The Seventh Annual Sackets Harbor Jazz Festival, on Saturday, August 12th, will feature world-renowned tenor saxophonist Ted Nash, whose professional career began at age 16 with a gig with Lionel Hampton, and star trumpeter Marvin Stamm, who was discovered by Stan Kenton and was his jazz trumpet soloist in the early 1960s.
The festival will begin at noon with its traditional New Orleans style parade down West Main Street to the Sentinel Bandstand, led by the Hon. Michael E. Hoagland, mayor of this historic village as drum major.
Following the opening parade, the Speakeasy Jazz Babies will start the afternoon program with two sets of hot Dixieland" jazz, the old-time happy" sounds of one of jazz's oldest forms as it developed in the Mississippi Delta. The Jazz Babies' infectious and unaffected traditional" jazz sets the toes of even the most rhythm-challenged to tapping. The Jazz babies are: John Bucher, cornet, Joe Licari, clarinet, Dick Dreiwitz, trombone, Jimmy Mazzy, banjo and vocals, and Barbara Dreiwitz, tuba.
The Jazz Babies will be followed by Rochester's premier Latin jazz quintet, The Mambo Kings, formed in 1995 by keyboardist Richard DeLaney. They have rapidly earned a national reputation for their explosive blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms and jazz improvisation. Their acclaimed first release, Marinera, received airplay in major markets throughout North America and Puerto Rico. (For more information, visit the band's website at www.mambokingdom.com.) Pianist and arranger Richard DeLaney, saxophonist John Viavattine, percussionist Wilfredo (Freddy) Coln (drums, timbales, bongos) and percussionist David Antonetti (congas), and bassist Hector Diaz make up this outstanding band.
After a dinner break, the Festival will continue with the contemporary jazz sounds of the Russ Kassoff Trio, featuring Martin Wind, bass, Dennis Mackrel, drums, and Catherine Dupuis, vocals. The evening will climax with the appearance of Ted Nash and Marvin Stamm with Russ's trio.
Russ has just released his first CD, a solo/trio album entitled Somewhere which will be available for sale at the Festival. It features Martin Wind on bass and Tim Horner on drums and contains 12 tracks of jazz standards, such as the title track, Somewhere," by Leonard Bernstein, Love You Madly," by Duke Ellington, and Oh, Lady Be Good," by George and Ira Gershwin, as well as several of Russ's own compositions, such as A Sackets Sunset," I Remember," You Are All the World to Me" and Samba du Sackets."
Since the Sackets Harbor Jazz Festival's inception in 2000, Russ has been its musical director/coordinator and pianist. Over the first six years he has brought to the Festival performers such as Catherine Dupuis, Linc Milliman, Terry Clarke, Ron Vincent, Martin Wind, Rob McConnell, Kickie Britt, Glenn Drewes, Gary Keller, Rick Cutler, Harry Allen, Joe Cohn, Bucky Pizzarelli and Ken Peplowski.
Catherine Dupuis's third recording with Bearheart Records, Rules of the Road, arranged and orchestrated by Russ Kassoff, with Bucky Pizzarelli, Ted Nash, Martin Wind, Marvin Stamm and a host of other wonderful musicians, will be available for purchase at this year's Festival, as will her other two CDs.
The Jazz Babies will present a sneak preview" on the Piazza at Tin Pan Galley, the great Main Street restaurant, starting at 7:00 p.m. Friday, August 11th. (Persons wishing to attend the Sneak Preview are advised to make dinner reservations early at (315) 646-3812.)
The Festival is presented under the auspices of the Arts Association of Northern New York (AANNY) in conjunction with its annual weekend arts festival and auction, to be held on the lawn of the Sackets Harbor Visitors Center, opposite the Bandstand. The Festival's chief sponsor is P.J. Simao and Dealmaker Auto Group. There is no admission charge for any part of the Festival, but donations are gratefully accepted in the musician's tradition of passing the hat."