Band members like puzzle pieces to Summit Jazz Consort founder
February 28, 2008
SUMMIT COUNTY Going on 13 years now, a local group of musicians led by Mark Jeffery has been fitting the needs of weddings and special events, along with gigging at local establishments.The Summit Jazz Consort is made up of 18 musicians, including trombone and bass player Jeffery, who chooses from the pool to arrange the best group of musicians for each gig.This custom order band idea came to Jeffery one night when he and his group were leaving at the same time another band was coming in.We were walking down the stairway with 400 pounds of gear and another group was walking up the stairs with their 400 pounds of gear, Jeffery said. He realized then that this was likely a common occurrence at weddings, which can expect to have one group for the ceremony and another for cocktails or dinner.Our flexibility makes us so popular, Jeffery said. For a typical wedding, theres usually a piano or classical guitar to play the service, then a trio for cocktail hour and after dinner we might add a drummer or sax or a couple of horns.Jeffery remembers a bride he worked with on a goth wedding theme. He arranged a dark version of Here Comes the Bride in minor key with diminished chords, but still recognizable.She had a black dress, black lipstick, black nails … she loved it, he said.Most of the Consort members play in other bands, like John Bartmann, who lives in Denver and plays with the Queen City Jazz Band. Jeffery himself also plays with the Sal Mancini Trio and Those Austrian Guys when not running sound for town events through his business Custom Audio.Rick Weingarten, whos been with the Consort for about six years, described the group as a family.Sometimes you dont know whos going to be there, but its always a blast, he said.He travels from Denver, as many of the members now do.Jennifer Kirby Federocko noted how the group has changed over the last 10 years, with many like herself having kids and moving to Denver.But Jeffery has been able to keep the group connected.There are lulls sometimes … but Mark just keeps calling everybody, she said.Catch the Summit Jazz Consort in different forms every Thursday for live jazz at Ti Amos in Silverthorne.Leslie Brefeld can be reached at (970) 668-4626 or firstname.lastname@example.org.