Page 1

Fall/Winter 2015

The Fort Pierce Jazz & Blues Society Newsletter

Volume XIX

MISSION: To promote the growth, appreciation and performance of Jazz & Blues – great American music art forms – through scholarships, workshops, clinics, weekly jazz jams and community outreach programs.

Looking for a few good people… specialty shows, etc…is with the help of volunteers. But we have leaned on our current “staff” to the point of breaking. We are actively seeking new assistance this season.

by Don Bestor, Jr., President

It is for this reason that we are reaching out to you, our audiences, and to anyone who would care to help us carry on. If we don’t have the volunteers to help, amenities such as the snack table and coffee will disappear as there will be no one to man it and no one to manage it! That would be a shame as we’ve enjoyed events this way for 19 years. Are you thinking maybe you could help out?

Hello all! We are heading into our 2015-16 season, with Volunteers usually come and lots of good things in store as go, but ours have been with us you will discover. for many, many years! For that, we have been very lucky and I would like to ask your blessed. However, we MUST help in an area that doesn’t fold in some new people as require music skills. As you some of our regular workers are probably aware, the only want to enjoy life without any way we can operate our Jazz restrictions or commitments. Jams and Waterside Blues,

Please do! We really need you.

Ft. Pierce Jazz & Blues Society Wins Award at the 2nd Annual “CALL 211” Non-Profit Award Ceremony – by Wendy Dwyer            

The Fort Piece Jazz & Blues Society hit a high note earlier this year as “211 Helpline Treasure Coast” honored the society for being an Exceptional Non-Profit in the Arts. At a luncheon in PSL hosted to honor a variety of charitable groups, organizations, and individuals throughout the

site: www.jazzsociety.org

community, WPTV’s Michael Williams spoke to the crowd gathered about the importance of their dedication to service and community. 211 Helpline is a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting people to services 24/7 and understanding their individual emotional, financial and community needs through resource and referral. email: info@jazzsociety.org

Our members were surprised, delighted and honored to have been nominated for the auspicious award. Claudio Berardi, FPJBS VP, said Don Bestor proudly accepted the award on behalf of all of our volunteers, supporters, and the music which keeps us working and playing for the betterment of the community.

office: 772-460-JAZZ (5299)

Lady Day/ POETRY CORNER Poem Pittsburgh by Betty Smyth

It was a smoky supper club, many years ago right there in the Burgh, filled with well-dressed guys and dolls, like Benny, Yogi, Pinky and Nate. Hustlers , bookies and race track touters their laughter pushing the smoke around, martinis shaking and ice cubes clinking in scotch.

Now and then a new voice rising. “Who? Who is she? Who is this lady Day?” I was a dancer there at the Copa. Feathers and sequins, we danced to “Caldonia, What makes your big head so hard?” Opening night I sat at her feet at the bottom of the stage. She stepped into a tiny, pink spot, her trademark gardenia behind her ear. Out of the din she lifted me into her perfect sound, body and soul, she sang “Body and Soul.” “They don’t know your music,” I said backstage. “They don’t know you. You are the greatest singer in the world.” She turned her full brown face and focused her sad, velvet eyes on mine. She reached up and took the flower from her hair and laid it across my palm. Betty Smyth. Born in Brooklyn, NY. At age 17, she joined Cole Brother’s circus as a dancer-peformer. Her remarkable memoir of that time, The First of May, offers a touching and often humorous account of those adventurous days. Smyth owned and operated coffee houses with entertainment during the 1960s in Greenwich Village. Later she ran the iconic Gaslight Club, where she met and knew many jazz musicians.

She loves poetry and will be publishing a second book with her poetry this year. She is retired and lives on the Treasure Coast. She has two daughters, Elizabeth Smyth and Patty Smyth McEnroe, and eight grandchildren. Her poem Lady Day was inspired by an actual incident that occurred when she was a dancer in a night club in Pittsburgh and where Billy Holiday was the headliner.

Corporate funding and sponsorship provided in part by

Support the Arts! The Sunrise Theatre The City Of Fort Pierce Keystone Computer Concepts Fort Pierce Police Department Shann’s Tax Service The Blues Alliance Of The Treasure Coast

We sincerely thank our sponsors for their support and contributions, and our paying advertisers for their display ads throughout the Milestones.



published by Ft Pierce Jazz & Blues Society, a 501 (C) (3) Organization PO Box 1086 • Fort Pierce, FL 34954 Publisher: Fort Pierce Jazz & Blues Society Editors: Claudio Berardi, MaryAnn Ketcham, Don Bestor, Jr. Contributing Writers: Don Bestor, Jr., Wendy Dwyer, Mark Green, Doc Grober, Al Hager, Betty Smyth Photo Credits: MaryAnn Ketcham, Pauline Berardi

On-Going Events Tuesday - Jazz Jams Every Tuesday Starting Nov. 3

Advertising: George McDaniel Layout: Jane Caggiano

7 - 10 pm • $6 Cover (Members $5)

Officers & Board of Directors Don Bestor, Jr. President, Secretary

Claudio Berardi

Executive Vice President

Anita Palma Sperry Administrative Assistant and Events Coordinator

Angela Zervos Treasurer

Advisory Board


Pat Dicesare Chris Dzadovsky Roberta Hanley Maurice Sedacca Bob Sagnella Mia Batalini

Bill Genson Mark Green Al Hager Gene Hull John E. Hutchison MaryAnn Ketcham George McDaniel AJ Pastor Jim Tucci

Many thanks to our Advertisers!

Subject to change – check website for updates and special events!

Full Bar available

Wednesday - Jazz Jams Saturday - Jazz Market Every Other Wednesday: Nov 4, 18 • Dec 2, 16, 30 • Jan 13, 27 Feb 10, 24 • Mar 9, 23 • Apr 6, 20 6:30 - 9:30 pm • $5 Cover (Members $4) Subject to change – check website for updates and special events!

BLACK BOX 117 S. 2nd St, Downtown Ft. Pierce

Live Jazz At The Gazebo

9am – Noon • First Saturday of the month, in season: November-April Funds raised support educational programs and local scholarships.

Managers Donna & Bernie Bires

2410 Westmoreland Blvd., PSL

Upcoming Events Sunday, Nov. 15

Open 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM Every Saturday - All Year!

Ft. Pierce, along Ind. River Waterfront

SAVE THE DATES for these events!

Tuesday, Feb. 9

March 27 - Apri 1

Jazz Week 2016 Highlights

Dave Scott and the Reckless Shots

Peter & Will Anderson Trio

at Waterside Blues, 1- 5 PM Downtown Historic Ft. Pierce On The Waterfront, 101 Melody Lane

at The Black Box 117 S. Second Street, Ft. Piece Full Bar available • 7-10PM

FPJBS 20th Anniversary Come and celebrate with us starting March 27th 2016!

Fort Pierce Jazz & Blues Society is excited about 2016, which will mark twenty years of our existence here in St. Lucie County. While we’ll be celebrating all year long with special events and concerts, our major celebration will be in March 2016, as we present our annual Jazz Week Festival.  Mark your calendars now for March 27th starting with our wildly popular Waterside Blues concert and continuing through

April Fool’s Day, when we’ll surprise the whole community with a fabulous show that will have you on your feet dancing and shouting with unbridled joy. Along the way, there will be surprise birthday cakes and special concerts and appearances at the Sunrise Black Box Theatre. Even our weekly Jazz Jams at the Sunrise Black Box in Fort Pierce and the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens will take on an even more celebratory feel during the coming year.  You never know when someone will walk through the door with a

On The Waterfront, 101 Melody Lane SUN Waterside Blues Otis Cadillac & The El Dorados / The Sublime Seville Sisters WED FDO - the BIG Swingin’ Band THU 3 Stages, 3 Different Acts FRI Sound of Vision and a SPECIAL ATTRACTION because ... we will be celebrating FPJBS’s 20-year Anniversary!!!

birthday cake and get everyone to sing the Birthday song to get the party started. If you want to be sure you’re on the A-List, why not consider becoming a member of our organization right now? Or maybe you can gift a loved one or friend with a membership and tag along to enjoy a show with them? Music is truly the universal language – and the gift of membership is like music – a gift that keeps on giving. Don Bestor, Jr.


FPJBS’s Who’s Who: Gene Hull, that’s Who! from Miami. In his fifteen Miami years, he was a noted Entertainment Director and Senior Producer in the Cruise Industry. While at Royal Caribbean Cruises International, he produced its award-winning ice shows and stage productions, as well as overseeing theatrical technical specifications and installations for the company’s European shipbuilding program.

To hear Gene tell it, he has been blessed with three wonderful careers. His present one –which he calls Career Number Three–is writing. To date he has authored five books: The Sun God is a Ham But it all began with Career Number One...which Gene a collection of poems based on regards as the bed rock of his the human condition, Going To professional Court an illustrated book of verses life. He was saluting amateur tennis, Chasing a full-time the Muse a memoir about his musician. prodigious music career...with Born in over 50 rare photographs; the Bridgeport, award-winning Hooked on a CT, he grew Horn—Memoirs of a Recovered up in a musiMusician and Slice of Life, a colcal family lection of dramatic short stories. and started He is the facilitator of the Morntaking clarinet lessons at nine. ingside Library Writers group in He went on to play alto sax, Port St. Lucie, consults and edits clarinet and flute with the Duke books for other writers, and has Ellington Orchestra and many been a contributing editor to other bands of the era. He reseveral publications. He is past corded for Columbia Records president of the Treasure Coast Writers Guild and past president of the Martin Country Writers Association. He is a former book reviewer for Scripps Newspapers, was past president of the Treasure Coast Writers Guild, and is a long time board member of the Ft. Pierce Jazz & Blues Society. Career Number Two directly preceded his present writing career which started when he retired and moved to Ft Pierce 4

and was a prolific bandleader, for many years leading his own big band The Jazz Giants, which was featured and recorded at the Newport Jazz Festival. His smaller bands appeared on several national TV shows, including Merv Griffin and Mike Douglas. In the 1970s, he was Vic Damone’s conductor and musical director. He also played clarinet in the Connecticut Symphony and multi woodwinds in the American Shakespeare Festival Theatre Orchestra. So what was it that prepared Gene for his various careers? “Luck,” he says. Well, maybe; but he graduated president of his class from the University of Notre Dame, had additional studies at Juilliard, Fairfield University and in the Creative Writing program of Florida International University in Miami. Father of four boys and four girls, he maintains he has been incredibly lucky. With a humble bow to Duke, whom he considers his mentor, he says in all seriousness,“No matter what you do in life, it really doesn’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.”

The Bass Man

Chris Hulka On June 1, 2015 we lost Mr. Chris Hulka. He was the Vice President of the Ft. Pierce Jazz & Blues Society for the past four years. He possessed talents in so many areas … music, teaching, professional sound, stage logistics, and being a musician who cared very much about everyone in his life. He was always there to lend a hand to anyone who needed it or to give support to someone who might need encouragement or help with a musical question, a sound question, a life’s question, or whatever. His talent on bass was extraordinary and everyone knew if Chris was playing, everything was going to be all right.

by Scatman Jack

You didn’t have to look far to see his face. With closed eyes, you knew who was playing the “Bass.” A great sense of humor, a talented guy ... Today we’re still asking “Dear God why?” We will miss Chris’s witty ways as he was also so funny and humorous. He could make light of absolutely anything in the world. He could also play devil’s advocate when discussing logistical or musical things. He could think like no one else I’ve ever worked with. Rest in peace my friend. I continue to miss you!

– Don Bestor, Jr.

Words & Music by Elton John & Bernie Taupin

Whenever he saw me, he said “Oy Vey.” A hug I would get, and then he would play. When announcements were made, there was only one choice. It was Chris Hulka with that big bass voice. Don and Claudio always did their thing. But without Chris it would not swing. “We miss you big guy,” we say with a sigh. “Keep playing that Bass way up in the sky.”

Expires: Dec. 31, 2015

It would seem Gene lives by what he says.

www. genehull.com



ThIS YEAR’s generous supporters

Beerworks Charitable Foundation Henry Chamberlain & Dolores Principe Tom & Kathy Dixon Mary Jane Emme Chris Dzadovsky SLC Commissioner

Karen Gorinac


Arthur & Andrea Mellon Don & Georgia Musante The Omans Family Larry Lee, State Representative

Richard & Rosemary Przybylski

Doctor Ronald Grober, Surgeon

St. Andrews Lutheran Church Norman & Sandra Stevenson

The Fort Pierce Jazz & Blues Society Presents its

19 th Annual Scholarship Awards

Emory Polley

Luke Horger

Colleen Broom

Alex Trewyn

Austin Routten

Chris Chandler

Frank Giampietro

Armani Grey

Ten $1000 Scholarships awarded to deserving jazz music students May 26, 2015 at the Black Box Theatre. 


Robert Brown

Sean Phillips

Scholarship awards night is one of the highlights of our year. We all look forward to the process of working through the auditions and eventually awarding the checks to deserving students. If you wonder if everyone had a good time, just look at all these smiles! 


Summer Jazz Band Camp Mark Green

Jazz Camp Students Perform at the Black Box with Society Musicians

2015 Jazz Camp by Mark Green, Director FPJBS 2015 Jazz Camp

It’s hard to believe we recently completed our 4th annual Summer Jazz Camp. I think everyone would agree that this was a very successful effort by the students and professionals alike. We had middle school and high school students, which we expected; but we also had some people who looked suspiciously older than high schoolers. But, they fit into our 13-90 year age restriction. We all experimented with the rules of improvising and becoming familiar with “The Great American Songbook.” It wasn’t long before students rose to their own level, and lost their inhibitions by scat singing and performing solos. Soon it was time to perform with the professionals at the Black Box Theatre. The standing ovations were welcomed by all.   Our very own Scatman Jack told me he’s going to our camp next year. Hurry, Jack, while you still meet the age restriction! Finally, thank you to pro musicians Al Hager, Bud Skiles, Claudio Berardi, Maurice Sedacca, and Jim van Voorheis – for mentoring these fledgling jazzers along with me. 8


Education & Scholarship

by Al Hager, Chairman Education and Scholarship Committee

From September through May, music teachers can receive a free concert, clinic or master class given by one of the FPJBS Faculty Ensembles. The agenda and details will be coordinated with the host band director. The goals include improving school jazz bands’ overall performance level,

If you know a high school senior who is involved in music with some jazz background, let them know about the possibility of being awarded $1,000 to continue their music education in

Al Hager is FPJBS’s newest cover ‘boy’!

Congratulations, Al, from all your friends in the Society.

identifying the role of the rhythm section and assisting with improvisation. Ten schools benefited from this service last year. EYE TO EYE – With a request from the director, the society can provide individual instruction to any member of the school’s music program. Details are coordinated with the student, their parents and the director. college. Ten were awarded last May and at least six $1,000 merit scholarships will be awarded in May, 2016. We are now including Highlands and Glades Counties and all the choir directors. The requirements and an application for 2016 are available from:

www.jazzsociety.org. An audition will be required in late April and May at the Sunrise Black Box at one of the weekly Jazz Jams. The applicant must pick two jazz standards from a list of twenty. Application must be made by April 8, 2016. Words & Music by Elton John & Bernie Taupin

audience’s tastes, I was cautious. After a very long and serious search for a band that would fit our needs, I found David Shelley and Bluestone.

David Shelley Over the past few years there were several requests to bring some sort of Blues band to the Black Box to justify our name, Ft. Pierce Jazz & Blues Society. Considering our 10

There was something special about this band that always made me feel as though I was watching a super star deliver songs, familiar and unfamiliar, in a way that was very musical and very different. The approach to the music was genius! David Shelley’s voice and ‘look’ on stage was mesmerizing. He had something that I could never quite explain to anyone prior to them seeing him and his band. The band was always very, very, very

tight and well rehearsed. Harmonies were there when needed, rhythms that would make you feel the music in such a way that it made everyone happy! This was a band destined for greatness. It is with much sadness that I must report we lost David Shelley to cancer a few months ago. I will miss him and the music business will miss his quiet, determined and soft approach to the music that he delivered night after night, professionally, and with great pride. The world was a better place with David Shelley in it. We will surely miss him!

– Don Bestor, Jr.

B ebop

The Rhythm of Bebop Although all art forms change almost imperceptibly over time, one can retrospectively recognize certain distinct characteristics that define periods of major stylistic change. The development of the bebop style in the 1940’s is an excellent example as it ushered in significant harmonic and rhythmic changes.

Drums and bass are the heart of the bebop rhythm section.

Unlike swing drummers who created a sense of stability by playing 4 beats to the bar on the bass drum, bebop drummers put much greater emphasis on polyrhythms in keeping with the tension and emotions of these uneasy times. They deIn this column I would like to emphasized the use of the bass focus on the changes in rhythm. drum focusing more on keeping time with the top cymbal. Because But first it might be instructive they played more legato than the to deviate briefly to gain some understanding of the background swing drummers there were some new listeners who felt that bebop and circumstances that were so favorable to this almost cata- was rhythmically incoherent. Adding to this sense was the fact that clysmic stylistic change. bebop drummers let the melody The emotional climate of 1940’s or the soloist dictate the stress wartime was turbulent. Musicians points. Yet musicians and sophisof the popular swing dance bands ticated listeners remain aware of felt increasingly constrained artis- the underlying basic 4/4 pulse. tically and looked for opportuniSome of the prominent bebop ties to have jam sessions where drummers are Kenny Clarke, they could stretch out musically Max Roach and Art Blakey. and experiment. Some of them Other excellent drummers of were influenced by the availabilthat style include Shelley Manne, ity of heroin which added to the Joe Morello, Mel Lewis and general unrest. This “escapism” fostered the practice of “sitting in” Elvin Jones. and testing and expressing new The other major rhythmic instruideas. Although there was resisment of the small bebop group is tance by some jazz musicians the bass. The bassist and drumreluctant to adapt to the newer mer have to be compatible and styles, bebop increased in popu- synchronize their efforts. They larity reaching a zenith in 1947must function as a team if the 49. Much more can be added music is to “cook” rhythmically. to this very brief overview but I would like to focus now on the The bass serves two functions; rhythmic changes that became harmony and rhythm. As the one of the most distinguishing bass drum in the bebop style is characteristics of bebop. no longer used to maintain the

beat, it falls to the bassist to assume a leadership role playing, perhaps, slightly ahead of the beat. The bassist must also have a good understanding of harmony and be sensitive to the soloists and the piano player. Jimmy Blanton from the Ellington band is considered to be the father of bebop bass. No doubt this is because he experimented with more complex and sophisticated solo lines at a time when most big band swing bassists were playing roots and fifths. Both Oscar Pettiford and Charlie Mingus adopted some of Blanton’s ideas. Other bassists representative of the bebop style include Ray Brown, Percy Heath, Red Mitchell, Paul Chambers, Scott LaFaro, Paul Motian and Ron Carter. I have touched briefly on some aspects of rhythmic changes that developed in the 1940’s as the style of bebop emerged in a very unsettled world. Perhaps I have given the reader some “food for thought” and stimulated some interest in further individual exploration. Although styles change with time, the argument could be made that this 70-year-old style still remains as the “ language of jazz.”

Doc Grober’s

Jazz Corner 11




PO Box 1086 Fort Pierce, FL 34954 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED

Kathy & Tom Dixon Scholarship Supporters

y should I I want to be a part of the best Jazz & Blues in Fort Pierce! Wbhec ome a m ember? Please Check One: o New o Renewal “What’s in it  o Benefactor $250 for me?” Please Check One: o Individual $50 o Family $75 o Corporate $500 o Patron $100

i can hear and enjoy professional jazz & blues locally – every week!

i can help support appreciation of America’s original Art Forms i can help bring good jazz into the schools at no cost to them

i can help High School Seniors continue their music education


The Fort Pierce Jazz & Blues Society is a nonprofit organization and all donations are tax deductible.

Name _____________________________________________________________________________________________ WINTER Address __________________________________________________________________________________________ City _____________________________________________________State____________ Zip_____________________ SUMMER Address __________________________________________________________________________________________ City _____________________________________________________State____________ Zip_____________________

i can experience the joy of awarding Merit Scholarships to worthy students

E-Mail_______________________________________________ _ Phone ( ___________ ) _____________________ ARE YOU A MUSICIAN?

o No o Yes –

please list your instrumentS, including voice:

___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

o membership o promotions/pr o newsletter o fundraising o events/concerts

yes! i would like to volunteer, at:

o Jazz jamso education

Join Us Today!

Your membership helps us fund our scholarships for students going on to college to advance their musical studies.

site: www.jazzsociety.org

Thank you for your continued support.


Please mail this form and your check to: Fort Pierce Jazz & Blues Society • PO Box 1086 • Fort Pierce, FL 34954-1086

email: info@jazzsociety.org

office: 772-460-JAZZ (5299)

Profile for Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society

Milestones Fall/Winter 2015  

The official newsletter of the Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society

Milestones Fall/Winter 2015  

The official newsletter of the Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society