The tents and the stage have been struck and all the guests have returned to such diverse locations as Cape May, NJ, Brookeville, MD, and the states of WV, Ohio, and New York. There was, of course, a large contingent from Pittsburgh, Ligonier, and Somerset. While there is a bit of quietude, there remains a hint of jazz wafting through the Laurel Mountains.
The Bartlett family and Benny Benedum want to thank all of you for attending and enjoying an afternoon of great music, food, meeting new friends, and renewing old friendships. We also wish to thank those who helped with the setting up, the special wines and hors d’oeuvres you shared, and the love and friendship that came with you.
We thought the entire musical program was exceptional. Frank, Pat, and Lenny were their usual lyrical selves and Patty added that exotic voicing to the Latin songs and standards. As mentioned in the invitation – “special musical guests” did appear. The first was our co-host, Benny Benedum, with accompaniment by Frank. Benny dazzled us with his boogie-woogie style playing. Not bad for a fellow with a carpal tunnel problem who was unable to practice till two days before the event.
The Rockwood Area High School/Alumni Jazz Band was “spot on” with their renditions of “big band” presentations. This provided a grand but somewhat somber swan song for their director, Rich Kingera who has retired after 36 years of teaching. Thanks to all of you who contributed to our “fund for future jazz artists”. We will be able to send a generous donation to the Rockwood Area High School Music Department.
For a finale, who could have asked for more? Mike Tomaro leading the Joe Negri rhythm group of Max, Tony, and Tom. Their program was the piece de resistance. Our gratitude to Mike for stepping in for Joe Negri. To add to the Mike Tomaro Quartet’s brilliant performance, the second “special musical guest” appeared – none other than the newest addition to the Pittsburgh jazz scene – Dane Vannatter. He captivated the savvy jazz audience with a few of his swinging and ballad style vocalizations. Keep an eye on this gentleman – he is now a Pittsburgh sensation.
There is much work that goes into “Jazz in the Meadow” but when we see people enjoying themselves and the music and the profuse thanks those in attendance give us, it makes it more than worthwhile.
Again, thank you for attending and we look forward to our next get-together.
~ Brooks, Helen and family, and Benny