My Old Friend Tribute Band Celebrates Milwaukee's Native Son, Al Jarreau

May 2, 2019

Of the many world class musicians that have come out of Milwaukee, Al Jarreau is among the finest. Over the course of his career, the multifaceted singer and composer — known as the acrobat of scat — had 34 singles on the charts. He was nominated for 19 Grammy awards and won seven. From his early days in jazz through his soul and pop hits of the 1980s to his return to jazz toward the end of his life, Jarreau’s music was the soundtrack for many.

Saturday evening, May 4, at the Granville Connection on Brown Deer Road, a group of Milwaukee-area musicians will come together to pay tribute to Jarreau. Two years in the making, the My Old Friend tribute band is the brainchild of trumpeter and middle school music teacher Jeff Kitzman. The band includes Kitzman, Jamie Beckman, and Guy Kammer on trumpet, Taras Nahirniek on keyboards, Ethan Bender on bass, Brian Dale on drums, Jay Craggs on guitar, and singers Kimberly Johnson and Joe Jordan.