Pepke to join Razz at Chautauqua Sunday

Razzer’s Jazzers will bring a group of six very experienced and talented musicians to the stage from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24, at the Chautauqua Amphitheater. They will be performing traditional dixie style jazz tunes, with some special approaches.

The clarinetist, Razz Rasmusson is well-known in western New York for performing with Dixie on The Deck in Bemus for 20 years, and in Pennsylvania with Pete Pepke and Southern Fried Jazz, and saxes in an Elvis review at Shea’s in Buffalo. He was recently named to the Chautauqua County Musicians Hall of Fame. He has made several CDs with a local group called Razz and Friends. Currently Jazz instructor at Jamestown Community College.

He has been clarinetist with Warren Symphony, a soloist recently at Pennsylvania Avenue concert in July and has for several years been an instructor in Warren County Summer Music School. He also has performed with Razz and Friends at Music in the Park. He is jazz and concert band director at Jamestown Community College.

The most nationally known figure in Sunday’s band will be pianist Tom Roberts. His work can be heard in several tracks in the movie Aviator, with the Vince Giordano and his Nighthawks Orchestra. He has performed at Carnegie Hall several times, and also on the Johnny Carson Show. He is currently at work creating silent movie music for live performances of Charlie Chaplin movies. Roberts also is a master in the Klezmer style.

Trombonist Pete Pepke of Tidioute performed at the Winter Olympics in Oslo, Norway, the Superbowl in Miami, The Gangplank Ragtime Band, The Smith Street Society Orchestra, and in many European traditional jazz festivals, in addition to extensive performances with Southern Fried Jazz, the Jim Beatty Jazz band, and as side man with Dixie Bands in Atlantic City. He often brings jazz and humor into the mix; he is a great entertainer.

Trumpeter Jon Mathis is from the Baltimore area, plays with a variety of groups, including the Annapolis and Baltimore Orchestras, New Legacy Jazz Band, Brooks Tegler Big Band, The Motorettes, the Gene Donati Big Band, the Peabody Ragtime Ensemble, and Mt. Vernon Brassplayers. He currently teaches music at Cathedral of Mary Our Queen School in Baltimore.

Jay Miles, bass man and tubist, has an extensive career in Vegas and California clubs and casinos, playing with Sam Butera (of the Louie Prima Band). Has toured the country with various bands, and can be heard on several online videos with Butera. He has played this area with the Southern Fried Dixie Band. An outstanding talent, he is the foundation of the ensemble.

Alan Dale is a remarkably talented drummer, from a great tradition: his godfather is the famous Louie Bellson. You can watch one of his many TV appearances online with Louie Bellson and Alan Dale. Currently in Las Vegas, and touring, he has played in this area with Southern Fried Jazz. Among many other groups, he performs with the Nighthawks Band. His talent brings a real heartbeat to the band.

The public is welcome to attend Sunday’s concert.