Those who love jazz of the Big Band era, save the date. The “Music of Stan Kenton” Big Band Concert featuring Peter Erskine is Sunday, April 7 at Music Hall Center for Performing Arts.
The Detroit Masters of Music Big Band includes John Harner and Johnny Trudell on trumpet, Jerry McKenzie on drums, and a special song with beloved local trumpeter Bob Lymparis, 86, who played with the Kenton big band in 1945, ’46 and ’48.
The fun begins at 5 p.m. Sunday April 7 at the Music Hall Center for Performing Arts, 350 Madison St, Detroit, MI 48226 (313) 887-8501. Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door, and are available through Ticketmaster or the Music Hall box office.
Presented by Brassworks Entertainment in partnership with the evening jazz programming at WRCJ 90.9 FM, this very special concert will also be recorded live for national release, and limited edition autographed copies will be made available to premium ticket purchasers. Details are available at www.musichall.org<http://www.musichall.org>.
Band Leader Stan Kenton made two records in 1943, launching what proved to be a 25-year association with the newly formed Capitol Records, “Artistry in Rhythm,” his theme, and “Eager Beaver”, both records shot the band to the top ranks of wartime popularity. In the years following World War II, Mr. Kenton’s was one of the first big jazz bands, along with Dizzy Gillespie’s, to use Afro-Cuban rhythmic coloration in their music. Mr. Kenton, a pianist who sometimes played solos with his orchestra, had a flamboyant manner that did not diminish the musical turmoil he created. He conducted with great arm-waving vigor, ending every selection with up stretched arms and an ecstatic expression.
Peter Erskine has played the drums since the age of four and is renowned for his versatility and love of different musical contexts. He appears on more than 600 albums and film scores, and has won two Grammy(r) Awards, plus an Honorary Doctorate from the Berklee School of Music (1992). Thirty albums have been released under his own name or as co-leader. He has played with the Stan Kenton and Maynard Ferguson Big Bands, Weather Report, Steps Ahead, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, Diana Krall, Kenny Wheeler, the Brecker Brothers, The Yellowjackets, and Pat Metheny, among many others. Mr. Erskine has been voted ‘Best Jazz Drummer of the Year’ ten times by the readers of Modern Drummer magazine. He graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy in northern Michigan and studied at Indiana University.
Masters of Music Big Band Leader Ron Kischuk is the Detroit area’s most prominent trombonist. He has been a featured soloist with The Detroit Symphony Orchestra on several occasions and has performed with the orchestra many times as principal trombonist. The Masters of Music Big Band has backed Johnny Mathis, Hal Linden, the Temptations, Natalie Cole and Gladys Knight, among others. Mr. Kischuk has recorded with Aretha Franklin, Vickie Winans, Tim Bowman, the Four Tops, the Temptations, and Grand Funk Railroad, among many others. Mr. Kischuk also played lead trombone on the Grammy(r) Award winning soundtrack Standing In The Shadows Of Motown.
Other celebrated musicians that will be featured in this rare Big Band concert experience will include John Harner, a former first trumpet player with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, who recorded three releases with them including “Kenton Plays Chicago,” “Fire, Fury, and Fun,” and “Kenton ’76,” He also was the first trumpet player at the Dunes, the Sands, and the Sahara Hotels in Las Vegas from 1977 until 1984 and the co-lead player at Caesars Palace in 1983, performing for entertainers that included Johnny Carson, Don Rickles, Jerry Lewis, and Vic Damone, among others. Also featured will be legendary Detroit trumpet player Johnny Trudell, plus drummer Jerry McKenzie, who played with Kenton Big Band 1958 – 1962 and also in 1972, and also played on the Grammy winning record “West Side Story” with Mr. Kenton. In addition, the concert will also include a special song with beloved local trumpeter Bob Lymparis, 86, who played with the Kenton big band in 1945, ’46 and ’48. He will be joining in on a tune he recorded with the band in 1946 – “Intermission Riff” (one of Kenton’s early hits) written by fellow trumpeter and close friend from the Kenton band, Ray Wetzel.
In addition, the Masters of Music Big Band includes a dizzying array of talent including Chris Collins (head of Jazz Studies at Wayne State, Artistic Director of Detroit Jazz Festival), Pete Kahn, Gene Parker, Ben Jansson and Mark Berger playing saxophone, Edward Gooch (former Duke Ellington band member) Gary Kaback, Denzel Donald and George Troia on trombone; Ric Wolkins, Rob Smith (former soloist with Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd) Dwight Adams (plays with Stevie Wonder and featured soloist with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra) and Bob Hawkins on trumpet; Gary Schunk on piano (former house pianist at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge during the 1970′s and 80′s); Jeff Halsey on bass (has toured with legendary jazz artists including Tommy Flanagan, Clark Terry, Jay McShann, J.C. Heard, Dizzy Gillespie, Arturo Sandoval and Stanley Cowell), and percussionist Roger Schupp.
Hotel rooms for this amazing destination jazz event are available for the special reduced rate of $99 at the Hilton Garden Inn, right next door to the Music Hall! Please just ask for the block reserved for the Masters of Music Stan Kenton concert when making reservations. The Masters of Music Big Band is also on Facebook at Detroit Jazz Masters.
“Some of the wise boys who say my music is loud, blatant and that’s all… should see the faces of the kids who have driven a hundred miles through the snow to see the band. . .to stand in front of the bandstand in an ecstasy all their own.”— Stan Kenton, 1948