Program for Jazz
We go out . . . and we come back after awhile . . . & it’s a wonder that we recognize each other . . . yeah, yeah! Thanks so much for visiting P4j’s website. P4j came together out of a love for words and rhythm, namely, for poetry and jazz. One night many years ago, I listened to David Shore tapping a beat on the high-hat behind a small jazz band in Chapel Hill. As he played, I chanted lines from poems I’d studied and then taught at university: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,” “She walks in beauty like the night of cloudless climes,” “Whenas in silks my Julia goes,” “Jenny kiss’d me when we met.” I heard, as if for the first time, several of my own poems. Hey man, wanna try out some poetry to your beats? Sure, why not? It didn’t take long for both of us to realize we had something unique—Shakespeare in 5/4 time, E.E. Cummings with a back beat—and P4j was born! For a while P4j was simply David and I—drums and voice—playing small concerts in community centers around Chapel Hill. Part of the fun was the surprise we saw on peoples’ faces when they heard a beloved poem syncopated. Bassist Rick Eckberg attended one of our early shows and likewise became infatuated with this idea of words and rhythm. Hey man, wanna try out some bass to that sound? Sure, why not? And now we’re three. More recently, cornetist Bryan McCune joined Program for Jazz, bringing a gorgeous brass dimension to our sound . . . and so many more ways to explore the poetry! And now we’re a quartet. And we play small theaters and jazz bars around town. And people wanna know, is this a poetry reading? A jazz gig? A lecture (we tell stories, too)? And we say YES to all of the above. And we say come on out to the next show and YOU tell US what it’s all about!
Hey man, wanna hear what we have to say? Go to the Audio link and have a listen. Or better yet, go to the Shows link and see when and where we’re playing next. And hey, man, wanna book P4j into your venue or event? Click on the Booking link under Shows and let us know. We’d love to come play your space, man.