The “Jazz at 4” Quartet

Leslie Beukelman

Leslie Beukelman, Voice

How long have you been a part of the Jazz at Four band?
My first time singing with the band was in July 2018; since that September, I have been here on most Sundays.

You could spend your Sunday afternoon doing anything! Why this band and this community?
One of my main goals as a musician is to make people feel something, to help them transcend to another place in their heart and mind. I grew up singing in church; it was always a place I could sing and just let it out. Hearing all of the different voices singing together is beautiful to me. It’s the instrument we all have, and it’s very special. I love having the opportunity to sing with this band; the guys are incredible musicians, and it’s a joy to make music with them weekly. I might come in not knowing exactly how we will do a specific tune, but we create something together to share with the congregation that will only happen on that very day. It’s so much fun.

What keeps you busy when you aren’t at Fourth Church?
When I am not at Fourth Church, I am rehearsing for a variety of upcoming performances and then performing with those groups. I have a trio with two other women (one of them is Allison, another vocalist regularly at Jazz at Four) called The Oh Yeahs; we are finishing our first album, which we plan to have out in the world by Christmas. I also sing in a big band one Sunday night a month at FitzGerald’s nightclub, at a Presbyterian church in Winnetka on Sunday mornings, and on Saturday nights I am usually in some ballroom singing the top 40 hits for a private function. My weekdays are filled with going out to hear shows, performing with other bands, and attempting to get my own music together.

Do you have a favorite jazz song? Is there an artist that has made a large impact on your career as a musician?
The first jazz song I really learned was “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” by David Mann and Bob Hilliard, and I still absolutely love it. The lyrics instantly grabbed my attention, and over the years they continue to be relevant and have also become more meaningful. This is true with many jazz standards, and I love the Great American Songbook for that very reason—“like a fine wine, the jazz singer gets better with age.” As I grow up and experience life, I am able to interpret this music in a deeper way. It makes me hopeful and taught me that making honest music is more important than fame (though if fame happens, I wouldn’t complain!). I’m grateful to be able to share music with people and make a living doing what I love to do.

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Bryan Doherty

Brian Doherty, Brass

How long have you been a part of the Jazz at Four band?
I have been part of the Jazz at Four band and community for ten years.

You could spend your Sunday afternoon doing anything! Why this band and this community?
The other musicians I get to play with and make this service a great experience every time. We have all been playing together for so long now, and the Jazz at Four service allows us the chance to continue to play together on a regular basis, which makes for a group dynamic that is seldom attained. We have even reached a point of not even needing to speak in rehearsals—just music.

What keeps you busy when you aren’t at Fourth Church?
I spend a lot of time writing, playing, practicing, and performing music. It’s my passion.

Do you have a favorite jazz song? Is there an artist that has made a large impact on your career as a musician?
It Never Entered My Mind” is a song that sticks out in my memory as a piece of music that really knocked me out. Particularly the Miles Davis recording from the album Workin’.

When I was in middle school I began to really try to dive into the wealth of music that is out there and started to check out some jazz albums that were recommended to me by people I respected. Most of said albums were way over my head. There were too many notes, no back beat, and I had no idea where the melody was. I was young, confused, and intimated by the whole idea of jazz.

Then I happened to stumble on Workin’ by Miles Davis in my dad’s record collection. I put it on, and there it was. A door had opened, and things became clearer to me. It drips with joy and sadness and paints a picture of a world that moves in a rhythm and pace that is very enticing and attractive. “It Never Entered My Mind” is the first track on that album.

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Marcus Evans

Marcus Evans, Drums

How long have you been a part of the Jazz at Four band?
I have been involved with the jazz service at Fourth Presbyterian Church for more than ten years.

You could spend your Sunday afternoon doing anything! Why this band and this community?
Amr Fahmy (piano) and Bryan Doherty (bass) are my brothers and two of my most favorite people to make music with. I also appreciate how this church opens its doors to all people. I am inspired to hear about the great things that we all can do with our God-given resources, and I look forward to when it won’t be necessary to wrestle with how the privileged should be more kind to the underprivileged.

What keeps you busy when you aren’t at Fourth Church?
I am a full-time musician, and I practice and perform various styles of music as often as possible. I am also a father, a marathoner, and a student of life and nature.

Do you have a favorite jazz song? Is there an artist that has made a large impact on your career as a musician?
I love the music of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Thelonius Monk, Joe Henderson, Ahmad Jamal. I also love drummers like Elvin Jones, Roy Haynes, Max Roach, Billy Higgins, Questlove, Chris Dave, and many others. I should also mention that trumpeter Roy Hargrove—who very recently joined the ancestors—is one of my biggest influences. He was the champion of the younger generation of musicians, and he will be deeply missed.

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Amr Fahmy

Amr Fahmy, Piano

How long have you been a part of the Jazz at Four band?
I’ve been a part of Jazz at Four for ten years.

You could spend your Sunday afternoon doing anything! Why this band and this community?
I am proud to be a part of a church that supports people in need and has a message of equality, love, and respect for all communities. I am also privileged to share in music at Fourth Church with world-class, inspiring musicians who share a commitment to music, spiritual service, and fellowship.

What keeps you busy when you aren’t at Fourth Church?
When I’m not at Fourth Church, I perform, teach, and record music. I love spending time with my family.

Do you have a favorite jazz song? Is there an artist that has made a large impact on your career as a musician?
One of my favorite jazz pieces is Duke Ellington’s “The Single Petal of a Rose.” The piece is part of The Queen’s Suite, written for Queen Elizabeth II. Jazz trumpeter and composer Miles Davis has had a major influence on my life and career as a musician.

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126 E. Chestnut Street
(at Michigan Avenue)
Chicago, Illinois 60611.2014
(Across from the Hancock)

Getting to Fourth Church

Receptionist: 312.787.4570

Directory: 312.787.2729

 

 

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