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June 24, 2016 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm EDT$10
Medusa is a Hartford-based jazz quartet that plays mostly standards, contemporary R&B and some original compositions. Drummer Jocelyn Pleasant co-founded the group with tap dancer Corey Hutchins, whom she met through the Artists Collective in Hartford, a few years ago. After a few lineup changes, pianist Orice Jenkins and bassist Matt Dwonszyk, two terrific musicians, are solidly on board too.
Pleasant, a Middletown resident who teaches music at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, said she and Hutchins wanted to bring something unique to the local jazz scene. “We wanted to do something that’s not in Hartford,” Pleasant said. “Tap dancers are an integral part of the origins of jazz.”
For one thing, there’s the rhythmic complexity, like adding a second drummer; Hutchins and Pleasant can equally chop up the beat while playing around with the groove. “It’s actually great for me,” Pleasant said. “Corey and I have a lot of the same rhythmic sensibilities, and we work really well together.”
-Michael Hammad for The Hartford Courant