Kirk Edwards: Saxophone, Clarinet, Musical Arrangements, Composition, and Musical Instruction...
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!
Kirk’s second effort as a bandleader, The Shout! CD recording is a imaginative and vibrant collection of songs inspired by the exuberant, expressive, and spiritual qualities of African American gospel music traditions, but with a jazz sensibility. Mr. Edwards’ maturity as a jazz artist and composer is evident and the group’s coherence and growth is apparent.