(CUMMINGTON, Mass.) – Jazz greats Charles Neville and Avery Sharpe will headline a musical fundraiser for the Old Creamery Cooperative on Friday, August 26 at 7 p.m. in the Plainfield Congregational Church. Local gypsy-jazz band Swing Caravan will open. The Old Creamery in Cummington, the general store and cultural and social center for the central hilltowns, is in the process of transitioning to a community-owned cooperative, with over 400 member-owners to date.
Charles Neville’s saxophone work in his 50 year career has included rhythm & blues, funk, jazz, bebop, popular, and native American music. Best known for his work with his brothers in the New Orleans funk-pop group the Neville Brothers, he cites as influences Louis Jordan, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Professor Longhair. Neville has played with R&B greats including Johnny Ace, Little Walter, Jimmy Reed, Big Maybelle, James Brown, B.B. King, Bobby Bland and Ray Charles. At home in New Orleans, he played saxophone behind Allen Toussaint, James Booker, Ernie K-Doe and Huey “Piano” Smith.
Avery Sharpe learned both electric and acoustic bass as a teenager, and studied with Reggie Workman at the University of Massachusetts. He played with Wynton Marsalis and Pat Metheny before joining McCoy Tyner’s sextet; from 1984 through 2002 he played with Tyner’s trio. He has also played as a sideman with Archie Shepp, Yusef Lateef, Ricky Ford, Joe Ford, and others. As a leader, he has releases on Sunnyside Records, and several albums on his own label, JKNM.
Sharpe is remarkably versatile as a bassist. He plays both bass guitar and upright bass. His humming-and-bowing, à la Slam Stewart, as well as his chord work on stand-up bass, are signatures of his unique style.
Tickets are $25 and are available for advance purchase at the Old Creamery in Cummington.