website at www.thelandmarkcafe.com
Hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. with breakfast being served until 11:30 a.m. weekdays and 1:00 p.m. weekends. It is closed on Tuesdays.