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By photojournalist Jayne Drooger

Ruth Eckerd Hall was blown away by Summer Horns Friday night! Dave Kos, Mindi Abair, Kirk Whalum and Vincent Ingala combined their incredible talent on one stage. The energy on that stage made me believe it was about to ignite at any minute! Clearwater was the kickoff show for Summer Horns which continues through October. Dave introduced his keyboardist, John Stoddard who sang a beautiful version of The Dance, Vincent not only played his horn but also guitar and then jumped on the drums, and did I mention all four artists sing?

Dave Koz has recently put out two new albums, the more traditional smooth jazz-sounding A New Day, and a collaboration with jam/funk guitarist Cory Wong, The Golden Hour. When asked about the horns he put together for this show he told Houston Press’ Bob Ruggiero, “Kirk Whalum, to me, is the best tenor saxophonist alive. Mindi Abair is the Queen and created a completely new sound for the saxophone, and she’s a dear friend,” he says. “And then we have a young buck in Vincent Ingala, who turned the world of contemporary jazz on its ear when he debuted at all of 16 years old. He’s now 29. I have socks older than he is! But we need new artists to take this music into new territory. To me, he’s at the forefront of pushing that envelope.”

The Ruth Eckerd audience was on its feet for a good part of the show…it was nearly impossible to sit and it was obvious that these musicians were having a great time after the year without music and so did we! #Summerhorns