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    Thursday, June 20, 2024

    That other Bruce

    Bruce Hornsby (submitted)

    Give a guy some intense musical gifts and a driving curiosity — and about 40 years — and there’s probably no way to imagine what he can come up with.

    Bruce Hornsby, for example. Since his “The Way It Is” single in 1986 — some of you probably think Hornsby sampled Tupac’s song rather than the other way around — Hornsby has collaborated, composed and cantered across a wide expanse of musical possibilities. There are several albums he recorded with the Range, which segued into the Noisemakers — and Hornsby brings that seasoned outfit to New London’s Garde Arts Center tonight. They’re on the road celebrating the 25th anniversary of the “Spirit Trail” CD, which is ideal because that recording demonstrates the breadth of Hornsby’s chops and ambition.

    In that, ah, spirit, he’s also toured as a member of the Pat Metheny Group and the Grateful Dead and scored several films for director Spike Lee. He’s nuanced bluegrass with Ricky Skaggs. He’s joined Roger Waters onstage to play “Comfortably Numb” and done dates onstage with the Doobie Brothers. He’s played and written classical music and jazz and collaborated with dozens more similarly elite players (Elton John, Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, Brandon Flowers, Mavis Staples and Sting, to name a few).

    In general, Horsby is tremendously talented and seems more than artistically fulfilled – rather like a fellow happily packing on the musical calories at an all you-can-jam buffet.

    Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Garde Arts Center, 325 State St., New London; $53-$97; gardearts.org, (860) 444-7373.

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