Arts & Entertainment

Jazz series find home in historic ballroom

January 6, 2016
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Harris Building Piano
The Harris Building was renovated in 2015 and hosts a variety of arts and entertainment events. Courtesy Sam Radecki

A weekly jazz series will join the thriving arts scene on South Division Avenue beginning on Wednesday.

The newly renovated Harris Building, 111 South Division Ave., will host the eight-week jazz series in its historic domed ballroom.

Musicians with extensive credits touring with shows, performing in clubs, festivals and concerts are scheduled to perform throughout the series.

Shows begin at 8 p.m. each week with doors opening at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. A cash bar will be available.

The Robin Connell Trio will serve as the house band each week.

Wednesday’s performers

Special guests Tim Froncek, Paul Brewer and Bob Nixon will join the Robin Connell Trio tonight for the opening show. The performances will pay tribute to The Jazz Crusaders, an American music group from the early 1970s.

Nixon, who plays saxophone, is a retired music educator, who worked at GRPS and Aquinas College. He toured with The Henry Mancini Orchestra and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.

He currently spends much of his time co-directing the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra.

Froncek, who plays drums/vibes, is co-director of GRJO, drummer in the Truth in Jazz Orchestra, Yamaha Drums clinician, and jazz faculty member at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and Grand Valley State University.

Brewer, who plays trombone, is an associate professor of music at Aquinas College. He also directs the Aquinas Jazz Camp and co-directs the St Cecilia Music Center youth jazz program with his wife, Robin Connell.

He was a member of the jazz faculty at the Interlochen Arts Camp for two decades.

Complete schedule

Jan. 6: Tim Froncek, Bob Nixon, Paul Brewer

Jan. 13: Mary Rademacher, Paul Keller

Jan. 20: Rob Smith

Jan. 27: Rob Mulligan, Kathy Lamar

Feb. 3: Laurie Sears, Paul Brewer

Feb. 10: Earlie Bragg, Paul Brewer

Feb. 17: Diego Rivera

Feb. 24: James Sawyer

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