The Baggs Jazz Project features a host of local musicians | Lifestyles


Joshua Vacanti isn’t the only actor in town.

After a night spent listening to Lockport’s local hero at the Palace, the local gang might be excited enough to discover five brave musicians, also raised by Lockport, imbibing a jazzy groove the next day at Attitudes at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The group, called The Baggs Jazz Project, includes Paul LaGreca, 18, on saxophone, Jordan Heburn, 18, singing with all his heart, Jake Baggett, 29, on guitar / vocals / soundguy, Sergey Dumphrey, 18 , on drums and Charlie Baggett, 17, the band’s frontman on keyboards and vocals.

“Originally it was just me, Sergey and Paul, and we were trying to come up with a name for the band. So we do what any professional group would do and go on an online name generator, ”Charlie said. “Somehow the Baggs Jazz Project was created, because my nickname is ‘Baggs’. So, not even by choice, I was kind of pushed to the front of the group, so I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to take the reins of this. “”

From humble beginnings playing jazz standards, the addition of Baggett’s older brother, Jake Baggett, helped a lot as the band began to get gigs.

“We do a lot of different music,” said young Baggett. “We like to appeal to the masses. When playing in a bar we have to adapt to our surroundings, but at the same time we have jazz in our name. So we like to incorporate some jazz into it and do some jazz songs as well as rearrange some older songs. (For example) we do “(Everybody) Backstreet’s Back”, but with a Latin twist.

The group developed a list of pop and rock standards, but made them their own.

“Literally improve it to make it our own and fit the Baggs Jazz Project,” Jake Baggett said.

If that doesn’t work, there’s no reason not to throw names.

“Joshua Vacanti is our first cousin,” Charlie said. “I arranged ‘Have Yourself a Merry Christmas’ for my music teacher. … I arranged it for him, then I met Josh there. This is the first time that I have met him formally. I had seen him at family gatherings when I was younger.

Like Vacanti, the Jazz Baggs Project players had their chance in the Lockport school system.

“Sir. (Rob) Pacillo was (awesome), and most of the musical skills I learned were from Mr. Pacillo,” Heburn said. “When I got to high school I never had singing lessons before, I’ve always sung, but he’s the one who really put me on the right path to a more professional sound.

As Charlie and Heburn pursue careers outside of music – Charlie wants to be a pilot and Heburn is in the criminal justice program at the University of Niagara, the rest of the group follow where the sounds take them.

Dumphrey will be attending the Berkeley School of Music next fall and already has a taste for the spotlight.

“At my job, I’ve been arrested a number of times now, and someone will say, ‘Hey, I saw you last night at Attitudes. You were awesome! ”Said Dumphrey. “Everyone here is so nice and supports us. “

LaGreca started on the saxophone in third grade and has no plans to stop.

“After a lot of hard practice and several temper tantrums, I finally got up and think I’ve become a pretty good musician,” LaGreca said. “I got to play in places like Carnegie Hall. I will be going back in February.

The Baggs Jazz Project was never meant to have solid programming. Baggett, the keyboardist and future pilot, said he hopes there will be many musicians who pass through the band on their way to other things.

“Here’s the thing with the Baggs Jazz Project. The project implies that it is not necessarily an entity. It’s a revolving door of several people, like Snarky Puppy or even Steely Dan. You just need to filter people, ”he said. “So it won’t always be us. Who knows? Maybe it won’t be any of us, maybe it’ll all be all of us. We do not know.


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