LIVE: Sketches of Influence Tour Launch Party Lucas Confectionary Troy, NY 3/9/2020

Drummer and composer Joe Barna formed his band Sketches of Influence back in 2009 as a vehicle to perform his original compositions. Through the years, it has incorporated many young up and coming musicians as well as veterans of the New York jazz scene who in some cases were Joe’s teachers in college. This edition of the band is no different except he will be bringing 3 fellow musicians on the band’s first tour. The tour will end with 2 days of a live recording at the Middle C Club in Charlotte, NC.

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A celebration fundraising performance was held at the band’s Monday Night residence, Lucas Confectionery in Downtown Troy. Featured performers were:

  • Veteran tenor/soprano saxophonist Brooklyn based Stacy Dillard
  • Veteran locally based bass player Otto Gardner
  • Young Metro NY piano player Davis Whitfield
  • Alto saxophone player to watch Awan Jenkins (Will not be on tour)

The two sets featured many new compositions yet to be recorded as well as ones that have been set on polycarbonate/digits.

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Ivory Romance is a composition dedicated to Joe’s mentor and the late queen of the Nipper town jazz scene Lee Shaw that was first recorded back in 2010. Davis Whitfield was the featured soloist on this, bringing one of the audience members close to tears with his solo.

The Return of Shah is dedicated to the recently relocated to Albany veteran jazz bassist Tarik Shah who has wowed audiences in his performances. This piece was Coltranesque in its intensity and featured Dillard and Jenkins wailing in unison and dueling in an exclamation of pure musical ecstasy.

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9 Maple Syrup is a composition dedicated to the tiny Saratoga bar that frequently hosts local jazz musicians. It featured, Awan, Stacy and Davis wailing away as if in a party.

The band’s next stop will be the Beanrunner’s Café in Peekskill, NY, then a flight to Raleigh with a gig there followed by a drive to Charlotte where they will be recording at the recently opened jazz showcase club Middle C.

Another Nippertown band is looking to break out. Watch out USA!

Photo Gallery by Rudy Lu

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