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The Luzecky Trio jazzes up Paschall Bar

The Luzecky Trio jazzes up Paschall Bar

The Luzecky Trio plays on of their sets at Paschall Bar located on the square in Denton. The trio performs every Sunday night at the bar until midnight. Omar Gonzalez

The Luzecky Trio jazzes up Paschall Bar
March 08
00:05 2018

The air in the bar was infused like detox water with cucumbers and parsley marinating. Slyly introducing itself to your ear drums note by note is the sound of smooth jazz music.

It’s another Sunday at Paschall’s Bar on the Square in Denton. Sashaying through the retro, library-themed bar are Stefan Karlsson, Mike Luzecky, Matt Young and recently added saxophonist Drew Zaremba as they prepare for their first set of the night.

“The original founder was Mckenzi Smith, who was also a former instructor at the University of North Texas,” Karlsson said. “He saw a need for music in the area and contacted Mike, requesting if any fine musicians could meet his demand. That’s how the trio was born.”

In between the shine from their instruments, toning the of strings on the massive cello, and the occasional drum check, The Luzecky Trio greets patrons with the kind of hospitality that seems to only  be felt at an intimate jazz show.

Together, The Luzecky Trio consume the atmosphere of the cozy pub, filling the room with life.

Video by Omar Gonzalez

“I attended UNT in 1984 after I moved here from Sweden, [and] post-graduation I became [a] piano instructor at UNT,” Karlsson said. “The incredible thing about the Trio is that it is composed of all my former students, and now years later, we have traveled all over and doing what we love with a bond. We are all very good friends.”

As the music rushed from the other room like blood through a healthy artery, Karlsson cautiously explains there are indeed pros and cons when it comes to the world of jazz.

“If you have a family or kids, obviously that can make things like traveling and touring difficult both on you and your family,” he said. “Mixing music with personal your life is never a good idea. “You must have strong self-confidence, you cannot be too tough on yourself or your performance. Through jazz you get to meet so many people and make so many friends, locally and internationally.”

While it’s natural for some artists to get nervous before a performance, Karlsson feels at home when taking the stage. In fact, he maintains that after spending quite some time as a performer, the fear of having a smaller audience, in no longer a fear.

“No doubts, no fear, I’m 52 [years old, so] performing for me is normal,” he said. “I actually thrive from an audience. I like the intimacy of the atmosphere — how close the audience is to you.”

Karlsson’s ability to translate his comfortable disposition was not lost among the crowd, either.

“I love this music,” audience member Ashley Rivers said. “It almost sings to you, like there’s a lead and back up singers in all matching outfits swaying to the rhythm but its all music. The Luzecky Trio is definitely one of the best I’ve ever heard [here].”

After being met with audience support, the band takes a break before silently preparing for another set.

“The pro is I get to learn every night with one of the best piano players in the world, Stefan Karlsson, and play with all three of my friends,” Zaremba said. “The con is that it has to stop — you can’t just keep playing forever because we have to eat and sleep and stuff.”

Drummer Matt Young remained stationary throughout the night, positioned behind his drum set, almost as if it was his fort.

“The thing about jazz is, it’s supposed to be with people — it’s communal — and this is the best place to have it,” he said. “[But] it’s not necessarily the easiest thing to get into. You have to put time into it, commit to it and work at it.”

Exiting the bar is one thing, but having to leave behind the music that helped create the experience can be bittersweet. Though the musical notes are not be visible, one might notice a feeling of them following you out the door after a Luzecky Trio show. But similar to a battery fully charged, those same notes will still be awaiting use every Sunday at Paschall’s bar.

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Raquelle Dunbar

Raquelle Dunbar

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