Jazz concert to be held at the Ritz Theatre Monday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Hall of Famers Ralph Sutton and Kenny Davern, backed up by Tony DeNicola and Greg Cohen, will present a program of classic jazz at the Ritz Theater at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 19. This rare opportunity for residents to hear world class musicians up close and personal playing their favorite tunes is made possible by the Greenville Area Arts Council, another example of their continuing service to the community in presenting diverse professional talent and entertainment of the highest order.

These players will present their own innovative interpretation of this uniquely American music that got its start in New Orleans nearly 100 years ago, migrated to Chicago in the 1920s and later to New York, the West Coast and Europe. It is mostly bright and happy with a positive feel to its melody line and beat, pleasant to the ear and you don't have to be a music expert to enjoy it hugely. The tunes go back in time and include jazz standards, blues, swing, sweet ballads and show tunes, what Louis Armstrong called "the good ole good ones."

The New Yorker Magazine has called Ralph Sutton "a piano specialist of astonishing skill" and the Denver Post refers to him as "a stubborn, dedicated perfectionist, committed to playing his own kind of piano, which is not just stride or ragtime, not just modern or traditional, not just solo or accompanist but all those things and more."

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"Ralph is a friend of longstanding and this will be his fourth visit to Butler County," said Floyd McGowin.

Will Friedwall has aptly described Kenny Davern in the New York Times as "probably the finest clarinetist playing today."

"I have been around Kenny on many occasions and besides being a wonderful player, he has a lot of personality, a strong sense of humor, and like Ralph, has an honorary doctorate in music from Hamilton College in New York," said McGowin.

Besides being masters of their instruments, both men project deep-seated emotion and feeling in their interpretations of the tunes which come through over and above their technical excellence. They will be backed up by Tony DeNicola on drums and Greg Cohen on double bass. Tony is a veteran of the Freddie Martin, Charlie Ventura and Harry James bands and Greg, also a talented arranger, has toured Europe with Woody Allen's group. They currently freelance with the best traditional players.

Individual tickets will be on sale at the box office the night of the performance or before Nov. 19 at The Pineapple. Tickets will be $15 for students and $20 for adults. For more information, call 382-7240.