Music & Events

JazzErie's Annual

JazzErie All-StarsThurs., May 12 -- 5:30 p.m.
General McLane High School, Rte. 99, Edinboro

Suggested donation $5.

Featuring high school jazz bands from McDowell (Mill Creek), Harborcreek, Meadville, General McLean (Edinboro).
The Misery Bay Big Band, with featured soloist soloist, Buffalo trumpeter Jim Bohm
Retired Gen. McLean Band Director John Marszalek will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

This annual event brings an always inspiring mix of aspiring young musicians and accomplished professionals.  Lots of great music, fresh arrangements, fresh faces and talents.  Come hear some of the finest music the area has to offer.

High School Jazz Bands are alive and well in Northwest Pennsylvania, even while live jazz performances on the local music scene ebb and flow with fluctuating public tastes.  These great training grounds for future musicians and fans of the music continue to fulfill their function in sharpening young ears to this challenging, American-born, open panoply for musical creativity.

JazzErie fans and participating high school musicians have not forgotten the events of a few years ago when members of area high school bands formed the "JazzErie All-Stars" and traveled to Europe to perform at the summer Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

Erie school have struggled to keep music and other arts programs alive in the midst of budget woes, conflicting priorities.  We're hoping for long term improvement under current leadership, but rebuilding a program will take some time.  Meanwhile, surrounding communities have carried the load. With vigor and class!  Come hear results of these excellent efforts -- jazz lives in the schools.

Jim BoehmJim Bohm

Featured soloist Jim Bohm grew up in Clarence, N.Y. and studied music at nearby SUNY Fredonia.  He has now settled in the Buffalo, N.Y area.

A musician of wide-ranging interests and styles, Bohm has worked with Aretha Franklin, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Gino Vanelli and with Frankie Valli and the Scintas in their visits to the Northwest New York region.

Bohm has produced and performed in releases "Soundstorm" by the Dave Stevens Big Band, "Live" from neo-soul singer Nikki Hicks, and his own jazz CD "My Funny Valentine" from the Bohm-Witman Project.

Misery Bay Big BandAs an arranger and flugelhorn player, he worked on contemporary saxophonist Will Holton's CD "Love Stories Untold, Vol. 1."  Current projects include the Winelight Duo with keyboardist Dave Calire, work with Tiger Chung Lee, and a tribute to Dave Matthews.  He is also a performer and dealer for CarolBrass.

The Misery Bay Big Band is composed of many of the region's finest jazz musicians. Business manager Jeff Gibbens and artistic director Allen Zurcher have compiled a "book" of stellar arrangements, including many originals, some by Zurcher, which keep things interesting for listeners, and keep the band on its toes.

Here's a sample of the band, with soloist Lloyd Johns, from a Next Generation concert three years ago.

John MarszalekJohn Marszalek, who will M.C the evening's events, left behind a rich legacy of educational achievements when he retired from the position of band director at General McLean High School last year.  Not the least of these was to ensure that his successor, current band director Jacob Malec, would continue the Next Generation tradition -- which he has done with enthusiasm and skill.  John had established one of the area's broadest student jazz band programs, helped initiate what is now a statewide program of District student jazz band gatherings (simply referred to now as "the District"), established a "Band Boosters" program for families and friends, and served on JazzErie's Board, among many other activities.

This program is supported by JazzErie, the Erie County Public Library, the General McLane Boosters Club, participating high schools, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Erie Arts & Culture, the Erie Art Museum and JazzErie donors.

April 15, 2016