Innovation, Expression, and Exploration
Kirk Edwards: Saxophone, Clarinet, Musical Arrangements, Composition, and Musical Instruction
This is also the home of "The Coalition Jazz Band"
Kirk Edwards is a musician whose affinity for the music and for those who attend musical performances have inspired him to a long and distinguished career. He has performed as a saxophonist and a clarinetist in the U.S. Coast Guard Band and subsequently served as the Director of Cadet Bands at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. His travels with the Coast Guard Band took him to most of the contiguous states, Canada, England, Italy, and the Soviet Union. He retired after over 30 years of service in the US Coast Guard. But, even after such a long career in music, Kirk feels that there is still much to accomplishment.
The AKA Project CD was recorded on August 8, 2022 at the iconic Rudy Van Gelder Studios in Englewood Cliffs, NJ and it features pianist Donald Vega. Donald is the pianist for Ron Carter's Golden Striker Jazz Trio and is on the faculty of the world renouned Julliard School. Mr. Vega also leads his own stellar jazz trio. Bassist Dave Baron and Pete Van Nostrand (drums,) Vega's former classmates at the Julliard School round out the jazz quartet. The AKA is so named because the recording features new melodies that Kirk Edwards wrote on the chord structures of some of our most memorable amd cherished jazz standards. So, the songs assume different identities to a certain extent. The result is nine new innovative, fresh, and expressive new compositions that are curiously familiar. The AKA Project was recorded in just four and a half hours. So, it is very close to being a live recording filled with excitement and energy!
The following are excerpts from the early reviews of the AKA Project CD:
“Edwards's contributions are wonderful — lovely, searing, adventurous and cunning as called for.”
The New London Day
This quartet is a hard-swinging group with Edwards’ burnished tenor sax (think Benny Golson crossed with Ben Webster) backed by a superb rhythm section…
The Jazz and Blues Report
The AKA Project is a swinging set of modern Jazz brought to you by leader, tenor saxophonist Kirk Edwards with pianist Donald Vega, bassist Dave Baron and Pete Van Nostrand on drums. They open with cat and mouse sax/piano melodies on “Cloud Ten” including a cool solo from Van Nostrand. That vibe continues over ten selections. We also liked the Latin flavors of “Hojaldas y Patacones”, the warmth of “I Thought About You”, and the classic “Speak Low”. If you haven’t heard of Edwards, stay tuned!
O’s Place Jazz Magazine
Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute
Composer, and Music Arranger
The Coalition Jazz Band
Madry Temple Church Band
New London Community Orchestra
The New England Saxophone Quartet
Fairwinds Woodwinds Trio
Sundays at Madry Temple Church
8-27-2022: The New England Saxophone Quartet in Stonington, CT
9-9-2022: The J. Hunter Group at Rocky Neck State Park.
10-16 and 10-17-2022: Gilbert and Sullivan Show (clarinet)
11-4-2022: The Coalition Jazz Band at La Grua Center; Stonington, CT
11-8-2022: Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back Social Justice Presentation for Southeastern CT Public School Teachers at the La Grua Center.
11-17-2022: Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back Social Justice Presentation for More than Words Student Social Justice Group at the La Grua Center.
12-8-2022: Guest Conducting a Joint Concert of the Groton Middle School, Ledyard Middle School, Bennie Dover Jackson. Middle School, and Ledyard High School Jazz Bands at the La Grua Center in. Stonington, CT.
12-4-2022: New London Community Orchestra Concert at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Church.