Chicago jazz unit the Joe Policastro Trio are coming to Windsor this week for an intimate gig at Phog Lounge on Thursday (Nov. 15) to support their latest album Screen Sounds and debut some new music from their next release.
Policastro has performed with the likes of Pat Boone and his band members Dave Miller and Mikel Avery have shared the stage with many Chicago jazz greats like Rob Mazurek and international stars like Brazilian composer, pianist Clarice Assad, among others.
“We’ve been going to Detroit for a few years playing places like the Jazz Cafe or Cliff Bell’s and I was looking for something in the Canadian area and happened upon the Phog Lounge,” Policastro told 519 Magazine. “I like to look for venues that are not just jazz. Phog has this really eclectic mix of music and we made an effort to put it back on the on the tour this time around.”
The trio has released three very different albums all themed to different styles. 2017’s Screen Sounds is collection of music from films such as The Godfather and Blade Runner, and TV shows such as Taxi, The Young and the Restless, and Twin Peaks. Other releases include 2013’s West Side Story Suite with an interpretation of the Bernstein classic, and 2016’s POPS! featuring jazz interpretations of pop tunes from the 60s to the 90s.
“The thing I’m most proud of is that the band has a really defined sound,” he explained. “So whether we’re playing Thelonious Monk or the theme to the Young and the Restless or an original song, these things sit naturally next to each other and on paper that sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. It’s almost at this point like the material’s incidental. I think when people see the group, and as long as you keep an open mind, you’ll realize that this is absolutely a jazz group. We hope that the music translates well, we hope the people enjoy the experience and we hope they like having material they’ve heard presented to them in another context being reinterpreted.”
Beyond Chicago and even Windsor, the band has completed several tours – having even performed for President Barack Obama. As sidemen, band members Joe Policastro (Pat and Debby Boone, Phil Woods, Jeff Hamilton, Diane Schuur), Dave Miller (Clarice Assad, Patricia Barber, Algernon), and Mikel Avery (Joshua Abrams, Theaster Gates, Rob Mazurek) have shared the stage with a wide array of musicians but dedicate collectively to this trio.
The Joe Policastro Trio hit the Phog Lounge stage at 8pm on Thursday. Tickets are only $10. Visit www.phoglounge.com for more information.