"The Wizard of Jazz"-A tribute to Harold Arlen with the Peter Hand Big Band and Houston Person


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Peter Hand Big Band makes concert debut With Houston Person in “Wizard of Jazz” Arlen tribute.

Composer, arranger and guitarist Peter Hand and saxophonist Houston Person are teaming up to pay special tribute to the music of the great Harold Arlen as the Peter Hand Big Band makes its concert debut at The Irvington Town Hall Theater in Westchester, NY on April 22.

This one night only event entitled “The Wizard of Jazz” will be hosted by WBGO/Jazz 88 DJ Rhonda Hamilton and the new big band will feature, in addition to Hand and Person, an impressive line-up of jazz greats including Don Braden, Ralph Lalama, Jim Rotondi, James Zollar, Brad Leali, Jim Pugh, John Hicks, Harvie S, Steve Johns and more.

In a year filled with Arlen tributes, this unique concert will highlight the jazz and blues side of Arlen’s art with all new arrangements by Peter Hand-bringing new excitement to the songs that made Arlen one of the most admired composers in the history of American popular music. From revered classics like “Over the Rainbow” and “Stormy Weather” to perennial standards that have long been favorites with jazz musicians including “Blues in the Night”, “I’ve got the World on a String” and “That Old Black Magic”—Arlen truly was a wizard of jazz. And with a modern day jazz wizard like Houston Person joining an all-new all-star band, the concert promises to be a memorable event for jazz and popular music fans alike.

Westchester jazz fans may recognize Peter Hand as co-founder of The Westchester Jazz Orchestra and artistic director during its first season. In a career that has included playing, teaching, composing and arranging in nearly every jazz idiom, Hand now steps out on his own with The Peter Hand Big Band. The Arlen tribute will be the band’s debut, and combining his virtuosity and versatility as player, arranger and leader with a line-up of peerless performers offers the exciting prospect of much more great ensemble jazz to come.

Houston Person needs no introduction to jazz fans. With over 75 albums under his name alone, there are few artists today who can match his list of accomplishments. As a master soloist equally revered for his collaborative efforts-most notably with the late singer Etta Jones-Person is the ideal interpreter of the Arlen songbook, having recorded and played memorable versions of numerous songs. For the Arlen tribute, Person has chosen some of his favorites for Peter Hand to arrange for him and the band.

The Wizard of Jazz will be a tribute, big band debut and solo star concert all in one. And the newly renovated Irvington Town Hall Theater is the perfect venue. Renowned for its great acoustics and fabled history dating back to 1902—the theater itself is a sight to behold and a genuine crowd pleaser.

For ticket information, contact the Irvington Town Hall Theater box office at (914) 591-6602, or visit their website at www.irvingtontheater.com.

The Wizard of Jazz Celebrating the Centennial of America’s Great Songwriter HAROLD ARLEN Introducing The Peter Hand Big Band with Houston Person

Friday, April 22nd 2005. Irvington Town Hall Theater 85 Main Street, Irvington, NY 10533 (914) 591-6602

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