Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Meet the bands in the festival

40 groups in Sun Valley to feature more than 200 musicians


    The Sun Valley Jazz Jamboree will feature bands with many styles, including: vintage jazz, contemporary jazz, cabaret jazz, swing, Western swing, big band, zydeco, gypsy jazz, blues and more. They are:
Barnhart-Midiri Quartet
    This delightful foursome will be featured during the festival due to popular request. Don’t miss the magic that happens when you get the rare opportunity to catch them.


Bill Allred’s Classic Jazz Band
    In late 1989, Bill Allred’s Classic Jazz Band was born with a primary mission: to find, research, and play some of the almost forgotten arrangements of the early reading jazz bands. Their new sounds and combinations have resulted in some very unusual treatments of old and new musical material.
    This group is loaded with interesting individuals including the leader Bill, whose father played jazz on the Mississippi steamboats.
    What to expect: High energy jazz and swing with a fresh twist.


Blue Renditions
    Blue Renditions features the 2006 Great Lady of Jazz, Sherri-Lynn Colby. Sherri, who hit the jazz scene at age 14 as the “Sirene of the San Jaquin,” has certainly grown up! The cabaret-style Sherri adopts when singing with her own group allows her to establish intimate contact with her audience. Her maturity in life and music makes for sweet listening, with a bit of soul searching thrown in for good measure. Sherri’s husband, Matt, rounds out the group with a serious face… watch for the “imp-grin” that flits across occasionally!
    What to expect: Vocal jazz with synergistic instrumentation.


Blue Street Jazz Band
    The Blue Street Jazz Band is one of the most innovative groups in traditional jazz. The band earned the reputation as “The Bad Boys of Dixieland” for their eclectic tastes in music. At any given Blue Street performance, the audience is liable to hear various styles of music including swing, Mardi Gras, folk song, marches, waltzes, Latin music, and hymns. Uniquely, Blue Street Jazz Band touts three music educators: Dave Ruffner, a retired high school band director, Rick Canfield, a junior high school band director, and Forrest Helmick, an elementary school music teacher.
    What to expect: Jet-propelled traditional jazz with eclectic interludes.


Bob Draga & Friends
    Bob Draga is a consummate performer and he is as versatile as they come. Look for him to show almost anyplace because his life passion is expressed each time he picks up his horn. Flying solo this year, Draga will be featured as a guest artist with many of our bands.
    What to expect: Smooth, sweet clarinet in Draga’s unmistakable style.


Boise Straight Ahead
    Boise Straight Ahead was formed in 1997, and they love the big band sound and the uniquely American music that honors the many big bands that have played this music in the past. They have focused on playing community events in the Treasure Valley and have donated more than $55,000 in performance fees to local charities.
    This all-volunteer army is demonstrating at every opportunity their passion to keep this music alive, and we all get to benefit from their hours of dedication. A must see if you love the big band sound.
    What to expect: Faithful renditions of the big band era. Great for listening or dancing.


Bruce Innes Trio
    The Bruce Innes Trio will delight you with a large repertoire of original music and decades of experience entertaining satisfied listeners from all over the world. Don’t miss the chance to hear “Jack Daniels, you Liked to me Again” or any number of other songs that will keep playing in your memories long after the festival is over for this year.
    What to expect: Seasoned veterans showing off their skill in American folk and original music – always a crowd pleaser.  



John Cocuzzi
    John Cocuzzi brings to us his amazing talent and versatility as a guest artist. He knows how to captivate the listeners as well as keep the dancers on their feet. His audience rapport, along with the superb musicians found in his company, have set the standard for those who demand quality entertainment.
    What to expect: Seamless melodies and a smooth touch on the keys, skins and bars.


Kristy Cocuzzi
    Kristy Cocuzzi has a sultry voice that has thrilled audiences everywhere and was featured on vocals, sax and clarinet with Big Tiny Little for almost 10 years. She has toured as lead alto, clarinet, and vocalist with the “Lawrence Welk Show” throughout the United States and Canada, as well as being a member of the Champagne Music Makers at the Welk Resort in Branson, Mo.


Cornet Chop Suey
    The seven multi-talented musicians of Cornet Chop Suey will give you an exciting jazz and swing show presented with gusto and enthusiasm. With at least a century of songs in their repertoire, from the rags and Dixie of the early 1900s to contemporary jump, jazz and swing, their high-energy front line and powerful rhythm section produce an exciting new sound and approach that is a proven crowd pleaser.
    What to expect: Powerful two-trumpet front line reminiscent of the Lu Watters Yerba Buena aggregation.


Gator Nation
    Gator Nation, formerly known as Gator Beat, the west coast’s premiere Cajun, zydeco, and New Orleans R&B band, is a hand-clapping, foot-stomping, high energy concert and dance band. With the same survival instinct as its namesake, Gator Nation continues to adapt itself to its audiences, always with something fresh yet true to its calling, which is to represent the music of south Louisiana in all its forms, Cajun, zydeco, and New Orleans style. They have the talent and diversity to express the nuances that define the genres.  The result is a remarkable show with so much variety and depth that at the end of the show, the Gator Nation Band leaves you happy and hollerin’ “the BEAT goes on!”


Gonzalo Bergara Quartet
    The all-acoustic Gonzalo Bergara Quartet plays a modern variant of 1930s Django Reinhardt-inspired gypsy jazz. Composer and lead guitarist Gonzalo Bergara mixes a cascade of arpeggios with the sounds of Paris and his native Argentina. His first CD, “Porteña Soledad,” was “Editor’s Pick” in “Guitar Player Magazine,” and “Vintage Guitar Magazine” called it a “masterpiece.” The Gonzalo Bergara Quartet consists of Gonzalo Bergara on lead guitar, Jeffrey Radaich on rhythm guitar, Leah Zeger on violin, and Brian Netzley on upright bass.
    The music is heavily influenced by Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France, as well as the traditional jazz and music of Bergara’s true home, Buenos Aires.


High Street
    When attending one of High Street’s performances, be prepared… for anything. You could even end up as part of the act, or with someone in your lap! In other words, these guys give it all and they give it every time. You don’t want to miss a moment. It’s likely, however, that you may hear something written sometime after 1945. But hey, with all the fun you’ll be having and the energy in the room… even if you do care, you won’t notice.
    What to expect: Be prepared for anything!


Ivory & Gold
    Ivory & Gold’s Anne and Jeff Barnhart have credits that stretch across the U.S. and back again. Anne is a classically trained flautist and the organizer of the popular Classical Renegades set, which features other classically trained artists who have “crossed over to the jazz side.” Jeff has a ragtime/stride piano background and he will bring a charming and witty combination of ragtime and Broadway.
    What to expect: A unique blend of soulful and blistering jazz piano, flute and vocals.


Jerry Krahn Quartet
    Spirited, lyrical, smoky and jazz-edged guitar sounds are what you will hear from acoustic guitarist Jerry Krahn. Krahn brings his unique no-amps acoustic guitars to the stage in the styles of early jazz guitar masters Eddie Lang and Django Reinhart. His arrangements of 20’s and 30’s jazz and pop standards are delivered with a flair. Jerry carries these guitars into the 21st century with soulful versions of contemporary jazz, personal compositions and jazz-laced country-politan hits combining styles of Joe Pass, Chet Atkins, George Benson and Pat Matheny.
    What to expect: Swinging, intimate, rural, and sophisticated guitar sounds.


Jim Fryer & the Usual Suspects
    Not exactly the new kid on the block, Jim Fryer has played for heads of state around the world. Perhaps you caught one of his many recordings and were just looking for a place you could actually see him in a live performance. Fryer is here with the Usual Suspects and there is no doubt you will be asking for more when it’s over.
    What to expect: An eclectic mix of eccentric songs.


Joe Fos Trio
    Many of Joe Fos’ friends will drop in to play with the trio. Known by many as “Mr. Sun Valley,” Fos is a fixture in the Duchin Room at Sun Valley and he is also the master of ceremonies of our Pianorama.
    What to expect: Beautifully flowing piano tunes you know and love. Keep watch, anyone is likely to show up at any moment to jam with Joe.


Kings of Swing
    Dressed in their tuxedos with white dinner jackets, the Kings of Swing add an air of 1940s elegance and style to every performance. The Kings are a 17-piece dance band that originated in 1944 and have delighted the crowds here in Sun Valley since our first festival. The Saturday night Tribute to Glenn Miller Big Band is a favorite and always has a full dance floor.
    What to expect: Faith-full renditions of Glenn Miller, close your eyes and you will think he is right there with us.


Billy Mata & The Texas Tradition
    Billy Mata & The Texas Tradition has been performing traditional music for Texas dance halls and a brand new generation of western swing dancers. His music is all energy, heart, spirit, and the magic musical talent of his band, The Texas Tradition – now celebrating more than 30 years together!
    The Texas Tradition is a handpicked collection of professional musicians from a wide area of Texas who were gathered together by their common interest in Texas swing and the opportunity to play with the best of the best. Three of Mata’s musicians are now at or past their 19th year with the band, one is in his 23rd year.


Meschiya Lake & Dem Lil’ Big Horns
    Meschiya Lake was first seen singing on the streets of New Orleans. She is joined by an all-star collection that will bring the house down. One familiar face in the crowd is Jason Jurzak, formerly of Blue Street. Lake is captivating and was featured as the Sun Valley 2013 Great Lady of Jazz. Earlier this year, Lake won the Big Easy Music Award for Best Female Performer for the third year in a row, and her band won the Big Easy Music Award for Best Traditional Jazz Band.
    What to expect: Pay no attention to the smoke rising off the dance floor.


Meyers All Star Big Band
    Led by Terry Meyers (who is taking a few days off from leading the original Tommy Dorsey Orchestra) the Friday night Big Band lets you bask in the music. These few moments will whisk you away in time. The artists chosen to play these sets are always thrilled to participate.
    What to expect: You won’t be sorry unless you miss it.
Midiri All Star Big Band
    The Thursday night offering of the big band swing era lead by Joe Midiri. It’s not often these days we have the opportunity to enjoy an amazing re-creation of the Big Band sound and this group of guys will lift you right out of your seats and onto the dance floor.


Midiri Brothers Sextet
    Talk about gifted brothers! Between the two of them, Joe and Paul Midiri play almost every musical instrument known to man. They feature the music of what most people consider to be the best small jazz group of all time — The Benny Goodman Sextet.
    You might also catch a Lionel Hampton tune or two. Tight arrangements and musical excellence make them a must see.
    What to expect: Goodman and Hampton a la Midiri.
Sue Palmer & Her Motel Swing Orchestra
    San Diego’s “Queen of Boogie Woogie,” Sue Palmer, has amazed audiences all over the world with her unique style and phenomenal left hand. Best known for her beehive-wearing stint with blues diva Candye Kane in the ’90’s, Palmer has been making her mark in the last decade with her high energy band, the Motel Swing Orchestra, and her flashy boogie-woogie styling. Wearing a couple of pounds of big cocktail rings on each hand, she wails through a very complete blues keyboard vocabulary like the veteran she is.
PBJ (Paul Reid, Brian Casserly & Jim Lawlor)
    Here is a unique opportunity to see three guys that love to perform any place and have fun doing it. They put this trio together as much for their own enjoyment as for yours.
    What to expect: Piano virtuosity, crooning vocals, and sizzling trumpet.
Pieter Meijers Quartet
    It’s always a rare and entertaining treat when we can see this great band come together for us here in Sun Valley. It’s a magical moment when Pieter and Brady get together and always a favorite.


Brady McKay
    Brady McKay commands the stage with a flair of experience and theater background to rouse your appetite with her antics, talent and gorgeous femme fatale qualities!
    What to expect: Lyrical standards done the way you remember them.

Gary Ryan
    The well-traveled and world renowned funny man and banjo virtuoso will grace our stages this year.  The owner of “Goofy Graphics” in Morro Bay, Calif., Gary Ryan is no stranger to Sun Valley or the festival circuit.
    What to expect: Fine banjo and lots of merry making. Watch for him, he may show up anywhere!


Sherri Colby’s Racket Makers & Friends
    Sherri Colby’s New Orleans Racket Makers jazz band boasts some of the finest young musicians playing early jazz in New Orleans today. The Racket Makers’ music will have you dancing and swinging all night long. You will hear their love for the old songs and styles that invoke the spirit of New Orleans jazz. Inspired by their love for the tradition, the Racket Makers’ energy is infectious and the music goes right to the heart of the matter: Let’s have fun!
    What to expect: Classic New Orleans jazz reminiscent Preservation Hall.


Side Street Strutters Jazz Band
    The Side Street Strutters have been busy presenting formal concerts, symphony pops programs and student outreach programs since 1983.  They entertained guests at the Disneyland Resort for 22 years and are proud to present “Shiny Stockings,” a new show featuring the vocals of Meloney Collins.
    Together, the Strutters and Collins borrow from their extensive repertoire of beautifully crafted arrangements, colorful costumes, tap dancing, exciting showmanship and musicianship to create a performance which breathes new life into melodies popularized by the great songstresses of the golden age of jazz.
    What to expect: A most enjoyable, rewarding musical experience.


Sun Valley Jazz All Stars
    Check your local post office for pictures of the band. For years we have wanted to assemble a “Directors Choice” band and figured for the 25th we should just do it. We expect this to be a real “barn burner” group and each of them (all band leaders in their own right) will lead a set of their own and call the tunes.
    What to expect: We really don’t know just what to expect but great music and to be highly pleased with the entertainment.


Sun Valley Jazz Marching Band
    A featured event for many years here and unparalleled on the jazz festival circuit this special tribute to the marching band can be a very emotional hour. This is “everyone invited” and a great treat for those of us that played in a high school band and want to sit next to a pro. Come join a thousand others and feel your patriotism surge while the local Girl Scouts present the colors.
    What to expect: To be fully alive, awake and energized.


Titan Hot 7
    Born out of the Jack Daniels Silver Cornet Band, this group had the metamorphosis of growing from five to seven, became an instant hit, and has stormed the halls of many notable haunts around the world. As an accomplished ensemble that captures the moment of magic, you’ll always come back for more. Look for any of these versatile “Titans” to appear as a guest or with other artists and you’ll know why they have won the hearts of so many.
    What to expect: Traditional jazz at its best with outstanding soloists and good humor.


Tom Hook and NOLA Rhythm & Blues
    Tom Hook is the “Original BIG Dog” himself, of the Black Dogs Jazz Band fame. If a piano player could be a one man band, Hook would be your guy. You can never tell who may drop in to play, as you will see, it’s too much fun to pass up when you have the chance to take the stage with him.
    What to expect: To laugh, cry, dance or bark all in the same hour.


Tom Rigney & Flambeau
    Tom Rigney, a fiery, electrifying violinist and composer, joins forces with some of the finest musicians on the San Francisco roots music scene to form Tom Rigney & Flambeau, a band that generates enough heat and energy to ignite a dance floor or lift an audience to its feet. Tom Rigney & Flambeau were voted Best Cajun/Zydeco Band of 2004 by the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame.
    What to expect: Cajun and zydeco two-steps, low-down blues, funky New Orleans grooves, and heartbreaking beautiful ballads and waltzes.


We Three
    If you have never been able to get in the door at a We Three set, it’s no surprise. While you never know what you’ll see (or hear) the entertainment is non-stop. This ever popular trio has more fun than should be allowed by law, and before you know it, they will have won your heart, too. Not to be missed.
    What to expect: Superb showmanship, hilarious antics, great music.


Yale Whiffenpoofs
    Every year, 14 senior Yale men are selected to be in the Whiffenpoofs, the world’s oldest and best-known collegiate a cappella group. Founded in 1909, the Whiffs began as a senior quartet that met for weekly concerts at the famous Yale tavern. Today, the group has become one of Yale’s most celebrated and hallowed traditions.
    What to expect: Charming young men crooning delightful harmonies.


Yve Evans
    This irresistible lady can belt the blues one moment, and whisper and whine the next. Yve Evans’ impeccable vocal styling captures the imagination. Evans greets her website fans by saying, “Hello, I’m Yve Evans. Welcome to my world. Here in Evansworld we sing, dance and have a great time!” That about sums it up.
    What to expect: Moving vocals with a modern twist and a touch of humor.




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