Posted on 23 June, 2015
NEW PROFESSIONAL VIDEO BY THE TW TRIO
“Pretty Eyes,” composed by the great hard-bop pianist, Horace Silver is a tune that rarely gets played by jazz musicians unless, you’ve spent time playing with the late, great Willie Akins from St. Louis. Akins was from St. Louis, IL and moved to New York to play there from the 1950s to the 1970s. Willie was there during jazz music’s heyday. He saw Thelonious Monk frequently, and shared the stage with numerous jazz greats. Too many to mention here. Akins returned to St. Louis where he began his own quartet and since then, he has been regarded as the band to work with if you are a jazz musician. Travis worked with Akins from roughly 2004-2006. “Working with Akins was like a jazz school within itself,” says Travis. “It was like listening to all of the modern, saxophone greats at once. He surrounded himself with younger players and took pride in shaping them to be some of the best players. So many musicians came from the ‘Akins School’ as I call it.” This video showcases Travis’ trio on Akins’ arrangement of “Pretty Eyes.” Without a saxophonist, this is one of the closest versions to Akins’ that you’ll hear. God bless Willie.
Here Travis, Toby and Tom perform “Take on Me” originally recorded in 1984 by the European band, A-ha. Please enjoy and feel free to include your comments on the YouTube page.
UPCOMING PERFORMANCE CALENDAR TO BE ANNOUNCED. PLEASE STAY TUNED!!
PAST SHOWS & EVENTS
SATURDAY, JULY 2ND @ THE MARS GALLERY, CHICAGO, IL (FULTON MARKET)
Featured Travis Wesley on piano, Toby Curtright on the upright and Tom Marko on drums.
TUESDAY, JUNE 21 @ TONY ROMA’S BLOOMINGTON, IL. THE TRAVIS WESLEY TRIO
Featured Travis on piano, Tim Brickner on upright bass and Matt Endres on drums.
THURSDAY, JUNE 16 ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY
Live performance at Illinois State University’s History Gala. Featured Travis on piano, Toby Curtright on the upright bass and Tom Marko on drums.
SATURDAY, JUNE 11, TRAVIS WESLEY TRIO AT THE PEORIA RIVERFRONT JAZZ FESTIVAL
The trio had a wonderful time opening the Peoria Jazz Festival this year. The festival featured many jazz groups from around the Central Illinois area including long-time trumpeter for Ray Charles, Dave Hoffman. Travis will have with him, Matt Hughes on upright bass, and Tom Marko on drums. Matt Hughes played professionally in New York with some of jazz music’s top artists. He is featured on the great Betty Carter’s last studio album, I’m Yours, Your Mine, received his doctorate from The University of Illinois and is now the jazz bass professor at Western Illinois University. Drummer, Tom Marko was recently signed to Summit Records on the heels of his latest studio album, Into The Light. Marko received his doctorate from the University of Northern Colorado and has been the Director of Jazz Studies at Illinois State University for over 10 years. This is the same ensemble that recorded Travis’ 2012 trio album Natural Diversion. They played selections from that album, some from Travis’ 2013 album, Cycle by Three as well as some compositions and arrangements that Travis has been preparing for his trio’s third studio album.
TUESDAY, 5/24/16 (6-9pm) @ TONY ROMA’S, BLOOMINGTON, IL: TRAVIS WESLEY TRIO
Featured Travis, Toby and Tom, the regular trio.
TUESDAY, 4/5/16 (6-9pm) @ TONY ROMA’S, BLOOMINGTON, IL: TRAVIS WESLEY TRIO
Featured Travis, Toby and Tom, the regular trio.
TUESDAY, 3/1/16 (6-9pm) @TONY ROMA’S, BLOOMINGTON, IL: TRAVIS WESLEY TRIO
Travis’ trio is looking forward to be performing at Tony Roma’s in Bloomington, IL Tuesday, March 1st from 6-9pm. Travis will have his regular, critically acclaimed, internationally recognized trio with him consisting of Travis on piano, Toby Curtright on bass and Tom Marko on drums. Tony Roma’s offers specials for jazz patrons including wining and dining in the Lincoln Room during jazz events. Below is a video of Travis performing with Glenn Wilson and the Jazz Maniacs who opened the Tuesday night jazz event on February 9th. Glenn is a nationally renowned recording artist who has played and recorded with some of jazz music’s most elite musicians throughout his career. He has recently performed in Chicago with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga (when they did their jazz thing of course). :) It’s this level of musicianship that Tony Roma’s is committed to bringing into their venue on a weekly basis. We hope you see you there!
2/13/16: TRAVIS WESLEY TRIO FEATURING VOCALIST, RON JONES @ CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL IN SPRINGFIELD, IL 6-10PM
Travis is excited to return to Springfield, IL with his trio where he played several years ago with his own trio and was a fixture on the jazz scene as house pianist at the jazz club, Remy’s. Here he played with artists from Chicago such as Frieda Lee, Margaret Murphy, Frank Parker, Ben Wheeler, Johnny Owens an his own trio. On Saturday, February 13th, Travis’ critically acclaimed trio will be featured along with vocalist Ron Jones from 6-10pm. This event is open to the public.
2/9/16: TRAVIS WESLEY FEATURED WITH GLENN WILSON AND THE JAZZ MANIACS @ TONY ROMA’S IN BLOOMINGTON, IL
Critically acclaimed jazz saxophonist and recording artist, Glenn Wilson will be featured along with Travis Wesley, Mikel Combs (Bass) and Matt Endres (Drums) kicking off Tony Roma’s Fat Tuesdays on February 9th from 6-9pm. Wilson has worked and recorded with The Buddy Rich Band, Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra, Tito Puento, Bill Machito, Bob Belden Ensemble and scores of other Jazz and Latin-Jazz groups. Check Glenn out at jazzmaniac.com.
BELOW VIDEO IS FROM 2/9/2016: GLENN WILSON AND HIS JAZZ MANIACS @ TONY ROMA’S, BLOOMINGTON, IL (LINCOLN ROOM)
2/5/16: FEATURES TRAVIS WESLEY ON SOLO PIANO @ THE BLOOMINGTON COUNTRY CLUB
1/31/16: TRAVIS WESLEY TRIO AT SUNSET HILLS COUNTRY CLUB, EDWARDSVILLE, IL (ST. LOUIS AREA)
1/22/16: TRAVIS WESLEY FEATURED WITH GLENN WILSON AND THE JAZZ MANIACS
Critically acclaimed jazz saxophonist and recording artist, Glenn Wilson will be featured along with Travis Wesley, Matt Hughes (Bass) and Matt Endres (Drums) at Uptown Station’s University Station on Friday, January 22 from 5:30-8pm. Wilson has worked and recorded with The Buddy Rich Band, Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra, Tito Puento, Bill Machito, Bob Belden Ensemble and scores of other Jazz and Latin-Jazz groups. Check Glenn out at jazzmaniac.com.
11/3/15: TRAVIS WESLEY INTERVIEWED BY HEARTLAND COLLEGE’S MARKETING DEPARTMET
On November 3rd, Travis was interviewed by heartland College’s marketing department on the heels of his trio’s success and approach in the college classroom. Travis teaches Jazz, Blues and Rock at Heartland College, Jazz Piano and Music Appreciation. During the interview, Wesley fielded questions about his career, and teaching approach at HCC. Video was taken as well as photographs and the preliminary story is now available on HCC’s website HERE. So, please check it out and revisit this site for any updates to the story! A special thanks to the marketing department at Heartland Community College for taking the time and showing an interest in in Central Illinois’ vibrant, yet often underrated arts community! There’s great things happening at one of Illinois’ finest community colleges nowadays. Great students to start with, and a very qualified, dedicated and enthusiastic staff.
10/2/15: TRAVIS WESLEY’S TRIO CONDUCTS MASTER CLASS AND CONCERT AT EASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY.
THE TRAVIS WESLEY TRIO’S CYCLE BY THREE IS THE FEATURED ALBUM ON THE JAZZ NETWORK WORLDWIDE
The trio is very excited that Cycle By Three has been Featured on The Jazz Network Worldwide from 9/29/14 – 10/12/14. We’re humbled to be featured amongst artists such as Al Jarreau, Nick Smith, Gerald Albright, Miss Sharon Marie Cline, Mike Longo, Harvey Mason and Ellen Doty on JNWWs homepage. This feature also prompted a press release that went out to over 3,000 news outlets. Out of those, over 250 news outlets picked up the release nationwide. In honor of this exposure, I have lowered the cost of my album (both downloadable and physical copies) on CDBaby. We have plenty of stock there, and your support would be most sincerely appreciated. A special “shout out” to Jaijai Jackson for considering our album, and for her hard work in getting the feature up and running on The Jazz Network Worldwide.com, for her album review and for assisting with a new, nationwide press release for the album!
CYCLE BY THREE, BY THE TRAVIS WESLEY TRIO IS NOW ON PANDORA RADIO!
The Travis Wesley Trio’s recent release, Cycle By Three is officially on Pandora Radio. We’re humbled that the album has been deemed worthy enough to be played amongst some of the world’s most innovative artists. Thanks to Pandora and their curation team for making this happen! You can now create a “The Travis Wesley Trio” station to hear a radio station based off of our music. Many already have Pandora, but in case you don’t know, it’s free and comes with a great app for iPhone & Droid phones. Just check out their website.
RECENT PERFORMANCE @ THE IRON POST IN URBANA, IL: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21st, 7-10pm
It was great to be a part of jazz guitarist, Chris Beyt’s upcoming album featuring Mikel Combs on bass, Matt Endres on drums, Michael Fenoglio on the alto saxophone, Chris Beyt on guitar, along with me on piano at the Iron Post in Urbana, IL. at 120 S. Race St. in Urbana, IL. We mainly played Chris’ compositions along with a few standards. I really missed playing with these guys as I went through the doctoral program with most of the group from 2010-2012. Chris recently completed his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Jazz Guitar Performance from the University of Illinois. He also completed his Masters Degree in Jazz Studies (Jazz Guitar Performance) at the University of North Texas. I’m very excited about playing his music. HERE is Chris’ website. Please check back often for updates on his album as we will likely be recording in the November – December, 2014 timeframe. Below is a photo taken by my cousin, Stewart of Chris and I on the gig at the “Post.” Please stay tuned!
INTERVIEW WITH LAURA KENNEDY 89.1FM WGLT AIRED AUGUST 23rd, 2013
In March, 2012 Travis was interviewed by jazz radio personality Laura Kennedy (WGLT 89.1 fm) on his new album release, Cycle By Three. This short segment features a Q & A session between Travis and Laura along with selected tracks from the album.
THE TRAVIS WESLEY TRIO, CYCLE BY THREE (AUGUST, 2013 RELEASE)
“While Travis Wesley’s playing on 2012’s Natural Diversion showed his roots, Cycle By Three displays his individuality and creativity. This colorful and inventive set points the way towards the piano trio of the future.” – Scott Yanow, author of ten books including The Jazz Singers, Trumpet Kings, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76 (July, 2013).
“On Cycle By Three, each track is a standout that holds tight to the thread that join the songs together. The superb empathy between these players pulls you in from the start and will stay with you long after.” – Laura Kennedy, Jazz journalist and radio personality, WGLT Radio 89.1FM.
NATURAL DIVERSION (MARCH, 2012 RELEASE)
“A fixture in the Midwest where his trio appears regularly, pianist Travis Wesley is heard at his best on his new CD, Natural Diversion. Teamed with bassist Matt Hughes and drummer Tom Marko, the pianist displays what he learned from studying and enjoying the music of such straight ahead greats as Red Garland, Wynton Kelly, Erroll Garner and Ahmad Jamal, yet infuses the performances with his own musical personality, building upon their innovations rather than merely recreating ideas from the past.” – Scott Yanow, jazz journalist, columnists, historian and author of ten books including The Jazz Singers, Trumpet Kings, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76