GRAMMY nominated world music-contemporary jazz band Special EFX was in Denver one month into their concert tour promoting their 21st album, “All Stars,” when the coronavirus pandemic forced their return home to shelter in place. For band leader Chieli Minucci, home is the epicenter of COVID-19 in the US: New York City. After three months of quarantine, Special EFX will resume its concert tour this Friday when they take the stage of Southern California jazz hotspot Spaghettini for a show performed in front of half the capacity of normal in order to comply with Orange County restrictions. The concert will be streamed live at 8pm PT/11pm ET via Spaghettini’s Facebook page.
Minucci will share the Spaghettini stage with keyboardist Lao Tizer, drummer Gene Coye and bassist Ric Fierabracci. When he last led his band of rotating collaborators to whom the album title refers as “All Stars,” the new collection had been out for four weeks and the band’s blues-jazz single, “Hanky Panky Boys,” was moving up the national charts. When the plug had to be pulled on the tour, they still had another month of concert dates ahead of them before playing Minucci’s hometown album release concert that was slated to take place in New York City at The Cutting Room on April 11. No timeline yet for when that show can be rescheduled so when the opportunity was presented to play the new music for fans in person as well as for a global audience via the livestream, Minucci was eager to make it happen. While many artists began livestreaming pseudo concerts during quarantine, Minucci does not feel comfortable in that setting, but he does embrace livestreaming a performance where he is actually on stage with his band members.
Shortly before the lockdown, Special EFX was in Washington, DC to record a short concert at SiriusXM’s studio for national radio broadcast. The airdate will soon be announced.