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Gene Krupa and Larry McKenna Tributes

AAJ Staff By

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A tribute to (and performance by) Philadelphia’s tenor sax titan Larry McKenna and discovery of a lost recording by jazz giant drummer Gene Krupa are part of the on-going local jazz scene over the next two weeks.

ORTLIEB’S JAZZ HAUS, 847 N. 3rd St., (215.922.1035) featured tenor sax jazz master Larry McKenna May 23 with the swinging support of the Mickey Roker Quartet. The nationally known tenor titan McKenna (who has taught many of the best jazz men working in Philadelphia) now has a web site created by leading local vibes man, Tony Miceli, to help jazz students worldwide with lessons and guidance. He is joined in this effort by such major local jazz figures as Dave Liebman, Chris Farr, Madison Rast, Craig Thomas and others. This program, just begun, is designed to open up understanding and skill for interested students who often have no idea where to go or what to do in pursuing their jazz dream.

CHRIS’ JAZZ CAFE, 1421 Sansom St., (215.568.3131) May 23 had Tony Miceli, in person, with his quartet and Chris Farr on tenor and the most versatile trumpet man working today, John Swana. Both Miceli and Farr have a swinging sure sound that reflects the inputs from their acknowledged master---McKenna. May 24 , the club was featuring the keyboard artistry of Mark Copland a former Philadelphia-bred sax man who switched to piano with his trio of bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Billy Hart. He has worked with such major stars as James Moody, Jane Ira Bloom and Wallace Rooney. He has several albums that received deserved worldwide acclaim.

GENE KRUPA, unarguably one of the best known and most highly regarded drummers of the 20th century, led a quintet in 1971 for a jazz concert at the Forman School in Litchfield, CT. This previously unknown recording has just been unearthed by Dr. Bruce H. Klauber and put on CD. Klauber is the author of the definitive biography on Krupa—World of Gene Krupa,. He is also an author-drummer, who worked with Charlie Ventura, who was part of the world-famous Gene Krupa Trio. Portions of the $20 CD proceeds will be provided to The Forman School. The recording includes such traditional tunes as China Boy, Honeysuckle Rose and Lester Leaps In. Krupa shows how he made those tunes live.


Ortlieb’s Jazz Haus, 847 N. 3rd St., Philadelphia, (215.922.1035) May 23, 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $7 admission—Larry McKenna & Mickey Roker.

Chris’ Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom St., Philadelphia (215.568.3131) May 23, 9 p.m.-1 a.m., $8 admission—Chris Farr-Tony Miceli.Tomorrow night-Mark Copland, same times and price.
Larry McKenna Web Site—
Gene Krupa concert CD $20, free mailing—


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