The indie jazz duo of Taylor O’Donnell and Mike Effenberger feeds on the joyful apposition of the ‘legit’ musical worlds of the 20th century (the Great American Songbook and post-classical music) against that unhallowed ground of the popular music of its odd-numbered decades, all viewed from the lens of what jazz means in the 2020s. They are through with the bending of genres and instead seek to shake them to death. Listeners are as likely to encounter surrealist reimaginings of Elliot Smith’s wise angst as they are the Pixies’ punk rage. Vincent Persichetti’s sonic riddles are presented equally with Paul Simon’s unlikely transcendence of the mundane into the sublime. The result is a completely singular musical perspective focused on melody, gesture, and aural storytelling.

Known for her exploratory use of vocal color and texture, and sincere delivery in her musical stylings, Taylor O’Donnell is a contemporary vocalist, educator, and conductor who uses her roots in R&B, folk, jazz, rock, and classical music to communicate her musical dialogue. Her musical diversity informs her deep love for vocal improvisation and for exploring a plethora of sounds and colors to connect more deeply to her audience.

Mike Effenberger has been living in the NH Seacoast since 2007. He received the Young Beacon in Jazz award from New School University in New York City, from which he graduated in 2005. While there, he studied with diverse artists including Jane Ira Bloom, Kenny Werner, John Hollenbeck, Reggie Workman, Fred Hersch, and Joanne Brackeen. Mike has curated an unmistakably individual voice that draws equally on gospel, minimalism, jazz, and 20th century music. His work has been written about in international publications including the Paris Review, The Guardian, and Pitchfork, as well as appearing on nationally syndicated media including NPR’s All Things Considered and PRX’s Echoes.

Live at The Lounge Presenting Sponsor