The ninth season of Jazz at the Trout, “Women do Jazz,” is continuing with MRS. FUN coming to perform at Trout Museum on March 21. MRS. FUN plays nu jazz with Connie Grauer playing the bass-driven keyboard and Kim Zicks on the drums. Their music is an adventurous and unique blend of jazz, ultra-funk, spoken word rap and their own twist of neo-cabaret. The group has won multiple awards including Best Contemporary Jazz Group by the Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) for three consecutive years. Grauer and Zick have also received WAMI awards for Best Instrumentalist: keyboards and drums.
“Historically in art and music, women haven’t got recognition for being outstanding in their field,” says Christina Turner, president of the Trout Museum of Art. “Every year we do Jazz at the Trout, the people who make the decision [for the theme] do so thinking forward in how we want ourselves to be seen. This year, there has been a lot of thinking about women and their role today – we’re on point with that.”
The event starts at 6 p.m. with a jazz trio consisting of three female artists from Lawrence University. Students Rachel Lewis (trumpet), Gabrielle Claus (piano) and Zoe Markle (bass) will play while people can grab a drink, wander the exhibit and meet with friends. Then, MRS. FUN will begin playing at 7:30 p.m.
Artistic director John Harmon, who selects the artists for Jazz at the Trout, is a jazz pianist who studied at Lawrence University. He works with Lawrence Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies José Encarnación when choosing Lawrence students to play for the season. “Part of why Jazz at the Trout is successful is because we’re mixing art with jazz,” Turner says. “We trust the people in the community who are experts on jazz.”
Tickets for MRS. FUN cost $20 for non-members of the museum, $12 for members and $5 for students. This not only gets attendees into the show, but also into the gallery. For more information about the event and to listen to a song by MRS. FUN, go to http://www.troutmuseum.org/Events/Jazz-at-the-Trout. -SW