LA-based trio+1 to entertain jazz audience

By The Mercury

TOPEKA—The ninth concert in the Topeka Jazz Workshop Inc’s 43rd season will feature a dynamite trio from Los Angeles plus one of Kansas City’s favorite-son guitarists. 

The Carol Welsman Quartet with Danny Embrey will play Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Ramada Hotel’s Regency Ballroom.  Admission is by season membership, but season tickets will be available at the door for $50 per adult or $25 per student 21 and under.  These tickets will also be good for admission to two concerts in April and May.

Welsman is a Canadian by birth, the granddaughter of Canadian Symphony Orchestra founder Frank Welsman.  She is an internationally acclaimed pianist/vocalist with expressive styling and dynamic stage presence.  Her vocals are said to run the gamut “from being hauntingly reminiscent of Peggy Lee to swinging Ella.”  She received the Female Vocalist of the Year award in 2010 from the Canadian Grammys and Best Jazz Album of 2009 for “I Like Men: Reflections of Peggy Lee.” 

Welsman has performed with jazz luminaries Marian McPartland,  Ken Peplowski and Herbie Hancock, as well as several pops symphony orchestras.  She appeared in the Topeka Jazz Workshop Inc. concert series in 2006, backed by K.C. rhythm.

When Welsman’s regular drummer, Mike Shapiro, had to bow out of this Topeka performance, she called on L.A. jazz drummer Dave Tull.  In recent years Tull has also been making a name for himself as one of the country’s finest jazz vocalists and cleverest songwriters.  He has appeared with Chuck Mangione, Cheryl Bentene of Manhattan Transfer, the Les Brown Band, Clare Fischer, Michael Buble, Richie Cole, Jack Sheldon, Steve Allen, the Page Cavanaugh Trio and the Paul Smith Trio.

Rene Camacho is Welsman’s bassist, a native of Tucson but a Los Angeleno since 1996.  He has toured with a wide variety of artists from different musical backgrounds—Latin, jazz, soul, R&B, country and rock.  This includes recording and touring with Sergio Mendes, Linda Ronstadt, the Fifth Dimension, and the Pointer Sisters.  He tours actively with Welsman. 

Welsman specifically requested K.C guitarist Embrey, one of her backups here in 2006.  Embrey is a frequent visitor to the TJW Inc. stage, having last performed at the January concert featuring “Interstring.”

The final two concerts in the TJW Inc. 43rd season will be April 15, a group from New York, Iowa and K.C. (Dick Oattes and John Mosca with the Vanguard Orchestra, Dick’s brother Jim Oattes and friend Jim Eklof from Earlham Iowa, and K.C. bassist Bob Bowman and pianist Roger Wilder). 

The series will conclude on May 20 with National Endowment for the Arts 2010 Jazz Master pianist Kenny Barron and his trio.

For more information about the TJW Inc., concert series or Sunday’s concert, contact Executive Director Marcene Grimes at or 785-379-5169.

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