Jazz Night at the Kimball marks one year with changes | ParkRecord.com
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Jazz Night at the Kimball marks one year with changes

MATT JAMES, Of the Record staff

Friday night, the sounds of Paris will come to the Kimball. That evening, the Red Rock Hot Club will visit the art center for Jazz Night at the Kimball, the monthly collaboration between the Kimball Art Center and the Park City Jazz Foundation.

According to Red Rock Hot Club band leader Page McGinnis, the band is a bit of a throwback. It’s modeled after guitarist Django Reinhardt’s Quintet du Hot Club de Paris, which played in Paris during the 1930s and ’40s and popularized the French gypsy jazz a melding of gypsy flavors and a swing style.

"It’s the dance music of the 30s and ’40s," said McGinnis.

The Red Rock Hot Club, he added, plays entirely on acoustic, period instruments, with a lineup that usually includes two or three guitars, a violin, a clarinet and a stand-up bass. But while the group might feature some unique arrangements, McGinnis said the sounds shouldn’t be foreign to anyone versed in music.

"We play straight-ahead swing jazz music from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s," he said.

The band members met through an online discussion group on a Gypsy jazz Web site. There they agreed to meet up and jam; those sessions evolved into the Red Rock Hot Club.

"We’ve been playing publicly for about four years," said McGinnis. "We basically came together as fans of the music."

According to McGinnis, the Red Rock Hot Club lineup for Jazz Night will include Rich Daigle and McGinnis on guitar, John Flanders on clarinet and Doug Wright on bass. The band also frequently includes guitarist Charlie Ayers and violinist Stuart Maxfield.

The group came to Jazz Night through a mutual acquaintance at the Jazz Foundation.

"These guys have been trying to get a hold of us and have been recommended to us," said Kris Severson, the executive director of the Jazz Foundation.

The group’s show will mark the first anniversary of Jazz Night at the Kimball. The event first started almost exactly a year ago on Friday, Feb. 18, 2005.

"We’ve had a lot of success, and it’s been wonderful," said Pam Crowe-Weisberg, executive director at the Kimball.

The events, she said, typically draw between 50 and 75 people each evening, and the collaboration between the two organizations has run well. However, she noted that in the very near future, the event will see some small changes.

"We’ve decided to merge the Jazz Night with the gallery stroll because we seem to draw more people on those nights," Crowe-Weisberg said. "We just thought it would be a nice combination."

So, instead of holding the Jazz Nights separate from the gallery strolls, the events will become one and the same. The new format will begin with next month’s gallery stroll to be held on March 24 and will coincide with the establishment of a new Park City gallery association, which has been organized by the Kimball Art Center.

Crowe-Weisberg said she decided to think about organizing the galleries shortly after she came to the Kimball a few years ago.

"It just felt like it was natural," she said.

The art-center-organized gallery strolls will be the primary events for the gallery association, and also, now, for the Jazz Foundation. But Crowe-Weisberg said that otherwise, the events would follow the same format.

"They’ll still provide all the music, and we’ll still provide the venue," she said.

The Jazz Foundation, she added would continue to maintain a presence at the events, and jazz lovers will still be able to stop by and enjoy the band, while those also interested in the galleries can stop by for a bite to eat and then head out on the town.

"It offers something for everyone," Crowe-Weisberg said.

In the meantime, though, the Kimball, the Jazz Foundation and of course the Red Rock Hot Club, is focused on this Friday’s performance.

"It definitely looks and sounds like Paris in the 1930s," said McGinnis. "We just hope to get some people out."

Jazz Night at the Kimball will run on Feb. 17 from 6-8 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available from the Kimball Art Center, along with more information, at 649-8882 or http://www.kimball-art.org.


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