At the Dietrich by Hildy Morgan
So. Travel back in time with me (think of the voice of Rod Serling) to another time and another place. Okay. So it is another time, but it still is Tunkhannock. (What did you expect form me? I never go anyplace.) I am merely trying to set the stage for you for an upcoming event those cultural folks have put together that is sooo neat and sooo reminiscent of times past.
Alright, in our journey through time, if not space, it is summer, and we have all gathered on the courthouse square to hear some cool jazz on a hot night, the music reflective of the million stars that will dapple the oncoming night sky. It is twilight and the mighty trees on the square are beginning to cast their fearsome shadows and people spread out blankets if they haven’t brought a chair. The crowd, replete with children dashing about and the occasional well-behaved dog, set up a low murmur of voices and everyone waits.
And then, all of a sudden, the silence is broken as a clear, sweet note wails into the waiting sky, and that’s Jimmy Welch on the clarinet, joined a second later by the sweet, sweet notes of Sid Daniels saxophone and then Chuck Pirone on the drums, and, of course, Joe Weldon on the keyboard. And then we weren’t a group of small-town folks sitting in the square, nope, we weren’t. We were traveling through time and space on our way to the big Apple, and Paris (yeah, the one in France!) and a little New Orleans and, oh those saints, how they did come marching in!
And still, to this very day, when I think of those wonderful concerts, my heart hurts for all the music the world lost when Sid died. And even as good as Jimmy Welch’s band is today (and they are, they are!) and even though they had a wonderful crowd here at the theater when they performed here, still, when I see them, it makes my heart hurt, because that saxophone and that clarinet would wail into the starry night and up, and up, and up those notes would go, until they were enveloped by the pure silence of deep space. And I wish that the notes of that saxophone hadn’t been silenced. But then, I’m terrible at goodbyes.
And now, back to the present, and the whole point of this little exercise. So on Sunday, May 18th, (SAVE THE DATE!!!!) we have a jazz concert here at the Dietrich. And no, it’s not Jimmy and the gang, but it’s a terrific group of very accomplished jazz musicians – Dennis Jeter, vocalist, Joseph Lepore, bass, Luca Santaniello, drums and Joe Cohn on guitar. You have to trust me on this, these guys make beautiful music! And the music they’re making is the music of the late, great Ned Washington, who brought us such huge hits as When You Wish Upon a Star, High Noon, The Nearness of You, A Ghost of a Chance (Oooh, I LOVE that one!), I’m Getting Sentimental Over You, and so many others I don’t have room to write them all,
And, to add to our afternoon’s enjoyment, Dr. Phillip Mosley is going to tell us all about Ned Washington, show us some movie clips and let the music speak for itself. For those of you who love jazz, (and isn’t that almost everybody???) this is a must afternoon. Again, May 18th, save the date!!! Oh yeah, and the best part??? Absolutely free. Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. So, if you love jazz, come – what a great afternoon! If you know nothing about jazz, what better way to find out? It’s free, it’s educational, and I promise you (I really do!) that you will have a grand time!
And don’t forget to come to the movies. The best popcorn in the northern hemisphere awaits! (That was a trick, by the way, because I have it on good authority that they don’t even eat popcorn in the southern hemisphere. No matter what they say,. Heh heh.)
See you at the Dietrich.