Hard Bop Explosion

// 50s and 60s Hard Bop

“I sure hope it was half as much fun to play that music as it was for me to hear it. I kind of floated home singing having to remind myself not to be too loud... I've barely gotten to hear good live jazz in the 13 years since I left NYC, in part because my kids were young and in part because there hasn't been very much of it here. Recordings are just not the same. To suddenly get great live jazz in walking distance on a regular basis is such a high for me. I may be tired tomorrow at work, but I don't care. Thank you.”

“it's so amazing to have this caliber of music going on almost nightly these days. i LOVE it. and honestly, it's downright therapeutic for me. yesterday was a really hard day ... and the HBE show charged me up with hopefulness and belief in a universal good...both soul soothing and soul exciting.”

“It doesn't get much better than this.........Hard Bop Explosion RULES!!!!

Thank You Bill Bares, Thank You Zack Page, Thank You Michael Davis,

Thank You Justin Ray, Thank You Jacob Rodriguez, Thank You Steve Alford keepers of jazz blood flame burning bright and strong! Loved it!!!”


Trumpeter Justin Ray and pianist Bill Bares hatched the idea one night over drinks at Tressa's Jazz and Blues: a band of A-list players that could play the music we both loved with authenticity and fire. Then and there Hard Bop Explosion was born. Since going live at Tressa's in early 2012, the band has played high profile gigs in Asheville including residencies at the Altamont, Tressa's and the Isis Restaurant and Music Hall. The band was named to the MountainXPress's "best of" Jazz Bands and has hosted Greg Tardy, Bob Sheppard, Miles Griffith, Christian Howes, among many others.


Band: Justin Ray, trumpet 

Jacob Rodriguez, sax 

Bill Bares, piano

Zack Page, bass

Michael W. Davis, drums

Frequent Guests:

Steve Alford, reeds;

Rick Simerly, trombone

Andy Page, guitar

Tyler Householder, percussion


© 2019 William Bares


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