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To Benefit Brockton High School Music Program
The Brockton High School Jazz Ensemble and Friends, under the direction of Vincent Macrina, will present a tribute to Dick Johnson on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 7, from 3-5pm at the Brockton High School Auditorium.
The program, hosted by jazz radio legend Ron Della Chiesa, will include a two-part concert. The Brockton High School Jazz Ensemble will open the proceedings with guest artist Ted Casher, one of New England's best-known and respected reed players. The second half of the program will feature a veritable all-star lineup of New England jazz musicians, including Lou Colombo (trumpet), George Masso (trombone), Ted Casher and Arnie Krakowski (reeds), Gray Sargent (guitar), Paul Schmeling (piano), Marshall Wood (bass), and Gary Johnson (drums). Vocalist Donna Byrne will also perform with the all-star band.
Well-respected as a virtuoso of the clarinet, saxophone, and flute, Johnson performed with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Nat "King" Cole and Buddy Rich. He was also the leader of the Artie Shaw orchestra, and died in January, 2010 at the age of 84.
"It is fitting that Dick Johnson's tribute will be held in Brockton, the City of Champions. Dick was a true champion, and deserves all the accolades that will be heaping on him," said Ted Belastock, who is organizing the event. Brockton takes its nickname from one of its most famous natives, the boxer Rocky Marciano. Johnson and Marciano were friends, and Johnson performed at the boxer's wedding, explained Belastock, who is vice president of the New England Jazz Alliance.
Tickets are available for a donation of $5 per person, and can be purchased in advance and, if supplies last, at the door. Advance sales are available through Brockton High School, and can be ordered by mail, with a check payable to BHS Music Dept., with a self addressed stamped envelope, to
Brockton High School Music Dept.
470 Forest Ave.
Brockton, MA 02301
All proceeds to be donated to the BHS Band Uniform Fund.
Ed Bride, who resides in Pittsfield, MA, succeeds Ron Gill as NEJA President. Gill served admirably in this capacity for the past three years and the NEJA Board of Directors thanks him for his service.
Bride has been a jazz aficionado since his teens, and has for years promoted both well-known and obscure big bands as well as other mainstream groups. He is a member of several non-profit boards that advocate for jazz education including American Jazz Venues, Berkshire Jazz, Inc., and the New England Jazz Ensemble. Bride is the founder and chairman of the Pittsfield City Jazz Festival and is a founding member of the NEJA Board, having previously served as its Secretary.