Band of the Week

Ernie Krivda and the Detroit Connection

Meet the Artist: Ernie Krivda (sax), Claude Black (piano), Jeff Grubbs (acoustic bass) and Renell Gonsalves (drums).

The Detroit Connection: As the name implies, Krivda's backing band hails from Detroit. "They get it," he says of the group. "Detroit is a great jazz city. I've been playing in Detroit since the 1960s. Even though Motown was a big deal, the musicians who played there were jazz musicians. These players reflect that tradition and come from an understanding of bebop that I also share with them." Krivda recorded his new album, Ernie Krivda Live at the Tri-C Jazz Festival, with the band at two separate shows at the East Cleveland Public Library's Greg Reece Performing Arts Center in 2008 and 2009.

Good Work, If You Can Get It: "It's always hard to be able to do what you want to do in the music business," says Krivda. "I've been fortunate that I've been able to do that. As a musician you work for the ability to play what you want, when you want. It doesn't mean it's easy."

The Teaching Process: Krivda has taught in the Tri-C Jazz Studies program since it began in the '90s. "Music has been good to me, and I'm glad to give something back to it. It's that altruistic thing. You realize that your musical growth and teaching are the same thing. "

Hanging with Harvey: Krivda and the late Harvey Pekar, a renowned jazz critic, were such good friends that Pekar could call him up any time of night. "To show you how nuts he was about the music, he called me up at 1:30 in the morning and says, 'I want you to listen to this record and this trumpet solo,'" Krivda recalls. "He played this thing and he says, 'Wasn't he prefiguring bebop in that solo?' He was really intense about jazz."

Where You Can Hear Them:

Where You Can See Them: Ernie Krivda and the Detroit Connection perform at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 at Nighttown.

Jeff Niesel