David Banks Brings Gospel Jazz Back to “A Little Lunch Music”

On February 20 from noon to 1:00 p.m. in the Martin-Perricone Auditorium, A Little Lunch Music welcomes back the David Banks Gospel Jazz Ensemble featuring Tuskegee pianist David Banks. Last January, David brought the house down with his joyful and groovy jazz renditions of traditional gospel music songs. Many thanks to Bill & Josie Walsh, Sue Haygood, and Lillian Ziadeh, who are co-sponsoring this week’s free concert.

David Banks brought his Gospel Jazz Ensemble to A Little Lunch Music last year in January 2013. That was near the beginning of his project, and since then, the group has performed in venues throughout the region. Banks said that the museum concert was the beginning of a rediscovery of his music. He said the audience that day and its response to the music showed him in a big way what kind of effect the music can have on people.

Since then, the sound of the band has evolved. “I’ve kind of rediscovered myself. I’ve learned how to savor the music and get the most out of it,” Banks said.

Other audiences have been discovering the music, too. Since last January, the group has appeared in Atlanta churches, recital halls and presidential receptions at universities, and clubs. He likes that the music can be accessible in so many different venues. Banks said that he considers it a feather in his cap that he can take Gospel music into a nightclub and it be accepted.

Performing with Banks Thursday will be Janie Weise on violin, Barbara Banks and Rusty Taylor on vocals, Michael Johnson on trumpet, and Patrick McCurry on saxophone (that’s me).

A musician himself, Patrick McCurry coordinates A Little Lunch Music and occasionally performs for it. He blogs about the arts in our community.

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