By Graciela Becerra
The Megan Birdsall Quartet is set to perform in the Polsky Theatre at noon on March 8 as part of the Jazz Recital Series.
A returning performer, Birdsall’s family provided a musical upbringing that led her to become a musician.
“[Singing] was really supported in my household,” she said. “Both my parents play music and both can sing. All my brothers and sisters can sing. It was so much a part of the household that right away I started singing as soon as I knew that I could.”
Birdsall became a seasoned performer, dancing and acting before becoming a singer.
“I went out to some clubs with my parents, because I was underage, so they would take me out to listen to the jazz luminaries that are still in town and still playing,” she said. “And at the time, I didn’t know that they would end up being my friends and fellow musicians, but as a child I was kind of in awe of them.”
The Megan Birdsall Quartet consists of vocalist Birdsall, piano player Joe Cartwright, bass player Bob Bowman and drummer Tim Cambron.
“We all know each other very well,” said Birdsall. “We’ve played together frequently in the Kansas City area and abroad and we just really click. … They’re wonderful, they’re absolutely talented.”
Although she composes original music, Birdsall’s Jazz Series performance will consist of covers, called “standards.”
“A lot of the fun stuff comes from doing standards,” said Birdsall. “And there’s a really nice language between the musicians because we all know [the standards] … so we can call whatever song we want, then we can start playing it anywhere we want. It’s really very exciting.”
She encouraged students to attend her Jazz Series performance because they might gain a new experience.
“The musicianship from particularly the guys that are in my band is so, so good,” said Birdsall. “You just rarely get to see people in their element doing something like that, and if I was there I would take advantage of it because it’s something very different.”
The Megan Birdsall Quartet’s performance will be free and open to the public. For more information on the group, visit meganbirdsall.com.
Update: Watch some of the performance at Polsky Theatre by Megan Birdsall’s Quartet here: