STU KATZ / JOHN CAMPBELL QUARTET
A Chicago Reunion  -
30 years in the making!

(Stu) Katz . . . remains — along with Barry Harris, Hod O’Brien, and one or two others — among the last fully authentic purveyors of unreconstructed bebop piano in the country.

                                                              – Neil Tesser 

The confident, polished jazz piano playing of John Campbell, who winds up a brief engagement tonight at Zinno, 126 West 13th Street (in New York City), with Michael Moore on bass, suggests that he is an experienced, well-established musician. . . One hears sources in his playing that range from Earl Hines's rolling drive to a light but positive manner that suggests a rather forceful Bill Evans. In the background are occasional suggestions of a pianist he calls 'one of my all-time heroes' - Erroll Garner. His identity . . . comes from the thoughtful skill with which he builds on these sources. . .

 

                                                        -- John O. Wilson 

Stu Katz - piano and vibes

John Campbell – piano and vibes

Jeremiah Hunt – bass

Joel Spencer – drums

Jazz pianists Stu Katz and John Campbell have something unusual in common - each also plays vibes.

 

Although they have been playing musical engagements together on and off for more than 40 years, most of which were with Stu playing vibes and John playing piano, it was only relatively recently that Stu and John decided to assemble a quartet featuring each of them playing both instruments.  

 

The idea sprang to fruition one evening at a jazz club called Vibrato at a time when John was living and working in Los Angeles, California (he recently relocated to the midwest) and when Stu and his family were in Los Angeles for an annual extended stay.  That evening marked the beginning of a string of annual re-engagements at Vibrato for the quartet, which were complemented by occasional performances at other Los Angeles venues.  Stu and John’s upcoming reunion performance at Winter’s will be the first time in over 30 years that their quartet will be playing for a Chicago audience.

 

The quartet will be rounded out by journeyman Chicago drummer Joel Spencer and the talented young bassist, Jeremiah Hunt.

 

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Stu Katz is an American jazz pianist and vibraphonist.  

 

Over his long career, Katz has performed with many prominent jazz musicians including Gene Ammons, Kenny Burrell, Bud Freeman, Dexter Gordon, Roy Haynes, Milt Jackson, “Philly Joe Jones,” Clifford Jordan, James Moody, Zoot Sims, Sonny Stitt and Phil Woods.

 

Katz has played piano or vibes in eleven different Chicago Jazz Festivals and on six jazz-themed cruises on Norwegian Cruise Lines.  In 1990, he toured Italy and Switzerland as the pianist in a quartet led by a long-time collaborator, alto saxophonist Bunky Green.  In August, 2010, Katz played piano and vibes in a quintet co-led by another long-time musical partner multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan at Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase in Chicago.  A live recording of those performances titled A Family Affair - Ira Sullivan and Stu Katz - Live at Joe Segal’s Jazz Showcase was released in September 2011 on the Origin label. 

At the 2015 NEA Jazz Masters Awards ceremony held at Lincoln Center in New York City, Katz was the pianist, along with previous NEA Jazz Masters Award honorees Jimmy Heath and Jimmy Cobb, as well as Ira Sullivan and Ray Drummond in a quintet specially assembled to pay a musical tribute to award winner Joe Segal, the founder of Chicago’s Jazz Showcase.

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John Campbell is an American jazz pianist and vibraphonist.  

 

Campbell was born in Bloomington, Illinois. He studied piano privately as a youth, then attended University High School (Normal) (class of 1973) and, briefly, Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois (where he was known nearly as well for his vibes work as for his piano playing) before moving to Chicago in the mid-1970s, then to New York in the 1980s.

 

Campbell has worked with numerous jazz artists, including Terry Gibbs and Buddy DeFranco, Stan Getz, Eddie Harris, James Moody, Charles McPherson, and Clark Terry, and in the late 1980s was pianist for Mel Tormé. 

Campbell has recorded as a soloist on Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Vol. 29 (Concord Jazz, 1993) and in various trios, such as After Hours (Contemporary, 1988) with bassist Todd Coolman and drummer Gerry Gibbs, and Workin' Out (Criss Cross Jazz, 2001) with bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Billy Drummond.

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