Newport Jazz Festival: Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band

Airs Monday, August 4 at 8 p.m. One of the drawbacks to being one of the world's best (and most versatile) drummers is that you stay incredibly busy. Too busy, sometimes, to focus on creating your own projects rather than servicing those of others. Luckily, the spotlight has returned in recent years to , who has released his first album as a guitar-playing singer-songwriter (this year's spiritually-tinged Mama Rosa) and has been touring with his beloved, long-standing Fellowship Band.
The Fellowship revolves around the writing of Blade and keyboardist Jon Cowherd, whose concepts tends toward the pastoral, elegant and cathartic. Colors float in and out of focus; Blade and Cowherd score sounds like pedal steel guitar, harmonium and bass clarinet. In 2008, the sextet released its third album, Season of Changes; material from that recording will likely be featured in the group's Sunday afternoon set.

Set List:

Hymn (I love the Lord)
Alpha and Omega
Season of Changes
Let Your Light Shine


Brian Blade, drummer
Jon Cowherd, pianist
Chris Thomas, bass
Myron Walden, alto
Melvin Butler, tenor/soprano sax