Philly jazz duo Pieces of a Dream will bring a good time to Dover on Saturday.
Smooth jazz and R&B fans will find solace at the Schwartz Center for the Arts when Philadelphia duo Pieces of a Dream are turned loose Saturday.
The pair is led by veteran musicians Curtis Harmon (drums) and James Lloyd (keys), who've managed to drop 18 studio albums since the early 1980s.
Pieces of a Dream's return to the Capital City will be their first in nearly 20 years. The last time the duo was were here they gigged at Delaware State University.
“We're definitely excited. We haven't been to Dover for a while and it's not far from our hometown of Philly,” Lloyd said. “There's going to be a lot of old friends and family showing up. It's going to be a family reunion-party concert.”
The duo's name was inspired by jazz great Stanley Turrentine's namesake album. Harmon said his stepmother suggested the name for the group, back when they were a trio, because “she thought there were three guys looking for a musical dream, and we made up the pieces.”
In late 2015, Pieces of a Dream released their latest album, “All In.” Soon they'll follow that up with their 19th studio album, slated to drop this spring.
But that's not the only milestone the duo is looking forward to this year. In October, Harmon and Lloyd will celebrate 41 years in the band.
What's makes Pieces of a Dream stand out?
CURTIS HARMON: We're somewhat funkier than your average jazz band. Our show is high energy and entails a lot of funk in our grooves.
How would you describe your new album?
CH: We like to push the envelope each time. We're giving you what you can expect from Pieces of a Dream and some of what's happening currently, because you have to stay relevant and current.
How are you pushing the envelope?
JAMES LLOYD: It's what you call smooth pop. You take one part of Pieces of a Dream and one-part Black Eyed Peas and you mix it up with a little bit of Grover Washington.
Where do you see jazz today and where is it headed?
JL: It's come a long way since we were first doing it. There was no such thing as smooth jazz. There was no such term even. There were no smooth-jazz stations, no smooth-jazz tours, no smooth-jazz cruises. Now that has grown so much and there's a lot for ourselves, and up-and-coming artists as well, to display what they have. I see that progressing, even though the smooth-jazz radio stations as we've known from old are far and few in between currently. But there's a lot of other outlets for the music with satellite radio and internet stations.
What's been the key to the group's staying power?
JL: Rolling with the times and also staying true to ourselves and our fans who've been here since the beginning, who got us here in the first place. It's not an easy juggle, but we've managed to pull it off. It's a cross between holding on to the old, but grabbing hold of the new and pushing forward.