Summer Jazz Concert
Let Your Spirits Swing!
Friday, September 2, 2011 8:00 PM
The Friends of Maple Grove Jazz Concert was certainly an unforgettable and truly amazing experience!
Celebration Hall at the Center at Maple Grove was packed with over 100 members, friends and guests who delighted in an evening of pure enchantment.
The performers were top notch in their talents, starting with Patrick White who played piano during the Wine and Cheese Reception before the actual start of the concert.
An unexpected and pleasant surprise for the audience was provided by the means of an audio display provided by the founder and director of the Museum of Interesting Things, Denny Daniels. He brought a small portable century old phonograph that played antique wax cylinders. It came complete with a horn to amplify the sound and a key to wind it up and it worked!
After a warm welcome by Bonnie Dixon, representing The Maple Grove Cemetery Association and Patrick Kearns, representing The Friends of Maple Grove the concert began in earnest. Our Master of Ceremony was Andrew Koslosky who introduced the performers. The instrumental ensemble consisted of Conal Fowkes who played the piano, Mike Hashim who played the drums and Alvin Atkinson Jr. who played both Soprano and Alto Saxophone. They all displayed a love of their craft and the music filled the hall with great energy and vitality. Mr. Fowkes played on the Maple Grove Steinway piano which if possible seemed to personify a broad smile and create a musical sound that rattled the foundations of the building. Mr. Hashim had everyone mesmerized and took their breath away with the soulful playing of his saxophones. Mr. Atkinson’s joy of knowing that his calling in life to play the drummers is a true gift exhibited pure joy. Next vocalist Barbara Rosene was introduced and brought on stage. She sang many old time favorites to a very appreciative audience endearing them with stories about the songs and the history of Jazz. Ms. Rosene honored two of Maple Grove Musical Treasures from the past - Vincent Youmans and Jimmy Rushing and spoke on how they influenced her life and career. She sang one of Youman's compositions from the hit Broadway musical No, No Nanette - I Want to be Happy - that must have made Mr. Youman himself smile down in gratitude.
When an audience has the opportunity to savor the talent of a unique performer they are indeed fortunate but to be entertained by four remarkable and gift musicians it becomes a life alternating experience!
It was a glorious night of great instrumental and vocal selections that received many rounds of applause. The audience enjoyed every second of this extraordinary evening and they showed their appreciation with a standing ovation at the conclusion of the concert!
The Friends of Maple Grove had a great success and all the hard work paid off with a chorus of praises from everyone!