Grand Marquis

Grand Marquis

 Kansas City, Missouri, USA
BandBluesJazz

The Grand Marquis are a distinct and hearty blend of American roots influences: blues & prohibition-era jazz; weaving old stories in with new tales for the 21st century.

Band Press

Hold On To Me - CD Review by Lady K, Boston Blues Review – Boston Blues Review

As I was listening to “Hold on to Me” while driving through Christmas-shopper traffic the other day, I realized that I had discovered a new standard for music quality. The band, Grand Marquis, is so much fun that I found that I didn’t hate that there were other people in my way, the streets were congested, there was no place to park, or that it was taking forever to get anywhere. Grand Marquis’ music is a celebration of all that is jazz, blues, and New Orleans, played by 5 people projecting a very big-band sound. Bryan Redmond - songwriter, vocals, and all 4 saxophones; Chad Boydston – trumpet and backing vocals; Ryan Wurtz – guitar, backing vocals; Ben Ruth – upright bass, sousaphone, backing vocals; Lisa McKenzie – percussion and backing vocals.

The first thing Lady K noticed about Grand Marquis is that they let their music have the first ‘word.’ Just about every track has an instrumental intro, which builds excitement and curiosity for the tune that follows. And every tune has long, instrumental riffs,showcasing band members exceedingly comfortable with all facets of the sounds that they produce – vocals and instrumentation. There are 10 very nicely done covers, and three original tunes by Bryan Redmond: “Night is for Lovers,” the title tune “Hold on to Me,” and “Ain’t No Good to Me.” “Night is for Lovers” is the first track, and it sets the tone of the CD. It’s romance, performed to jumpin’ jive music, with great emphasis on sax and stand-up bass riffs. “Ain’t No Good To Me” is a song about goodbye, but it’s a cheerful goodbye (the decision’s been made - he’s outta there).

The big-band ethic of this CD continues with the well-chosen covers – all decades old, instantly recognizable and completely infectious. “Topsy” is huge and a great brass-heavy instrumental, and the enticing “The Spider and the Fly” lures that fly willingly into the web of the music. “After You’ve Gone,” “Dinah,” and “Exactly Like You” all include the big band sound with New Orleans’ tempos (Lady K kept expecting the saints to come marching in). “St. James Infirmary Blues” segued into “Still Blue Water,” and brought visions of funeral processions in New Orleans – the real celebrations of life.

Lady K does have a favorite tune on this CD – the one that keeps her hitting ‘replay’ over and over again (it highlights both the sousaphone (!!) and some fantastic flamenco guitar), but that ain’t all. Grand Marquis’ version of Pablo Ruiz’ “Sway” is hypnotic. It begs to be played loud, it begs to be danced to (mambo, anyone?); it’s the most fun tune on a CD of completely infectious “old-time,” jumping, swinging jazz and blues. - Lady K

Hold On To Me - CD Review by Lady K, Boston Blues Review – Boston Blues Review

As I was listening to “Hold on to Me” while driving through Christmas-shopper traffic the other day, I realized that I had discovered a new standard for music quality. The band, Grand Marquis, is so much fun that I found that I didn’t hate that there were other people in my way, the streets were congested, there was no place to park, or that it was taking forever to get anywhere. Grand Marquis’ music is a celebration of all that is jazz, blues, and New Orleans, played by 5 people projecting a very big-band sound. Bryan Redmond - songwriter, vocals, and all 4 saxophones; Chad Boydston – trumpet and backing vocals; Ryan Wurtz – guitar, backing vocals; Ben Ruth – upright bass, sousaphone, backing vocals; Lisa McKenzie – percussion and backing vocals.

The first thing Lady K noticed about Grand Marquis is that they let their music have the first ‘word.’ Just about every track has an instrumental intro, which builds excitement and curiosity for the tune that follows. And every tune has long, instrumental riffs,showcasing band members exceedingly comfortable with all facets of the sounds that they produce – vocals and instrumentation. There are 10 very nicely done covers, and three original tunes by Bryan Redmond: “Night is for Lovers,” the title tune “Hold on to Me,” and “Ain’t No Good to Me.” “Night is for Lovers” is the first track, and it sets the tone of the CD. It’s romance, performed to jumpin’ jive music, with great emphasis on sax and stand-up bass riffs. “Ain’t No Good To Me” is a song about goodbye, but it’s a cheerful goodbye (the decision’s been made - he’s outta there).

The big-band ethic of this CD continues with the well-chosen covers – all decades old, instantly recognizable and completely infectious. “Topsy” is huge and a great brass-heavy instrumental, and the enticing “The Spider and the Fly” lures that fly willingly into the web of the music. “After You’ve Gone,” “Dinah,” and “Exactly Like You” all include the big band sound with New Orleans’ tempos (Lady K kept expecting the saints to come marching in). “St. James Infirmary Blues” segued into “Still Blue Water,” and brought visions of funeral processions in New Orleans – the real celebrations of life.

Lady K does have a favorite tune on this CD – the one that keeps her hitting ‘replay’ over and over again (it highlights both the sousaphone (!!) and some fantastic flamenco guitar), but that ain’t all. Grand Marquis’ version of Pablo Ruiz’ “Sway” is hypnotic. It begs to be played loud, it begs to be danced to (mambo, anyone?); it’s the most fun tune on a CD of completely infectious “old-time,” jumping, swinging jazz and blues. - Lady K

Hold On To Me - CD Review by Gordon Baxter, Blues in Britain – Blues in Britain

Grand Marquis are a five piece hailing from Kansas City, with an eye on
maintaining the long tradition of KC blues, from the swing through to
the R&B and jump blues eras. Even though there are only five of them,
using sleight of hand, they manage to have a six piece horn section!

The opener "Night is for Lovers" (the first of three originals) shows
that they mean business. Frontman Bryan Redmond has the perfect voice
for this sort of material, although the rest of the band all play their
part too. The foundation for Grand Marquis' big band sound comes from
Lisa McKenzie (percussion), Ben Ruth (Upright Bass) and Ryan Wurtz's
jazzy chording on guitar. Chad Boyston does a great job on trumpet,
throughout, supplemented in the horn section by Redmond (soprano, alto,
tenor and baritone saxes) and Ruth (sousaphone). The latter really comes
into his own on the opening of "Saint James Infirmary Blues". Elsewhere,
Grand Marquis swing, jump and mambo their way through tunes like
"Topsy", "Hold on to Me" (another fine original), and "Sway" before
eventually rounding it all off with a fine take on "Good Rockin' Tonight".

"Hold On To Me" shows that Grand Marquis are doing a mighty fine job in
flying the flag for KC blues. Although they rely on covers for the most
part, the quality of the originals is such that it makes it hard to spot
them in the crowd. This style of music is becoming increasingly rare, so
it is always nice to hear a band like Grand Marquis make such a good job
of it.

Rating: 8 - Gordon Baxter

Hold On To Me - CD Review by Brian Harman, UK – Brian Harman, freelance

Grand Marquis have been constantly playing and touring together for nearly eleven years and within that busy timetable they have managed to record four superlative albums; now, they are releasing their stunning fifth collection of swinging tunes that evoke images and feelings of a crowded hot to trot late night speakeasy in the uproarious roaring twenties .

Not many would disagree with the statement that New Orleans is rightly associated as being the birthplace of Jazz, but at the same time the bands hometown of Kansas City, in the dry, dusty plains of the Midwest was also a hotbed of Jumpin’ Jivin’ syncopated Jazz rhythms.

It is in this vein of infectiously pulsating Jazz that Grand Marquis excel. They convincingly and sincerely combine the old and the new; Myra Taylor’s “The Spider and The Fly,” has its knowing innuendos subtly refreshed for a potentially jaded modern audience. Classics such as; “Sway,” has been reworked with Bryan’s smoothly cool and solid vocals effortlessly caressing the lyrics like an attentive lover. Producing solid smooth original numbers such as; “Night is For Lovers” and “ Ain’t No Good To Me,” with finger snapping hooks and sublime melodies is a mark of their mastery of the genre. Bryan Redmond supplies not only rather the refined mellow and urbane vocals, but he also plays seductive and swinging saxophone throughout the thirteen numbers. Accompanying him with sweetly muted and highly evocative and splendidly plaintive trumpet playing is Chad Boydston, together in the silky swinging engine room is the irresistible weaving and enticing chocolately warm swinging guitar of Ryan Wurtz, Ben Ruth is on the richly plucked upright bass and sousaphone while Lisa McKenzie provides the solid percussive backbone.

Irresistible! -Brian Harman

Hold On To Me - CD Review by Chuck Gomez of Blues Blast Magazine – Blues Blast Magazine

Are you ready to be Hip? How Cool are You?! Ask yourself those two questions before you listen to Grand Marquis’ Hold On To Me because these cats ‘is’ jumpin’! Baby, carry me home to that time when all cats and kittens knew what is was and how to swing. Back to a time when a band was everything of the time musically. Blues, Jump, Swing, Band Stand and sounding, rockin’ and boppin’ like there was never going to be a tomorrow.

Now ask yourself once again, “What does he mean?” Let me sum up all that energy, all the cool hip-ness beyond compare with the saying of these two words, “Grand Marquis! Allow me to introduce you to the soon to be household names of the band: Bryan Redmond/lead vocals & saxes, Chad Boydston/trumpet & vocals, Ryan Wurtz/guitar & vocals, Ben Ruth/upright bass, sousaphone ( sousaphone? Yes Sousaphone! ) & vocals and Lisa McKenzie/percussion & vocals. Man, these cats is jumping! Now if you have your parachute strapped on and are buckled up nice and tight, then lets jump in head first!

This first track, "Night is for Lovers", leaps upon you like an arch bodied guitarcat. Sleek, fast, cunning and a true form of beauty. If you live for that old school sound of Count Basie’s style setting guitarist, Mr. Freddie Green, played today, then welcome to the driving fat bodied chords of Mr. Ryan Wurtz. Solid Jackson, solid.

Bryan Redmond’s vocals are the kind and style that make you want to listen all night long, never wanting to join in as you would never mess with perfection. Now quick take a breath as Chad’s trumpet is about to blow the walls down. Swinging with a Kansas City flavor that now-a-days one has to look far and wide to find and hear. You just can’t do anything but smile and go with the beat. Hold the phone! Look out man, hear comes Bryan’s sax. All you could ever ask for. And it all starts again. What a great track. Solid bass and rhythm foundations by Ben & Lisa.

Do you want good music? Do you want to feel good all over? These are the Cats to dig! Let ‘em take you back in their musical time machine. Not often do I hear a group combine yesterdays with todays so well. Second track, The Spider and the Fly, solid as the first. How much soul does one band have? This band has PLENTY!

Next is "Topsy", one of my classic favorites, now who in the world even knows Topsy let alone play it these days?! I can just see Cozy Cole standing off stage diggin’ these cats. There’s 13 tracks on the CD and it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t spend a moment at the St. James Infirmary. Now take it from me when I say, “ I KNOW St. James, I was born there. True. Tuba, trumpet, sax the whole band ‘bleeding’ the blues.

Do you really want the Blues? I mean the REAL blues? American Blues? Sorry English invasion but you are just a step behind when it comes to true American Blues. Open your dictionary, look up fine ass blues, make you cry blues, blues for one enough blues for two and there they are, Grand Marquis pictured at St. James. What a night it would be at a club with this band.

Run, don’t walk, get this CD, check out these cats and tell me true if its not one of the most current bands out there doing historic tunes and styles that set the tone for all others to follow. I Love this Band!!

EDITORS NOTE: Grand Marquis were one of the eight finalists in the 2011 International Blues Challenge.

Hold On To Me - CD Review by Bill Wilson, Billtown Blues Assn – Billtown Blues Association

Representing Kansas City in grand style, Grand Marquis delivers on of the hottest swing CDs since the days when Count Basie and Louis Jordan reigned as kings. Immaculate musicianship, superb arrangements and a true sense of the era and style make this more than another one of those retro albums. Hold On To Me is as much a swing era album as if it had been recorded in the 1920's or 30's. The ten covers and three originals give the band a perfect opportunity to strut their stuff and they do everything but hold back. This band plays as if the joint was literally on fire. Much more than simply looking the part and copying some good licks, Grand Marquis transports its audience back in time. Much more than a cover band, this unit works each number for all it is worth, making each and every number their own. There is a party in heaven among the giants of swing, another band has been found worthy of joining their ranks. There's not a bad tune on the disc, but my favorite is probably "Saint James Infirmary Blues." This is one of those albums that urges even the most reluctant feet to get out on the dance floor and cut a rug. If this one doesn't move you, check your pulse…it may be too late. This CD will put a smile on your face and some snap in your step, guaranteed! Give it a good listen, relax and have a good time. - Bill Wilson

Hold On To Me - CD Review by Full Time Blues – Full Time Blues (fulltimeblues.com)

Blues and Jazz music styles are forever linked. It is because of that fact that I am thrilled to write this week's review on the new album from Grand Marquis. Allow me first to indulge in a quick round of story time. Last August, I went to New Orleans for the first time in my life. I was asked to come and participate in a music conference, there, and I leapt at the opportunity to not only spread the word about the things I'm doing here with Full-Time Blues, but to also take in all that the Crescent City had to offer, being one of the great musical meccas in all of the world.
I tell this story, because while I was down in NOLA, I went to several live musical performances. At one particular night spot of which the name escapes me, we were exiting a showcase of Rock bands and found that the downstairs patrons were entranced by some young folks playing some terrific parlor Jazz. I was almost literally dragged out the door on to dinner, but not before I could snap some photos and soak up a brief minute of sonic joy.

Now, I'm not a huge Jazz enthusiast. I do, however, enjoy good music, regardless of genre, and there are certain styles of Jazz that I enjoy sometimes, including vocal Jazz, Dixieland, and Swing. More importantly, I am enthusiastically supportive of young people who excel in bearing the torch for older art forms, primarily musical styles. How does this all connect to this CD review? When I listened to this album for the first time, I was immediately transported back to New Orleans. That is one of the best things that great music can do, trigger memories and take you places in time.

That long and winding tale brings me to this week's review, featuring the latest album from Kansas quintet Grand Marquis. The band formed in 1998, and Hold On To Me is their fifth release. The album features a baker's dozen of tunes, made up of 10 covers and three originals, that clocks in at about 49 minutes in length. It's not just Jazz explored on this disc, though. Grand Marquis take us down the rabbit hole to explore Jump Blues and, coincidentally, New Orleans styles.

It all kicks off with the original piece “Night Is For Lovers,” written by vocalist and saxophonist Bryan Redmond, who gives the listener a perfect example of his beautiful vocal style from the jump on this terrific opener. It's also fair to note the tight job that the rhythm section does, comprised of Ben Ruth on bass and Lisa McKenzie on drums. Chad Boydston manages a great little solo on trumpet, and Ryan Wurtz keeps his guitar ringing along in time. The horn arrangements are tight and crisp, sounding out nicely over the rest of the band without drowning them out. The band produced the record themselves and gets the mix perfectly.

Grand Marquis pay tribute to a Kansas City icon, Myra Taylor, with their version of “The Spider and the Fly,” a song Taylor made a hit for Mercury Records back in the 1940s. They stay close to the original arrangement for the tune, and do a wonderful job with the playful nature of the song, perfectly providing the chorus of “It's a lie!” after each verse. That's followed by the knockout Eddie Durham instrumental “Topsy,” where the horns will, pardon the pun, blow your doors off!

The second of a trio of original songs follows with the title cut, “Hold On To Me.” This is a wonderfully written number with absolute standout performances from both Boydston on trumpet and McKenzie on drums. The lyrics from Redmond are one of my favorite features of the track, though. It makes you yearn for more original numbers on this album.

“Sway” is an often covered song that I sometimes get tired of. I love the job that Grand Marquis does here, allowing the song to breathe with solos, including a Flamenco-style guitar solo from Wurtz that is not to be missed. Follow that with the simply amazing guitar work from Wurtz on “The World Is Waiting For the Sunrise,” and you have to tip your hat to the young man for his work on the frets. Check out Boydston ripping it up on the trumpet here, as well, before launching into a back-and-forth with the soprano sax wielding Redmond that left me shaking my head in amazement.

“Aint No Good To Me” is the band's final original number on Hold On To Me, and also the album's shortest tune. I mentioned it before, and it bears repeating, my only gripe with this entire CD is that I wish there were more original tunes. I look forward to new material from the band in the future, and I think I need to go back through their catalog and check out their past albums for more material. When the only complaint I can muster is that I'd like more new stuff, you're doing something right with your music.

Now, in response to that, I need to underline the fact that Grand Marquis is carrying on the tradition of an older musical genre, and who am I to say they're not trying to bring the spotlight onto their heroes. I can appreciate the fact that they are putting their spin on classic numbers like “Exactly Lik

Longtime trumpeter finds success with KC jazz/blues band By Kristin Danley-Greiner – Herald-Index 3/15/2006

Hear tunes from Grand Marquis?Jazz fans can check out Chad Boydston and The Grand Marquis’ three CDs at www.cdbaby.com and view the latest on the band at www.grandmarquis.net.

At an age when most kids are learning what “rhythm” means, jazz musician Chad Boydston of Pleasant Hill was belting out tunes on his beloved trumpet, following in his dad’s footsteps.?This East High School graduate began playing seriously when he was just six years old. His dad, trumpet player Bob Boydston of Altoona, was his musical role model.?“I think my dad turned me on to playing the trumpet. I thought it was so cool that he played, and he was a hell of a trumpet player,” Chad, 34, said. “When I was a kid, I thought, ‘Wow, I want to do that.’”?The elder Boydston had played in a number of bands when younger and even performed with the Des Moines Symphony, his son said. So it is only fitting that Bob remains Chad’s biggest fan and supporter, watching his son make a name for himself in Kansas City where he now performs as a trumpet player in a jazz & blues band called The Grand Marquis.?“Dad didn’t have a lot of time to perform, though, because he was a baker with odd hours,” Chad said.?The road Chad took on the path to stardom began with his father playing the trumpet for him when he was little, then picked up steam when he attended East High School.?“I had a really good music teacher my freshman year, then he moved on and we had a different music teacher who had other attributes that we learned from,” Chad said. “He got the marching band to a respectable level, although I hated marching band.”?But Chad loved being in the high school jazz band, getting his first chance at being in the spotlight.?“My freshman year, we were asked to play a solo over the chord changes and everyone was grumbling about it, but I had the guts to say I’d try it. So I gave it a shot and fell in love with the ability to express myself in that little space without being told what to play or how to play it,” said Chad. “It’s your time to do what you want to do. That’s the part where art comes into play with the music and that’s why I’m into jazz.”?While in high school, Chad also snagged himself airtime with the help of Altoona resident and famed disc jockey Dic Youngs of KIOA. Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino had recently opened and was auditioning for a bugler. Chad said he had heard about the job and since it looked like a “good paying gig,” his parents said he should try out. ?Chad said The Des Moines Register had run a photo of him with information about him trying out for the Prairie Meadows bugler position. With a little push from his high school band director, the situation snowballed to where he performed a short ditty over the telephone from home during Youngs’ radio show.?“I did it before school at 7 a.m. and my mom was still in bed. I hadn’t told her I was doing it and I ended up sounding terrible on the local radio station. I couldn’t do warm-ups, because I didn’t want to wake up my mom. I just talked briefly on the phone, then put it down and started playing. I was so worried about waking up mom and her yelling at me over the air, that I messed up,” he said. ?“It was an embarrassing moment. My heart was pounding so much, trying to concentrate on what I was doing with my mom sleeping in the room next door. I showed up at school and of course, everyone had been listening to the radio and was willing to tell me they’d heard me and I missed notes,” he added.?Even though that happened years ago, Youngs said last week that he recalls it clearly.?“I remember putting him on the air,” Youngs said. “Any time you can help somebody out like that — a young person who wants to get started in music and playing in a jazz band, I’m more than happy to help.”?Unfortunately, when Chad showed up for the Prairie Meadows bugler auditions, he discovered that candidates had to use an actual heralding trumpet, which is different than a regular trumpet.?“I had a little trouble with it, and then I was in the running with a guy who had performed as a bugler at a bunch of other race tracks,” Chad said. “That was his gig, so he inevitably got the job.”?After graduating from high school, Chad decided to pursue his love of music by earning a bachelor of arts degree in music performance with a minor in jazz at the University of Northern Iowa. But there was a period of time before moving to the heart of jazz music in Kansas City when he did not play. He moved back home after graduating from college and did not pick up his horn for two years.?“I was burned out and needed to find myself. I had no real direction and was just going to work,” he said. “But I finally picked it up again and it felt right. Unfortunately, the thing about Des Moines, — and Iowa in general — is that there just isn’t much opportunity out there for a musician and it’s very easy to get discouraged. But I started playing in a funk band, getting little gigs,” he said.?“I decided then that I’d better start

Interview with Lorna Perry of Pitch Weekly 8/23/2005 – Pitch Weekly

1) How would you characterize the current KC music scene (jazz scene, or feel free to expound on the music scene in general)?

Ben: Looking at the music scene in general, it’s vibrant; a diverse scene with lots of good bands in a variety of styles. Always something musically entertaining every night of the week.

Sammy: Yes, and it’s not always obvious where to go; you have to get tuned in and look. It’s hard for me to see a lot of bands around town because we play so often.

Chad: It’s a rich and healthy scene, although it would be nice to have more widespread support, especially regarding jazz.

Bryan: In Kansas City, I appreciate seeing people supporting a variety of bands and styles – basically they’re fans of high quality music, not just one style. That’s not always the case across the country; we live in a great music town.

2) What bands around town have influenced you?

Lisa: I feel inspired by quite a few musicians around town. Dan Bliss is always inspiring because he is such an incredible musician. I could listen to Dan for hours and never get bored of his playing. I took lessons from Todd Strait for a few years and he had a huge influence on me, although I don't think I sound anything like him; he's so amazing I could never compare myself to him. I will have to say that the one person who has truly influenced and inspired me the most is Mike Dillon of Malachy Papers. Knowing Mike opened my eyes to so many styles of music, not to mention he has always held a special place in my heart as a friend. I am also very influenced by the guys in my band. I am interested in hearing the new (or not so new) artists they are into and checking them out. Playing with them has influenced my style; I love to listen to what they have to say musically and thinking about what I would play behind it.

Bryan: I’m influenced by people around town that know how to entertain & energize a crowd, like Ernie Locke, Henry Hart, Rex Hobart, Myra Taylor & Mike Dillon. I am inspired by the Elders’ self-made success, Bobby Watson’s virtuosity and the Scamps’ longevity. And I can’t forget the people who set the standard for Kansas City music like Bennie Moten, Walter Page, Andy Kirk, Julia Lee, Bill Basie, Buster Smith and I can go on if you want…

Chad: Don’t forget Jay McShann and Myra Taylor, who are still playing. Also Westport Art Ensemble and Malachy Papers are great bands.

Ben: For me there’s Season to Risk, Hellcat Trio, Count Basie, Rex Hobart and Washboard Chaz.

3) Where is your favorite place to play?

Bryan: Wherever we are that night is my favorite because I love being on stage playing with the band, and playing for the audience. My favorite venues have a good size crowd that is knowledgeable, good acoustics and a good vibe. Such as: Jazz, Bulldog, Harry’s Country Club, Trouser Mouse, and the nearly departed Westport Flea Market. Ruby Skye in San Francisco is my favorite out of town venue.

Ben: The Hurricane always sounds good, Jazz crowds are the most fun. I like the ambience of the Madrid and the Excalibur in Chicago was cool.

Sammy: Harry’s Country Club is fun, and I like playing wedding receptions & private parties because they’re always different.

Lisa: I too am very fond of Harry’s Country Club & the Bulldog. I love the Jazz because it’s home and everyone there is family to us.

Chad: The Blue Room – so much history there. And playing in Union Station makes my trumpet sound angelic.

4) When you played on your 2004 tour what was the response like? (do you think the young-un's got it or were they just looking at the girlies?)

Everyone: It varied from city to city and club to club. We were booked in some places (dance clubs) that didn’t fit our style, but we opened their eyes and they were happy to be introduced to something new. The people who were into our style of music really dug us. We remember cities like Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, KC, Austin and Dallas as having crowds that really ate it up. Overall, it was positive and we’d love to go on another tour.

5) Do you think you guys are one of the youngest jazz-troops around town, other than Snuff Jazz and Malachy Papers?

Chad: Age doesn’t cross my mind when I think about other bands.

Lisa: I agree.

Ben: Seems like we’re younger than those groups. There’s college groups out there but I guess we’re the youngest of those with consistent members through the years.

Sammy: We’re a young band, but I don’t know the ages of everyone (musicians) out there.

Bryan: Age is misleading. It’s maturity, dedication and playing together for a long time that makes you sound tighter, not how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.

6) Is jazz what drives most of the musicians in Grand Marquis...is it your fave type of music?

Sammy: For me,I like inspirational, feel-good music from Hindu to Flamenco, old-style swing, gypsy jazz and modern jazz, but not smooth jazz!

Bryan: Grand Marquis’ music is my favorite beca

2007 Guest Informant Show Review – Guest Informant Magazine

To really boogie down and swing dance, Jazz: A Louisiana Kitchen (1823 W. 39th St.; 816-531-5556) is an ideal destination.
This hot Cajun spot offers music six nights a week, with food and drink specials to boot. The atmosphere is always fun, especially when the Grand Marquis, one of the city’s hottest jump-and-jive bands, takes over. This cool five-piece, with echoes of ‘30s K.C. and ‘50s Memphis, has been getting folks out of their seats and up on the dance floor for the past seven years, invigorating audiences with their hard-swinging, old-school, blues-based jazz and rockabilly style. Experienced swing dancers show up and get their groove on whenever the Marquis are playing, which is always exciting for spectators as well as the dancers themselves.
“The word ‘jazz’ is confusing because it covers a variety of styles from the 1920’s through today,” Grand Marquis sax man and singer Bryan Redmond points out. “Someone’s perception of that word can mislead them about a band,” he goes on, “but we are definitely the dance and party music kind of jazz mixed with other styles like rhythm-and-blues.”
“We’re accessible to a wide variety of people, and kids up to 90-year-olds love us,” adds Lisa McKenzie, Grand Marquis’ drummer. “I love to see an elderly couple in the crowd dancing; you can tell the music takes them back to when they were young. To me, that’s cool.”

Living Blues Magazine December 2010 Top 25 Chart – Living Blues Magazine

Grand Marquis - Hold On To Me

Radio Station / Chart Position
WQLN 9
WVKR 11
KUNM 12
Radio eM 14
KMXT 16
WPKN 19
CFRO 23

Living Blues Magazine December 2010 Top 25 Chart – Living Blues Magazine

Grand Marquis - Hold On To Me

Radio Station / Chart Position
WQLN 9
WVKR 11
KUNM 12
Radio eM 14
KMXT 16
WPKN 19
CFRO 23

Hold On To Me - CD Review Midwest Review – Midwest Review (Chris Spector)

Were you sorry when Lavay Smith got successful enough that she didn’t have to work so much if she didn’t feel like it and you knew you probably wouldn’t be seeing her sassy stuff anymore? Get that chin off the floor, this crew might move the locus to Kansas City, but the sass and savvy are all there. They might make a bunch of moves to make you think they are working the retro tip but they are just kicking it out on a sound and fury that they have a real affection for. Kansas City in all its old time BBQ glory, jump bluesing into the night with the party in the dance hall of your mind. This platter is a real gasser, daddy-o. Dig it.

Hold On To Me - CD Review Midwest Review – Midwest Review (Chris Spector)

Were you sorry when Lavay Smith got successful enough that she didn’t have to work so much if she didn’t feel like it and you knew you probably wouldn’t be seeing her sassy stuff anymore? Get that chin off the floor, this crew might move the locus to Kansas City, but the sass and savvy are all there. They might make a bunch of moves to make you think they are working the retro tip but they are just kicking it out on a sound and fury that they have a real affection for. Kansas City in all its old time BBQ glory, jump bluesing into the night with the party in the dance hall of your mind. This platter is a real gasser, daddy-o. Dig it.

Hold On To Me - CD Review Planet Weekly (Tuskaloosa, AL) – Planet Weekly (Tuskaloosa, AL)

Grand Marquis has released 'Hold On To Me' with its Kansas City Style and blues-driven jazz. It matters not whether you call their music jazz, blues or swing, it's from the heart and soul of these fine musicians. This is music that was played in the speakeasy joints during Prohibition. This is music that puts you in a good mood.

Hold On To Me - CD Review Planet Weekly (Tuskaloosa, AL) – Planet Weekly (Tuskaloosa, AL)

Grand Marquis has released 'Hold On To Me' with its Kansas City Style and blues-driven jazz. It matters not whether you call their music jazz, blues or swing, it's from the heart and soul of these fine musicians. This is music that was played in the speakeasy joints during Prohibition. This is music that puts you in a good mood.

Hold On To Me - CD Review Nashville Blues Review – Nashville Blues Review

Grand Marquis are a Kansas City-based group that specialize in a swingin' brand of jump and jive that was popular in that city during the 1920's and 1930's. They have quite the following, too, as evidenced by gigs that have ranged from Seattle to South Beach, and "Hold On To Me" is the band's fifth release. It consists of ten too-cool-for-school covers and three originals that give everyone in the quintet ample room to showcase their considerable chops related to this genre of blues!

Grand Marquis consists of Bryan Redmond on vocals and saxes, Chad Boydston on trumpet, Ryan Wurtz on guitar, Ben Ruth on upright bass and vocals, and Lisa Mckenzie on drums. They are all steeped in the traditions of this music, and are not just a novelty act, as they breathe new life into these songs, and do so unabashedly and unapologetically.

They get off on the good foot with the leadoff "Night Is For Lovers," with Bryan giving a suave crooner's take on this one. A sousaphone (!) intro from Ben Ruth kickstarts "Saint James Infirmary Blues," while good ole call-and-response aids and abets the sly double-entendres of "The Spider And The Fly." You know you've got a good friend when that light at the end of the tunnel is a train, 'cuz you can "Hold On To Me!" "Sway" has a Latin beat, with Ryan's solid flamenco lines, while "After You've Gone" and "Exactly Like You" reverberate with the band's unabashed passion for this music.

We had two favorites, too. An extended instrumental intro gives way to Bryan's vocal on "The World Is Waiting On The Sunshine," then everyone gets in a sweet solo. And, the set closes with what must be a killer cut when done in a live setting--a blistering read of Roy Brown's "Good Rockin' Tonight!"

Speaking of live settings, Grand Marquis will be representing the Topeka Blues Society in the 2011 IBC in Memphis. So, head on down to the Bluff City and cheer 'em on, behind the success of "Hold On To Me!" Until next time....Sheryl and Don Crow

Hold On To Me - CD Review Nashville Blues Review – Nashville Blues Review

Grand Marquis are a Kansas City-based group that specialize in a swingin' brand of jump and jive that was popular in that city during the 1920's and 1930's. They have quite the following, too, as evidenced by gigs that have ranged from Seattle to South Beach, and "Hold On To Me" is the band's fifth release. It consists of ten too-cool-for-school covers and three originals that give everyone in the quintet ample room to showcase their considerable chops related to this genre of blues!

Grand Marquis consists of Bryan Redmond on vocals and saxes, Chad Boydston on trumpet, Ryan Wurtz on guitar, Ben Ruth on upright bass and vocals, and Lisa Mckenzie on drums. They are all steeped in the traditions of this music, and are not just a novelty act, as they breathe new life into these songs, and do so unabashedly and unapologetically.

They get off on the good foot with the leadoff "Night Is For Lovers," with Bryan giving a suave crooner's take on this one. A sousaphone (!) intro from Ben Ruth kickstarts "Saint James Infirmary Blues," while good ole call-and-response aids and abets the sly double-entendres of "The Spider And The Fly." You know you've got a good friend when that light at the end of the tunnel is a train, 'cuz you can "Hold On To Me!" "Sway" has a Latin beat, with Ryan's solid flamenco lines, while "After You've Gone" and "Exactly Like You" reverberate with the band's unabashed passion for this music.

We had two favorites, too. An extended instrumental intro gives way to Bryan's vocal on "The World Is Waiting On The Sunshine," then everyone gets in a sweet solo. And, the set closes with what must be a killer cut when done in a live setting--a blistering read of Roy Brown's "Good Rockin' Tonight!"

Speaking of live settings, Grand Marquis will be representing the Topeka Blues Society in the 2011 IBC in Memphis. So, head on down to the Bluff City and cheer 'em on, behind the success of "Hold On To Me!" Until next time....Sheryl and Don Crow

Hold On To Me - CD Review Blues Bytes – Graham Clark, Blues Bytes

Grand Marquis takes you back to the heyday of 1920’s and 30’s Kansas City blues-based jazz. Since the late 90’s, this quintet (Bryan Redmond – vocals and saxes, Chad Boydston – trumpet, Ryan Wurtz – guitar, Ben Ruth – bass, sousaphone, Lisa McKenzie – percussion) has entertained audiences with crowd-pleasing performances and four stellar recordings. Their fifth release, Hold On To Me (Grand Marquis Music) continues that trend with thirteen swinging tracks.

There are ten covers on Hold On To Me, including “The Spider and the Fly,” the silky smooth “Sway,” the Les Paul standout, “The World is Waiting for the Sunrise,” and a pair of Crescent City favorites, “Milenberg Joys,” and a medley of “St. James Infirmary Blues” and “Still Blue Water.” Eddie Durham’s “Topsy,” allows the band ample room to stretch out individually and strut their stuff. Closing out the disc is a strong trio, “Dinah,” “After You’ve Gone,” and a torrid version of Roy Brown’s “Good Rockin’ Tonight.”

In addition, the band contributes three original tunes that stand up well to the classic tracks. The opener, “Night Is For Lovers,” is as perfect an introduction to the band as you could want. “Ain’t No Good To Me” and the title track "Hold On To Me" are equally strong. Redmond shows amazing versatility instrumentally and vocally. The term “well-oiled machine” is overused, but certainly applies to the band.

If you were on board a few years ago with the Swing revival and with bands like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, or the Squirrel Nut Zippers, or the Amazing Royal Crowns, you will absolutely love Grand Marquis. Hold On To Me is a wonderful set of jumping Kansas City jazzy blues that will help move the genre forward into the next century.

-Graham Clarke
Blues Bytes

Hold On To Me - CD Review Blues Bytes – Graham Clark, Blues Bytes

Grand Marquis takes you back to the heyday of 1920’s and 30’s Kansas City blues-based jazz. Since the late 90’s, this quintet (Bryan Redmond – vocals and saxes, Chad Boydston – trumpet, Ryan Wurtz – guitar, Ben Ruth – bass, sousaphone, Lisa McKenzie – percussion) has entertained audiences with crowd-pleasing performances and four stellar recordings. Their fifth release, Hold On To Me (Grand Marquis Music) continues that trend with thirteen swinging tracks.

There are ten covers on Hold On To Me, including “The Spider and the Fly,” the silky smooth “Sway,” the Les Paul standout, “The World is Waiting for the Sunrise,” and a pair of Crescent City favorites, “Milenberg Joys,” and a medley of “St. James Infirmary Blues” and “Still Blue Water.” Eddie Durham’s “Topsy,” allows the band ample room to stretch out individually and strut their stuff. Closing out the disc is a strong trio, “Dinah,” “After You’ve Gone,” and a torrid version of Roy Brown’s “Good Rockin’ Tonight.”

In addition, the band contributes three original tunes that stand up well to the classic tracks. The opener, “Night Is For Lovers,” is as perfect an introduction to the band as you could want. “Ain’t No Good To Me” and the title track "Hold On To Me" are equally strong. Redmond shows amazing versatility instrumentally and vocally. The term “well-oiled machine” is overused, but certainly applies to the band.

If you were on board a few years ago with the Swing revival and with bands like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, or the Squirrel Nut Zippers, or the Amazing Royal Crowns, you will absolutely love Grand Marquis. Hold On To Me is a wonderful set of jumping Kansas City jazzy blues that will help move the genre forward into the next century.

-Graham Clarke
Blues Bytes

Hold On To Me - CD Review 785 Magazine (Robin Cremer) – 785 Magazine

Walking down the street on a brisk fall evening, you pull up your collar to brace yourself against the cool night air. As you do, your ears suddenly pick up the sounds of a swinging live band nearby. Looking down you notice your fingers snapping involuntarily to the beat. As you gravitate towards the music, you drift through the doors, across the lobby, and down the stairs, barely noticing the nice lady taking your money at the door, which you give without hesitation, because you just want to get in the room, closer to that wonderful music you’ve been hearing. When you do get inside and see the five members performing on stage, you check your cell phone for the date. No you haven’t been transported back in time; you’ve just crossed over into . . . the Grand Marquis zone!
Topeka’s representatives for the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Grand Marquis, are coming to Uncle Bo’s Friday, October 1st. Calling it their Topeka CD release show, on tour to promote their latest release; Grand Marquis wants to invite everyone out to see and hear them play their unique and wonderful brand of jazz-tinged jump blues and join in the celebration.
“Hold on to Me,” the latest offering from the band, Grand Marquis demonstrates their love affair with 30’s era jump blues and jazz throughout the fifty minute CD of this exciting mix of blues and jazz standards and original tunes.
Kicking off the CD, Night is for Lovers, is a GM original that allows Chad Boydston and Bryan Redmond the occasion to exercise their right to blow some wicked trumpet and saxophone solos.
Myra Taylor’s The Spider and the Fly is up next, a wonderfully playful song, that Myra wrote based on the nursery rhyme.
An instrumental made popular by Count Basie, Topsy, let’s everybody in the band shine.
The self-penned title track is up next where Bryan assures his lover that even after she’s followed a rainbow and found a dead end, and the light at the end of the tunnel turns out to be a train, and “after all your luck runs dry, you don’t have to hold your head and cry, cause baby you can hold on to me.”
Coming up next are two of my favorites, “Sway” and the Les Paul and Mary Ford standard, “The World is Waiting for the Sunrise.” “Sway,” by Mexican composer and band leader Pablo Ruiz get’s a reverent treatment by GM, and if you can listen to this one without swaying, you’re a better person than I am.
The original six-string shredder Les Paul, would have loved Topeka native and newest member, Ryan Wurtz workout on the intro of the timeless classic, “The World is Waiting for the Sunrise.” About midway into the song, though, the whole thing turns into an outrageous horn-fest, when Bryan and Chad kick into overdrive for some stellar trumpet/sax interplay that will absolutely blow you away!
“Ain’t no Good to Me” is another Grand Marquis original proving once again that these folks have no trouble whatsoever composing songs that sound like they could be swinging standards from days gone by.
“Exactly Like You” has one of the most infectious bass riffs in recent memory. Ben Ruth on the bass is absolutely phenomenal on this song, and Ryan contributes a beautiful solo.
This leads us to the gates of the “St James Infirmary,” a popular live staple for the band. Beginning with a slow duet with tuba and muted trumpet, Bryan sings about seeing his, “baby there, Set down on a long white table, so sweet, so cold, so fair.” It ends with a Dixieland romp reminiscent of Louis Armstrong. I did some research and discovered the title is derived from London’s St James Hospital, dedicated to the treatment of leprosy, until it was closed by King James VIII in 1523, so he could build St James Palace.
‘On Milenberg Joys,” Ryan gets another chance to show off his fretboard wizardry after which, Ben Ruth blows one of the baddest tuba solos you’ll hear for a long, long while.
Enough can’t be said for the percussion skills of Lisa McKenzie. Quite a few drummers have a tendency to overplay, thereby becoming a hindrance to the enjoyment of the song. Lisa’s straightforward rock solid playing style adds exactly what is needed to enhance the utter joy of experiencing Grand Marquis sweet music.
The CD ends with the classic good time party song, “Good Rockin’ Tonight!” Originally written and released in 1947 by Roy Brown, it’s probably more associated with Elvis Presley who released it in 1954. The song begins with a short refrain of, When the Saints Go Marching In; after which it kicks into high gear. One of the most modern sounding songs on the disc, it gives Ryan an opportunity once again to show off his chops, playing some scorching rockabilly licks in the tradition of the great Scotty Moore.
Call it Jump Blues. Call it Swing Jazz. Call it Post-Modern, Neo-Tradionalist, Prohibition-era Jump Blues with Swing Jazz overtones, if you want. Whatever you call it, it’s still some of the most entertaining music you’ll hear and you’ll want to hear more.
So, lace up your dancing sh

Hold On To Me - CD Review by Scott Patterson, Blue Springs Examiner – X Entertainment Magazine, Blue Springs Examiner

The Grand Marquis' new album, "Hold on to Me," is exactly what we all hoped for: straight from the heart. It is real, swinging, jumping, bluesing, wailing music with a brassy shimmer. Their last CD, "One More Day," was so fantastic that it was bound to be difficult to live up to, much less to surpass; however, there's not a nit in the whole “Hold on to Me” works to pick. This album delivers just what Grand Marquis fans crave more of.

From the get-go, the Grand Marquis launch into “Night is for Lovers,” a hot original tune with enough sizzling style to raise Cab Calloway from the dead. It swings with a spicy speakeasy feel. Like the rest of the album, “Night is for Lovers” borrows the ambiance of the great underground music of the early twentieth century coupled with a modern energetic delivery. One gets the sense that this is what the roaring twenties and the swinging thirties would have sounded like if every musician could have really cut loose and shaken off the societal bondage of their times.

The timeless sounds continue with the second track "The Spider and the Fly," originally recorded by Kansas City blues and jazz legend Myra Taylor. It's a defining tune of any live Grand Marquis show, a deep bow of gratitude to the band's musical roots. Another Myra Taylor tune "Still Blue Water" is combined with the classic "St. James Infirmary Blues" later in the album. It is a seamless and classy combination of great swing-era tunes.

In every genre an album comes along about once in a decade that could turn on a whole new generation of fans; an album that shows people whom have never even given much thought to that style of music before what makes that style “work,” what makes that style beloved by its fans. The last time a group captured anything close to what the Grand Marquis do for their jazzy genre, the band Squirrel Nut Zippers brought a similar style to anachronistic national acclaim. The Grand Marquis have original music that is well enough written and soulfully enough performed to do the same thing, if only they get the notice they deserve. By qualifying for the International Blues Challenge finals (IBC, held annually in Memphis, Tennessee), they have earned a chance to perhaps earn the attention they deserve. The Grand Marquis will represent Topeka at the IBC in 2011.

Other originals on the album include the title track, “Hold on to Me,” which has a rocking, driven rhythm coupled with speakeasy-swing-style vocals and lead lines. As each instrument takes over the melody, from the angrily whispered secret of Chad Boydston's expressive trumpet solo to the smooth, expertly melodic rasp of Bryan Redmond's saxophone, the music of the Grand Marquis is an irresistible presence. If you can listen to these tracks without tapping your feet, consult a physician immediately. While the cover tunes on this album are performed with the highest professional zeal, without a doubt the greatest performances that the album offers are the Grand Marquis' fantastic originals. Their song “Ain't No Good to Me” is worthy of the same level of praise given to the previously mentioned “Night is for Lovers” and “Hold on to Me.”

Every musician in this group is an inspired instrumentalist. Lisa McKenzie on drums provides both nuanced flair and heavy beats with equal adroitness, and every tune is ably manhandled by Ben Ruth's threatening, pumping bass. Ruth's sense of rhythm and rich, melodic, counterpoint style is entertaining enough to be a show all its own. Finally, guitarist Ryan Wurtz, a recent addition to the group and a Topeka, Kansas native, plays with a melodic, laid back and tasty jazz style that rounds the Grand Marquis' sound out nicely.

To get the CD and catch the Grand Marquis performing live, there is no better place and time than the CD release party:
Grand Marquis at the Mission Theatre, 5909 Johnson Drive, Mission, Kansas on Friday, September 17, 2010, 7:30pm, All ages, $7 at door, $5 advance, (Hold on to Me CD and ticket combo available at shows and on www.grandmarquis.net $20)

-Scott Patterson, Kansas City Blues & Jazz writer for the Blue Springs Examiner (Blue Springs, MO)

Hold On To Me -CD Review by Kelly McEniry – University of Missouri-Kansas City Marr Sound Archives

On their fifth and latest release, "Hold On To Me," the Grand Marquis show no signs of tiring with what they do best. Their infectious rhythm 'n' roll injects a timeless, good-time vibe into the tried-and-true traditions of hot jazz and jump blues. It's relevant music for old souls and trend-setters alike, shimmy-shakers, and hipsters who don't dance. Their sound is so widely appealing it'd make Wynton Marsalis cut a rug with Lady Gaga.
Killer originals, including the razor-sharp "Night Is For Lovers" and the exotic grinder "Sway," stand tall among standards like “Dinah” and "Exactly Like You." “The Spider And The Fly,” a cover of singer Myra Taylor’s 1940s hit, and the fiery take on Count Basie’s classic “Topsy” leave no doubt of the band's prowess and appreciation for jazz Kansas City-style. The rollicking "Milenberg Joys" demonstrates their mastery of Dixieland stomp and the histrionics of “St. James Infirmary Blues” makes for a gratifying send-up to vintage Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway. In fact, all the songs here are excellent and executed with such precision and fun, you’d have to be dead not to enjoy them.
Boydston's soaring trumpet complements the cool swing of Redmond ’s sax, while the one-two punch of McKenzie's deft percussion and Ruth's driving bass (sousaphone on a couple numbers!) coax the band to new heights. Belying his debut as the band’s fourth guitarist, Wurtz puts down solid fretwork throughout, including the gypsy-esque “Sway” and the opening flourishes of “The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise.” The early R&B anthem “Good Rockin’ Tonight” concludes the album – that is, until you realize the party’s jumping, nobody wants to go home and there’s no desire but to hear the whole dang album again.
Arguably their best studio effort to date, the Grand Marquis are a well-greased time machine from future’s past, here to save you from the monotony of your musical life. Take heed the fevered title track and hold on to this one.

-Kelly McEniry (UMKC Marr Sound Archives, Special Collections)

2010 Topeka Blues Society IBC Winner – 785 Magazine

Sunday afternoon found Uncle Bo’s in downtown Topeka packed to the rafters as a crowd of eager blues fans gathered to hear this year’s contestants compete for the opportunity to represent the city at the International Blues Challenge, in Memphis, Tenn. next February.
Although slated to begin at 12 noon, things didn’t get rolling until around 1 p.m., when Emcee Marshall Barber opened the afternoon program with some announcements.
Of course, number one on his list of announcements was that the six artist roster had been reduced to four by show time Sunday afternoon. Winner of Topeka’s 2009 challenge, Josh Vowell and the Rumble won this year’s Wichita IBC last week, thereby disqualifying the band from performing on the Topeka stage. We wish him well on his trip to Memphis. On a more serious note, Rod Peterson of the Blue Devils, participating in the solo/duo category, suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident the night before and was unable to perform. We hope he’s doing better today.
Marshall then introduced the judges for the event. This was a breath of fresh air in light of a certain recent award event’s secretive selection of winners, utilizing a “closed panel of judges,” method of determining the outcome.
Coming first to the stage from Baldwin City, winners of the solo/duo category, was a father/daughter act. Dave and Molly Brostwick performed a wonderful set of original acoustic blues tunes. Molly, a tremendous bass player, at times provided percussion to the songs, via the use of a tambourine at her foot. Dave Brostwick, plays guitar, sings and composes incredibly witty songs about life, love and the English language.
Dave also performs in KC with the rock band the Groove Pilots and is Assistant Professor of Mass Media at Baker University.
The Red State Blues band from Manhattan was up next. Describing their music as “electrified blues with a rock flavor,” they performed a high energy set of originals and some well picked covers, most notably Otis Rush’s 1958 classic “All Your Loving.”
Hometown favorites Hot Blue Chrome, were up next, featuring 17 year old guitar hero Nick Hern, and also the lovely and talented Maria Cuevas on vocals. Performing an energetic set of mostly original tunes, the band rocked and it looked like they were on there way to Tennessee. In fact, after their set, I turned to my imaginary companion and remarked, “I'd hate to be the band going on after that,” much to the amusement of the man sitting at the table next to me.

The last band up, from Kansas City, Grand Marquis, took the stage brandishing a variety of instruments including an upright bass and a sousaphone?, which got me thinking, this is going to be very bad or very good. But after 30 seconds into their first song, it turned out this was going to be very, very good! Grand Marquis sounds and looks for the most part, like a throwback to the 1930’s Cab Calloway era of jump blues, (they even performed Minnie the Moocher during their encore). The band performed a set of horn-driven, bass slappin’, jazz-tinged jump blues that got the whole audience involved.

Suki Willison, hostess of the afternoon’s festivities was glad to see so many supporters of the blues out to the show, saying, “I was so pleased to see so many people participate by coming to see the show, and their awareness of what [the Topeka Blue’s Society] is doing with the International Blues Challenge.”
Looking forward to year three, and possibility of an even bigger show, she laughs, “Maybe we’ll have to get a bigger room next year.”
It was a great day for the Blues in Topeka! Congratulations go out to the winners, but all of the performers are to be commended for bringing their best to Uncle Bo’s stage; Topeka would be honored to have any of these talented musicians represent the city in Memphis next year.
[ Robin Cremer | August 2010 ]

Best Jazz Band Announcement – Pitch Weekly Kansas City

September 30, 2009 - Wednesday
Best Jazz Band announcement
Best Jazz Band
The Grand Marquis

No matter how many classic masterworks receive new packaging from great labels such as Blue Note and Impulse, and no matter how many times Wynton Marsalis fires up the Lincoln Center to pay homage to the 20th-century titans of this great American art form, interest in jazz is fading like the cinder of an abandoned cigarette. Thank the spirit of Bix Beiderbecke, then, for the Grand Marquis. From 150,000th street down south up to KCI, you won't find a more energetic or more faithful KC jazz act than this youthful five-piece. Having recently celebrated its 700th show, the Grand Marquis is still prompting unsuspecting bargoers every weekend to take drink and dame in hand and dance to the jump rhythm of the "Paseo Street Strut" or any of its many traditional-sounding originals. The Grand Marquis is a band out of time yet completely comfortable in its surroundings, as evidenced by the unflagging, sly smile of singer and saxophonist Bryan Redmond. The Count would be proud.

Jason Harper on 11 Year Anniversary!!! – Pitch Weekly Kansas City

September 30, 2009 - Wednesday
Jason Harper on 11 year Anniversary!!!
The Grand Marquis 11th–Anniversary Party
By Jason Harper
Published on September 22, 2009 at 10:29am
Details:
The Grand Marquis, with Red Lefty and Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers. Saturday, September 26, at Crosstown Station.
Since tooting their first note as a band in May 1998, the members of the Grand Marquis haven't taken more than a week off in 11 years. Add in the four (soon to be five) albums and 175 gigs a year and that, dear friends, is the portrait of one hardworking band. Of course, anyone who has been to a Grand Marquis gig (which, by this point, is practically everyone in the metro) knows that few bands have more fun — or produce more joy in an audience — while onstage. The Grand Marquis also spreads the gospel of Basie and Big Joe outside of town, taking its jump-blues wagon to such towns as Omaha, St. Louis and Chicago. In other words, they're flush. "I think I love it now more than ever," says drummer Lisa McKenzie. "We've gotten to a point where we're like a family." Get in the picture when the Marquis and its friends and relations, Red Lefty from Lawrence and Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers from St. Louis take back the night in the name of swing this Saturday at Crosstown Station. But get there early: From 8 to 9 p.m., the hot-steppin' folks at Blue Martini Entertainment will be giving free dance lessons.


Best Jazz Band Announcement – Pitch Weekly Kansas City

September 30, 2009 - Wednesday
Best Jazz Band announcement
Best Jazz Band
The Grand Marquis

No matter how many classic masterworks receive new packaging from great labels such as Blue Note and Impulse, and no matter how many times Wynton Marsalis fires up the Lincoln Center to pay homage to the 20th-century titans of this great American art form, interest in jazz is fading like the cinder of an abandoned cigarette. Thank the spirit of Bix Beiderbecke, then, for the Grand Marquis. From 150,000th street down south up to KCI, you won't find a more energetic or more faithful KC jazz act than this youthful five-piece. Having recently celebrated its 700th show, the Grand Marquis is still prompting unsuspecting bargoers every weekend to take drink and dame in hand and dance to the jump rhythm of the "Paseo Street Strut" or any of its many traditional-sounding originals. The Grand Marquis is a band out of time yet completely comfortable in its surroundings, as evidenced by the unflagging, sly smile of singer and saxophonist Bryan Redmond. The Count would be proud.