A long-time flute and sax player, New Orleans jazz man Ted Hefko didn’t debut his vocals on record until 2006’s Ted Hefko Sings and Swings with his New Orleans Jazz Band. “I immersed myself in instrumental jazz for a while,” Hefko says. “Then I rediscovered my love of singing and songwriting after I moved to New York. The last few years, I’ve been listening my way through the Dylan catalogue and a lot of great country and rock ‘n’ roll.”
Hefko’s love affair with music began with his father’s vinyl collection. “My first love was Chuck Berry,” Hefko recalls. He spent his formative years replaying the tracks of Champion Jack Dupree, a Big Easy piano player, and King Curtis, who played sax with Aretha Franklin. He later discovered Howlin’ Wolf and Albert King, along with a bevy of blues players.
Hefkco’s most recent disc, If I Walked On Water, was released in 2011, and it takes some of his earlier, “straighter” jazz work, incorporates some folk twists, and adds a splash of R&B. On the disc, Hefko is backed up by his band, the Thousandaires, who bring a Hammond BV organ, accordion, and trombone into the mix.
Currently, Brian Vinson is set to play upright bass, with Neil Bernard on guitar and Norman Edwards, Jr. on drums. “These guys have been playing a lot of gigs together as a rhythm section, and they’re gonna be tight,” Hefko says. “Bring yer dancin’ shoes!”
At the Mill, Hefko will play tracks from Egyptland and I Walked on Water, along with some new tunes.