The Interplay Jazz Orchestra

Event Off Sale: Tickets off sale. Please call 212-581-3080 for reservations.

The Interplay Jazz Orchestra

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Doors: 5:00 pm / Show: 6:00 pm


Off Sale

There is a $10.00 food or drink minimum per person. Dinner is served between 5pm-1am.

The Interplay Jazz Orchestra
The Interplay Jazz Orchestra

“Is there any sound as glorious as that of a big band in full swing? While that question is somewhat rhetorical, there's no question about the fact that the big band was once synonymous with all that was right, good and adventurous in jazz.

While it's true that these large ensembles haven't ruled the roost for quite some time, and the days of Basie, Ellington, Herman, Kenton and the like are long gone, the rumors of the big band's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Europe is full of state sponsored large ensembles, New York seems to birth a new big band every week, and bands built by cutting edge colorists like Maria Schneider continue to get their hard-earned and well-deserved share of the ink. That's where the story often ends when discussions of big bands begin, but that's not the whole story. To get the full picture one has to look beyond the big names and outside the borders of the bustling jazz centers. Plenty of wonderful music is being made in these outlying areas by upstart ensembles like The Interplay Jazz Orchestra. This big band, coming out of Long Island, NY, isn't exactly new, but it's starting to receive more notice these days." - All About Jazz

Some of the finest jazz artists in New York City grew up just a few miles east on Long Island. Some became pros, some became educators. With a history of great music education programs and top jazz educators, Long Island has a unique jazz scene. Enter, The Interplay Jazz Orchestra.

The IJO was formed in 2003 as The Hofstra University Alumni Big Band. The group borrowed some big band charts from jazz professor Dave Lalama and found a steady gig at a local jazz club. The consistent work produced some great music, better memories, and even deeper friendships.

As the line-up changed and solidified into it’s current form, The Interplay Jazz Orchestra was born. Co-directed by trumpeter Gary Henderson and trombonist Joey Devassy, the band has the distinction of being the only active big band on Long Island that performs original music. All of the compositions and arrangements are written by members of the band. The band has been performing bi-monthly at the jazz club TREME (Islip, NY) for the past three years and will begin a monthly residency this summer at The Jazz Loft in Stony Brook. The group has been guest artists at Hofstra University, St. Joseph’s College, and the Three Village School District. They have performed at The Town of Islip Jazz Festival (JazzFest), the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District’s Annual Jazz Festival, and in 2015 played at The Garage in Greenwich Village. Some of the band’s members can also be seen playing with some of the most famous big bands in the world including The Birdland Big Band and The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

The IJO’s debut album “My Love You’re Free” was released in 2013. All About Jazz wrote the band “delivers a debut album with plenty of flash, fanfare and, yes, swing.” It cites John Marshall and Damien Pacheco as improvisational “standouts”. It also adds “[Joey] Devassy’s burly trombone on "Fender Bender" and [Jonathan] Holford’s impassioned work on "Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise" are merely two examples plucked from a long list of fine solo spots.”

The album features arrangements and compositions by seven different members of the band. Previously undiscovered melodies by Billy Strayhorn (“It Is Written in the Stars”) and Duke Pearson (“My Love You’re Free”) were arranged for big band by Chris Scarnato through a commission from local jazz museum (The Jazz Loft) curator Tommy Manuel. These are the only known recordings of these melodies from the two jazz masters.

Interplay’s newest release, “Detour”, was recorded in the summer of 2015 at The Bunker Studios in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Although several members of the band contributed to the writing on this album, a large sum of it is composed or arranged by baritone sax player Chris Scarnato. Scarnato’s “compositions highlight his mastery of writing for winds, ranging from silken sax section runs to more boisterous conversational episodes.” - All About Jazz The album also features new works by Joey Devassy, Chris Doherty, Brent Chiarello (along with his wife Andrea), Gary Henderson, as well as an original piece written for the band by Dave Lalama called “Reunion@Hofstra”. The band is proud to release, what it considers to be the culmination of years of playing, musical chemistry, friendship, and hard work. Dan Bilawsky at All About Jazz penned "The Interplay Jazz Orchestra...completely outdoes itself with Detour."

“[The Interplay Jazz Orchestra] serves as a fine example of the fact that impressive big band music is being created in all sorts of places. Interested parties just have to know where to look.” -All About Jazz (Dan Bilawsky)