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Lazaro Vega

Beer City Saxophone Ensemble Benefit Concert 4/20

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20TH AT 6 P.M. The Waldron Public House, 58 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, Michigan presents Gary McCourry’s Beer City Saxophone Ensemble in a benefit concert for Blue Lake Public Radio. (800) 889 - 9258.


Blue Lake Public Radio’s annual spring on-air membership drive begins Friday, April 22nd, and The Waldron Public House is getting this year’s fundraiser off with a special event, a concert by the nine member Beer City Saxophone Ensemble.


“This group performs compositions by bebop great Charlie Parker and other Jazz Legends arranged in a ‘Supersax’ style for 5 saxophones and rhythm section,” explains baritone saxophonist and music instigator Gary McCourry, a gifted bandleader who returned to Grand Rapids after years of performing at the West Point U.S. Military Academy.


“Supersax” was a 1970’s-era Grammy-award winning ensemble performing harmonized versions of jazz giant Charlie Parker solos. “The Beer City Saxophone Ensemble” uses them as a starting point for their jazz arrangements of standards, too, such as “Save Your Love For Me,” “I Let A Song Go Out of My Heart,” and “It Could Happen to You.”


This concert promises a dinner hour of high quality improvisation, driving swing and unmatched musical unity. The Waldron Public House at 58 Ionia Ave. SW in downtown Grand Rapids features a menu of homemade cuisine, an extensive cocktail list, as well as European and American craft beers.


Doors open at 6, music begins at 6:30. Concert only advance tickets are $10 for individuals, $15 per couple, and available through or Blue Lake Public Radio, (800) 889 – 9258. At the door tickets will be $12 for individuals, $20 per couple.


Because of the Beer City Saxophone Ensemble’s popularity with musicians they carry one additional saxophonist who switches in during the performance. In Wednesday’s concert as part of this benefit for Blue Lake Public Radio, you’ll hear saxophonists McCourry, Mike Lutley, Tom Lockwood, Tom Stansell, Greg Marsden and Bob Nixon, plus a rhythm section including pianist/composer Robin Connell, bassist Joe Oprea and drummer Tim Froncek.


This concert marks the first collaboration between Waldron Public House and Blue Lake Public Radio, which is committed to an aesthetic driven presentation of music under the direction of Lazaro Vega, now in his 34th year with the radio station. The Waldron Public House, 58 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, Michigan, (616) 454-9105, features live jazz every Friday night, 6-8 p.m.


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