Members of the Roaring Twenties Party Band
The Roaring Twenties Party Band is new to Concerts on the Square on August 11, following its debut performance this past June at Charlotte Performing Arts Center. This year’s Celebrate Charlotte Festival kick-off entertainment featured this lively Michigan-based group of 6 professional musicians. The Concerts on the Square are Thursday evenings beginning at 6:30 pm and are staged at the downtown 1885 Courthouse Square with no charge for attendance. In the event of inclement weather, the 6:30 pm concert will be held at Charlotte Performing Arts Center, 378 State Street, Charlotte.
Made up of mid-Michigan’s top jazz musicians, this all-star band is sure to inspire dancing in your seats as they take us back to the carefree and exciting musical times of the Roaring 1920’s. The players bring a long and varied history of performing with the nation’s top entertainers in venues featuring jazz, Broadway shows, and top symphony orchestras. The musical selections include songs that everyone will recognize as enduring 20’s jazz, dance tunes, and ballads, all of which represent Americana at its finest.
Concert-goers will experience the original sounds of the 1920’s presented with a fresh new jazz approach using ukulele, banjo, archtop guitar, sassy trumpet, vocal schnozzle, raspy kazoo, wide-vibrato sax, and strong jazz vocals. To help get into the spirit you are invited to search your closet for your best twenties attire. If you are the owner of a period auto you are also encouraged to drive to the event in style as only the roaring twenties could enjoy.
Songs you will recognize are enduring Great American Songbook selections such as Blue Skies, The Way You Look Tonight, Mack the Knife, S’Wonderful, Georgia, Stormy Weather, Someone to Watch Over Me, My Blue Heaven, Embraceable You, It Had to be You, Ain’t She Sweet, As Time Goes By, Charleston, and many more. This is a musical review that represents the great jazz legacy from the Roaring Twenties.
This performance is generously sponsored by Pray Funeral Home
The Roaring Twenties Party Band was organized by Charlotte’s Don Sovey in January of this year in preparation for the 30th birthday party of his daughter-in- law, Danielle. The birthday celebrant wanted a special party to say good-bye to her twenties decade. That was the beginning of Roaring Twenties Party Band. Musicians recruited for the band include some of Michigan’s top jazz players who regularly work with many different musical groups and ensembles. All are music readers and the majority are college trained music majors.
The musicians include: Dominic Michael Bierenga (Sax and Clarinet), who graduated in 2015 from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in Music. He served as an on-air host for Nightside Jazz and Blues with CMU Pubic Radio and was recognized for his musical achievements as Outstanding Soloist at the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival, Jack Saunders Jazz Award (CMU), ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award Winner, North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition Semi-Finalist, and Robert D. Hays Award for Excellence in Jazz (CMU).
Danielle Blanchard (Vocals) is a professional vocal musician and educator with more than 2,200 commercial jingles and other recordings to her credit. She’s performed on numerous recordings nominated for Grammy Awards, and was honored by NARAS in 2012 for 20 years voting member service. She has performed everything from opera to rock, performed and directed musical theater and dance productions and is a former Newsweek-WDIV Middle School Teacher of the Year (Vocal Music, Theatre and Technology) and former Adjunct at Oakland University. Danielle is a musicians musician and is often described as a vocal stylist with her inspirational interpretation of jazz standards.
Brad Fowler (Trumpet) has been performing professionally in the US and abroad for over 20 years. Formerly first call trumpeter for Princess Cruise Lines, his performance highlights include lead trumpet for the Gerald Wilson Big Band (Detroit Jazz Fest), lead trumpet for the Michael Dease big band (East Lansing Jazz Fest) and stints on tour with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Bob Seger. Adept at multiple styles and genres, Mr. Fowler can be found in both lead and solo positions in Jazz, Funk/R&B and Salsa bands across Michigan.
Pete Kittle (Dr. Bass) majored in music performance at MSU and has played professionally since he was 14 years old. He enjoys and has performed a wide variety of styles ranging from musicals at the Wharton Center to performing live at the Christian Music Awards in Nashville, TN. Pete has competed his second solo CD — Full Circle, which is scheduled to be released nationally on August 12, the day after the Concerts on the Square performance. Copies of his new CD will be available at the Charlotte performance.
Ian Levine (Drums) is a product of a musical family and first attended Wayne State while also playing music in metro Detroit. At MSU, he completed undergraduate and grad programs in social science/secondary education and school psychology, and was a member of MSU Jazz Band I under the direction of Ron Newman. Ian has performed in jazz festivals at Aquinas College, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Detroit, Schoolcraft College, Michigan Festival, Lansing Old Town, E. Lansing Summer Solstice and Flint; subbed with the Jimmy Dorsey and Legends of Swing big bands.
Don Sovey – (Archtop Guitar, Banjo, Ukulele, Vocals) has served as guitarist with symphony orchestras in Lansing, Battle Creek and recently performed with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra featuring world renowned vocalist Jackie Evancho. He has also played guitar, banjo, ukulele, and mandolin with 22 National Touring Broadway Musicals at Wharton Center, Devos Performance Hall, and Miller Auditorium. He serves as guitarist and vocalist in J&J Sounds, World Class City Band, and Don Sovey Quintet.
Steve Edwards (Sound Technician) has built his career around providing top sound support for many of the country’s top touring musicians including Dianna Kraull, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, and many more. As a member of the band’s team, Steve serves an integral role for the success of every musical production.
Charlotte’s Summer Concert on the Square free music series continues each Thursday evening through the end of August. All concerts are free and open to the public. Bring your lawn chair, picnic blanket and non-alcoholic refreshments and enjoy an evening of great music in downtown Charlotte. Also, be sure to visit the Thursday evening Farmer’s Market at Courthouse Square beginning at 3 pm until 7 pm.