Coming from Los Angeles and New York City, song writing brothers Don and Jeff Breithaupt will be in Kitchener next month, sharing their songbook with audiences at The Registry Theatre.
The Kitchener-Waterloo area is steeped in Breithaupt family history. There is the Breithaupt Centre, Breithaupt Park and Breithaupt Street in Kitchener, commemorating the family’s role in the founding of the region. Organizers say this show will be a sort of homecoming for the brothers.
The Breithaupt brothers won’t be performing, however. They will be in the audience watching local jazz artists and musicians perform some of their songs. On stage, The New Vibes Jazz Quintet, the Penderecki String Quartet and vocalists Denise Baker, Robin Habermehl, Derek Hines, Brenda Lewis, Shelley McPherson, Joni NehRita, Mary-Catherine Pazzano, Rosie Samra, and Jessie T. will be putting their own spin on Breithaupt songs.
Don Breithaupt says watching his and his brother’s music performed on stage is a rare treat for the pair.
“In this case, it will be a couple of nights of our songs and just sort of have different interpretations going on and we will be lucky to sit in house and listen for once,” he said. “Well, it is a bit of a cliché, but for a songwriter, all you want in life is to have capable creative people up there, either recording or performing your stuff. These nights are going to be a bit of a dream.”
The brothers write songs that Don described as theatrical and jazzy. Something music lovers may think they have heard before, but they are all new tunes.
“You hear songs that we have done, and you can imagine that it is a song that could have been written in the ’40s and ’50s or that era. We set that as our mission when we started writing songs together,” he said.“We wanted to keep the bar high enough that we would have material that is in the same conversation with Burt Bacharach, The Gershwin Brothers and that kind of thing, as opposed to what we grew up on, which was more rock and roll.”
Andy McPherson of the New Vibes Jazz Quintet is the mastermind behind the collaborative show, and he says the concerts are certainly fitting given Breithaupt name, along with sponsor Jennifer Breithaupt, a distant relative to Don and Jeff.
“I had seen their show a couple of times in Toronto and suggested to Jeff a couple of summers ago that maybe we could do something like that in Kitchener, and it was then that I started digging a little deeper into their family story and family tree and discovered the brothers’ connection to the whole Breithaupt family that is amazingly connected to the founding of our city,” he said. “All of their connection to the history of the city made it very intriguing to pursue the concert and see what we can explore with it.”
Although he has never been to the Registry before, Don says he is pretty familiar with the Kitchener-Waterloo area, and says he can’t wait to be treated to a night or two at the Kitchener jazz venue.
“I used to be in the house band at Lulus Roadhouse, and that would have been in 1989 to 1992. I was in Kitchener every weekend at that point,” he said. “I have never been to The Registry before, which is actually weird, because of the hours and hours and nights and days that I have spent in Kitchener.”
Tickets for the Breithaupt Brothers Come Home to Kitchener at The Registry Theatre are $30. Shows are at 8 p.m. on June 2 and 3. To see the Breithaupt Brothers, call 519-578-1570 or visit www.registrytheatre.com.