Bix Jazz Festival

Bix Jazz Festival

Gerri Bowers
Gerri Bowers

July 30th, 2012, 1:15 pm #1

Please have a safe trip if you are coming to Bix's hometown. We are ready once more to have an outstanding Festival. Welcome and we will see you soon.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

July 30th, 2012, 3:55 pm #2


Will stay until Monday, next week. Look forward to our visit to the "magical town."

Albert
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

July 31st, 2012, 11:16 pm #3

Please have a safe trip if you are coming to Bix's hometown. We are ready once more to have an outstanding Festival. Welcome and we will see you soon.
We leave tomorrow morning for the festival. We will return late Monday.

I'll check the forum twice a day, once in the morning, and again at night. Please be patient with approval of your postings.

Albert
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 1st, 2012, 11:03 am #4

Please have a safe trip if you are coming to Bix's hometown. We are ready once more to have an outstanding Festival. Welcome and we will see you soon.
<table><tr><td width="100%">Christmas in August: Josh Duffee Plays in Three Bands at the 2012 Bix Jazz Festival </td><td width="100%" align="right"><a href="http://www.rcreader.com/index.php?view= ... format=pdf" rel="nofollow"></a> </td><td width="100%" align="right"><a href="http://www.rcreader.com/music/josh-duff ... est/print/" rel="nofollow"></a> </td><td width="100%" align="right"></a> </td></tr></table><table><tr><td><span><a href="http://www.rcreader.com/music/">Music - </span><span>Feature Stories </span></td><td width="90" align="right"> </td></tr><tr><td valign="top"><span class="small">Written by Jeff Ignatius </span>   </td></tr><tr><td valign="top">River City Reader, Tuesday, 31 July 2012 17:28 </td></tr><tr><td valign="top">
</i>
Josh Duffee admits that his Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival schedule is intense. The 32-year-old percussionist will be playing with three groups and performing more than a dozen times over five days, but he said its not exhausting.


Usually, by Monday, Im feeling it a little bit, but ... its kind of like Christmas for me, he said in a phone interview last week. Im going to take advantage of every single second I can get, and if I can sleep on Tuesday, August 7, then Ill go ahead and do that.

The Bix fest opens on Thursday, August 2, with a full slate of concerts the three days after that and an event on Monday, August 6: a show at one of Bixs old haunts Jims Knoxville Tap, formerly known as the Bluebird Inn on the 81st anniversary of his death at age 28. Most concerts will be held in the RiverCenter, the Adler Theatre, and LeClaire Park. (For a full schedule of events, visit BixSociety.org/festival.html.)

Duffee will, of course, be leading his own 12-member orchestra, but hell also be playing with the Jimmy Valentine Quintet and Andy Schumm & His Flatland Gang. His packed itinerary is a reminder that traditional jazz and specifically the jazz of the 1920s is in good hands. Duffees clear enthusiasm and obvious dedication ensure that the music of Bixs time will be heard for a long time.

Duffee said that he got his first exposure to traditional jazz at age 15, but he didnt attend the Bix fest until after high-school graduation in 1998 as member of the Bix Youth Jazz Band. Every time the Bix fest would be taking place, he said, thats when we would be taking a family vacation to Minnesota timed to coincide with a Deere & Company plant shutdown.

But that first Bix, he said, was like heaven. ... I think I listened to almost every single band. I even forgot to eat my meals.

He started Josh Duffee & His Orchestra in 2001, and even in his early 20s he showed an unexpected maturity. When he called musicians to be in the band, he said, he crossed people off his list whose first question was how much he was paying; he wanted people who were excited about playing the music.

And a year later, Duffee said, his outfit was the first local band to play the main stage at the Bix fest in more than 30 years.

Duffee said that when he first started his ensemble, he had 45 charts for arrangements of songs many from Vince Giordano, known for his musical appearances on <i>A Prairie Home Companion
, Woody Allen films, and HBOs Boardwalk Empire.

Now, he said, Im up to about 5,000. People from around the world offer him charts which is important because you cant find them in music stores. A widow in Oregon, for example, sent him her late husbands library.

Outside of concert appearances, Duffee said, people learn about him from YouTube videos, which he said are the new calling card. ... You tell people, Go to YouTube; you can actually see what I do.

Theyre attracted to his youth and his authenticity, from his playing style to how he styles his hair. (I kind of look the part, he said.)

Duffee said hes preparing to record a new CD for release in 2013, with the goal of showcasing different styles and bands of his favorite era. Music from that period survives, he said, but its hard for many modern listeners to get past the sound quality of recordings from eight or nine decades ago.

Hearing the music as part of an audience, he said, removes that barrier: Its better to have a group like mine that can reintroduce the music to the community, and you dont hear it in the form of a 78; you actually hear musicians playing it live.

When I asked Duffee whether he thinks he was born at the wrong time, he admitted that we wouldve given our left arm to have been able to see those bands playing and been a part of that. ... But I also then turn it around and look at it like I was born at this time to keep the music going of the 20s kind of a torchbearer.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 2nd, 2012, 7:15 pm #5

Please have a safe trip if you are coming to Bix's hometown. We are ready once more to have an outstanding Festival. Welcome and we will see you soon.
.... and an overnight stay in Chicago, we finally made it to Davenport, 28 hours after we left home.

Albert
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 7th, 2012, 1:45 pm #6

Please have a safe trip if you are coming to Bix's hometown. We are ready once more to have an outstanding Festival. Welcome and we will see you soon.
I am afraid I came back to find lots of things to do around the house and in the university. So, just a brief report.

Three great bands.

Andy Schumm and His Flatland Gang. A group of highly talented musicians doing the 1920s with authentic flair and respect for the old masters.

The Josh Duffee Orchestra. Every year they get better. Josh is expanding the repertoire and chooses extremely difficult pieces. He is a courageous young man who understands the music of the 1920s in depth and recreates it faithfully.

Jim Cullum's Jazz Band. First class musicians, showing their love and admiration for Bix's music and the 1920s era.

The new venues were great. You could go from one to the other by simply walking. The Adler theater was my favorite venue.

We stayed at the Beiderbecke Inn. Sally Beiderbecke and husband Duke were there also, and we had a lot of discussions of Bix's life and music.

Jim Petersen gave a nice presentation at gravesite paraphrasing the lyrics of "I'll Be A Friend With Pleasure."

Gerri Bowers had an excellent display of Bix memorabilia in the River Center. Will post a photo later.

Gerri and Jim were the hosts for the bus tour: I heard nothing but high praise from those who went on the tour.

Howard Braren, a relative of Bix from the Henry Beiderbecke side of the family, was the recipient of the Bix Lives Award. Howard has helped the society immensely and is a key figure in establishing a Bix Museum and Archive in Davenport.

Albert
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