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Five Play brings fresh jazz to audiences of all ages

The talented members of the jazz quintet Five Play hailed from various places around the country, indeed, around the globe, and performed with some of the greats before converging in the Bay Area to create the band.

Laura Klein and Dave Tidball at Yoshi's (2010)
Photo by Liz Lam
Five Play (photo by Irene Young)
Photo by Irene Young

“We’re influenced by all of the greats,” said founding member Laura Klein, “but we bring something of our own to the table. Our goal is to write music that’s fresh and could appeal to people of any age.”

The finely-crafted sound of Five Play has garnered them an impressive selection of special guest performers of all ages, and shows around the Bay Area at such as Musically Minded and Yoshi’s.

“That band has great chops” said Dave Rocha of Dave Rocha Jazz

Five Play will be performing on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 8pm at the Jazzschool, located at 2087 Addison St. in Berkeley, California. Founded in 1977, the accredited music conservatory currently offers a four year degree program to adults in addition to its young musician program for children.

The charming and ebullient Klein speaks with enthusiasm about the school and arts education.

“The Jazzschool is a community music school, but four years ago, Susan Muscarella created the Jazz Institute, which is a college offering a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies,” said Laura Klein. “Both Alan Hall and I are on the faculty there.”

Alan Hall and Laura Klein are not the only members of Five Play involved in Bay Area music education. Composer and woodwind instrumentalist Dave Tidball teaches music in Oakland public schools.

“We have three CDs the most recent being ‘Five & More.’,” says Klein. “We will be performing music from that album as well as other music from our repertoire. We will be joined for some compositions by vibist Dillon Vado, who is a student at the Jazz Institute, the college degree granting program at the Jazz School.”

Klein’s creative talents include visual arts, and she is responsible for creating the color collage work designer Nancy Lee Anderson incorporated into the cover art for “Five & More.” Asked about the band's name, she said:

“There are five of us, and the name has a little bit of a racy connotation because of four-play. There was this comedy routine Victor Borge did about inflationary language where instead of saying wonderful you’d say twoderful, or instead of tulip you’d say three-lip, so we named ourselves Five Play.”

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