The summer had an awesome lineup at the Jazz Gumbos.
Jazz at its best! We had good turnouts at the monthly Jazz Jams, too.
September we will have Daniel Rivera doing his best Jack Kerouac, as he reads “On The Road,” backed by The Dharma Beats: Cynthia Domulot on keys, Tom Latenser on bass and yours truly on drums.
The October Jazz Gumbo will feature the great Joe Occhipinti and his Big Band playing all of the big band classics, just like you want!
November … Foo Foo Festival! We will have our concert featuring world class vocalist Annie Sellick! Joining Annie will be New Orleans born pianist Chris Walters. This one you do not want to miss! World class!
May is considered the last month of spring, but folks, it’s hot out there! This month you can cool off at the May Jazz Gumbo.
The Music of Grant Green!
Clint Hall will be playing the music of Grant with an awesome band. Featuring Clint on guitar, the great Steve Gilmore on bass, Chris Gardner on keys and Charles Pagano on drums. Guaranteed to be an awesome show, 6:30 to 9 p.m. Monday, May 21, at Phineas Phogg’s, Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St.
May is also the birth month of many jazz greats.
Shirley Horn, James Newton
Richard “Groove” Holmes, Eddie Louis
John Lewis, Jymie Merritt
Ron Carter, Maynard Ferguson
David Friessen, Till Bronner
Arthur Blythe, Teresa Brewer
Michael Formanek, Vic Berton
Keith Jarrett, Red Nichols
Tania Marie, Dennis Chambers
Mel Lewis, Ahmed Abdullah
King Oliver, Carla Bley
Gerald Wiggins, Gary Peacock
Krause Doldinger, Marshall Royal
Gil Evans, Red Garland
Sidney Bechet, Jay Beckenstein
Joe Gordon, Jimmy O’Bryant
Woody Herman, Betty Carter, Billy Cobham
Jackie McKean, Dewey Redman
Big Joe Turner
Cecil McBee, Tom Scott, Sonny Fortune
Victor Lewis, Louis Smith
Fats Waller, Bill Holman
Archie Shepp, Charles Earland
Miles Davis, Lew Tabackin
Ramsey Lewis, Dee Dee Bridgewater
Sean Jones, Kenny Washington
Benny Goodman, Dave McKenna
Christian McBride, Red Holloway
Imagine an all-star band from the month of May!
I remember an older jazz musician friend of mine … great pianist named Nick Janus.
He would always have something cool to say about everything!!!
“First Of May, first of May … outside music starts today!”
Editor’s Note: Bob Dorough, the jazz musician who helped create the children’s educational program “Schoolhouse Rock” and was its primary composer and musical director, died April 23 at age 94.
Jazz month … we lose a great one.
Bob Dorough. I was very lucky to have played music with this great one.
I met Bob through my other great and no longer here friend, Eric Doney. I was playing the Cotafest with Eric up in the Delaware Gap in the late 90’s. It was and still is a great festival! I heard that voice. Memories of “Schoolhouse Rock” played in my head immediately! But there was so much more. The Eric Doney Trio … Eric, Will Lee and myself were playing at the Deerhead Inn and Bob sat in with Will and I. We played his version of Moon River, still my favorite version. He tore it up! My smile lasted for days!
A few years later, friend and great bassist Steve Gilmore asked me to play with Bob at the Gulf Coast Jazz Society Jazz Festival in Panama City. It was an awesome two days!
I was able to bring Bob to Florida a couple of times to play. A few years ago, when Picasso’s Jazz Club was up and running, Bob came down to play there as a VIP artist jazz series. I was able to bring him to the Montesorri School of Pensacola for a concert for the students. I remember seeing the parents bringing “Schoolhouse Rock” books, CDs and shirts to have Bob sign!
He loved it! In April of 2016, jazz month, Bob came to perform during a spring break concert at Rosemary Beach. It was a chilly night, small crowd, but huge Bob Dorough fans! I heard people saying, “I can’t believe he’s here!”
We did another concert the next night at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College. It was another great one.
That turned out to be a blast! I’m talking about the 35th annual Pensacola JazzFest.
Saturday, the rain stopped our early bands: Random Middle School Jazz Band, Tate High School Jazz Band, Tate High Vocal Jazz Ensemble and the Northwest Florida State College Jazz Ensemble.
If you get a chance to hear these ensembles, please do! They will not disappoint!
After the rain finally cleared, we were able to begin with our headliners. We got to start with the great Gene Bertoncini.
What a treat; alas, he was there only for the Saturday performance.
The Collegiate All-Star Big band was next, featuring one of our headliners, Andy Martin.
Pianist Michael Pellera from New Orleans was up next with his trio playing classic standards.
Smooth jazz artist Paula Atherton took the stage and had the crowd moving with her quartet.
The Scott Wilson Quintet was next playing a killer set of hip arrangements and originals … smoking!
Patrick Frost and his trio brought a very cool island jazz vibe to the festival … steel pans (not drums), conch shells and ukulele!
And … for those of you in town that left … for those of you in town that did not come out … shame …
At the end of the day, Pensacola was introduced to one of the hippest bands to play this area in a long time: The 4 Korners! You can ask those who were there … a musical journey!
Sunday, of course, was a much better day weatherwise … a little cold, but dry!
We had a great line-up of high school and college bands: Milton High Jazz Band, Pace High Jazz Band, Pensacola State College, Booker T. Washington Jazz Band and the University of West Florida Jazz Band. They all were awesome!
Don Snowden’s Big Band was there on day two to perform with headliner Andy Martin.
The headliners were as awesome on day two as they were on day one!
Although the weather throughout the weekend was not jazz friendly, the music was spot-on!
Starting off the event at 7 p.m. on Friday night, April 6, at Pensacola State College, Andy Martin will hold a rehearsal with the collegiate band made up of students from Pensacola State College, University of West Florida, Northwest Florida State College and Coastal Alabama Community College. This event is free and open to the public.
Saturday, at the main JazzFest site at Seville Square in downtown Pensacola, we will have an amazing line-up!
Starting at 10 a.m. with a few of our middle, high school and college bands.
At 1 p.m. we have the great Gene Bertoncini Trio. Gene will be here only on Saturday, so check him out, all of you guitarists out there!
Andy Martin will be with the collegiate band on Saturday and with Don Snowden’s Big Band on Sunday.
New Orleans/New York resident and jazz pianist Michael Pellera will hit the stage with his trio!
For the smooth jazz enthusiasts we have the awesome Paula Atherton on saxophone and vocal! A native New Yorker, she’s guaranteed to get you up and moving!
Out with the old … but wait! The old can be great memories to cherish, especially in jazz.
In 2017 we lost a list of many treasures. Gone, but not forgotten:
Charles “Bobo” Shaw … Keely Smith … Mundell Lowe … Jeter Thompson …
Della Reese … Sol Schlinger … Jon Hendricks … Grady Tate …
Larry Elgart … Muhal Richard Abrams … Geri Allen … Dave Pell …
John Abercrombie … Svend Asmussen … Walter Becker … Allan Holdsworth …
Buddy Greco … Barbara Carroll … Larry Coryell … Arthur Blythe … Al Jarreau …
Kevin Mahogany … Chuck Loeb …
Just to name a few.
If you have not heard of some of the listed artists….please seek them out and treat yourself to great music.
Coming up: A great 2018
Look for great events in 2018 from Jazz Pensacola.
The Jazz Gumbos continue to be well-attended events. This month will feature the music of Herb Alpert and Chuck Mangione! Presented by Dr. Brian Taylor and Friends.
Our Super Jazz Gumbo in February will feature the music of New Orleans with The Village Brass and The Seville Saints. From Second-Line to Dixieland to Swing to Funk! It will be an evening not to miss!
Our JazzFest will be another great event. The line-up will have music for everyone, from straight-ahead jazz to smooth jazz to island jazz to big band to jazz-fusion! Not to mention our middle, high school and college bands!