Free Bridge Quintet - 25th Anniversary Concert

Dedicated to the memory of Marita McClymonds
April 30, 2023 - 3:30pm
Old Cabell Hall on the UVA Grounds
$15 / $13 for UVA Faculty & Staff / $5 for Students / Free for UVA Students who reserve in advance

The Free Bridge Quintet will perform their 25th anniversary concert on Sunday afternoon, April 30 at 3:30pm in Old Cabell Hall.  The matinee performance marks 25 years since the creation of the official jazz faculty ensemble of the University of Virginia Department of Music.  Founding members John D’earth on trumpet and flugelhorn, Robert Jospé on drums, Jeff Decker on saxophones, and Pete Spaar on bass are joined by newest member, pianist Calvin Brown. 

Over the past 25 years, the group has specialized in concerts with notable themes, from honoring composers like Gershwin and Ellington, jazz legends like Parker and Armstrong, and presenting themes of jazz’s interactions with the music of Brazil, Cuba and Africa.  They have also explored the history of America’s music by presenting concerts celebrating specific groups, decades and historic recordings.  For their 25th anniversary concert, they will present at least a small sampling of some of the ideas they have explored but have not yet taken to the stage. ..."Themes We Missed"….Hollywood, The Beatles, the music of legendary composer Burt Bacharach and the amazing contributions of jazz great Wayne Shorter.

This concert is dedicated to the memory of Marita McClymonds, longtime chair of the music department and early champion of the jazz program. Due to her leadership and vision, she inaugurated the jazz program and ushered in a new era of jazz at UVA. 

When asked about this dedication, Jeff Decker responds: “As we reminisce over the last 25 years, we cannot help but be reminded that the support of the late Marita McClymonds was essential to the creation of the FBQ. Without her support, the group would not have gotten off the ground.  Over the past twenty-five years, our hearts were consistently brightened by her presence at our concerts, even long after her retirement. Glancing up at the rafters from the stage to see her dancing to our music with her beloved husband Clarence were certainly moments we will never forget. We are truly honored to dedicate this concert to her enduring legacy.  And when we look up, we will see them dancing.”

Tickets for the Free Bridge Quintet 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 and at the door.


Old Cabell Hall is located on 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 lots at the UVA Corner.  Handicap parking is available in the lot adjacent to Bryan Hall.

All programs are subject to change.  For more information, contact the Department of Music at 434.924.3052 or

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