Back to His Roots

UWEC grad brings jazz trio to town for State gig

Steve Freuhauf

BELOW: John Raymond is ready to step up his game.
John Raymond is ready to step up his game.

Jazz trumpeter John Raymond may live in New York, but his roots are heavily woven into the Midwestern lifestyle. Originally from Minneapolis and a graduate of UW-Eau Claire’s famed jazz program, Raymond said he couldn’t be more excited about returning to the Chippewa Valley with one of his groups, the Roots Trio, to perform backstage at the State Theatre Sept. 12. The group will perform in Eau Claire Friday and head back to Minneapolis the next day for another show and to begin recording a debut album. (The trio’s other members are guitarist Gilad Hekselman and drummer Colin Stranahan.) Raymond said these two performances are especially important not only because they will be in a couple of his favorite places, but also because it’ll be the group’s last chances to fine-tune its music before stepping into the studio. Raymond said Roots Trio’s album will have a smooth combination of flugelhorn and guitar, partially inspired through a few albums by jazz trumpeter Art Farmer and guitarist Jim Hall. Through this focus, he said the group has been performing more folk-infused music, but they also perform renditions of classical hymns and some indie rock covers. Hear it all in the intimate setting of a backstage concert, where the performers and audience share the stage at the State.

John Raymond and the Roots Trio • Fri., Sept. 12, 7:30pm • The State Theatre, 316 Eau Claire St. (use backstage door) • $10 • 832-2787 (ARTS)  info@eauclairearts.com • eauclairearts.com