A Madison band tastefully expands the traditions of the Hammond organ into the present. Info
Madison musician Mike Cammilleri has carved out a very specific niche for himself as a Hammond organ player. He not only owns a few of the unwieldy vintage instruments—and plays live with them, bass pedals and spinning speaker cabinets and all—but also grasps the role the organs began to play in American nightlife during the 1950s, anchoring versatile trios that crowds expected to play everything from jazz workouts to on-request covers of pop hits. Hammond organs also had a place in the Wisconsin tradition of supper clubs, and Cammilleri channels that warm but kitschy aesthetic, often decked out in a suit and sipping old fashioneds between songs.
Still, there's more to it than nostalgia; Cammilleri really tries to explore the organ's full range, from hefty bass tones to shimmery gospel chords to fleet staccato leads, and mixes in more contemporary material alongside blues and swing classics. Cammilleri will play here with Vince Jesse on guitar and Al Falaschi on drums. This iteration of the organ trio is already working on a new EP, and Cammilleri says the audience at North Street can expect covers of artists including Christopher Cross, Bobby Brown, Jane Childs, and Michael Jackson, in addition to a more traditional mix of jazz standards, blues, and ballads. —Scott Gordon