Jazz is alive, bigger and better than ever, in Pensacola

Jazz Pensacola president Fred Domulot

After a summer break, we are back in full swing!

Jazz is alive!

Jazz Pensacola is up and running strong!

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!

Jazz is still alive in Pensacola!

Peace.

Drum Roll Please: The All-Stars of May

One month after JazzFest …

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.

Jazz luminaries with birthdays in May include Fats Waller (upper left), Dee Dee Bridgewater (upper right), Miles Davis (lower left) and Benny Goodman.

May is also the birth month of many jazz greats.

May 1

Shirley Horn, James Newton

May 2

Richard “Groove” Holmes, Eddie Louis

May 3

John Lewis, Jymie Merritt

May 4

Ron Carter, Maynard Ferguson

May 5

Stanley Cowell

May 6

David Friessen, Till Bronner

May 7

Arthur Blythe, Teresa Brewer

Michael Formanek, Vic Berton

May 8

Keith Jarrett, Red Nichols

May 9

Tania Marie, Dennis Chambers

May 10

Mel Lewis, Ahmed Abdullah

May 11

King Oliver, Carla Bley

May 12

Gerald Wiggins, Gary Peacock

Krause Doldinger, Marshall Royal

May 13

Gil Evans, Red Garland

May 14

Sidney Bechet, Jay Beckenstein

May 15

Joe Gordon, Jimmy O’Bryant

May 16

Woody Herman, Betty Carter, Billy Cobham

May 17

Jackie McKean, Dewey Redman

May 18

Big Joe Turner

May 19

Cecil McBee, Tom Scott, Sonny Fortune

May 20

Victor Lewis, Louis Smith

May 21

Fats Waller, Bill Holman

May 22

Sun Ra

May 23

Artie Shaw

May 24

Archie Shepp, Charles Earland

May 25

Wallace Roney

May 26

Miles Davis, Lew Tabackin

May 27

Ramsey Lewis, Dee Dee Bridgewater

May 28

T-Bone Walker

May 29

Sean Jones, Kenny Washington

May 30

Benny Goodman, Dave McKenna

May 31

Christian McBride, Red Holloway

Louis Hayes

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!”

Peace

“Give Peace A Chance”

Drum Roll, Please: A tribute to Bob Dorough

From left to right, Steve Gilmore, Bob Dorough, Fred Domulot.

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.
 
As was Bob.
 
Peace Bob
 
 

Drum Roll, Please: Rains couldn’t wash away JazzFest Fun

Despite the heavy rains — and the subsequent cancellations — on Saturday morning, the remainder of JazzFest 2018 continued to the delight of many happy jazz fans.

Well …

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!

Get ready for JazzFest 2019!

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Drum Roll, Please: The Prez can’t wait for JazzFest

Jazz Pensacola president Fred Domulot

Happy February!

Two months away from the 2018 Pensacola JazzFest!

And what a festival it will be.

There will be music for everyone.

Our headliners this year:

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!

The Scott Wilson Quintet will satisfy all the straight-ahead or Brazilian jazz lovers. World class!

Patrick Frost will bring his mixture of “Island Jazz,” steel pans, conch shell, trombone and keys!

Closing both days will be:

The 4 Korners!

Although they may be labeled a jazz fusion band, they prefer to call their sounds “Journey Music.” They will take you on one for sure!

Make your plans! Come to the Pensacola JazzFest!

Bring a friend … hug a musician!

And Happy Valentines! ❤️

Peace.

A Welcome to the New Year from the President

Fred Domulot, Jazz Pensacola president

Goodbye 2017 … Hello 2018!

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!

We have all the information here on the site.

Yes, 2018 is here! As the man said, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet!

At your service.