This month the proceeds from the concert will benefit the food pantry. The pantry’s mission is “to see that no one in the area goes needlessly hungry, or lacks the basics for personal care.”
Musical director Chris Bakriges, a pianist and composer living in southern Vermont, is featuring jazz music inspired from the Great American Songbook, the most popular and enduring popular songs from the 1920s to 1950s. Bakriges is being joined this month by musicians from three states as well as a guest artist from Karlsruhe in the state of Baden-Württemberg, in southwest Germany.
The musicians include Massachusetts bassist Mark Dunlap, Vermont saxophonist Steve MacLauchlan, New York drummer Marcel Smith, and German guitarist Matthias Ockert.
Dunlap is a founding member of the Western New England Double Bass Society, a group of almost 200 performing double bassists that sponsors bass workshops and concerts throughout New England. He also serves as the chair of the Holyoke Cultural Council. Dunlap manages his independent recording label and publishing company Simmer Music.
After attending the Navy School of Music, Smith’s music career jettisoned with the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and he toured with the road company of “The Wiz”. His time with Alvin Ailey included a six-week run in Paris, President Jimmy Carter’s inaugural gala, and an Ellington Festival, where he worked with Duke Ellington’s band, directed by Mercer Ellington.
MacLauchlan has played in the Vermont big band tradition for decades and, in addition to playing tenor sax, will also double on flute.
Guest artist Ockert pursues an active career as a jazz guitarist with concerts and CD recordings in Europe and the United States. Ockert’s compositions have been performed at international festivals from Lucerne to Berlin to New Orleans. He has also worked with the Dresden Symphony.
Memorial Hall is located at 14 West Main Street. All concerts start at 8 pm and tickets are freewill donations available the evening of the program.