Online Staff Report
To celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month, the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center is launching its new monthly concert series, “Jazz at Emerson.”
The series will debut with a concert by piano/wind jazz duo Dan Pincus and Jim McElhaney at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, April 19, at the historic Emerson House, 420 N. Main St., Rockford.
The performance will feature Pincus on jazz piano and McElhaney on wind synthesizer.
Pincus and McElhaney met at Northern Illinois University in the 1970s and formed their own jazz fusion ensemble. After college, the two went their separate ways, only to reconnect 25 years later and form their own jazz duo.
Both musicians have studied jazz at North Texas State University. Pincus has performed with jazz ensembles in Dallas and Chicago. McElhaney has performed with Rockford jazz legends such as Mike Alongi, Carl Cole and Jack Brand, as well as the Ted Weems Orchestra.
Jazz Appreciation Month is an initiative sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. It is designed to draw greater public attention to the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz and its importance as an American cultural heritage.
“We at Mendelssohn are thrilled to kick off this great concert series during Jazz Appreciation Month,” said Beverly Broyles, MPAC’s executive director. “Rockford has a lot of jazz fans and some terrific jazz musicians, and we’re so excited to bring them together on a monthly basis.”
Free-will donations will be accepted; suggested amount is $10. Proceeds will benefit the musicians and the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center.
“Jazz at Emerson” will take place one Thursday per month, 5:30-7 p.m., at the Emerson House in the heart of downtown Rockford. Concertgoers can enjoy the swinging sounds of jazz, relax with a glass of wine and light refreshments, and meet the performers after the program, which is about an hour and a half in length. Performers at future “Jazz at Emerson” concerts TBA. Doors open at 5 p.m. Seating is limited, so arrive early.
Posted April 18, 2012