JANUARY 11-12: WILLIE BRADLEY & ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS
Currently working on their full length contemporary urban jazz debut Don’t Look Back, trumpeter Willie Bradley and bandmates Cornell Young (drums) and Ted Ash (keyboards) bring a unique and colorful history to their current high-energy jazz/R&B/funk-influenced band Essential Elements. In 2002, the three Fayetteville, N.C., natives joined forces as the Willie Bradley Trio. Pooling their talent, the trio became a popular live attraction throughout their area, playing covers and originals over the next couple years.
Several years later, as fate would have it, the three were unwittingly attending the same church, Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist. At the urging of their pastor, they began playing jazz arrangements of gospel songs under the name The Kingdom Builders. They also performed at couples’ ministry banquets and at other churches in the region. While continuing to play gospel, the three ultimately decided to get their jazz groove going again.
“Our bond is stronger now than it ever was, because we are now more spiritually sound…,” says Bradley. “We’re doing it the right way now, and the fellowship we enjoy as friends is as strong as the chemistry we share as musicians. Just as the group name implies, each member of Essential Elements brings a different flavor, personality and sound to the band. Each one of us brings a unique element to the group. I think another thing that sets our sound apart is the way I approach the trumpet – in a more melodic way than usual, much like that of sax player.”
Showtimes are 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. The cover is $10. For reservations, call 919-832-8685.