Mike Drake is the type of guy who brings a soothing yet energetic vibe to a room. That’s likely one of the reasons why the serenely snazzy neighborhood winery, Times Ten Cellars, puts Drake and his three-part jazz ensemble onstage regularly — that, and because they are world-class musicians. With Stefan Karlsson on keys, John Adams on bass and Drake on drums, the group offers up smooth tunes from 7-9 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month. Drake says he and his band love everything about Times Ten. “The clientele are wonderful and supportive, the management is great, and we get to play the music we love.” The Mike Drake Trio’s all-instrumental shows at the winery differ from the crowd-pleasing pop playlists they perform for, say, a wedding reception or a high school reunion. Those are fun, too, in a different way, he says. Drake grew up in South Africa and started playing with his father’s jazz band when he was just 7. “My biggest influence was American jazz, and I wanted to get right to the source.” So he moved to the states and studied music at University of North Texas in Denton’s renowned jazz program, where he teaches today. Drake lives in Casa Linda with his wife Marla and daughter Elizabeth, who is following in her dad’s footsteps all the way to the spotlight — she scored a role as a munchkin in the 2009 Dallas Summer Musical, “Wizard of Oz”.
Catch Mike Drake Trio at Times Ten Cellars on Tuesday, July 14 at 7 p.m.
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