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    May 10 Concert Features Tribute to Louis Armstrong

    The 11th Annual Gene Yevich Memorial Concert, featuring David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band, The University of Scranton Jazz Band, Armstrong historian Ricky Riccardi and a few surprise guests, will take place Friday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the University’s Houlihan-McLean Center. Admission is free.
    May 3, 2019

    Continuing a time-honored tradition, Performance Music at The University of Scranton will present its 11th Annual Gene Yevich Memorial Concert on Friday, May 10. Beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Houlihan-McLean Center, Mulberry Street and Jefferson Avenue, the concert will feature a performance by David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band combined with a presentation by internationally renowned Armstrong historian Ricky Riccardi. Also, appearing at the show will be the University’s Jazz Band.

    Admission to the concert is free, with seating on a first-come, first-seated basis.

    Since its establishment just over a decade ago, the Yevich Memorial Concert has been sponsored by former Scranton Mayor David Wenzel and his wife, Janet, as a celebration of the life of former Scranton Fire Chief Gene Yevich, the late father of Performance Music Conductor and Director Cheryl Yevich Boga.

    In addition to his long career as a Scranton fireman, Yevich, who passed away in 2005, was an accomplished local musician. A multi-instrumentalist known best for his virtuosity on the accordion, he was a longtime member of the band The Novelaires. He also played with The Mediterranean Sounds, who regularly played Italian festivals in the Scranton area and New York City.

    Yevich was married for almost 50 years to the former Julia Pucher, with whom he had three children, Boga and University graduates Michael Yevich and Cynthia Yevich. His grandchildren are Joseph Boga, a 2014 graduate of The Juilliard School and a professional musician who performs, records and teaches clinics and masterclasses throughout the world, 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.

    As it happens, Yevich was a big fan of Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band (aka the Gully Low Jazz Band), who have performed at the University on a number of occasions. And there’s now a family connection – Joseph Boga currently plays trumpet in the band. In addition, Yevich’s favorite trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, H. ’06 will also be performing with the band that evening.

    At the concert, Ostwald and his band will be joined by Riccardi for a unique multimedia presentation geared around the life and work of one of the 20th century’s greatest artists. Riccardi currently serves as director of research collections at the Louis Armstrong House in Queens, New York, and is the author of the acclaimed book, “What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong’s Later Years.”

    “I like to call it an ‘informance,’” Cheryl Boga said of the show. “It’s primarily a concert, but will also incorporate video and still photos and commentary. I’m very excited about it.”

    Inspired by Armstrong and fellow jazz pioneers Bix Beiderbecke, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton and others, Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band have been performing traditional jazz since 1980. The many prestigious venues in which the band has performed include Lincoln Center’s Midsummer’s Night Swing, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the 92nd Street Y and fabled New York City club Birdland, where they have had a weekly Wednesday night gig since 2000.

    For further information on the concert, call 570-941-7624, email music@scranton.edu or visit scranton.edu/music. For more information on Ostwald and the Louis Armstrong Eternity Band, visit ostwaldjazz.com. For more on Riccardi and the Louis Armstrong House, visit louisarmstronghouse.org.

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