Monday Night Concert: Purim Quartet

musical noteThe Monday Night Concert Series features the Purim Quartet’s Royal Jam Band at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6, at the Oak Park Arms, 408 S. Oak Park Ave. The concert will highlight compositions for the Jewish holidays by band member Shimon Marcucci.

The compositions blend Jazz, Middle Eastern riffs and Indian ragas with steady rhythmic grooves and meditative introductory improvisations.

Oct. 6 is a few days after Yom Kippur and a few days before Sukkot. The theme of these Jewish holidays is happiness. On the first of these holidays people tend to look into themselves in order to acknowledge their highest nature, and near the final holidays, they give thanks with great happiness and dancing.

In much the same fashion, many of these compositions begin with a slower introduction in an Eastern style (Arabic, Indian raga or Jewish) and build toward a fast theme and variations in a happy mood. This process mirrors the progression of many Jewish holidays close together in late September and throughout October.

The Purim Quartet ensemble includes Mike Staron on bass, Rick Shandling on drums, Ray Coyle on the vibraphone and percussion, and Marcucci on saxophone.

Staron has been a teacher, composer and bass player for nearly 40 years. Having spent most of his life in Chicago, he has performed with celebrated figures in jazz, theater and other genres such as Bill McFarland, Bobby Enriquez, Hall Russell and The Chicago Horns.

Shandling is a drummer and composer who is a regularly featured artist in the Chicagoland jazz scene. He is also a drum set teacher for beginning, intermediate and professional-level students.

Coyle is a mallet player, composer and percussionist originally from the U.K. He is active in a variety of musical projects and also teaches at several schools. He has composed music for both film and dance and has performed in England and Europe. He is also an instructor and lecturer at DePaul University and Triton College in the Chicagoland area.

Marcucci has long been intrigued by the exotic sounds from the combination of Western and Eastern musical traditions and has even composed works which served as the foundation for improvisation of “Sephardic-Jewish-Arabic-classical-type” harmonies.

Oak Park Arms Senior Living is a rental retirement community which provides senior housing in the form of independent living. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information call 708-386-4040.