Music & Events

Allegheny Jazz Party
Sept. 11 - 13, 2015

Ed Goebelby Ed Goebel

I have been a jazz fan for most of my life.  I have several hundred jazz records, tapes and CDs, not to mention over 1,700 jazz tunes on my iPod, as well as access to Internet jazz sources such as JazzRadio.com and Jazz On the Tube.  However, no matter how the good recordings, I much prefer to listen to live jazz and the sounds of surprise as musicians improvise in front of us.

And normally, if I have a choice, I choose to attend concerts by jazz groups playing a bop or post-bop modern jazz style.  I thought the recent Ali Ryerson Quintet at Romolo's was wonderful.

A great opportunity.

However, for several years, I have also enjoyed going back once a year to listen to and appreciate the styles of the earlier days of classic jazz, from ragtime to New Orleans and Chicago jazz and swing, played by some of today's most accomplished classic jazz musicians.  My wife, Rita, and I have enjoyed attending Jazz at Chautauqua, which now for the second year is the Allegheny Jazz Party held at the Intercontinental Hotel near the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.

Saxophonist Harry AllenClassic Jazz.

The beauty of the Allegheny Jazz Party is that you can attend either some or all of the over 24 hours of classic jazz in a cabaret setting, played by world-renowned musicians. These include pianist Dr. James Dapogny, guitarists Howard Aldren and Marty Grosz, saxophonists Harry Allen, Scott Robinson and Dan Block, trumpeters Duke Heitzer and Jon-Eric Kellso, trombonists Dan Barrett and Bill Allred and violinist Andy Stein, just to name a few of the 29 musicians who will be playing this September 11 - 13. 

These musicians play in successive, pre-scheduled combos ranging from duets to octets for successive half hour to 40 minute performances.  There is only a five minute intermission between sets to allow one combo to leave the performance stage and the succeeding combo to take its place.  Last year, we counted 35 separate combos that played a wide variety of classic jazz music.

Music in Abundance.

An amazing amount of fine, classic jazz is squeezed into both the two 7-hour sessions beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday afternoons and the two 4-hour sessions beginning at 10:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., respectively, on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  As a bonus, those who arrive early to the Friday session are treated to successive half-hour sets between 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., played by the concert's pianists in the mezzanine of the hotel's grand ballroom where the concert itself takes place.

Guitarist Howard AldenHere is just a taste of the fine music that can be heard at the upcoming Allegheny Jazz Party, based on last year's Party.

Star Studded Show.

When Rita and I arrived at the hotel on Friday afternoon last year, we were greeted by the unmistakable stride piano style of Rossano Sportiello, a gifted jazz pianist from Vigevano, Italy.  His solos are compositions in themselves, with his deep sense of time, regardless of which of the many styles of tunes from which he is improvising in the five or six sets he plays on at the Party. 

The first official, 5:30 p.m. Friday set last year was led by 29-year-old cornetist Andy Schumm.  The first time I saw Schumm play, six or seven years ago at Chautauqua, he was dressed like Bix Biederbecke, right down to the manner in which he parted and waved his hair. And he played with a high quality that belied his age.  In September 2014, he led the octet that was performing the type and quality of tunes that would have made Bix proud.  These tunes included Way Down Yonder In New Orleans and I Can't Believe You're In Love With Me, the latter of which included a call and response between Schumm and gifted saxophone player Scott Robinson.  Octets made up of different combinations of jazz musicians also jammed at 8:40 p.m. and 11:40 p.m. on Friday evening and at 5:30 p.m. and 11:35 p.m. on Saturday evening

Great Swing, Great Singers.

The next set was played by a quartet lead by Harry Allen, a 47-year-old tenor saxophonist who has been identified as one of the finest proponents of the swing tenor saxophone alive today.  The quartet included Sportiello and Pete Siers, an accomplished drummer from Ann Arbor, Michigan.  But the Nicki Parrott with Les Paulspotlight was stolen in this quartet, and in other combos in which she played, by a first-timer for these jazz parties, Australian bassist, singer and song writer, Nicki Parrott.  Her intended six-month stay in the United States stretched into 20 years, during part of  which she played with the all-women jazz big band DIVA.  In 2000 she was invited to play with the Les Paul Trio of which she has remained a member, playing at a New York jazz club even after Les' death in 2009.  Parrott plays a quite musical bass style that adds depth to tunes, and her singing in several of the sets in which she played was superb.

Two other female vocalists, Wesla Whitfield and Rebecca Kilgore, showcase their vocal repertoires in various combos during the Party and Marty Grosz adds his gravelly voice, along with his guitar to various tunes as only he can do.

The next set was entitled Hallelujah! The Great Songs of Vincent Youmans, played by a trio led by accomplished New York pianist, Keith Ingham.  One memorable tune in that set was Orchids In The Moonlight played to a Latin beat.

I could go on in describing the music and the manner in which these fine musicians played it, but I think you should get the picture from the above.

(The clip below brings singer Rebecca Kilgore, who will be at the Allegheny JazzParty, and her crew, most of whom will also be there.)

Tickets and Contacts.

The cost for the music for the whole weekend is $310.  This includes priority seating for all four sessions and access to a Thursday evening jam session.  The cost for attending any one of the Friday 5:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., 5:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m., or Sunday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. sessions is $100.  And remember, Friday includes five piano solos between 2:00 pm and 4:30 pm.

Payments can be made online with a charge card, charge fee added, at www.alleghenyjazz.orgor payments can be sent to: 

Allegheny Jazz Society

c/o Nancy Griffith

3 Pepper Creek Drive

Pepper Pike, OH  44124

A special Allegheny Jazz Party (Code YON) room rate of $189 plus tax per night is available from the Intercontinental Hotel and Conference Center at 855-765-8709 until August 10, 2015.  There are also buffet meals available for each of the four sessions through Allegheny Jazz Society. 

For more information or for a brochure that further facilitates registration, contact Nancy Griffith at 216-956-0886 or at nancylynngriffith@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

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ALLEGHENY JAZZ PARTY 9/11-13/2015

 

 

 

I have been a jazz fan for most of my life.  I have several hundred jazz records, tapes and CDs, not to mention over 1,700 jazz tunes on my iPod, as well as access to Internet jazz sources such as JazzRadio.com and Jazz On the Tube.  However, no matter how the good recordings, I much prefer to listen to live jazz and the sounds of surprise as musicians improvise in front of us.

And normally, if I have a choice, I choose to attend concerts by jazz groups playing a bop or post-bop modern jazz style.  I thought the recent Ali Ryerson Quintet at Romolo's was wonderful.

However, for several years, I have also enjoyed going back once a year to listen to and appreciate the styles of the earlier days of classic jazz, from ragtime to New Orleans and Chicago jazz and swing, played by some of today's most accomplished classic jazz musicians.  My wife, Rita, and I have enjoyed attending Jazz at Chautauqua, which now for the second year is the Allegheny Jazz Party held at the Intercontinental Hotel near the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.

The beauty of the Allegheny Jazz Party is that you can attend either some or all of the over 24 hours of classic jazz in a cabaret setting, played by world-renowned musicians. These include pianist Dr. James Dapogny, guitarists Howard Aldren and Marty Grosz, saxophonists Harry Allen, Scott Robinson and Dan Block, trumpeters Duke Heitzer and Jon-Eric Kellso, trombonists Dan Barrett and Bill Allred and violinist Andy Stein, just to name a few of the 29 musicians who will be playing this September 11 - 13. 

These musicians play in successive, pre-scheduled combos ranging from duets to octets for successive half hour to 40 minute performances.  There is only a five minute intermission between sets to allow one combo to leave the performance stage and the succeeding combo to take its place.  Last year, we counted 35 separate combos that played a wide variety of classic jazz music.

An amazing amount of fine, classic jazz is squeezed into both the two 7-hour sessions beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday afternoons and the two 4-hour sessions beginning at 10:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., respectively, on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  As a bonus, those who arrive early to the Friday session are treated to successive half-hour sets between 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., played by the concert's pianists in the mezzanine of the hotel's grand ballroom where the concert itself takes place.

Here is just a taste of the fine music that can be heard at the upcoming Allegheny Jazz Party, based on last year's Party.

When Rita and I arrived at the hotel on Friday afternoon last year, we were greeted by the unmistakable stride piano style of Rossano Sportiello, a gifted jazz pianist from Vigevano, Italy.  His solos are compositions in themselves, with his deep sense of time, regardless of which of the many styles of tunes from which he is improvising in the five or six sets he plays on at the Party. 

The first official, 5:30 p.m. Friday set last year was led by 29-year-old coronetist Andy Schumm.  The first time I saw Schumm play, six or seven years ago at Chautauqua, he was dressed like Bix Biederbecke, right down to the manner in which he parted and waved his hair. And he played with a high quality that belied his age.  In September 2014, he led the octet that was performing the type and quality of tunes that would have made Bix proud.  These tunes included Way Down Yonder In New Orleans and I Can't Believe You're In Love With Me, the latter of which included a call and response between Schumm and gifted saxophone player Scott Robinson.  Octets made up of different combinations of jazz musicians also jammed at 8:40 p.m. and 11:40 p.m. on Friday evening and at 5:30 p.m. and 11:35 p.m. on Saturday evening. 

The next set was played by a quartet lead by Harry Allen, a 47-year-old tenor saxophonist who has been identified as one of the finest proponents of the swing tenor saxophone alive today.  The quartet included Sportiello and Pete Siers, an accomplished drummer from Ann Arbor, Michigan.  But the spotlight was stolen in this quartet, and in other combos in which she played, by a first-timer for these jazz parties, Australian bassist, singer and song writer, Nicki Parrott.  Her intended six-month stay in the United States stretched into 20 years, during part of  which she played with the all-women jazz big band DIVA.  In 2000 she was invited to play with the Les Paul Trio of which she has remained a member, playing at a New York jazz club even after Les' death in 2009.  Parrott plays a quite musical bass style that adds depth to tunes, and her singing in several of the sets in which she played was superb.

Two other female vocalists, Wesla Whitfield and Rebecca Kilgore, showcase their vocal repertoires in various combos during the Party and Marty Grosz adds his gravelly voice, along with his guitar to various tunes as only he can do.

The next set was entitled Hallelujah! The Great Songs of Vincent Youmans, played by a trio led by accomplished New York pianist, Keith Ingham.  One memorable tune in that set was Orchids In The Moonlight played to a Latin beat.

I could go on in describing the music and the manner in which these fine musicians played it, but I think you should get the picture from the above. 

The cost for the music for the whole weekend is $310.  This includes priority seating for all four sessions and access to a Thursday evening jam session.  The cost for attending any one of the Friday 5:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., 5:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m., or Sunday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. sessions is $100.  And remember, Friday includes five piano solos between 2:00 pm and 4:30 pm.

Payments can be made online with a charge card, charge fee added, at www.alleghenyjazz.orgor payments can be sent to: 

Allegheny Jazz Society

c/o Nancy Griffith

3 Pepper Creek Drive

Pepper Pike, OH  44124

 

A special Allegheny Jazz Party (Code YON) room rate of $189 plus tax per night is available from the Intercontinental Hotel and Conference Center at 855-765-8709 until August 10, 2015.  There are also buffet meals available for each of the four sessions through Allegheny Jazz Society. 

For more information or for a brochure that further facilitates registration, contact Nancy Griffith at 216-956-0886 or at nancylynngriffith@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

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July 31, 2015