The Lovejoygroup is a versatile ensemble serving up energetic jazz, funky blues and smooth Latin rhythms. Karen Lovejoy, vocalist and bandleader, fronts the group.
Lovejoy migrated from the Midwest where she began singing contemporary ballads, rhythm&blues and top 40. However, when she discovered jazz, she found a home. The freedom to reinterpret music at a whim, turning a tune inside out, and choosing generous lyrics, appealed to her expansive spirit.
To the delight of many, Lovejoy settled on the east coast where she has honed her skills. In performance the Lovejoy name rings true. Her warm stage presence and harmonious tone resonates a kind of joy that leaves the music always hopeful. Karen knows that the blues is an integral part of jazz and will frequently add a twist of down home blues to her repertoire. Lovejoy has produced a number of original tunes including the title cut for the groups latest CD, Spellbound.
The Lovejoygroup has won a number of awards including, most recently, the 2006 Jazz Jammie Award. Each member brings a wealth of experience to the collective. Herb Smith enhances the Lovejoy sound with saxophone and woodwinds. This jazz historian keeps the group grounded in the best of jazz traditions. His sound reflects the elegance of “Bird” and the soul of “Cannonball.” Herb draws from the deep tributary of jazz and blues while evolving the tradition into today.
Drummer, Lawrence “Bubbles” Dean, brings fire to the group. His rhythms are solid yet intricate, and add body and texture to the music. "Bubbles" plays with authority regardless of genre.
Jerry Allen is pianist and musical director for The LovejoyGroup. A published arranger and writer, his handle, “The Maestro,” is well earned. His invaluable contributions to the group stem from his hard work, dedication and expansive musical knowledge.
Born and raised in the New York Metro area, Bob Shann complements the group on upright bass. A master bassist with over 25 years under his belt, he received a BA degree in Classical Performance from SUNY at Stony Brook University. Bob has performed with Dave Liebman, Toots Thieleman, Mulgrew Miller, Joanne Brackeen and many others.
Individually and collectively the group has played and shared the stage with such notables as: Dionne Warwick, Brian McKnight, Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Williams, Bebe Winan, Al Green, Phineas Newborn, Clark Terry and Webster Young. Club appearances have included: 219 Club, Twins Jazz, Bohemian Caverns, Café Lautrec, HR-57, Ramada Inn, L’Enfant Plaza, the Saloon, B&B Main Street Café, Westminster, Mayorga, Blues Alley, Smithsonian and Kennedy Center.
The Lovejoy Blues Machine is a spin off the Lovejoygroup. It is all blues, all the time. It features the group’s guitarist, Tony Harrod. Earning the name “Chameleon” for his ability to seamlessly move from genre to genre, mastering nuances of sound without missing a beat.
The Blues Machine renders traditional down home blues with a hard-hitting, foot stomping groove. The sound is fueled by Kentucky born bassist Bill Branch. Bill’s bass lines are solid, ushering in “good-time rhythms” that show off his Kentucky roots. Check out “Juke Joint” for a taste.