It's a rare bird. A first. The Tony Bennett Quartet will play a show without Bennett.

On April 10 in Methuen, they'll take the cabaret stage at Jocko's Jazz, a Tuesday night staple for more than a decade at The Sahara Club and Restaurant.

The quartet's stars are aligned — their schedules opened for the Valley gig before the group's April 13 show at the Boston Opera House.

Joining Marshall Wood on bass, Gray Sargent on guitar, Tom Ranier on piano and Harold Jones on drums will be vocalist Donna Byrne, an opening act for Bennett in the U.S. and abroad.

The quartet plays contemporary arrangements from the American songbook — 20th-century standards by composers including Cole Porter, Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin.

"From ballads to uptempo to swing to a little bit of everything," said Bob "Jocko" Arcidiacono, the Valley jazz ambassador who runs the jazz night.

Expect the finest musicians, Arcidiacono said.

The quartet's newest member, Ranier — who also plays clarinet and sax — writes soundtracks and scores for entertainment award shows, including the Grammys, Emmys and Oscars.

Most of the music at this year's Academy Awards was by Ranier.

The quartet's drummer, Jones, has been with Bennett since the 1960s, and Sargent with him for 20 years.

Wood, Byrne's husband, wisely took his wife's advice and joined Bennett full time in 2009, he said.

"Backing up one of the best ever — it's been great," Wood said after a Bennett concert at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

The Opry audience was especially appreciative.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, about 400," he rated them.

Wood met Arcidiacono in the 1980s at a club in Andover. He's been a regular for Jocko shows over the years. 

Every generation updates the jazz form and Arcidiacono, who loves jazz, brings the latest to listeners, Wood said.

The quartet's set will include Bennett arrangements.

Arcidiacono said they play a modern sound. "Keeping the music alive," he said, crediting them.

He's dreamed of presenting them on a Tuesday night.

"I will be wearing a crown," Arcidiacono said.



What: Tony Bennett Quartet with guest vocalist Donna Byrne 

When: Tuesday, April 10, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Where: Jocko's Jazz at Sahara Club and Restaurant, 34 Bates St., Methuen

More information: Call 603-898-1591 or visit for reservations and cover charge.

Plan ahead: The Henry Acker Trio is on deck for April 17 at Jocko's Jazz.




Check This Out is a weekly feature where we highlight places in our region to go for art, dance, history, music, poetry or other cultural entertainment. Got an idea for a Check This Out? Email Terry Date at

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