As you may have already heard, Dennis Irwin has been diagnosed with a very serious illness.
It would be impossible for me to count the number of amazing shows I've seen with Dennis Irwin on bass. The above photo is from his appearance with Matt Wilson's Arts and Crafts at the 2007 IAJE Conference, just one among many truly memorable hits.
There are two upcoming benefit concerts to raise money to help Dennis pay his medical bills, and for us to show our appreciation for the man's outstanding musical contributions.
The first is tomorrow night (Sunday, Feb 3) at Smalls, organized by Spike Wilner:
We will be having a benefit event for him at Smalls Jazz Club on Sunday, February 3rd after the Super Bowl. Even though this may not be the most convenient date, time is of the essence and we cannot wait here. We will begin at 10:00 PM and continue until 4:00 AM at Smalls. Everyone is invited to come down and participate by playing and also by making a contribution. A box will be set up so that the donations will be discreet and anonymous. Everything collected will go directly to Dennis. There will be no cover charge for this event but you'll be expected to contribute something, whatever's within your means. Smalls will be donating a portion of bar sales to Dennis as well (so come and drink!).
And on February 18, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra will pay tribute to their longtime bassist:
On Monday, February 18, 2008 at the Village Vanguard, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra will honor its great bassist Dennis Irwin with a night of music featuring guest soloists Joe Lovano and John Scofield whose bands have also run on Irwin power for much of the last 15 years. The motivation for this night is to say thanks to a rare person, of great value to all of us, on and off the bandstand. The reason we're doing it now is because Dennis is undertaking a medical battle and we're in it with him.
Show times are 8:00, 10:00, and 12:00. Sets one and two will feature Joe and John with the band playing material from all periods of the band's great library. Set three will open it up for the band and many of Dennis' friends to come down and tear it up. The bar will be open as usual but admissions will be tax deductible and may be cash (receipts available) or check (made out to Sixteen as One Music Inc. memo Dennis Irwin) at the door. All admissions going to Dennis. Sets one and two - $75. each. Set three - $50. Those who wish to contribute but can't attend should send checks made out as above to:
Sixteen as One Music Inc.
888-C 8th Ave. #160
New York, NY 10019