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Sunday, April 16, 2023 | 2pm
First Unitarian Church (536 Linton St, Cincinnati, OH 45219)


British jazz pianist and composer Sir George Albert Shearing was the composer of over 300 titles, including jazz standards “Lullaby of Birdland” and “Conception.” His popular jazz group the George Shearing Quartet was a regular on Billboard charts during the 50s, 60s, 80s and 90s. Joining Phil DeGreg will be former Diana Krall bassist Paul Keller and versatile vibraphonist Cary Kocher. Drummer John Taylor and guitarist Taylor Nelson will complete the quintet.


Jazz@First Series Sponsor: Al Harris



About the Artist: Paul Keller, bass

Paul Keller is a veteran bassist, composer, arranger and leader known as Michigan’s “House Bassist” while also playing nationally and beyond. Detroit jazz heroes Bess Bonnier, Tom Saunders, Larry Nozero and more relied on him in his earlier years. Diana Krall, John Pizzarelli, Russell Malone, Chuck Redd and Eddie Higgins have taken him around the world. He leads the 15-piece Paul Keller Orchestra, performing every Monday at Zal Gaz Grotto in
Ann Arbor. He also commands the stage of the famous London Chop House (Detroit) every Thursday. 

More information at



About the Artist: Cary Kocher, vibraphone

Cary studied music at the University of Michigan. After drumming and touring with the jazz group Fast Tracks, he began teaching in the Ann Arbor Schools and took up jazz vibraphone. He was drafted into service on a slow weeknight at the Bird of Paradise Jazz Club, and the Keller/Kocher Quartet was born with bassist Paul Keller and Cary. In addition to performing gigs, they have released several albums. Kocher directed middle school bands for several decades and also taught jazz vibraphone at the University of Michigan. He has a diverse playing schedule as well, including jazz groups, wedding bands, the Latin jazz group Los Gatos and the Ann Arbor Symphony.


About the Artist: Phil DeGreg


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

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