Today, Thursday, March 22, 2012, marks the tenth anniversary of GEQ's debut at Baker's Keyboard Lounge in Detroit Michigan.
It was a chilly Friday evening in Detroit on March 22, 2002, when then owner John Colbert invited GEQ to perform at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge. The band hit the stage of the oldest, continually operated jazz club in the world. Bandleader / trumpeter Guymon Ensley, saxophonist Cornelius "JuJu" Johnson, pianist Kem Pattilo, bassist Kerry Lacy and drummer "Bang" Glenn, all dressed impeccably in suits and ties, gave an electric performance that was received by a standing-room only audience.
Ensley directed the band with a quiet dignity, representative of performances by the legendary jazz ensembles of a long ago era when the listener was as classy as the players -- that style has become GEQ’s signature. The rhythm section swung hard, the horn section unmistakably stated the melodies GEQ style and the solos were burnin’ hot! GEQ’s debut was a success!
GEQ was honored to regularly perform at Baker’s. The establishment is noted throughout the world, not only for its longevity, but for the legends who performed at the corner of Livernois and Eight Mile Road in Detroit Michigan: Miles, Coltrane, Ella, Krupa, Corea, Callaway and Fatts-- Errol Garner, Betty Carter and Art Tatum to name a few . . . add to the list, GEQ (the Guymon Ensley Quintet).
John Colbert took a chance on GEQ and introduced us to an audience of real jazz lovers. I will be forever grateful for his support and encouragement. “Thanks John.”
After recording our first CD, 'Here Put This On,' WEMU Program Director, Linda Yohn took note of our music, giving us this endorsement: “One of Detroit area's hottest bands for the last two years has been GEQ, the (Guymon Ensley Quintet).”Linda continues to support GEQ and frequently plays cuts from the album on her show on WEMU FM 89.1. Thank you for everything Linda, you're the best!
WDET’s on air personality and Jazz Historian Ed Love said "It is rare that a new band on the block gets the chance to perform at such a noted event as the Detroit International Jazz Festival in Detroit Michigan. He gave GEQ his endorsement to perform at the prestigious event in 2003. Ed continues playing cuts from the CD 'Here Put This On' on his DESTINATION JAZZ program. Ed Love is noted for introducing listeners to new artists and continues to play the classics of years gone by – what he likes to call 'Ed Love Flashbacks' on WDET 101.9 FM. “Thank you Ed."
Jamaica became our second home, aboard several Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line ships. Thanks to 'Blue World Travel' in San Francisco, California, GEQ performed to worldwide audiences during five separate 'Festival At Sea' Cruises. The exposure was outstanding for the band, giving the world a chance to hear our music. “Thanks Blue World.”
These are only four of many people and organizations that have contributed to GEQ's success. The DVD will be a chronology of our journey, with original music, photos and video. Stay tuned, it will be available soon!!!