Oct 11, 2020

The Free Bridge Quintet Legacy Project releases  For The Record – Live In Concert – Old Cabell Hall, recorded in November, 2007

For over twenty years the Free Bridge Quintet has been a mainstay of Central Virginia’s vibrant jazz community. Saxophonist, Jeff Decker, pianist, Bob Hallahan, (and his descendants in later years, Wells Hanley and Butch Taylor) bassist, Peter Spaar, drummer, Robert Jospe, and trumpeter, John D’earth have helped to shape our rich musical environment, as a band, as individuals, and through their bi-annual concerts in UVA’s Old Cabell Hall Auditorium, where they represent the University as the Faculty Jazz Quintet of the Department of Music

In response to the pandemic, live concerts are, for now, suspended.  Instead of working toward a concert this fall, the Quintet has created “The Free Bridge Quintet Legacy Project”: releasing recordings of previous OCH concerts, for free, on the internet.  (There will also be an option to purchase the recordings online.)

Thanks to the talent and dedication of one individual, George MacArthur Sr., (father of George MacArthur Jr., who played trumpet in the UVA Jazz Ensemble many years back), Free Bridge has a professionally recorded and mastered fifteen-year archive of Old Cabell Auditorium concerts.  And they sound great! As their many fans know, Free Bridge offers curated, themed concerts of their own arrangements of whichever artists, genres, movies, or Broadway shows they choose to celebrate.  George M., the sixth Free Bridger, has recorded most of them, indefatigably, twice a year, for fifteen years.  As the band listened, they realized they had a goldmine of material, only heard once, to share with their audience.  It lightens the disappointment about live performance we all feel, listeners and musicians alike, as we work through the global crisis.

The first Free Bridge Legacy release, For The Record, presents original music by the band’s members.  Their next offering, in the spring, will feature music from their Wizard of Oz Suite.  

Look for the first offering of the Free Bridge Legacy Project, For The Record,now, on Spotify, YouTube, Applemusic, Amazon, CD Baby, Bandcamp, and other streaming platforms.


Free Bridge Quintet – archive photo by Tony Von Thelen