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-illustration by Joe Mays

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The Steve Himes Connection was featured April 6, 2001, in a concert sponsored by The Charleston Jazz Series.  This organization puts on five or more shows each year presenting the Charleston, WV, area with some of the world's best jazz musicians.

(The following is the text reprinted from the announcement for the concert  which was written and distributed by the Charleston Jazz Series board.)

Charleston Jazz Series is pleased to sponsor a special show featuring the Steve Himes Connection to celebrate the release of its CD Running Ahead Of Time.

Charleston guitarist Steve Himes has built a jazz ensemble that has achieved the musician's ultimate aesthetic goal - the ability to bring a virtuosity and wholly original voice to a rich musical tradition.

After decades of playing all strains of music across the U.S., Himes settled in Charleston in 1991 and set about establishing a band that would allow him to present the kind of truly improvisational jazz he had always dreamed of playing.  In recent years, the Steve Himes Connection has realized that dream with an ensemble featuring Himes on guitar and band mates Chris Hudson (percussion), Jason Gay (saxophone), and Deron Sodaro (bass).

The Connection's eclectic fusion of rock and funk grooves into soaring modern jazz improvisations is too often filtered through the background noise of rowdy clubs or private parties.  Join Charleston Jazz Series to hear the group in a more optimal setting - a jazz club environment where the audience is there to listen to these extremely capable musicians, who have a whole lot of music to share.


The following is a review of the above concert by Johnathan Rogers of the Charleston Gazette.

Himes Quartet: Local boys make good music

By Johnathan Rogers - For the Gazette

(Reprinted from The Charleston Gazette, Charleston, WV, April 9, 2001)

The local boys made us proud.

Steve Himes and his band mates showed that Kanawha Valley residents need not import musical talent to have a Friday evening.

The quartet of Himes on guitar, Jason Gay on saxophone, Chris Hudson on percussion and Deron Sodaro on bass played this past Friday for the Charleston Jazz Series at Wellington's in the Scarlet Oaks Country Club.

Himes' quartet gave the audience a true cornucopia of sound with jazz-fusion, jazz-funk, calypso, Latin rhythms and even an East Indian spice.

One such example was "Appellation String", a jazz-rock fusion with a dash of Latin rhythm for "flavorment" as my grandmother would say.  This moved directly into a hard, classic bebop segment of the song.

The band demonstrated this sort of stylistic and compositional breadth and proficiency throughout the evening.

This explains their popularity at private parties, weddings and the like.  They can play anything an audience wants to hear, even beautiful, delicate lullabies, such as their original composition "For Charles".

I recommend this song to the parents of any newborn or infant who fights the sandman.  It will ease the babe into sleep better that a ride in an SUV.

The lullabies only set up the magnificent fire of drummer Hudson.  Hudson is clearly in love with every sound his drums make.  He was simply marvelous.

How he has remained in the area and not been gobbled up by a national rock or jazz band is a complete mystery to me.

Not to be outdone by Hudson's fire, bassist Sodaro gave the audience a dose of pure 1970's funk on the tune "Y-Knot".

Over these powerful rhythms and grooves, Gay and Himes offered thoughtful, smooth, lyrical and playful solos.  Gay and Himes also composed the majority of the songs.  It was nice to see the local talent stack up so well against the imports.


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For more information contact:    himesconnection@suddenlink.net

Phone: (304)344-3549