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Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Mike Steinel Quintet

     The McPherson Opera House played host to two different acts this past weekend.  On Friday, there was The Mike Steinel Jazz Quintet and on Saturday, the featured act was The Wrinkle Neck Mules. 

     Friday night began with a performance by The McPherson College Jazz Ensemble.  The opener continued with a performance by The Smoky Valley High School Jazz Band.  Then it was time for The Mike Steinel Jazz Quintet.

     The quintet performed about nine different pieces.  Many of the song were originals compositions written by the band members.  There was Broadway, followed by Beto Junction (an original tune), We Will Meet Again, and a favorite of the evening, an original tune entitled Mr. Hooper's Find It In A Minute Book, written by Rosana Eckert, who provided vocals throughout the show.  Another stand out, and a song that has always been a favorite of mine, The Windmills of Your Mind.  Rosana did a terrific job singing this song.  I believe she did a better job than Dusty Springfield who made this song famous.  Rosana's voice is so rich and warm, the audience could just sink into the song, and wrap up in it like a warm blanket.

     This show had it all; the fast flying fingers of Pat Coil on the piano, the cool laid back groove of bass player Jeff Eckels, a jazzy beat provided by Steve Barnes on the drums, Rosana Eckert's smooth vocals, and last but not least, that groovy brass trumpet sound provided by Mike Steinel to round out the group.

     On Saturday, the quintet traveled to Wichita to play at The Roxy and then it was off to Oklahoma for a show in a restored train station.

     Mike Steinel, is originally from Marion, Kansas, is now an educator at the University of North Texas.  He brought his jazz quintet to McPherson to participate in the second annual Jazz Festival at McPherson College.  The festival featured 22 different high school bands as well as The McPherson College Jazz Ensemble.

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