Free Bridge Quintet Anniversary Concert

20 Years of Jazz at UVA
October 28, 2017 - 8:00pm
Old Cabell Hall
$15 General / $13 UVa Faculty & Staff / $5 Students / Free for UVA Students who reserve in advance / Free for students under 18.

The Free Bridge Quintet celebrates its twentieth year as the faculty jazz group of the McIntire Department of Music with a concert on Saturday, October 28 at 8:00PM in Old Cabell Hall at the University of Virginia. 

Over the past two decades the Free Bridge Quintet has performed over forty concerts in Old Cabell Hall as well as many outreach and community events.  Founded in 1997, it features Jeff Decker on saxophones, Robert Jospé on the drums, Peter Spaar on bass, John D’earth on trumpet and flugelhorn, and Butch Taylor on piano. The quintet has been a staple of not only the UVA and Charlottesville jazz scene, but also the greater Central Virginia jazz scene for more than two decades. The quintet is known for its tributes to the giants of jazz including Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane as well as presentations of its own innovative works.  The quintet has also performed with many internationally reknowed guest artists such as Pat Metheny, Cyrus Chestnut, Kurt Rosenwinkle and John Abercrombie.

For this anniversary concert the quintet will perform some of their favorite originals from over the years (Spanning Time) as well as some of their favorite arrangements and some new tunes.

Quotes in honor of the 20th Anniversary:

Over the past two decades, the Free Bridge Quintet has enhanced the arts at the University of Virginia and made a lasting impression on the Charlottesville community. Playing together as an ensemble, these talented faculty members have inspired countless students and brought joy to many others. All of us are grateful for their generosity and energy.”  - Theresa Sullivan, UVA President (2010 - 2018)

"A performance by the Free Bridge Quintet remains a highlight of each and every year’s music programs at the University of Virginia. Their artistry is a gift to UVA and our community of Charlottesville. Here’s to another twenty years of great jazz."  -  Jody Kielbasa,   Vice Provost for the Arts

"These are five quintessential musicians who know their stuff.  Whenever I hear the Free Bridge Quintet, I feel like I've come home." - Rita Dove, UVA Commonwealth Professor of English

"The heart of our jazz program at U.Va. is the Free Bridge Quintet.  John, Jeff, Jos, Pete, Butch—they’re a fabulously talented hard bop group with a historical bent who, over the past twenty years, have turned Old Cabell Auditorium into our own Village Vanguard.   If you’ve seen them you know what I’m saying.  If you haven’t….well, come to their next concert!"   -  Scott Deveaux, Professor of Music; co-author of Jazz (with critic Gary Giddins; Norton, 2009)

"The superstar Music Department faculty of the Free Bridge Quintet form the heart of our jazz program at UVA. Superb instrumentalists, consummate musicians, and delightful colleagues, their concerts have wowed us for two decades."  -  Matthew Burtner, Professor and Chair UVA Music

"It seems as if The Free Bridge Quintet has been here forever, not just a mere 20 years. The group, both individually and collectively, is ingrained into the fabric of the Charlottesville music community in many ways. They have volunteered their talents to WTJU and to The Charlottesville Jazz Society and other non-profit groups over the years. And their numerous concerts in Old Cabell Hall, including collaborations with both local and nationally known musicians, have provided many highlights for jazz fans in our area. I’m looking forward to the next 20."  -  Gary Funston, WTJU and Charlottesville Jazz Society.

"Twenty years of the Free Bridge Quintet Very clever name, very clever band. Top musicians playing originals and sophisticated arrangements. Successful on so many levels. What could be better?"   --  Dr. John Huff

"Collaborating with the Freebridge Quintet was a real highlight of my years at UVa. They are wonderfully creative musicians who infuse their performances with style and spontanaeity!" --    Kate Tamarkin - Conductor Laureate, Charlottesville Symphony at the University of Virginia

Tickets are $15 General, $13 for UVA Faculty & Staff, $5 for Students and Free for UVA Students who reserve in advance. Tickets can be purchased at the Arts Box Office at or by calling 434.924.3376.

Old Cabell Hall is located on the south end of UVA's historic lawn, directly opposite the Rotunda. (map) Parking is available in the central grounds parking garage on Emmet Street, in the C1 parking lot off McCormick Rd, and in the parking lots at the UVA Corner.  Handicap parking is available in the small parking lot adjacent to Bryan Hall.

All programs are subject to change. For more information please call the McIntire Department of Music at 434.924.3052. For tickets please visit or by call 434.924.3376.

To see all the Jazz Events at UVA please visit



McIntire Department of Music
112 Old Cabell Hall
P.O. Box 400176 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4176