Mike Turk Trio
07:00 PM - 10:00 PM
For those who can't make it to the Jazz Baroness Room, Monkfish now streams live all of its performances on their Facebook page.
Mike Turk, chromatic harmonica
Chris Taylor, piano
Barry Smith, acoustic bass
American born, Mike began playing harmonica in 1967 at age 14. By the early 1970’s he had developed his technique on the “blues” or diatonic harmonica and found his way to Boston where he soon became a local figure in the vibrant music scene that was happening there. It was this period in the 70’s that Turk began to explore the possibilities of the chromatic or “Jazz” harmonica.
From 1978 –1980 he attended Berklee College of Music. This music education afforded Mike the “tools” so to speak to understanding the technique and musical approach of the great Jazz Harmonica phenomenon Jean “Toots” Thielemans. Although Toots is European, Belgian born, the fire in his playing comes from the profound influences and inspirations of the great American Jazz players such as Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker and Zoot Sims. Toots’ early albums are American productions accompanied by some of the heaviest Jazz & Bebop players at that time.…” I’ll always think of the music on Thielemans” Columbia and Riverside recordings as amazing American Jazz experiences!” Turk remarks. Turk began to formulate his ideas on the Harmonica with an almost purely “American” approach using the technique established by Toots Thielemans. Eventually, Turk’s influences would come from a virtual textbook of Bebop and Modern Jazz written by the likes of Charlie Parker, Sonny Stiit, Dizzy Gillespie, Dextor Gordon, Cannonball Adderly, Lee Morgan, Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan, Pepper Adams, Ben Webster, Stan Getz, Wes Montgomery, Milt Jackson, Bill Evans, Lucky Thompson, Hank Mobley…many more, East Coast Bop & West Coast Cool!
In the 1980’s & 1990’s Turk remained in Boston as a working Jazz harmonicist performing in concerts, clubs and as an “on call” studio musician.
In this period Turk performed and collaborated with great Boston players such as Gray Sargent and Marshall Wood ( presently with Tony Bennett) and had the great honor to play with Dave McKenna from time to time. Other somewhat unsung, top-notch Boston players include Jeff Stout, Dick Johnson, Jon Wheatley, Lou Columbo, Ray Santisi, Paul Schmelling, Paul Broadnax, John Lockwood, Bob Gullotti, the great Joe Hunt and also Alan Dawson…..many more great players not mentioned here!