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Ben Ferris Octet Holiday Party

  • North Street Cabaret 610 North Street Madison, WI, 53704 United States (map)
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Bassist Ben Ferris has played in a number of ensembles around town since studying at UW-Madison under Richard Davis. In addition to his quintet, which released its debut album last year, and the adventurously twisted quartet Mr. Chair, Ferris plays with an almost entirely different crop of local musicians here in celebration of the holidays. His octet—consisting of brass players Paul Dietrich and Darren Sterud, keyboardist Dave Stoler, saxophonists Nicholas Bartell, Jon Hoel, and Luke Busch, and percussionist Michael Koszewski—are joined by vocalist Rose Heckenkamp-Busch for this performance. These musicians are aware that not everyone in attendance prefers Christmas music. So, they leave it up to the audience to decide what's on the program. Audience members are encouraged to come prepared to vote via the classic dual-tip-jar technique: Christmas tunes or not. Whatever the audience decides, the Ben Ferris Octet will undoubtedly provide thoughtful, energetic, and tight interpretations of jazz standard favorites. —Emili Earhart