Signal Quartet is a collective musical ensemble based in Southeast Michigan consisting of Ben Wolkins on Trumpet and Flugelhorn, Ian Blunden on Guitar, Eric Nachtrab on Bass and Sean Perlmutter on Drums. The group’s repertoire consists primarily of original compositions by members of the band which serve as springboards for far-reaching improvisations; showcasing the tight communication and shared musical vocabulary of the ensemble. The band’s approach to improvisation is one of following the music wherever it leads, embracing the unexpected and the unusual, striving for a truly new creation at each and every opportunity. Their performance at the 2022 Detroit Jazz Festival comes hot on the heels of the release of their self-titled debut album, which consists primarily of pieces from the pen of bassist Eric Nachtrab, augmented by a rendition of Wilco’s “Radio Cure” and a deconstructed interpretation of a depression-era Tin Pan Alley tune. A sense of simplicity pervades all the pieces on the album; both establishing a strong identity and clear context while giving the improvisations plenty of space to blossom.
For over 40 years, the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation has celebrated Detroit’s rich history of jazz music by providing year-round concerts and educational programming, and of course, organizing the world’s largest free Jazz festival, featuring world-class talent, over Labor Day weekend.