Jazz@First Series – Remembering Kenny Poole, featuring Andy Brown
Sunday, April 30 @ 2pm | First Unitarian Church

Series Sponsor: Al Harris

We celebrate the memory of Cincinnati jazz guitar legend Kenny Poole, a nationally recognized master of mainstream and swing repertoire. The Phil DeGreg Trio will be joined by amazing Chicago guitarist Andy Brown, a dedicated student of Kenny’s music. Additionally there will be a display of memorabilia about Kenny.


Andy Brown is a guitarist based in Chicago. Born in New York City in 1975, he has played professionally for over twenty years. He has had a varied performing career that has included stints in Cincinnati and New York.

Since coming to Chicago in 2003, Andy has been fortunate to work at many of the area’s finest jazz venues with his own bands, as well as playing his unique brand of solo jazz guitar. He has led his own groups at clubs like The Green Mill and Andy’s Jazz Club, and has backed visiting jazz names at places including The Jazz Showcase and the Harris Theater.

As a sideman he has performed with internationally know jazz musicians including Howard Alden, Harry Allen, Warren Vache, Ken Peplowski, Hod O’Brien, Anat Cohen, Kurt Elling, and Joe Cohn as well as many others. He has also worked with many names on the Chicago jazz scene at nearly every spot that features live jazz music including Russ Phillips, Don Stiernberg, Kim Cusack, Chris Foreman, Bobby Lewis, Chuck Hedges, Judy Roberts, and Howard Levy.

His love of great tunes, as well as accompanying skills have made him a favorite with vocalists. Married to frequent partner vocalist Petra van Nuis, Andy has worked with many of Chicago’s finest singers including Frank D’Rone, Jeannie Lambert, Marc Pompe, Kimberly Gordon, Paul Marinaro, and Hinda Hoffman. Andy also had the good fortune to accompany Barbra Streisand when she appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2009.

Andy has made many festival appearances around the world, including the Chautauqua Jazz Party, Chicago Jazz Festival, Momento Rio Bandolim Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Evergreen Jazz Festival, Fitzgerald’s American Music Festival, Wes Montgomery Festival, New Acoustic Gallery Mandolin Festival, Gorinchem Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, Midwest Gypsy Swing Festival, Euro Festival Zupftmusik, the Cedar Basin Jazz Festival, and the Wintergrass Festival in Seattle.

Andy has provided the music for a wide variety of parties and private events. In 2012 his trio was invited by the Chicago Mayor’s office to perform for the Nobel Peace Prize dinner in Chicago, where invited guests included U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, as well as the Dalai Lama and Mikhail Gorbachev. Also in 2012, Andy’s trio was hired by the U.S. State Department to provide music for the opening night gala at the NATO summit held in Chicago.

Andy enjoys being a member of several bands besides his own. He works often with vocalist Petra van Nuis, either in duo or larger groups, including Petra’s Recession Seven. They have worked together all over Chicago and in venues throughout the country, as well as tours of Europe and Canada.

Since 2009, Andy has co-led a two-guitar quartet with renowned guitarist Howard Alden . In 2013, Delmark Records released a CD of the group entitled “Heavy Artillery” which received four stars in Downbeat Magazine and was featured in their annual Albums Of The Year issue. Playing a mix of standards, Brazilian tunes, and songs by fellow jazz guitarists, this recording documents a fifteen-year relationship between the two musicians.

Andy plays regularly with jazz mandolinist Don Stiernberg’s trio. They have worked at festivals in Germany and Brazil, as well as throughout the United States. He is also a member of trombonist Russ Phillips’ group, both with Russ’ Quartet and his Windy City All-Stars.

Andy has been featured on a wide array of recordings. As a leader, he released his debut recording “Trio And Solo” in 2007 and his latest is the 2015 Delmark Records release “Soloist.” This is his first solo jazz guitar recording, and has received warm reviews from critics and fans alike. He has collaborated on three CDs with Petra van Nuis, the most recent being the 2012 release “Petra’s Recession Seven – Live In Chicago.” 2015 marked the release of organist Chris Foreman’s debut recording “Now Is The Time,” which Andy was proud to have been a part of. In 2013, mandolinist Don Stiernberg released a CD titled “Mandoboppin!” featuring Andy on acoustic archtop guitar. He was also featured on Kimberly Gordon’s “Sunday” in 2011 on the Sirens record label, as well as Russ Phillips’ recording “One Morning In May,” released in 2008.

Andy had the good fortune to learn directly from several guitar masters, including Cal Collins, Ted Greene, and Howard Alden. His most important mentor was the late Kenny Poole, who called Andy his protégé.

More information at http://www.andybrownguitar.com.

Phil DeGreg began playing the piano in his childhood and now performs as a jazz pianist internationally. His earliest jazz influences were Bud Powell and Bill Evans, but he is accomplished and comfortable in a wide range of jazz styles, ranging from mainstream to bebop to Brazilian jazz. A graduate of Yale and the University of North Texas, he toured with the Woody Herman Orchestra in the 1980’s, and has 10 CD’s to his credit as a leader. For 13 years he accompanied many national and international jazz artists in the house trio in Cincinnati’s famous Blue Wisp Jazz Club. He has been on staff with the renowned Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops since 1983, and has performed and taught in Europe and South America.

Phil DeGreg is the retired Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts study grants. In 2008 he was awarded a 4 month Fulbright Fellowship as a lecturer in Brazil.

His text “Jazz Keyboard Harmony” is a practical text for teaching jazz harmony for all musicians, and is used all over the world in universities and for private study.

Learn more about Phil DeGreg on his website http://phildegreg.com.

Kenny Poole took up guitar at 14 years of age after hearing Chet Atkins’ album “Fingerstyle Guitar, and thinking to himself, “If this is possible, I want to do it.” He became exposed to jazz and Brazilian music a few years later and fell in love with both. Kenny was working professionally as a musician by 1966 and has extensive experience in recording studios, TV & radio, jazz concerts, and countless “gigs.” He has been written up in many periodicals from Billboard to Guitar Player and all stops in between.

He had the privilege of performing with such greats as Goove Holmes, Jack McDuff, Mark Murphy, Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis, Jimmy Raney, Mundell Lowe, Tal Farlow, Cal Collins, Joe Pass, Howard Alden, Jimmy Bruno, Jack Wilkins, Mark Elf and others…..Main influences on Kenny’s career include George Van Eps, Joe Pass, Barney Kessel, Jimmy Raney, Jim Hall and Brazilian singer-guitarist Joao Gilberto.