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Wed, Sep 20


Merrimans' Playhouse

Tim Armacost Quintet

Tim Armacost has gathered a group of veteran jazz improvisers to bring to life the music he composed with their unique personalities in mind. The group has been developing its identity and its dance with the audience in performances over the last 5 years around the New York City.

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Tim Armacost Quintet
Tim Armacost Quintet

Time & Location

Sep 20, 2023, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Merrimans' Playhouse, 401 E Colfax Ave, Suite 135, South Bend, IN 46617, USA


About the Event

TICKETS are $20 General/$10 Student. End time is estimate.

Special acknowledgement: VIBES provided by Jim Catalano.

The Inevitable Note Tour  - September 2023 - Touring from NYC

Tim Armacost, along with band mates Joe Locke, Jim Ridl, Kenny Davis and Rudy Royston, is currently celebrating the release of The Inevitable Note, his seventeenth album as a leader. Note is Armacost’s first album composed entirely with specific artists in mind, and the unity of purpose is evident in the band’s passionate delivery of the music. With the recording already garnering critical praise, the group presented the newly pressed LP at New York’s Jazz Forum in four sold out performances. The quintet will be on tour in the US in September of 2023.

Tim Armacost – saxophones, composer, leader

Joe Locke – vibraphone

Jim Ridl – piano

Kenny Davis – bass

Rudy Royston – drums

Tim Armacost has gathered a group of veteran jazz improvisers to bring to life the music he composed with their unique personalities in mind. The group has been developing its identity and its dance with the audience in performances over the last 5 years around the New York area, and had its first overseas exposure on a State Department sponsored Cultural Diplomacy tour to Chad in the summer of 2022.

The group is united in its desire to present inspiring music built around the following values:


· Compositions performed and recorded to sound great a hundred years from now

· Master Musicians playing their hearts out for each other

· Collectively the band has committed 200 years of experience to playing modern jazz

· Music created to bring pleasure and surprise upon repeated listening

· First recording delivered as Audiophile LP, on 180 gram vinyl


· Six new compositions from Grammy nominee Tim Armacost

· Three dynamic reinterpretations of standards

· Five musicians, each with his own unique voice, blended into an organic whole

· A listening experience that vibrates in the tension between the comfort of familiarity and the energy-burst of surprise


· Authentic, no-holds-barred, modern swinging jazz

· Armacost explores the Duke Ellington inspired method of composing specifically for the individuals in the band

· Group members have performed with and learned from the masters of the lineage, like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Billy Hart, Al Foster, Ray Drummond, Kenny Barron, Bill Frisell, Pat Martino, Dave Liebman, and countless others.

“Saxophonist Tim Armacost is a force to be reckoned with. He has slowly and steadily built a reputation and a body of work that has marked him out as a player of great originality and distinction.” - Nick Lea, JazzViews, February 23, 2023

After a life of travel and discovery on three continents, Grammy winning saxophonist and author Tim Armacost has established himself as one of the most important improvisers on the New York scene today. Armacost was born in Los Angeles, but came of age as a musician in Tokyo, New Delhi and Amsterdam, where he burnished his reputation as an upcoming talent, with a big tenor sound and an impeccable rhythmic sense. He tours regularly around the world both as a sideman and a leader, working with a phenomenal number of jazz greats, including Al Foster, Jimmy Cobb, Kenny Barron, Tom Harrell, Billy Hart, Victor Lewis, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Peter Erskine, Ray Drummond, Roy Hargrove, Don Friedman and Randy Brecker. He has recorded 17 critically acclaimed records as a leader, performed on more than 60 as a sideman, and has composed and arranged for Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

Armacost is a widely respected educator, teaching at the Aaron Copland School of Music in New York City, the Jamey Aebersold and Stanford Summer Jazz Workshops, and as a clinician at universities throughout the U.S., Japan and Europe. He is the author of The Jazz Saxophone Book, commissioned by the renowned jazz publisher, Chuck Sher. In addition to his own groups, Armacost co-leads the New York Standards Quartet and the Brooklyn Big Band, for which he composes and arranges. He is a member of Emilio Solla’s Grammy nominated group Inestabile de Brooklyn and won a Grammy with Solla’s Tango Jazz Orchestra in 2020 for their recording Puertos.

Joe Locke is widely considered to be one of the major voices of his instrument. He has performed and recorded with a diverse range of notable musicians, including Grover Washington Jr, Raul Midón, Kenny Barron, Eddie Henderson, Cecil Taylor, Dianne Reeves, Eddie Palmieri, Ron Carter, The Beastie Boys, the Münster Symphony Orchestra, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, the Orchestra da Camera della Sardegna and the Lincoln, Nebraska Symphony. Long known to be a soloist capable of stunning physical power and broad emotional range, it was not until the last decade that he emerged as the composer, bandleader and conceptualist that he is considered today. This is in no small part due to his solo projects since the beginning of the 2000s. “Four Walls of Freedom” (Sirocco), a 6 movement suite based on the writing of the monk Thomas Merton, which he composed as a vehicle for tenor saxophonist Bob Berg, garnered high praise from the critical community as a major work and won several international polls. “Live in Seattle” (Origin), by The Joe Locke / Geoffrey Keezer Group, won the 2006 EarShot award for “Concert of the Year”. This group is well-loved and emulated by younger musicians looking for direction and inspiration. The overwhelming success of his quartets, such as “Force of Four” (Origin), can be attributed to the talents of Locke’s exceptional collaborators and to the leader’s musical philosophy, which is to honor tradition while keeping both feet planted in the present and future. His 2011 album, the captivating, immersive “VIA”, is the result of a reunion of Storms/Nocturnes, the transatlantic trio with Geoffrey Keezer and Tim Garland.

In 2011 Joe joined the Motéma label for four intrinsically different albums bearing witness of his immense stylistic versatility and ability to create artistic depth in a variety of contexts. Locke is a six-time recipient of the Jazz Journalists Association’s “Mallet Instrumentalist of the Year” Award, has received two Earshot Golden Ear Awards for “Concert of the Year” and the 2013 Hot House NYC Jazz Awards for Best Vibes Player, and keeps topping critics and readers polls. In 2016 Joe was honoured with the induction into the Music Hall of Fame of his hometown Rochester, NY. As an active clinician and educator in the United States and in Europe he is a faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music and has been the International Vibraphone Consultant at the Royal Academy Of Music, London, on a visiting basis since 2008, holding the title of Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy Of Music (Hon ARAM) since 2013.

"One of the world’s most versatile vibes masters."  – Gary Walker, Hot House

“Locke has secured a spot among the world’s top jazz vibists – and one of the most popular. Without sacrificing his jazz integrity or intent, Locke still manages to engage even casual listeners with a mixture of edgy attitude and artistic purity.”  – Neil Tesser, Chicago Examiner

Jim Ridl, a New York City-based jazz pianist, composer and teacher, performs and records worldwide with a variety of jazz artists, including The Joe Locke Quartet, The Paul Jost Quartet, and The Dave Liebman Big Band. His own groups perform regularly at the renowned 55 Bar in NYC, and at Brooklyn’s Soapbox Gallery, both venues for creative and original jazz. Jim has 9 recordings of his own, including Ask for the Ancient Path (May 2022), and Standards Live (August 2022), and he has been featured on hundreds of recordings of other artists. Jim is on the faculty at New York Jazz Workshop and The City College of New York, and maintains an active private studio. Jim’s tenure with jazz guitar legend Pat Martino included performances around the world in quartet and duet, and produced 4 outstanding recordings: Nexus, Interchange, Night Wings and The Maker. Additionally, Jim has performed and/or recorded with Steve Wilson, Randy Brecker, Marc Johnson, Bill Stewart, Denis DiBlasio, Jay Anderson, Tim Armacost, Kenny Davis, Cliff Almond, Wayne Krantz, Joel Rosenblatt, JD Walter, Donald Edwards, Chris Tarry, Scott Reeves, Gabriela Anders, Rudy Royston, Ximo Tebar, Darryl Hall, Zach Brock, Tim Horner, Ralph Bowen, Dean Johnson, John Benitez, Diane Monroe, Donny McCaslin, Mark Walker, Terrell Stafford, Vic Juris, and Francois Moutin. Jim has toured with the US State Department American Music Abroad program, performing and offering workshops in Asia-Pacific, Russia, South Korea, China, the Philippines, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Slovania and Malta. Jim has conducted master classes and subbed for colleagues at New York University, City College of New York, Temple University and William Paterson University, was the Art Tatum Memorial Scholarship Artist at the University of Toledo, and Visiting Jazz Artist at Princeton University, where he also directed several ensembles.

Ridl was raised on a farm and ranch in North Dakota, and discovered his love for piano and jazz at an early age. He attended the University of Colorado at Denver, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Scoring and Arranging, and was awarded its Student Achievement Award for composing “Ocean Sojourn,” an orchestral tone poem which he performed with the Denver Symphony Orchestra. In Denver, Jim began his professional career performing and touring with local and nationally-recognized musicians, including the Grammy-nominated vocal jazz group, Rare Silk.

“A veteran pianist who also spent considerable time in the trenches and is now a respected musician’s musician.” Steve Futterman, The New Yorker

Bassist Kenny Davis is a native of Chicago, Illinois. He began his musical journey listening to such great R&B artists as Earth Wind & Fire, Brothers Johnson and The Temptations. First being self taught, he then studied music theory with David Holder Sr. Davis went on to Northeastern Illinois University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education. Upon entering Northeastern University, he discovered jazz music and he quickly became part of the Chicago jazz scene, playing with Von Freeman, Ari Brown and Fred Anderson. He went on to study classical bass with Warren Benfield of the Chicago Symphony, and had a number of lessons with Jeffrey Bradetich. A versatile and in-high-demand sideman, Davis’ jazz influences include Ray Brown, Paul Chambers, Ron Carter, Jaco Pastorius and Verdine White. Davis moved to New York in 1986, where he played with Out of the Blue (OTB), and then quickly adapted to the New York scene, appearing with such artists as Freddie Hubbard, Cassandra Wilson, Abbey Lincoln, Diane Reeves and Art Farmer, while studying music with Ron Carter. One of the highlights of his career was arranging a song on the Grammy Award winning CD by vocalist Cassandra Wilson, "Blue Light Till Dawn." Throughout the 90's, Davis toured with such notable jazz artists as Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves and Art Farmer. In 1999, he got the call from Kevin Eubanks, then band leader/music director of The Tonight Show Band. Davis was the bassist of The Tonight Show Band from September, 1999 thru March, 2002. In June, 2002, Kenny Davis moved back to New York and he is again touring, recording and teaching. In May 2006 he recieved his Masters in Music (MA) from Rutgers University. Davis was the bass teacher at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) from 2003 thru 2009. In 2009 Kenny released his first CD as a leader, Kenny Davis,on Daken Records.

“At a time when many artists are distancing themselves from the American tradition, Kenny Davis remains reverential yet unmistakably modern.” John Kelman, All About Jazz

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, and raised in Denver, Colorado, Rudy Royston has been a professional teacher, drummer and percussionist for almost twenty years. He studied classical percussion at University of Denver where he earned undergraduate degrees in Music and English, and accomplished teacher certification credentials from Metropolitan State College of Denver. Rudy grew up playing drums in church, and found his voice under the auspices of Colorado’s celebrated trumpeter Ron Miles, whom Royston deems his greatest influence, and with whom Rudy has played since 1991. He has taught, recorded and performed all styles of music from Jazz to marching percussion. Since moving to Piscataway, New Jersey in 2006, Royston has completed a Masters in Music degree from Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and performed with many of today’s finest Jazz musicians, including Javon Jackson, Bill Frisell, Les McCann, David Gilmore, Ben Allison, Jason Moran, JD Allen, Sean Jones, Jeremy Pelt, Greg Osby, Jennifer Holiday, Ravi Coltrane, Ralph Bowen, Bruce Barth, George Colligan, Don Byron, Stanley Cowell, Tom Harrell, John Ellis, Jenny Scheinmenn and The Mingus Big Band, to name a few.

A lover of all genres of music, Rudy continues to pursue music and expand his music horizons. Royston is currently a member of Bill Frisell’s groups Big Sur Quintet, and The Beautiful Dreamers trio (with cellist Hank Roberts and violinist Jenny Scheinman), and the Dave Douglas Quintet.

“In Royston's hands and feet, drums and cymbals emote; sound, colors and moods uplift on the one hand and invite meditation on the other.” -Ian Patterson, All About Jazz

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from the Wells Fargo Philanthropic Services Private Trust Foundations, which include grants from the Stanley A. and Flora P. Clark Memorial Community Trust Foundation (2020-2021; 2022-2023 seasons), the John, Anna, and Martha Jane Fields Memorial Trust Foundation (2021-2022; 2022-2023 seasons), and the Florence V. Carroll Charitable Trust (2021-2022; 2022-2023 season). Special concert event support provided by the Arts Midwest Grow, Invest, Gather (GIG) Fund grant (2022-2023 season). Activities are made possible in part by the Arts Organization Support (AOS), Indiana Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency (2023-2024 season).

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from The Esther and George Jaruga Charitable Foundation (2020-2023 seasons).

The Student and Home Grown Series concerts made possible, in part, with support from the ArtsEverywhere Grant from the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, and the Arts Project Support Grant and the Arts Recovery Grant through the Indiana Arts Commission.


  • General

    $20 Advanced or Door

    Sale ended
  • Student

    $10 Student/Discount

    Sale ended



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