Playhouse Jazz Concert Series
One of the objectives is to bring professional jazz
artists to downtown South Bend, and provide an affordable
venue for people to experience the art of jazz. The
venue also nurtures local jazz talent. Merrimans'
Playhouse is determined to create an environment
for the art of making jazz music. Merrimans'
Playhouse could also be called "a
place for the music of the freedom of expression"
(Duke Ellington). The jazz artist must be given the
freedom to create. The active listener must be given
the benefit of the doubt that they will want to experience
what is being created. The art of jazz making can be
very entertaining, but entertainment is not the art
of jazz making. Letting mass appeal determine the artists'
value is like putting the cart before the horse,
or in this case, putting the Art before the
Source. A receptive environment and audience
allows the artist the freedom to create.
Another goal of Merrimans' Playhouse
is to offer a venue which breaks down as many barriers
as possible in our community (age, culture, socioeconomics,
gender, etc.). It is located downtown, in a neutral
zone, welcome to all. Merrimans' Playhouse
offers the opportunity for this particular
form of expression to be woven into the fabric of our
society, for anyone who chooses to experience it.
Merrimans' Playhouse is founded
by Stephen and Mary Merriman. They form The Merrimans:
Stephen on drums, and Mary on the double bass. Each performance they
feature guest artists to create a unique ensemble. The
Merrimans offer an opportunity for an intimate improvisational dialog between the artists. Jazz is an aural art;
each moment is a new creation. Some favorite composers
of The Merrimans include Bill
Evans, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Duke Ellington, George
Gershwin, Theolonius Monk, Cole Porter, John Coltrane,
and Horace Silver.
"... in an absolute
sense, jazz is more a certain process - a spontaneity
- than a syle." - Bill Evans
The Observer online (ND)
March 9. 2007
Merrimans' Playhouse invites new audiences
-- Michelle Fordice
Hidden in the back corner of South Bend's Century Center is an event that most Notre Dame and Saint Mary's students are unfortunately missing. Once a month, the Merrimans' Playhouse Jazz Performance Series exhibits jazz talent from around the area in a setting welcoming to both enthusiasts and first time listeners. The Merriman Trio features a new musician to fill their third spot for each show, which both allows long time listeners to hear something new and lets those less familiar with the genre experience the essentials of jazz music. CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE.