From left to right, Dennis Freese, Cyd Smith and MIke Whipple are Stellar by Starlight. - Photo courtesy of Cyd Smith

Stellar by Starlight at The Playwright

A new Ashland trio, Stellar by Starlight, kicks off The Playwright's Monday-night jazz sessions. The trio — Cyd Smith on guitar and vocals, Mike Whipple on percussion and Dennis Freese on woodwinds and vocals — will alternate with the Paul Turnipseed Trio and play from 7 to 9 p.m. every other Monday night, starting March 4, at the pub, 258 A St., Ashland. There is no cover charge. Call 541-488-9128.

An accidental collaboration, the trio formed when Smith and Whipple were asked to fill in at The Wild Goose Cafe & Bar after a cancellation.

"Whipple was there, and he said, 'I've got a drum in the car; I'd be happy to sit in,' " Smith says.

The rest is history. The trio plays early American jazz, drawing from the Great American Songbook, and aptly references the Victor Young and Ned Washington standard "Stella by Starlight."

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