Oxford Jazz: Sax and the City

Patrick Lamb, Anthony Jones and Gene Houck play the Oxford (B. Gonzalez photos)

If you don’t already have the Oxford Hotel’s “Jazz at the Oxford” series on your roster of “must do” music events … well, book it, Danno.

In January, the first of the almost-monthly series — Friday and Saturday night shows, followed by a Sunday brunch performance — featured drummer extraordinaire Mel Brown and his band.  Brown is a fixture in the Portland jazz scene and the owner of Jimmy Mak’s jazz club in the Pearl District.

Saxophonist Patrick Lamb

This month, saxophonist Patrick Lamb and his band, including bassist Gene Hauck, keyboardist Ramsey Embick and drummer Anthony Jones, funkified the 10 Below ballroom during the weekend night shows, then brought a full house to its feet with the midday Sunday knockout punch.

Marvelous guitarist Dan Balmer will perform with keyboard player Tom Grant and his band on March 25-27.  Veteran jazz drummer Ron Steen and his band will appear on May 27-29.  

And although a fall lineup has not been announced, I fully expect that there will be one.

We attended the recent Sunday performance by Lamb, and we were blown away … almost literally.

With a repertoire that ranged from Ray Charles to Dave Brubeck, from the Average White Band to Lamb originals, the Grammy-nominated sax man and his all-star band started mellow.  But they wasted little time engaging the crowd in clapping and stomping to their syncopated rhythms.  And by their second set, music lovers were dancing in their chairs.

Gene Houck on bass

The 10 Below restaurant presented an outstanding brunch buffet that included eggs scrambled and Benedict, potatoes, bacon, sausage and French toast, as well as fruit, salad, a chicken-rice entrée and a variety of pastries and desserts.

Champagne brunch seating opens at 11 a.m., with two hours of music beginning at 11:30. Tickets are $39 in advance and $44 at the door, if space remains.

Friday and Saturday night shows begin at 8 p.m. but do not include dinner or drinks. Friday tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door; Saturday tickets are an additional $5.  All ages are welcome, encouraging attendance by local high-school and middle-school music students.

Call 541-382-1010 for reservations or visit this web site: http://www.oxfordhotelbend.com/jazz-at-the-oxford.htm

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