Kevin Piekarski Music: Renee Gonzales
From a single concert booking at LaSalle Live in April, 2015, a new and exciting musical collaboration was born. Singer Renee Gonzales, newly arrived in her home town of Fort Wayne, IN after working for eight years in New York City, and pianist Chris Rutkowski immediately formed an artistic bond. Bassist Kevin Piekarski followed in short order, and creative lighting struck. Bookings of all sorts quickly arose, starting from a continuing weekly residency at Kozé Thai Cuisine and Bar, followed by club dates at Club Soda, and concert performances at the prestigious Covington Art Fair, at the Creative Arts Council of Wells County Jazz on the Patio and the Fort Wayne Downtown Improvement District’s highly successful series, Lunch on the Plaza and Busker Fest.
The band's repertoire is drawn from the rich and diverse Great American Songbook. Immortal classics from the 1920s like “Body and Soul”, reimagined by blending with Herbie Hancock’s landmark jazz composition of the 1960s, “Maiden Voyage”, or the beloved West Side Story selection “I Feel Pretty” adapted from pianist Oscar Peterson’s energetic arrangement combine with musical theater standouts such as “Here I Am” from the contemporary musical, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and “So in Love” from Kiss Me Kate. Material from contemporary big band singers such as Michael Bublé’s hit “Home” and his take on Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love”, as well as recent pop hits like Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed and Delivered” and “Ribbon in the Sky” and James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain” round out the repertoire. Tour de force works from the jazz canon like Annie Ross’ “Twisted” and expansive classics such as Harold Arlen’s “Blues in the Night” and “Come Rain or Come Shine” join other varied jazz standards such as the up tempo “Avalon”, Fats Waller’s “Honeysuckle Rose, and the transcendently beautiful ballad, “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square”. And, of course, no Indiana musician can perform without a generous assortment from native sons Cole Porter (“I Love You”, “In the Still of the Night”, "I’ve Got You Under My Skin") and Hoagy Carmichael (“Georgia”, “The Nearness of You”).
All this is combined in a group that features virtuoso instrumental and vocal performance, true jazz sensibility, a very broad stylistic range, and an immediately appealing sound that has entranced every sort of audience. For booking information, contact us here.