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Photo courtesy of the artist.

This Wednesday, March 15th, The Jazz Gallery is proud to welcome alto saxophonist Caleb Curtis and his band Walking Distance back to our stage. With his bracing tone and incisive lines, Curtis is a favored sideman in high-energy groups where he can cut through the mix, whether the Fat Cat Big Band, or groups led by pianist Orrin Evans, like in the video below.

Walking Distance is Curtis’s home base group—an improvisational collective of likeminded peers including tenor saxophonist Kenny Pexton, bassist Adam Coté, and drummer Shawn Baltazor. In an interview with Jazz Speaks from this past October, Curtis described how the group came together:

Walking Distance is a collaborative quartet that I started in 2012 at a workshop run by Aaron Diehl called the Catskill Jazz Factory. It’s myself on alto, as well as Kenny Pexton on tenor, Adam Coté on bass, and Shawn Baltazor on drums. We went upstate for five days of rehearsals, then played a concert. It was a sudden opportunity to play with people I could trust. Today, we’ve gotten to a place where everyone knows the music so well that we don’t have to count off tunes. We can start playing without even talking. We all own the music. It’s not a problem if any of us come in halfway through a tune and change the direction. We’re all into that—we shift and make these sudden changes.

Recently, this tight-knit quartet has begun to experiment with bringing the piano into their sound world. This summer, the group will go on a short tour with Orrin Evans holding the piano chair, and this week, they have invited Kevin Hays to add his distinct personality to the mix. Don’t miss this great young band push their sound out in new directions.

Caleb Curtis & Walking Distance perform at The Jazz Gallery on Wednesday, March 15th, 2017. The group features Mr. Curtis on alto saxophone, Kenny Pexton on tenor saxophone, Kevin Hays on piano, Adam Coté on bass, and Shawn Baltazor on drums. Sets are at 7:30 and 9:30 P.M. $15 general admission (FREE for members) for each set. Purchase tickets here.