Boogie2Shooz is an Augusta-based duo made up of Patti-Jean Cousens and Pamela Jenkins. Both singer/musicians are in education in the Capital area. Jenkins teaches in the University of Maine at Augusta’s music department and Cousens works at Cony High School in Augusta. The duo will perform at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 11, at UMA’s Jewett Hall. The concert will be presented by and benefit the UMA Senior College.

To that end, a telephone interview was arranged with Jenkins to talk about the duo, their music and the concert coming up in three days.

Q: It has been quite a long time since your debut CD “Soft Shooz” came out. Do you have something new out?

Jenkins: No, we haven’t. We’re pretty busy with day jobs — that’s what we used to call them. It would be wonderful to get into the studio but it’s so time-consuming — not only preparing but trying to write and then you’ve got to get in there and record it. So, no, we haven’t done anything.

Q: Would you talk a little about the upcoming show?

Jenkins: We’re celebrating 25 years, so that’s kind of going to be the theme of the UMA concert. So, in the process of looking back, we’ve gathered up and re-done a lot of the tunes that we did prior to meeting and getting together musically, and also things that we’ve done early on in our career. We’ve got quite an eclectic little concert going on here — but it’s a lot of fun.

Q: Now, is this 25 years together as Boogie2Shooz?

Jenkins: Not 25 years as a duo, but 25 years together performing in band of different instrumentation. We’ve both been in the business for a long time prior to getting together because we were in our mid-30s when we got together. We started out as a quartet and then we went down to a trio and then to this duo.

Q: What about the material you gathered up in preparation for this show?

Jenkins: We went all the way back to some of the Jazz Crusaders’ things. Do you remember “Street Life”?

Q: That does strike a familiar note, but that was a long time ago.

Jenkins: Yeah, and that was a ball resurrecting that. Patti-Jean went back to some of her Broadway thins and we just recently re-did “What I Did for Love.” That was a lot of fun, what a nice song. I saw her performing it in a video from about 1982 which was prior to me meeting her; so we took a look at it and fooled around with it — we’re going to be using that … it’s been a lot of fun.

Q: What can folks expect from your show at Jewett Hall?

Jenkins: A real mix. When I try and describe us it’s really difficult because we really go into all areas — all genres — and I think everything has kind of a jazz flavor, but I wouldn’t call it jazz, it just kind of has those flavors. We have some Latin music … we’ve also spent some time investigating music of our heritage, so we are going to be presenting some Native American-flavored music, some Acadian music from the French settlers — so much of that here in Maine and a lot of that migration went down into New Orleans. We’ll also have some standards and some blues, and then some 80s … and we have some surprises, too. We’re bringing in some music that you need to kind of take your serious shoes off and just have some fun with. So, we like to have fun and we like everybody to be involved and we’re really going to kind of cover the gamut of genres. Oh, and we’re a sequenced duo.

Q: What’s that?

Jenkins: Well, since going down to two pieces, and because I play saxophone primarily, I had to have some way of getting some music underneath us as a bed. So, I record everything that we do using midi technology and then — when we perform — that’s fed to various synthesizers so it’s not recorded per se. It’s a live sound so we have drums and bass and string lines and sometimes some background brass parts and things like that going. And, then when I play saxophone I send all my recorded piano parts to the synthesizers that I’m playing so I can get off the piano a little more. So, it’s a big sound from two people.

Q: What other instrumentation is present in your performances?

Jenkins: I go back and forth between soprano and alto saxophone and flute, and I’ve brought in a wind synthesizer in the past couple of years which is really a lot of fun, and then keyboards. Patti-jean comes over and plays keyboards from time to time, and then she does various percussion and vocals — we both sing.

Q: Is there anything, Pam, you would like me to pass on to the folks reading this article about the March 11 show at Jewett Hall ?

Jenkins: We just love to have a good time and our audiences are a very important part of that. The music means a lot to us but we really love the interaction. That’s what a concert’s for, as far as we’re concerned.

Lucky Clark has spent more than four decades writing about music and those who make it. Email [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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