JAC’s Upstairs at Mistral gets spicy and exotic
Thursday evening (June 4) brought some spiced-up jazz on the top floor at Mistral during gig number 12 (of 13) at the Jazz Artists of Charleston’s “Upstairs at Mistral” series. The two-week series at Mistral Restaurant (99 S. Market Street) has been a blast this year (the JAC’s first year of producing the series independently from Piccolo Spoleto), and this performance from local quintet Scandal in Bohemia was one of the most lively and enjoyable Mistral sets I’ve seen and heard.
The JAC’s enthusiastic Leah Suárez, Erin Fornadel, and Jack McCray were on hand. Once again, the place was full but not as packed as last week’s shows. Accordionist and emcee Nathan Koci — a longtime Charleston musician and arranger who just recently relocated to N.Y.C. — was very funny and charming on the microphone as he introduced his bandmates — flautist David Heywood, sax player Robert Lewis, bassist Jeremy Wolf, and drummer Ron Wiltrout — and announced the tunes. Look for a full review and a bit of video footage in this week’s music section.
The final gigs of the series is a two-setter from Tenor Madness this evening (Fri. June 6) — featuring the tenor saxophone stylings of Robert Lewis and Mark Sterbank, backed by pianist Tommy Gill, bassist Kevin Hamilton, and drummer David Patterson. —T. Ballard Lesemann
(photos by T. Ballard Lesemann)