We got one night of gorgeous jazz at least



If life has been hectic and maybe disappointing lately,  you had a chance Friday night to forget about your blues and listen to THE Blues and jazz in the city’s courthouse square . And the music was great by all groups that appeared. If you are a swing fan and worry that big band music is close to disappearing, this should give you hope. And after listening last night, maybe you’ll want to give support to school music and art programs, which always seem to be the first to get cut.

[Mea culpa: I always use age as an excuse when I get sloppy in journalism these days. I didn’t get the spelling of the soloists’ names and somehow I couldn’t read the name of a Thelonious Monk tune — so I am going to guess. This is shameful. My profs at U of Missouri J School are turning over in their graves.]

Let’s start off with the Siegel High School Jazz Band band which took the stage at 7 p.m. and gave us a taste of Thelonious Monk. I think the piece was “Straight No Chaser”, but my scribbling in the dark on my camera box is illegible  so bear with me.

Siegel High Jazz Band gives us a taste of Monk







We got a double-dose of Siegel, as the next band up was the Siegel High School Lab Jazz Band. Here they are playing “Lester Leaps In”. The Lester is Lester Young, Count Basie’s famous tenor soloist, who once outdueled Coleman Hawkins in a famous Kansas City cutting session.

A tribute to “The Prez”

If you’ve been seduced by the wicked rhythms of “Sing, Sing, Sing: there is still time to repent. This soul-saving event took place on the back side of the courthouse.


There is still time to switch to Mozart






Meanwhile, back at TV Central

For the swing fans at home







And down on the street, mom (or grandma or neighbor) teaches a couple of youngsters how to Lindy Hop.









Some people preferred to eat and socialize at the food court on the far side of the square.







The Riverdale Warriors High School Jazz Band gives us the theme from Andy Griffith’s comedy TV show of the 1960s — available in TV Land reruns.







Some seniors show the kids how it’s done. Pardon the focus. I must have been drunk last night.







The most powerful and swingingest band, in my humble opinion (and they all were good) was the Oakland High School Jazz Band. That’s Jarrett Allen on trombone as the band plays “Perdido”.




Finally, we end with the Blackman High School Jazz Band knocking everyone out with Benny Goodman’s classic “Sing, Sing, Sing.”Here’s a modern version of the famous Harry James, Ziggy Elman,  and Chris Griffin trumpet section.