Save the date!!! You will want to set aside the evening of Friday, August 26, to experience the music of the Dave Bennett’s Quartet.
Friday, August 26
Please invite family and friends to join us as we hear these wonderful musicians play in our own BSLC Sanctuary at 7:00 p.m. Come enjoy a wonderful evening of music. This is a non-ticketed event, but there will be a free will offering with a suggested donation of $10 per person.
“The Dave Bennett Quartet presents an intense and emotional musical experience. Bennett and his band perform hard driving swing, rockabilly, jazz, pop, gospel, and original songs. Listeners will recognize the influences of Benny Goodman, Pete Fountain, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Beatles, Chris Isaak, Peter Gabriel, and Phil Collins.”
Dave Bennett – Clarinet, Guitar, Piano, Vocal
Dave Bennett doesn’t fit the mold. For starters, you don’t find many jazz clarinet players who name Alice Cooper, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Chris Isaak among their influences. You won’t find many musicians who are equally conversant with the music of Benny Goodman (the “King of Swing”) and Roy Orbison (“The Soul of Rock and Roll”). In fact, you may not find even one other clarinet virtuoso who breaks from his Swing Era repertoire to sing rockabilly hits while accompanying himself at the piano or electric guitar.
In the early days of jazz, the clarinet joined with trumpet and trombone to create the music’s signature sound, and it ruled the roost in the Swing Era, when jazz was America’s popular music and dance- party soundtrack. If anyone can return the clarinet to its heyday, it’s Dave Bennett, who fuses serious jazz improvisation with a host of modern pop influences.
Dave has been a featured soloist at Carnegie Hall with The New York Pops (2013) and has been featured with 35 other US and Canadian orchestras including Nashville, Detroit, Rochester, Omaha, Toronto, Vancouver, Orlando, San Antonio, Jacksonville, Portland, OR and Portland, ME. Some of his annual appearances include The Elkhart Jazz Festival, The Suncoast Classic Jazz Festival, The Arizona Classic Jazz Festival, The Sacramento Hot Jazz Jubilee, The Clambake Music Festival, and The Redwood Coast Music Festival.
Dave has been featured on NPR Radio’s “Jazz at Riverwalk.” He made his European debut in 2008 at the The Bern Jazz Festival (Switzerland) in a combo with jazz legends and Benny Goodman band alumni guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli and vibraphonist, the late Peter Appleyard.
Dave is a Mack Avenue Records artist. His 2013 CD “Don’t Be That Way” met with critical acclaim. His second release, Blood Moon, which features five originals and six pop/jazz covers, reached No 24 on the Billboard Jazz charts in 2018. Bennett is currently recording a new album of rock originals, composed during 2020, which will be released in 2022.
Jeff Kressler – Piano
Jeff Kressler has been an active jazz pianist and arranger for many years. He received his B.M. and M.M. from Michigan State University, and has contributed dozens of arrangements to the libraries of both the Spartan Marching Band and the Jazz Ensemble. He has also written arrangements for the Lansing & Flint Symphony Orchestras in addition to bands at several universities and high schools throughout the nation. In addition, he has many original compositions and arrangements published by Watchdog Music. He has also performed with many of the top jazz artists in Michigan, and has played with both the Woody Herman and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestras. While at Michigan State Jeff was one of Leonard Falcone’s euphonium students, and is now on the board of directors of the Leonard Falcone International Tuba/Euphonium competition held at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp every summer.
Jeff is a retired high school band director of DeWitt Public Schools, a former director of the Alma College Jazz Ensemble, and is currently in his 12th year as the Jazz Keyboard instructor at Central Michigan University.
Ed Fedewa – Bass
Ed Fedewa serves as Instructor of Double Bass at Central Michigan University. He is a member of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, and serves as a mentor in the Lansing Symphony Mentor program. Fedewa has performed in the pit orchestras of numerous Broadway shows at the Wharton Center and with the Boarshead Theater and has performed with the Moody Blues and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. Fedewa has recorded with the Capitol Jazz Quartet, Shawn Wallace, Ann Elizabeth and many others.
In addition to performing and teaching, Fedewa restores double basses at the Guarneri House in Grand Rapids.
Fedewa received a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Michigan State University.
Pete Siers – Drums
Coming from a Polish-American family, Pete Siers' first exposure to music came from listening to polkas at home. Starting piano lessons at the age of 6, he continued with the ivories until he heard the US Army Big Band with a drummer who impressed Siers to the point that he switched to drums.
Siers earned a music degree from Aquinas College where he played with the jazz ensemble. In 1984, he joined the John Shea Trio and then moved on to play with Detroit pianist Eddie Russ, opening the door to gigs and recording sessions with such Detroit musicians as Paul Keller, Bess Bonnier and blues and boogie woogie piano player Mr. B. Since 1987, Siers has been a member of the Keller-Kocher Quartet, which released its first album Midnight Sun in 1993.
Siers is comfortable with virtually any style of jazz music. In addition to performing with big bands and small groups, he has performed with musicians representing dissimilar styles, including Lee Konitz, Sonny Fortune, Doc Cheatham, Frank Morgan and Warren Vache. He has appeared at the North Sea, Playboy, Sunfest and other major jazz festivals in the United States and Europe. Siers also heads Los Gatos, a Latin jazz quintet featuring the music of Cal Tjader and the Pete Siers Quartet, which explores creative improvisional material.