Sunday, April 19, 2015

Pasta, Sauce, Meatballs and Music

6th grader Julian Paskel, ready to play.
And this girl, was ready to eat.
Another year, another Jazz and Spaghetti Dinner at Goodwill Fire Company.

As always, organizers, headed up by Kevin Owens, President of the Pottstown School Music Association, did a bang-up job.

Food was cooked; tables were set up; chairs were placed; tablecloths; balloons (news this year); trash taken out; sauce ladled; music performed. It was, in other words, a smashing success.

The event raises money to pay for music education in Pottstown, including performances outside the area, spreading the word about Pottstown musicians.

Mike Vought, John Armato and Kevin Owens.
Of particular note this year, to this seasoned veteran anyway, was the quality of the younger bands.

The elementary jazz band was excellent. Unfortunately, they played first and, as the official ladler of sauce, I was unable to escape my duties and get a recording.

But trust me, they were good.

I know the high school jazz band gets a lot of ink from me. That's because my son plays with them and I am at most of their performances.

I was going to try to scale back, but they unveiled a new number yesterday and it is one of my all-time favorites -- "Birdland," which I was introduced to through the version by the jazz fusion band Weather Report. (Click here for a link to a live performance video with the great Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul and the always mighty Jaco Pastorius.)

So here it is the Pottstown High School Jazz band's version of the classic (I'm told they only practiced it twice, maybe three times.):

Jo Ann Bathurst and her mom,
Florence Schumacher, 103
And really stepping up their game was the middle school jazz band, which was remarked upon by many, not just myself. In fact, I would say to the high school jazz band, you had better watch your back, those middle school kids are gaining on you.

Also noteworthy was the presence of four generations of the Bathhurst/ Schumacher/ Francis genome.

Florence Schumacher, 103,  was there, as she was last year. She is the mother of Jo Ann Bathurst, who is the mother of School Board member Amy Francis, who was there with her husband Julian, who are the parents of Gabe and Chloe Francis, both of whom are jazz band members.

So, good-on-ya I say.

Anyhoo, a good time was had by all, and there were lots of willing hands to help with the clean-up, including School Board member Kim Stillwell and her retinue.

This video gives a quickie over-view of the fun, and is followed by the Tweets and photos I managed to sneak in between lading sauce and spooning meatballs.

And here are the Tweets:

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