For jazz enthusiasts, this weekend offers a rare chance to sway to the cool sounds of live jazz just steps away from the shoreline in Bethany Beach.
Bethany Beach Ocean Suites will host what is being described as a true “jazz lounge experience” on Friday and Saturday, with Notes on the Beach, featuring Kim Scudera, in the Blue Water Lounge from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, March 29, and 5th Avenue in the same spot on Saturday, March 30, also from 7 to 10 p.m.
Also on Saturday, Mike Malatesta will be providing jazz stylings at the baby-grand piano in the hotel lobby from 3 to 5 p.m.
Tickets for the lounge performances either night cost $15, according to Ocean Suites sales coordinator Jodi Wolinski. Combination tickets for both nights cost $25.
Notes on the Beach is anchored by Jeff Cooper and Glenn Pearson, two longtime friends who attended the Peabody Conservatory together, where Cooper focused on musical theater, while Pearson’s concentration was on piano performance.
Cooper has been a professional bassist his entire adult life. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, at the National and Ford theaters, at the Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts and in Baltimore at the Hippodrome Theater.
In 2005, Cooper began his Broadway career as principal bassist for “The Woman in White,” “LoveMusik,” “Ragtime” and “Evita.”
Pearson has spent the past several decades performing for White House events and other high-profile events in the Washington, D.C., area, and has become a teacher and mentor to young musicians in that area.
In 2016, Cooper and Pearson again joined their musical talents in their jazz-influenced duo “Notes on the Beach,” playing at Rehoboth, Bethany and Ocean City, Md., restaurants, clubs and private events.
The pair will be joined by vocalist Kim Scudera, a Herndon, Va., resident who, though classically trained and well-versed in opera, folk, funk and blues, has a true love for jazz. She is also the vocalist for the Brazilian/American group Batida Diferente.
The jazz trio 5th Avenue features two Kens and a Jeff, who might look familiar to those who attend both nights of the Jazz Weekend. Ken Cicerale will handle the alto saxophone and clarinet, Ken Schleifer percussion, and the aforementioned Jeff Cooper will fill out the trio on double bass.
Cicerale performs mostly in the greater New York area when not joining his 5th Avenue bandmates. He has toured with several nationally-known artists and now lives in Georgetown.
Schleifer is well-known as a school band director in Southern Delaware, but when he wasn’t in the classroom he was performing all over the East Coast in a number of musical groups.
Tickets for the Jazz Weekend events can be purchased at the front desk at the Bethany Beach Ocean Suites/Residence Inn, located at Hollywood Street and the Boardwalk in Bethany Beach, or online at www.bboceansuites.com.
By Kerin Magill