"Sometimes it feels fruitless to play for no one because music is something that’s meant to be shared," jazz pianist Chris Coreil says.
After weeks of performances limited to live streams and the occasional private gig, Coreil is thrilled his group is playing Beauvoir Park in Baton Rouge next week. So thrilled, in fact, that the Chris Coreil Trio is becoming a quintet for the evening.
The group has a great take on "Sunny Side of the Street."
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The five mostly New Orleans-based musicians will be part of the multi-use park's music series which was stopped in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but was revived in June with weekly shows and some Saturday events. The two-acre outdoor facility can accommodate a few hundred people, and limiting the audience to 100 gives patrons even more room for safe social distancing.
In the midst of preparing for the Beauvoir Park concert and moving to New Orleans, 22-year-old Coreil discussed one of his favorite subjects — music.
I see you’re listed as the Chris Coreil Quintet for the Beauvoir show. Is this something you do often? Who have you added for this show?
Usually, we just play as a trio with drums, bass and piano for reasons such as money, space of the venue, noise control or just musical choices. However, this time we are playing outside and it just feels right. I’m beyond excited to add Sam Taylor on sax and John Bishop (the sole Baton Rouge member) on guitar to the band for this event.
Have you played Beauvoir Park before and if so, how did you like playing there?
This is my first time playing there, but I’ve been there for many shows and I love the environment!
Is this your first show since the pandemic stay-at-home order began?
This is my first show back with my group, yes. I’ve been playing livestreams and a few random private gigs but nothing like this.
What have you guys been doing, music or otherwise, during the pandemic?
During this pandemic, my musician friends and I have been either writing music, practicing our instruments or traveling around the country to just see national parks and natural beauty. Honestly, this has been very hard, though. We can’t play music for people consistently, and music is a social event. ... But we are finding joy in the music nonetheless.
Will you be taking any special precautions for this show?
Well, this show will be very wide open so as long as people social distance and wear masks, I think it should be safe.
For anyone who’s never seen you perform, what can they expect?
My group plays a mix of groove music that is bound to make you dance with the rhythm section I have on this gig (Willie Green on drums, Jacob Hubbs on bass). However, we’re also not afraid to push the limits of the ear with complex harmony, rhythms and unconventional forms. The music we are preparing is at a high level, and we are overjoyed to bring it to the public.
How long has the group been together and has it stayed the same lineup?
Well, the trio started with Rudi Neubrander and Jacob Hubbs. I love both of them dearly and consider them to be my musical brothers. We grew up together and without them, I wouldn’t be playing this music. However, depending on the gig and whether or not they can make it, I have to call other people. Now Rudi is leaving for college, so we really have to expand and change the group. I use musicians from all over to play in the group and it’s never the same experience twice.
What were your usual playing venues pre-pandemic?
I usually play restaurants, private events, clubs, whoever is calling me, haha.
CHRIS COREIL QUINTET
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20
Beauvior Park, 2834 Greenwood Drive, Baton Rouge
$20; kid-friendly; BYOB