Hamilton’s Urban Backyard to host Sunday afternoon jazz concert

Kelly MacKenzie-Thurley and The Phil DeGreg Trio to perform.

Four accomplished jazz artists are set to perform at a Sunday afternoon concert at Hamilton’s Urban Backyard.

“One of the main reasons we did this with Hamilton’s Urban Backyard is to bring consistently good, different, eclectic live music to Hamilton. Obviously, RiversEdge is phenomenal and N2 (North Second Tap and Bottle Shop) has some great music, and we wanted to build on that, locally, as far as always bringing different bands and different types of music to the city. Sundays just felt right with jazz,” said Jeff Bucalo, who own’s Hamilton’s Urban Backyard with his wife, Gina, and Dave and Emily Ernst.

The concert will be 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday and feature Kelly MacKenzie-Thurley and The Phil DeGreg Trio. The Phil DeGreg Trio is made up of DeGreg on piano, Aaron Jacobs on bass and John Taylor on Drums. Admission is free.

“It just felt like a natural fit to have this highly regarded jazz trio with Kelly MacKenzie-Thurley, a local singer, who has an angelic voice. It seemed perfect for what we’re trying to do,” Bucalo said.

MacKenzie-Thurley is a 1990 Hamilton High School graduate. She is also a graduate of Northern Kentucky University and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She has sung in operas, musicals, cabarets, recitals and concerts throughout the United States, Australia, Italy, Czech Republic, Austria, the United Kingdom and Germany, including performances at Cincinnati’s Music Hall, Harlech Castle in North Wales and at the Sydney Opera House.

MacKenzie-Thurley serves as an adjunct faculty member at Northern Kentucky University’s School of the Arts. She has also managed voice studios in Sydney, London and Cincinnati, where she has worked with private students, recording studios and vocal ensembles. In 2018, she took over as Director the NKU Vocal Jazz Ensemble. MacKenzie-Thurley is also active on committees for the Junior Women’s League, Hamilton Community Foundation and Hamilton City Schools.

“There’s such a great depth of talent in Cincinnati and Dayton. It’s going to be great to bring that to Hamilton. To bring this caliber of talent to Hamilton’s Urban Backyard for an afternoon of jazz is going to be wonderful for the people of Hamilton, both for the jazz lover’s as well as those who don’t really know that much about jazz,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.

There will be two sets. Audiences can expect to hear jazz standards, everything from Latin and Brazilian music, to ballads, swing and bebop.

“We expect a good crowd. So, we encourage people to arrive early and bring a chair,” said MacKenzie-Thurley. “We really look forward to performing at Hamilton’s Urban Backyard. Jeff and the staff have created a great venue there. They have an incredible commitment to live music, and locally sourced food and beverages.”

She said Hamilton’s Urban Backyard is a fantastic place to gather and there’s a great vibe there. The food truck park and craft beer bar is located at 501 Main St. in Hamilton. V

Hamilton’s Urban Backyard typically hosts live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Recently, live music was added on Thursdays with solo artists and acoustic acts, to expand the offerings.

“We’re looking to continue to bring different things to the Backyard,” Bucalo said.

How to go

What: Sunday Afternoon Jazz featuring Kelly MacKenzie-Thurley and The Phil DeGreg Trio

When: 1:30 p.m. Sunday

Where: Hamilton’s Urban Backyard, 501 Main Street in Hamilton

Cost: Free admission. Food and beverages are available for purchase.

More Info.: www.hubhamilton.com

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