Jazz is alive and well at the Opera House


Heather Niday
Contributing Writer

A classic jazz trio, the Jenny Wilson Trio, is coming to the Pocahontas Opera House in Marlinton on Friday, November 6. And what looks like the bare minimum for a jazz ensemble produces a rich sound that invites you in. With this nimble and talented group, the Opera House will be transformed into an intimate jazz club experience.
Jenny Wilson is the heart of the trio, playing piano and flute, and providing the vocals. She’s honed her jazz chops over the years, playing and studying both in the US and in Europe. She’s earned a Master of Jazz Pedagogy from West Virginia University, which means not only has she studied jazz performance, but also can share that knowledge on a highly technical level with jazz students. She has a delicate touch on the piano, which balances well with her voice. She counts among her piano influences Vince Guaraldi and longtime Pat Metheny collaborator, pianist Lyle Mays. When she takes to the flute, she brings to mind the late Herbie Mann, a pioneer on the jazz flute.
Jenny’s husband Nathan Wilson is the bassist for the trio; also their webmaster and responsible for their recordings. He’s also a member of the Squonk Opera, based in Pittsburgh that can only be described as a musical, visual, operatic experience, although according to their webpage, the Washington Post once described them as Debussy Meets Godzilla. Seriously, check out this group at squonkopera.org. His playing with the two groups perhaps presents a view into the yin/yang of his musical personality. While his electrical bass in the Squonk Opera is uninhibited, loud and raucous, his subtle playing on the upright bass in the trio is the perfect counterpoint to Jenny’s piano.
Drummer Michael Berry, shown in some press release pictures of the trio, played with the trio in performances in the past. A long time professor of music at Washington and Jefferson College in Pennsylvania, Berry passed away in August of 2015.
Jenny’s son, Evan Lintz, will be on the drums for the November 6 performance at the Opera House. He is currently a student at West Virginia University and teaches percussion at Fawley Music, a music store in Morgantown, where the trio resides. He’s also on the recording for the trio’s latest album “Willow.”
The Jenny Wilson Trio has been busy this fall, playing a number of venues around West Virginia and in Pennsylvania. Their concert is Friday, November 6, at the Pocahontas Opera House in Marlinton at 7:30 p.m. and appears to be the last scheduled performance for 2015. Admission is $10 and the doors open at 6:30 p.m. Children under 17 are admitted free.
Don’t miss this chance to expand your musical landscape, even if you don’t think you like jazz. It is, after all, a true American art form.

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