Northwestern Press

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Sit in with Chaise Lounge for MSH ‘Jazz Upstairs’

Friday, August 16, 2019 by GEORGE VANDOREN in Focus

Chaise Lounge returns for the “Jazz Upstairs” series, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16, Rodale Community Room, Miller Symphony Hall.

Doors open at 7 p.m. for a free buffet, included with the ticket price admission. A cash bar is available.

The Washington, D.C.-based group presents an upbeat blend of standards and originals with an early 1960s’ jazz vibe.

Charlie Barnett, piano, accordion and guitar, also writes and-or arranges most of the group’s tunes.

Lancaster’s Big Boy Brass to hold forth at Zinzenplatz

Friday, August 9, 2019 by GEORGE VANDOREN in Focus

Big Boy Brass, a Lancaster-based brass band, performs at Musikfest, 5 p.m. Aug, 9, Guardian Insurance Company of America Zinzenplatz, Main and Lehigh streets, Bethlehem.

Big Boy Brass plays an eclectic genre-bending blend of high-energy rock, pop, funk and traditional jazz with a twist.

The ensemble includes Connor Devlin, sousaphone; Vincent Shickora, Ben Ewing, Nolan Wible, trumpets; Dominic Mascaro, trombone; Sam Yoder, trombone and guitar; Nick Franks and Paul Berry, saxophones, and Matt Woodson, drums.

Stoneback ‘Jazz Upstairs’ to swing

Friday, June 21, 2019 by GEORGE VANDOREN in Focus

If you have a taste for Big Band music, mark 7:30 p.m. June 21 on your calendar when the Rob Stoneback Big Band holds court in Miller Symphony Hall’s Rodale Community Room for the “Jazz Upstairs Series.”

The 19-piece unit has performed with such notables as Rosemary Clooney, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, The Manhattan Transfer and Frank Sinatra and Frank Sinatra, Jr. to name a few. The Stoneback Big Band has four CDs to its credit, and has recorded with Simone, Nina Simone’s daughter.

Jerry Rife brings Dixieland to Pennsylvania Jazz Society concert

Friday, May 31, 2019 by GEORGE VANDOREN in Focus

Jerry Rife and his Rhythm Kings bring their take on hot jazz to the Pennsylvania Jazz Society, 2 p.m. June 2, Dewey Banquet Hall, 502 Durham St., Hellertown.

Rife’s lifelong love of jazz started with a “Dukes of Dixieland” vinyl album he received as a youth.

Says Rife: “It changed my life. I wanted to be those people. With some friends, I formed a Dixieland band in my junior high, high school days. We played the ‘Ted Mack Amateur Hour’ and we actually did gigs for money.

Gečytė, Perla return for sixth ‘Jazz Upstairs’

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 by GEORGE VANDOREN in Focus

Viktorija Gečytė and the Gene Perla Trio are making their sixth appearance in the “Jazz Upstairs” series in the Rodale Community Room, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

The 7:30 p.m. May 17 concert is part of the group’s 11th annual tour. After Lehigh Valley and New York area concerts, the group heads to the Bay Area. Then it’s off to Europe where the ensemble plans to make a recording.

Polka rocks on: Alex Meixner to explore Lehigh Valley music roots

Friday, May 3, 2019 by GEORGE VANDOREN in Focus

The Alex Meixner Band performs a celebration of the “Roots of the Lehigh Valley,” 7:30 p.m. May 7, Rodale Community Room, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

The multi-talented Meixner, a Lehigh Valley native, literally learned music at his father’s knee. He represents the fourth generation of the Meixner family in the music business. Starting piano at age three, he made his stage debut in his father’s band at age six playing the accordion.

Sandberg brings a wealth of talent to ‘Jazz Upstairs’

Friday, April 5, 2019 by GEORGE VANDOREN in Focus

The Steve Sandberg Quartet visits the “Jazz Upstairs” series, 7:30 p.m. April 5, Rodale Community Room, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

Sandberg is a three-time Grammy Award-winning composer and a pianist with a wealth of experience in a variety of music genres.

He’s joined by Rob Thomas, violin; Michael O’Brien, bass, and Mauricio Zottarelli, drums.

Says Sandberg, “Everyone in the band is a virtuoso.”

Sandberg grew up in Brooklyn and began classical piano studies at age four:

Thatcher takes it to ‘Jazz Upstairs’

Friday, March 22, 2019 by GEORGE VANDOREN in Focus

The Craig Thatcher Jazz Project performs in the “Jazz Upstairs” series, 7:30 p.m. March 22, Rodale Community Room. Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown. The concert is sold-out.

Thatcher, an International Clinician-Ambassador for C.F. Martin & Co., Nazareth, guitar instructor and recording artist, is well-known for his guitar work. Thatcher has performed with a slew of top performers: Simone, Buddy Guy, Derek Trucks, John Mayall, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Savoy Brown, the Spencer Davis Group, and David Bromberg, to name a few.

DiBussolo brings melodies of love to Valentine’s ‘Jazz Upstairs’

Saturday, February 16, 2019 by GEORGE VANDOREN in Focus

Frank DiBussolo and the Philly Reunion Group return to Miller Symphony Hall’s “Jazz Upstairs” series in the Rodale Community Room, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15 with “Wine, Women, and Song,” a melange of Valentine’s Day weekend-themed tunes for music lovers.

DiBussolo, a veteran jazz guitarist and eight-time Grammy nominee, has performed with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Diana Ross, among others. He has been a featured soloist with the bands of Buddy Rich, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden, Lester Lannin and a long list of others.

Fusion Trio recording CD at ‘Jazz Upstairs’ concert

Thursday, January 10, 2019 by GEORGE VANDOREN in Focus

The Fusion Jazz Trio Miller Symphony Hall concert, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11, marks the second time the trio has recorded a CD in the Rodale Community Room “Jazz Upstairs” series.

The ensemble of Vernon Mobley, drums; Brian Bortz, bass, and George Grund, keyboards, are joined by Joe Mixon, guitar, and Chet Brown, vocals.

Fusion Jazz Trio recorded its first CD, “Fusionistic,” at Miller Symphony Hall.