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The Great American Songbook @ McCrossins
The Great American Songbook: The Singers, The Songwriters, The Songs!
The Great American Songbook is the name given to those timeless popular songs written in what many consider to be the golden age of songwriting: 1920s-1960s. Songs penned by such musical giants as Irving Berlin, Col Porter, Rogers & Hart/Hammerstein, the Gershwins, Duke Ellington, Lerner & Loewe, Dorothy Fields, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Jimmy McHugh, Bacharach & David, Henry Mancini, to name a few; and performed by some of the finest musical interpreters of the C20th, including Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Mel Tormé, Peggy Lee, Bobby Darin, Sammy Davis Jr, and more recently, Harry Connick Jr, Diana Krall and Michael Bublé. This concert celebrates a selection of songs from these great singers and songwriters, many of which have provided the soundtrack to our lives and continue to bring joy to people decades after they were written and first performed.
The Cary Bennett Trio features the marvellous talents of James Brinkhoff on keyboards, Wendy Griffiths on double bass, and Cary Bennett on drums and vocals. The Trio have performed around the New England region, including The Welder’s Dog, Charlie’s Last Stand, Dobson’s Distillery and The Tattersalls Hotel. Here is a brief rundown of their musical credits:
Cary Bennett (vocals & drums): Cary has been involved in music since the age of five. He is a founding member of the influential Young Northside Big Band, performing at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1979 at the invitation of Count Basie. In the 1980s he completed the Jazz Studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under the directorship of Don Burrows, toured with the Rocky Horror Show and UK recording artist Tony Christie, served as resident drummer on Great Keppel Island, led the resident band at the iconic Chevron Hotel’s Silver Spade Room, and worked extensively on cruise ships as drummer, vocalist and musical director. Cary worked with many jazz luminaries in and around Sydney and Newcastle before moving to Armidale. He is currently involved in several musical ventures including The Organismics, The Sidewinders, The New England Big Band, ADMS productions, The Armidale Jazz Assembly, and his Trio.
James Brinkhoff (piano/keyboards): After brief stints learning various windy instruments, James settled on the keys. Upon reaching a legal age (almost), he started playing gigs in Tasmania (where he was raised), both solo piano and with local jazz and groove musos, including with his uncle Ben on bass. He’s spent time in Singapore and Sydney, playing with jazz, Afro-Cuban and fusion bands, but has recently settled in Armidale where he is enjoying the surprisingly vibrant live music scene, playing with The Sidewinders, The Cary Bennett Trio, and other with exciting musical ventures.
Wendy Griffiths (double bass): The fabulously infamous Wendy Griffiths is an Armidale local who has played in several eclectic ensembles for over 20 years. With a classical music background, Wendy’s experience ranges from conducting the Armidale Youth String Orchestra, playing in “the pit” for ADMS productions, and teaching cello at both the Tamworth and New England Conservatoriums of Music. Most recently involved in The Jug Addicts, MC & The Squares, The Big Hairy Bush Dance Band, The Armidale Jazz Assembly and The Cary Bennett Trio, Wendy’s solid groove and contagious energy make her an integral part of any and every musical venture.