‘Pay to Play: Strange Volunteerism’

‘Pay to Play: Strange Volunteerism’

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Bill Johnson, renowned classical/jazz trombonist, founding member of the Rockford Jazz Society (RJS), a Board of Directors member and the President of the Rockford Musical Association, has recently added the final comment to the Board’s decision to present an annual benefit jam session to aid the Rock Valley Food Pantry. In the Rockford Jazz Society’s goal to provide a true sense of Happy Holidays to those in need, “Pay-to-Play” (a phrase coined by Johnson) is the Rockford Jazz Society’s form of volunteerism. In honor of the late bass player, David Cancelose, The Cancelose Memorial Jam will be Sunday, Dec. 8, from 3 to 6 p.m., at Palermo’s Convention Center, 3919 11th St.

Forty to 50 RJS musicians are expected to pay the door fee to perform for a good cause. Although this particular volunteerism is a strange one, local jazz musicians are supporting the Rock Valley Food Pantry by not only donating cash, but their talent to feed the hungry. A number of great entertainers will be in attendance and keyboards, guitar, bass, drums and a great audio system will be on hand, thanks to Bruce Warden, John Porrazzo, Val Eddy and Tom Marken. Also, a collection of audio tapes of old recordings by Dave Cencelose have been re-mastered and reworked by Bruce Warden, and placed on one CD titled Swingin’ Live at The Figgs. This collection will be available for purchase at the Memorial Jam for $10, and $3 will be set aside for the Rock Valley Food Pantry. For more information about prices and volunteer performance, call the RJS at 226-8844.

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