Photo courtesy Walter Kurtz
FIVE PLAY, the sister group of the world-renowned DIVA, was formed in 1999. The quintet is comprised of the large ensemble’s rhythm section and two of its foremost soloists.
FIVE PLAY is rooted in the jazz tradition and is fueled and inspired by the members’ collective, creative vision to swing through the 21st Century. The quintet’s repertoire is comprised of innovative arrangements of classic and contemporary standards, as well as original music composed and arranged by band members. The group’s library was conceived to highlight the distinctive styles of each individual and to create a unique, fresh, exciting and powerful ensemble sound.
FIVE PLAY has performed at many of the most prestigious concert halls, music festivals, universities and jazz clubs in the United States, including Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center. The group has also performed at major festivals in Israel, Japan, France, Germany, Spain and Portugal. In 2004 the quintet and its members were highly ranked in Downbeat Magazine’s Annual Readers’ Poll.
FIVE PLAY’s premier recording, On the Brink (Arbors Records), was voted #1 by Nat Hentoff in the JazzTimes 1999 “Year in Review” issue. The follow-up release, Five Play Plus (Arbors Records), was voted one of the Top 10 CDs of 2005 by Coda Magazine. Their next Arbors release, What the World Needs Now, was released in June 2008 to critical acclaim. The quintet also partnered with Portuguese vocalist Maria Anadon on her Arbors CDs A Jazzy Way (2006) and Smile (2010). FIVE PLAY’s newest offering, “LIVE” at the Deer Head Inn, was released in 2015. (Read a review at allaboutjazz.com.)
What these women bring to the table is a finely tuned sense of democracy, style, purpose, and full intent to swing. Their equality and balance is in evidence right off the bat.”
Michael Nastos, AllAboutJazz
“The most exciting set of the evening [at the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center] belonged to Sherrie Maricle and Five Play. What a bunch of hot tamales… In the jazz world, ensembles come and go, but here’s hoping Sherrie Maricle and Five Play stick around for a long, long time.”
“To sum up, Five Play is a unit of brilliance; neatness personified – it swings, it entertains, it sounds happy and is surely as relaxed as a dreamless sleep…a pleasure of perfect unisons, dynamic tuttis, stirring up a sense of excitement which never pales for one instant.”
Crescendo and Jazz Music
“Five Play’s album…doesn’t compromise on expressiveness, ideas or chops… Five Play equals GREAT PLAY throughout this album.”