LIVE: Brad Monkell Group and Tarik Shah Trio @ Madison Theater, Albany, 7/26/2020

Bands raising money for charity isn’t a new concept. Musicians have always been generous with their time and talent to raise money for their favorite charity.

In our strange and challenging times, this called for an unusual setting and performance/ listening space. The musicians played inside the coffee house/restaurant adjacent to the theater and the audience was restricted to the outside. It was challenging but worked. Everyone was happy to play and hear live music again.

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Brad Monkell organized a concert that featured his band and the Tarik Shah Trio at the Madison Theater. Two different bands that are headed by bass players. The veteran Tarik (on both electric and acoustic bass) heading his guitar trio featuring guitar virtuoso Luke Franco on guitar and rising local star Quentin Cain on drums. They played a variety of jazz standards ranging from John Coltrane’s “Equinox” to lighter fare such as “My Funny Valentine” and “Caravan”.

Brad’s band was more on the funky side of things. Guided by Brad’s “in the pocket” bass with drummer Dylan Suski, his band was deeply in the groove. Perfect music to chill on a hot Sunday afternoon. Jeff Nania’s full-toned tenor locked together with Anthony “Bubie” Faison on guitar and keyboard player Marcelle Johnson filling in nicely with a nice set of funk. Among the recognizable tunes was the old Herbie Hancock Headhunter‘s classic “Hang up your Hangups” that had this writer grooving along in his seat.

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Donations were taken for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the South End Children’s Cafe.

Brad’s band will be playing for charity again on 8/9 in Greenville at the Veteran’s Park Gazebo next to the Library. This benefit will be for the St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Photo Gallery by Rudy Lu

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