JENNIFER HARTSWICK + NICK CASSARINO DUO, CAPE MAY BREWING COMPANY HOPS PASS CLUB SERIES, 11|9-10|19

The Story

Trumpeter-vocalist Jennifer Hartswick and guitarist-singer Nicholas Cassarino have been creating beautiful music together for almost two decades. Originally from Burlington, Vermont and both currently residing in New York, they have been touring as an intimate duo, blending deep soulfulness and potent storytelling in their revealing sets. A former member of the Trey Anastasio Band (of Phish fame), Hartswick is a commanding presence on stage whose staggering technical proficiency on both trumpet and vocals shine through. Her partner Cassarino, a deft accompanist, provides an unerring pocket groove, interspersed with intricate lines and rich vocal harmonies, for the soulful twosome. Their live performances exude a kind of refreshing honesty, spontaneity and joy that is positively contagious.

The Sound

From the soulful and whimsical “You Can’t Take It Back” to the jazzy “Numb,” which has Jennifer soaring in Joni Mitchell fashion and scatting freely against Cassarino’s crisp arpeggiating and taut rhythm playing, this duo shares an uncanny chemistry on stage.

The sly and swinging jazz waltz, “You Don’t Know,” has Hartswick belting with abandon while she channels her inner Phoebe Snow or Tracy Nelson on a soul-stirring rendition of the Ray Charles vehicle, “Drown In My Own Tears.” And the exuberant “I Wouldn’t Treat a Dog” features a bracing trumpet solo from Hartswick. This indelible duo always delivers with sensitivity, conviction and heart.

Where & When: Elaine’s of Cape May, Saturday; Three Chord Bourbon Stage in Carney’s Other Room, Sunday

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Michael Kline