By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER
The 2019 Mum Festival kicks off next week on Thursday, Sept. 19, with an evening of art and jazz, provided by Sharp 5 Jazz.
Sharp 5, who performed during the 2018 Holiday on the Hill celebration, consists of Ed Wrobel (drums), Ben Boylan (upright bass), Greg Hahn (trumpet and flugelhorn), Josh Peters (piano), and Jeremy Osterling (saxophone).
The group has been playing together since 2015 — Hahn and Wrobel had known each other for many years at that point, and were looking to find some people with which to jam. They met Peters through a website that links musicians, and soon after the trio found Boylan while searching for an upright bass player. Osterling joined shortly after, through his connection with Hahn.
All members of the group expressed their love of music as a whole, but a particular fondness of jazz. Each plays several genres of music, and they all play in several musical acts. But, they continue to reunite as Sharp 5 because of their love for jazz — as Hahn said, “We all do other things,” but they do this “because we love it.”
Hahn explained that while he originally went to school for music, he didn’t find a love of performer until his 40s. His father, a well-respected jazz musician, taught him the art of jazz as a way to pass his art onto his son.
Peters said his journey into music started with an appreciation for Led Zeppelin. While living in Arizona, he played in a rock band, but soon found himself drawn to the musical stylings of Chick Corea, a Latin jazz pianist. After moving to Colorado, he began playing in jam bands. It wasn’t until college that he learned the piano. But, that seems characteristic of music, as Peters described music as “always a learning experience.”
Boylan grew up listening to rock bands such as Cream, but soon found himself drawn toward the blues. His musical aspiration? To make jazz as persuasive as the blues he grew up listening to. And, he recommends that any aspiring musician, jazz or otherwise, listens to Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue.”
Wrobel’s father was also a professional musician. His father played with Hahn’s in several groups, and Wrobel credits his father as one of the reasons he grew up loving jazz music. Wrobel was trained and has played classical music, and has played in orchestras, but like his band-mates, continues to play for his love of jazz.
Sharp 5 can be found at a wide array of venues, before and after the 2019 Mum Festival. They perform at Delish Lounge in Forestville on the first Friday of every month, and beginning this month, they perform twice a month at Relic Brewing in Plainville.
Sharp 5’s performance at the Mum Festival on the Memorial Boulevard field from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19 is free.