Jazz orchestra draws lively crowd at Education Center

 

Jazz orchestra draws lively crowd at Education Center

 

Date: January 27, 2010
by: Dora Walters | Senior Editor

 
 

It was standing-room only Jan. 21 at the Longboat Key Education Center.

On stage was the OONOJO, the Original Octogenarian New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, which features Henry Blackburn on the reeds, 87; Bob Greene, pianist, 85; and band leader, Stan Levine, drums, 85.

Joining them for the evening was “The Kid,” Joe Porter, who is less than half their ages.

The program was informal or, as Levine said, “We make it up as we go along.”

Along with the music there were tidbits of jazz lore sprinkled into each piece they played. A lot of applause and laughter from the toe-tapping audience showed just how well the band performed.

Levine and Greene, who both spend the winters on Anna Maria Island, began playing together at least 55 years ago.

Blackburn first became interested in jazz while he was a medical student in New Orleans.

And each band member has a long list of jazz credentials.

Levine is better known in New York City as the leader of the Southampton Dixie Racing and Clambake Society Jazz Band.

Greene is known internationally for his touring concert, “The World of Jelly Roll Morton,” including a solo performance at the Lincoln Center.

And Blackburn served as an agent for the first tour of the New Orleans Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

The OONOJO will be performing at 8 p.m. each Thursday, at The Education Center through March. Call the Education Center at 383-8811 for information.

Contact Dora Walters at dwalters@yourobserver.com
 

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