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Tonight: Improv music at Bay Burger, Sag Harbor

Musicians, from left, Steve Watson (bass), John Ludlow

Musicians, from left, Steve Watson (bass), John Ludlow (saxophone), Bryan Campbell (guitar), Chris Mandato (flugelhorn), Claes Brondal (drums and MC) perform at The Jam Session, an improvisational jazz night every Thursday through Thanksgiving at Bay Burger in Sag Harbor. Credit: Phil Lehans, 2010

Ever heard live music created on the spot?

Well, you’ll get the chance to hear improvisational tunes tonight at Bay Burger in Sag Harbor. The music series, dubbed The Jam Session, takes place every Thursday night through Thanksgiving.

It features a house band (guitarist Bryan Campbell, bassist Peter Weis and drummer Claes Brondal) that plays the chords, while local musicians make up their own solo melodies.

Though jazz is the base of the sessions, Claes Brondal – who co-created the series two summers ago and MCs the event – encourages funk, Afro-Cuban, soul and occasionally hip-hop rhythms.

“There’s no given perimeter or set protocol where the music will go. It’s just like real life,” he says. “You see someone in real time creating music that’s never been created before. Sometimes it’s very, very good. Sometimes it’s not very good and sometimes you see people not doing what they intended to do, but coming out of it gracefully.”

This Thursday features guest musicians Rashid Lanie on piano, Max Felchuh on vibraphone, Morris Goldberg on saxophone and Jim Campagnola on saxophone. There’s limited seating, so musicians interested in playing and audience members are advised to come early. Musicians play based on first-come, first-served basis.

The series is also family-friendly and creates a unique environment for musicians and audience members to share one another’s energy. Brondal says this intimate scene impacts the performance.

So why go?

Says Brondal: “Having access on a regular basis to quality music and improvisational music – not just jazz – will broaden anyone’s horizons and hopefully plant a seed to make people appreciate diversity in music, its layers and its nuances.”

The Jam Session
WHEN / WHERE 7 p.m. at Bay Burger Restaurant, 1742 Sag Harbor Tpke., Sag Harbor
COST $5 suggested donation for listeners. Free for musicians.
INFO 631-603-6160,

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