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Gate Check with Cole Bartels at Grace Episcopal Church

October 15 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

A photo shows musician Darren Sterud seated in a red armchair, holding a trombone over his knee.

At this performance, Darren Sterud and his quartet Gate Check will collaborate with fellow trombonist Cole Bartels to pay tribute to The Great Kai & J. J., the 1960 album from trombonists Kai Winding and J. J. Johnson. It’s a good fit for Gate Check’s versatility and conversational interplay: The Great‘s album’s highlights range from a dynamic take on Thelonious Monk’s “Blue Monk” to the sly blues of Johnson’s original “Trixie.”


Sterud gave his original compositions an expansive showcase on Gate Check’s 2021 album Places. Drummer Matthew Endres, bassist Ben Ferris, pianist Chris Rottmayer, and Sterud used the travel-themed project to take the listener through a variety of emotional settings and just as many points along the continuum of jazz. From the plaintive, slow build of “Highlands,” the playful spookiness of “Sighisoara,” the rollicking second-line explosion of “Bywater,” the quartet treats all these different crosscurrents as living and lively things.

This October 15 show at Grace Episcopal Church will focus solely on material from The Great Kai & J. J. But there will be a chance soon to hear more of Sterud’s originals on October 21 at The Bur Oak, when Gate Check opens an album-release show for Mr. Chair.

—Scott Gordon

Photo by Flaviano Estrella.


October 15
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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Grace Episcopal Church
116 West Washington Avenue
Madison, WI 53703 United States
+ Google Map

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