Musicians with a wide range of ages and musical experience will perform a free program of American roots music—including folk, blues, R &B and jazz—at Healy’s Westside in Forest Park on Friday, January 24, 2014 at 6:30 PM. All the performers study music with professional musicians and teachers at Kagan & Gaines Music in Forest Park.
Singer-songwriter Lena Fjortoft, who opens the program, plays acoustic guitar and will sing her original folk-rock songs. Her teacher James Goelitz, with over thirty-years of professional experience as a musician and teacher, also teaches other students that will perform.
Blue Groove plays blues, R & B and jazz by such musicians as Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Jimmy Reed, Otis Rush, Carlos Santana, The Temptations, Herbie Hancock, Bill Withers, and Grand Funk Railroad. The band includes Mike Estelle, vocals and tenor sax; Billy Smith, vocals; Alex Scaramuzza, guitar; Byron Leonard, guitar; Vera Beilinson, keyboards and Lawrence Brown, bass and vocals. Percussionist and teacher John Marella is the ensemble’s guest drummer. Mr. Goelitz, the band director, will also play guitar and bass with the group.
The jazz ensemble Generations includes Logan Curry, alto & baritone sax; Adam Peoples, trombone; Mike Estelle, tenor sax & vocals, Jim Poznak, piano; Noah Goins, bass & guitar; Chris Dixon, drums, Mary Sullivan, vocals; Bob Sullivan, blues Kagan and Gaines Music Announces Free Performances 2 harp & vocals. John Connolly directs the ensemble and plays keyboards, trumpet, blues harp and does vocals. Their repertoire includes jazz standards by such musicians as Bobby Timmons, Pepper Adams, Larry Carlton, and Jamey Aebersold. Mr. Connolly has taught music (brass and keyboards) for over thirty years and has been a professional musician for much longer.
Mr. Goelitz said in an interview, “I am so happy that Kagan & Gaines has this program for all students to participate in. I am in my twentieth year teaching there and the ensemble program is in its fifth year. It’s for all ages. If a particular student’s musical ability hasn’t reached the level to play in the program, it motivates him or her to work towards that goal. In addition to the ensembles in our January program, we have groups for other kinds of music, including rock and holiday songs.”
Mr. Connolly said of Generations, “Our band wants to share its love of all things jazz. In class, we learn about improvisation; this performance allows the band to share what they’ve learned with an audience.”
Kagan & Gaines Music Co., Inc. is a full-service music store at 7655 Roosevelt Road Forest Park, IL 60130, (708) 771-2152; www.kaganandgaines.com. In addition to selling instruments and sheet music, they offer music lessons in a variety of instruments for students of all ages.
Founded in 1954, Healy’s Westside is an Irish pub located at 7321 West Madison Street in Forest Park, IL 60130, (708) 366-4277; www.healyswestside.com). Healy’s has hosted several previous performances by Kagan & Gaines musicians.