Celebrates The Release of Their 30th Album, THE RHINEBECK SESSIONS and the Band's 40th Anniversary Photo credit: Brian Friedman/B-Freed Photography


Celebrates The Release of Their 30th Album, THE RHINEBECK SESSIONS and the Band's 40th Anniversary

Photo credit: Brian Friedman/B-Freed Photography


Written & Recorded Over Three Days In A Hudson Valley Studio

Band To Mark 40 Years in 2014 with massive worldwide tour.

As Spyro Gyra contemplates upcoming milestones to its storied career, it is tempting to fall back on the Grateful Dead lyric, "What a long strange trip it’s been." How many bands in instrumental jazz or any kind of music, can boast a 40-year career, gaining and keeping fans over almost four decades? When Spyro Gyra formed in 1974 in Buffalo, New York, the pop charts included names like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Grand Funk Railroad, The Carpenters, Bob Marley & The Wailers and Pink Floyd. Very few groups can claim this kind of longevity. Yet Spyro Gyra shows no sign of slowing down, having garnered Grammy® nominations for four consecutive albums in the last ten years while touring worldwide year-round.
Add to that legacy The Rhinebeck Sessions, the band's 30th album and its first to be written entirely in the studio over the course of just three days. In the early days of April 2013, founder and saxophonist Jay Beckenstein and the members of Spyro Gyra entered a recording studio in Rhinebeck, NY, a small town in the Hudson Valley not far from Woodstock. Beckenstein and his bandmates – Tom Schuman (piano & keyboards), Julio Fernandez (guitars), Scott Ambush (bass) and Lee Pearson (drums) – set out to do something that they had never done before in their nearly forty year history – improvise with each other over three days and in the process write and record an entire new album.


Java Jazz Festival (Jakarta) 2013 Footage

“As I thought about doing another record, I asked myself, what is it that makes Spyro Gyra so special?” Beckenstein explains, “I decided that it was the fact that we have been together so long that the communication between us has become almost mystical. Our ability to improvise on the fly has become so strong because we have played together so much. It was time to go into the studio with very little planned and see what might come out of it.”

The result is The Rhinebeck Sessions, a collection of mostly uptempo, often funky pieces that stands toe to toe with the best of this group’s prolific output. Adding a further dimension to the story, The Rhinebeck Sessions is the band's first fully independent release since their 1977 eponymous debut.

Beckenstein concedes, “It was a bit of a gamble but we’re lucky to have a loyal fan base whom we feel are probably going to be interested in whatever we’re doing. I was also fairly confident that whatever came out of it would be pretty close to the way we have approached our live shows for years.”

As 2014 will mark the band’s 40th Anniversary as a working group and the 35th Anniversary of their Platinum-selling Morning Dance, the band has planned concerts worldwide where they plan to play Morning Dance in its entirety. For more info on these concerts and all of Spyro Gyra’s upcoming activities surrounding The Rhinebeck Sessions, visit www.spyrogyra.com.


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