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Saturday, Feb. 23: Taxi Driver

Magoo's Annex

TAXI DRIVER: Live Drawing by Anita Landree

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"It is challenging to lose a band mate," says pianist Nathaniel Dybevik. "In a jazz band, the singer is like another instrument. It's an interesting endeavor because everyone brings something to the table, adds their own character and imparts their own influence on the direction of the music during a performance."

That's the situation Dybevik and his Tacoma jazz band Taxi Driver face. The band's singer Ricky German is headed to the Bay Area.

The band is thrilled to have Tacoma singers Najamoniq Todd and Del Brown in the cab. Todd has been a frequent guest during Taxi Driver sets.

"They both have their own unique style and charisma," explains Dybevik. "Singers are able to connect with the audience in a way that more accessible than instrumentalist are able to achieve, and performing with talented vocalists, like Naja and Del, can really take a show to a new level, and the audience has a great time."

While Del can't make the show, you may hear Naja join Taxi Driver for a couple numbers Saturday, Feb. 23 at the "farewell show" for German at Magoo's Annex in Tacoma. German will receive most of the spotlight. Actually, spotlight isn't the right word. Taxi Driver prefers to create a scene rather than be it.

"Jazz has the ability to kind of lay back and hang in the background, and it creates this atmosphere, this mood. It's music they can talk over! And that's what we want to do. Create an atmosphere where people can get together, talk, dance, connect and drink," says Dybevik. "We want our shows to be less about us performing, and more about the people getting together. We do the driving, set the mood, and the audience just sits back and has a good time."

Read Pappi Swarner's full feature on Taxi Driver in Northwest Military's Music & Culture section


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