UNC alum Will Caviness returned to Chapel Hill's West End Wine Bar last night, to jam with local jazz faculty. After graduating, Caviness attended New England Conservatory and now performs his own jazz compositions in New York City. His NC All Star Quartet included NCCU professors Thomas Taylor (drums) and Ed Paolantonio (piano), and UNC-Greensboro professor Steve Haines (bass). Saxophonist Andy Paolantonio also joined them onstage for one of Caviness' originals.
Will Caviness, trumpet, with bassist Steve Haines
Will was the first trumpeter with Charanga Carolina, back in the early '00s; director David Garcia was there to welcome him back, as well as other Charanga alumni. Will's name was familiar to me from Charanga, but I don't remember hearing him play as a soloist. I was astounded by his versatility, playing both trumpet and flugel with refined speed at times, and forceful blues at others.
UNC Jazz Director Jim Ketch sits in with his former student
At the end of the formal performance, Will asked if any of the trumpeters in the audience wanted to come up and join him. Jim Ketch, his former teacher at UNC, obliged. The tune was "Night in Tunisia," which turned out to be the Easter egg of the evening, full of witty turns which delighted musicians and audience alike. Thomas Taylor's rhythm doctoring made me aware, once again, that it's not always the showcasing of individuals that gives the greatest pleasure in the jam session, but the chemistry of surprise.
It's too dark to really see who's playing, but this is Jim Ketch soloing for the first two minutes; then you can see Will walk in to the mic from stage right:
Artist website: Will Caviness, Jazz Trumpeter and Educator
Facebook event page: Will Caviness NC All Star Quartet