DEXTER — Mes Amis, a Gypsy jazz quartet, will play at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at Wayside Theatre, 851 North Dexter Road. The group plays an infectious mix of traditional Gypsy, Latin and American jazz standards along with many original compositions. Tickets $12.
Gypsy jazz has insistent rhythms, bouncing bass lines and sweetly intricate melodies that are easy on the ears for those unfamiliar with jazz, and yet can stand the scrutiny of an aficionado.
French for “my friends,” Mes Amis consists of Steve Lynnworth handling the lead guitar and vocals, Harry Richter providing “La Pompe,” the steady backbeat typical of the style, Ezra Rugg on the upright bass and Shane Ellis on clarinet and saxophone.
Steve Lynnworth started playing guitar at age 17 but didn’t really get bitten by the “Gypsy” bug until 2008 when he was 41. He has backed up national artists Shirley Lewis and Pinetop Perkins, jammed onstage with Luther “Guitar Jr.” Johnson, and opened shows for Johnny Winter, Dickie Betts, and B.B. King.
Steve is the guitar instructor at the University of Maine in Farmington and author of Understanding The Chords. This instructional reference book focuses on music theory without having to learn to read music.
After subbing for Mes Amis occasionally, Harry Richter joined the band full time in 2014. When Harry isn’t busy playing guitar, he is a violin maker and owner of Somerset Violins in Waterville.
Ezra Rugg (upright bass) started out early in life making music any way he could; trying his hand at euphonium, trumpet, piano, guitar, drums and bass.
Ezra has backed up The Coasters, played with Jon Fishman and fronted his own group, The Antigravity Band. He’s always the first-call sub for Gypsy Jazzers Mes Amis. (Wells Gordon can’t make it to our concert.)
Clarinet and saxophone player Shane Ellis is the owner-operator of Ellis Bands of Maine. Shane is a Maine artist, Master Woodwind player, Music Educator, Music Arranger, Audio Specialist and Band Leader. He is available for consultation, music arranging and private instruction on saxophone, clarinet, and flute.
FMI on Mes Amis and to hear them, go to http://www.mesamis.biz or call Steve at (207) 441-0629.
No reservations. Doors open 6:30 pm. Homemade goodies and pretty good coffee sold at intermission. Door prize, 50/50. FMI 277-3733, 270-1166 or Facebook Wayside Grange. We’ll get back to you. 851 North Dexter Rd (Rt. 23), Dexter.