The 44th Annual Pee Wee Russell Memorial Stomp was again presented by the New Jersey Jazz Society at the beautiful Birchwood Manor in Whippany, New Jersey. A record number of dancers came out to enjoy the four bands - each quite different from the other, from the tight trio of Kevin Dorn's to the tap antics of Eddy with the Hot Sardines, and Emily Asher's Garden Party and Dan Levinson's New Millennium All Stars rounding out the fabulous production.
The festivities started with the presentation of scholarships to Paolo Cantarella (drums), David Zaks (piano), Matthew Hartmann (trumpet) and Isaac Dye (tenor sax), after which they played, accompanied by Jacob Webb (bass).
And then the bands started - Emily Asher's Garden Party on first, great performances, including jokes about the size of the chandeliers! Her band: Emily Asher (Leader/Trombone and Vocals),
Alphonso Horne (Trumpet), Peter Reardon-Anderson (Reeds), Nick Russo (Guitar/Banjo), Jared Engel (Bass), Jay Lepley (Drums).
Next up, the effervescent Hot Sardines, whose high energy performance earned them a standing ovation at the end of the set. On the bandstand: Evan Palazzo (Piano), Elizabeth Bougerol (Vocals), Eddy Francisco (Tap), Jason Prover (Trumpet), Evan Crane (Bass), Joe McDonough (Trombone),
Nick Myers (Clarinet/Saxophone), Alex Raderman (Drums),
Bob Parins (Guitar).
After the presentation of the Pee Wee Russell Stomp Awards to Frank Wess (in absentia) and Jazz Advocate Rhonda Hamilton, it was time for Kevin Dorn's Trio, challenging the dancers with some fun syncopations. Band personnel: Kevin Dorn (Drums), Mark Shane (Piano), Mike Weatherly (Bass).
And finally, closing out the amazing afternoon, Dan Levinson's New Millennium All-Stars, with some of the coolest cats in the band! Randy Reinhart (Trumpet), Matt Musselman (Trombone), Dan Levinson (Clarinet/Tenor Sax), Dalton Ridenhour (Piano), Molly Ryan (Guitar/Vocals), Mike Weatherly (Bass), Kevin Dorn (Drums).
For more information about this, and other Jersey Jazz events, http://www.njjs.org/