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Fri, Nov 19


Merrimans' Playhouse

Dave Meder / Songs and Stories Trio

In this performance, the Dave Meder Songs and Stories Trio brings a fresh chamber music-like approach to the traditional jazz trio format.

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Dave Meder / Songs and Stories Trio
Dave Meder / Songs and Stories Trio

Time & Location

Nov 19, 2021, 7:00 PM – 9:05 PM EST

Merrimans' Playhouse, 401 E Colfax Ave, South Bend, IN 46617, USA


About the Event

TICKETS are $10 General/$5 Student.

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from the Wells Philanthropic Services provided by grants from the John, Anna, and Martha Jane Fields Memorial Trust Foundation and the Florence V. Carroll Charitable Trust, The Esther and George Jaruga Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County's ArtsEverywhere initiative, and the Arts Project Support Grant and Arts Recovery Grant through the Indiana Arts Commission.

The personnel is Dave Meder (piano), Marty Jaffe (bass) and Jonathan Barber (drums).

In this performance, the Dave Meder Songs and Stories Trio brings a fresh chamber music-like approach to the traditional jazz trio format: moving seamlessly from old gospel standards to bold deconstructions of avant-gardists like Thelonious Monk and Andrew Hill, to intricate explorations inspired by American minimalists like Philip Glass and John Adams. They will also be celebrating the release of Meder’s sophomore album, Unamuno Songs and Stories, a stunning response to recent social upheavals in the United States. The trio is lauded for its remarkably "postmodern sense of stylistic adventure," incorporating what All About Jazz describes as “a vibrant hybrid of the whole American spectrum.

Pianist, composer, and educator Dave Meder is one of the prominent artists of his generation, known for a panoramic musical approach that has earned him slots in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition and the American Pianists Awards. His defining aesthetic is a remarkably postmodern sense of stylistic adventure, incorporating what All About Jazz describes as “a vibrant hybrid of the whole American spectrum.”

In his 2019 debut, Passage, Meder established himself as a uniquely versatile and broad-minded artist, traversing his way through an affecting gospel standard, a title track inspired by American minimalists Philip Glass and John Adams, a dramatic elegy inspired by Baroque-era operatic harmonies, as well as pieces featuring generation-defining saxophonists Miguel Zenón and Chris Potter. The Ottawa Citizen counted Passage among its top five 2019 jazz debuts, and All Music Guide included the album in its “Favorite Jazz Albums of 2019,” noting the balance of “post-bop harmonies with soulful gospel warmth and contemporary classical sophistication.” His 2021 release, Unamuno Songs and Stories, is a stunning response to recent sociopolitical turmoil in the United States, using the writings of Spanish Civil War-era philosopher Miguel de Unamuno as the basis for an intensely emotive set exploring the tensions between democracy and authoritarianism, internationalism and nationalism, and religious faith and non-belief.

His compositions have garnered various awards and commissions, including the ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award, the International Songwriting Competition, and the First Music Commission of the New York Youth Symphony. Meder has headlined at a host of prominent performance venues and educational residencies around the world, including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Smalls Jazz Club, The Kennedy Center, and Beijing Normal University’s International Music Festival. He is a recent recipient of the prestigious Fulbright US Scholar Award for Visual and Performing Awards, which brings him to Egypt as a guest artist and lecturer in 2022.

During his undergraduate studies at Florida State University — from which Meder graduated summa cum laude with degrees in jazz studies, Spanish and political science — tutelage under Marcus Roberts bolstered his strikingly authentic handle on historical jazz piano styles. During these years, Meder was also fortunate to immerse himself in this lineage firsthand by being selected for two of the most crucial incubators in jazz education, the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at The Kennedy Center, and the Steans Music Instituteat the Ravinia Festival (led at the time by the late David Baker). Upon his graduation in 2013, Meder won the esteemed Great American Jazz Piano Competition.

Meder later earned an Artist Diploma from Juilliard, where he taught and toured as part of the premier ensemble of the school while studying with Kenny Barron, Fred Hersch, Mark Turner, Dave Douglas, Philip Lasser and others. He now holds a professorship at the University of North Texas, one of the most renowned jazz studies programs in the world. Concurrent to his formal education, Meder worked for several years as the music director of Fordham Lutheran Church in the Bronx, furthering another creative through-line in his life. Indeed, his music conveys a tremendous depth, yet remains eminently soulful, an aspiration not often achieved in modern jazz.

Dave Meder is a YAMAHA Artist.

Marty Jaffe is an exciting new voice on the double bass. He is known for his deep sense of groove, lyricism, rich sound, and sensitivity. As a bassist, composer, and improviser, his musical roots are in the tradition of Black American Music often called jazz. However, he also has deep background in classical and Brazilian music. His versatility has helped him become one of New York City’s most in demand bassists. He has shared the stage with musical icons Wynton Marsalis, Ingrid Jensen, Karrin Allyson, Harold Mabern, Sullivan Fortner, Sergio Mendes, and Steve Wilson. He has also performed in interdisciplinary productions directed by choreographers Bill T. Jones and Debbie Allen through the national YoungArts foundation. When not in NYC, Marty tours throughout the US and the world with numerous groups, especially with renowned vocalist Karrin Allyson and pianist Ben Rosenblum.

Originally from Conway, Massachusetts, Marty moved to New York in 2012 to enroll at Columbia and Juilliard, where he studied under the tutelage of musical giants Ron Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Ray Drummond, Frank Kimbrough and many others. His accolades include being named a 2012 Presidential Scholar in the Arts and winning the International Society of Bassists’ jazz competition in 2013.

Marty’s original compositions and arrangements have been performed throughout the world, including at such venues as the Kennedy Center, The New World Center for the Arts, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. In addition, he has given numerous interactive performances for young people and taught students across the globe. Marty has also recorded widely and can be heard on albums by Jen Allen, Miro Sprague, Ben Rosenblum, Chris Pattishall, Andy Jaffe, Kristin Berardi, and Jonathan Ragonese. Marty currently co-leads an innovative trio with guitarist Jason Ennis and pianist Miro Sprague, which features original compositions by each member drawing on influences from Brazilian music, Classical Chamber music, free improvisation and more.

New York City-based Jonathan Barber was voted the #1 Up-and-Coming Drummer of 2018 in Modern Drummer. Only 29 years old, he has already recorded and toured worldwide with such artists as Pat Metheny, Nicholas Payton, Buster Williams, Jeremy Pelt, Wallace Roney, Terrace Martin, Jennifer Holiday, Harold Mabern, Steve Davis, Stefon Harris, and many more. Barber has also been called on for such significant performances as Jimmy Greene’s Ana Grace Project (with an all-star band comprised of Greene, Kenny Barron, John Patitucci, and Kurt Elling) and back-to-back sold-out concerts with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and Erykah Badu at the BAM Opera House.

In addition to his first-call status as a sideman, Barber has recently stepped forth as a composer and leader with his Vision Ahead band, featuring saxophonist Godwin Louis, guitarist Andrew Renfroe, bassist Matt Dwonszyk, and pianist Taber Gable. Even with Barber’s history of high-profile gigs and recordings taken into consideration, DownBeat magazine calls Vision Ahead’s self-titled debut album his “greatest accomplishment to date.” Released on Rockwood Music Hall’s largest stage in May 2018, Vision Ahead is a powerful declaration of intent for a band that’s been making waves on the modern jazz scene since its debut performance at Smalls Jazz Club. The group’s blend of classic, swinging jazz with elements of gospel, rock, soul, and fusion is a compelling showcase of Barber’s broad stylistic range as a composer and performer. Jonathan Barber & Vision Ahead was featured and headline the 2018 Rainy Days Jazz Festival held in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia.

Born in Hartford, CT, Barber has been playing drums since the age of five, initially falling in love with the instrument through watching his father perform in the family church. Barber’s upbringing in the church instilled within him a deep appreciation of the power, passion, and full sound of the gospel music tradition, and he now brings its infectious energy to the wide range of styles in his musical toolkit. Early influences also includes beginning George Duke, Fred Hammond, Weather Report, Yellowjackets and Commissioned, and classic jazz titans like Miles Davis, Jackie Mclean, Art Blakey, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Tony Williams and Thelonious Monk. With soul, impeccable groove, and explosive chops, Barber has synthesized his favorite traditions into a thoroughly modern and endlessly adaptable musical expression that connects with listeners from across generations.


  • General

    $10 Advanced or Door

    Sale ended
  • Student

    $5 Student/Discount

    Sale ended



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