Out of Office: Eric Andrews

Eric Andrews started a jazz quartet during the pandemic. Photo: Heidi Kirn

The chief credit officer of $1.4 billion-asset Gorham Savings Bank in Gorham, Maine, has had a passion for drumming since the fourth grade. Today, he has his own jazz quartet and plays in a 17-piece big band.

By William Atkinson

I developed an appreciation for jazz at the University of Maine while performing in Don Stratton’s 20th Century Music Ensemble, a 15-piece big band. While there, I had the opportunity to perform with visiting jazz greats like Marian McPartland, Dizzy Gillespie, Al Cohn and others.

I started my quartet in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a way to bring socially distanced music to my neighborhood via outdoor concerts. It evolved into my group performing year-round now, primarily at a restaurant in Ogunquit, Maine, as well as at private functions and nonprofit fundraisers.

I have enjoyed playing with several big bands over the years since college, most recently with the New Legacy Swing Band and the Portland Jazz Orchestra. People generally don’t have the opportunity to hear that style of music very often nowadays, so it’s always fun to watch audiences enjoying the music and dancing.

I hope to continue performing jazz, in all its forms, even more when I retire. Someday, I’d love to be able to put together a national and international tour with the performance proceeds benefiting nonprofit organizations.