Concert Features David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band

January 30, 2015

Performance Music at The University of Scranton will present the 7th Annual Gene Yevich Memorial Concert on Sunday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the Houlihan-McLean Center. This year’s concert, honoring the late Gene Yevich, who served as fire chief for the city of Scranton during the Wenzel administration, features the nationally acclaimed Louis Armstrong Eternity Band, directed by David Ostwald. The performance is sponsored by former Scranton mayor Dave Wenzel and his wife, Janet. Admission is free. The concert is open to the public and seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis.

Gene Yevich, who passed away in 2005, served with the Scranton Fire Department for decades before retiring in 1989. He was a popular and talented local musician, and had many close connections to the University. He was married for almost 50 years to the former Julia Pucher, with whom he had three children, University graduates Michael Yevich and Cynthia Yevich, and Cheryl Yevich Boga, who serves as director of Performance Music at The University of Scranton. His grandchildren are Joseph Boga, a 2014 graduate of The Juilliard School, who returns to the University regularly to perform and lead clinics and masterclasses for student musicians, and Magdalyn Boga, who earned a master’s degree from the University and is a member of the History Department faculty and Performance Music staff there.

Chief Yevich’s favorite jazz group to travel to New York to hear – David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band (aka Gully Low Jazz Band) – will perform at this year’s concert celebrating his life. Inspired by the noble jazz pioneers Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Duke Ellington and Jelly Roll Morton, the group breathes life and passion into America’s own great art form. Currently in its 15th year of weekly appearances at New York City’s legendary Birdland jazz club, this acoustically electrifying group has appeared nationally and internationally in a wide variety of settings. These include Lincoln Center’s Midsummer’s Night Swing, Meet The Artist and Real to Reel; The Louis Armstrong House; Lionel Hampton’s funeral procession; The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and Jazz in July at the 92nd Street. Y, as well as numerous other national and international concert, club, and jazz festival appearances. They have also welcomed a stream of highly acclaimed guest musicians, including Wynton Marsalis, Dick Hyman, Jon Hendricks, Clark Terry, Jon Faddis and blues great Big Joe Turner, whose recording with the band was nominated for a Grammy Award. In addition to leading the band, Ostwald has written extensively about jazz music and serves on the board of The Louis Armstrong House Museum.

Legendary record producer George Avakian, who served as Louis Armstrong’s record producer, said of the group: “There has never been a band quite like David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band … (the group is) always true to the joy and the heart of the music … it remains among the best traditionalist groups in the world today.”

For additional information about the performance, visit scranton.edu/music or call 570-941-7624.

 

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