Pianist Harold Mabern helps the Cellar Jazz Club celebrate 13 years
Most big anniversaries come in five- or 10-year increments, but Cellar Jazz Club owner Cory Weeds does things a little differently. This week, he’s celebrating the West Broadway venue’s “lucky 13th” birthday, and there’s definitely been a lot of luck involved in his ability to survive in a town that’s often less than hospitable to live music.
“It’s been a lot of luck, a lot of hard work, and a lot of support from various sources,” the saxophonist stresses, reached by telephone after a Powell River show with veteran pianist Harold Mabern. “Without that support, we would have been gone a long time ago.”
Weeds is especially happy to have the 77-year-old Mabern as the Cellar’s birthday guest from Thursday through Sunday (September 26 to 29). “Harold’s very animated and very personable,” he reports. “I mean, he hasn’t stopped talking since I picked him up at the hotel a few days ago, telling stories about Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter and all these guys.”
Adding to his pleasure is that getting to play sax in Mabern’s quartet puts Weeds in the shoes of such jazz titans as Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley, and Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson. How lucky is that?