The event, sponsored by Wegmans, includes music from John Russo’s East Hill Classic Jazz Band as well as wine courtesy of Billsboro Winery, Ultimate Cakes, treats, and beverages provided by Wegmans, and wine glasses provided by the Herzig Group. The popular musical event transforms what is typically a quiet reading area in the original portion of the Geneva Public Library. “The space takes on an entirely new, lively ambiance with the combination of music and conversation,” said Library Director Chris Finger.
Tickets for A Taste of Jazz are $20 each in advance and $25 at the door on the day of the event. They are available at any Wegmans’ Customer Service Desk or at the Geneva Public Library. The ticket price includes three wine tastings. Wine will also be available for purchase by the glass or bottle. All proceeds from the event benefit the Foundation for Geneva Public Library, whose mission is to help provide a firm financial basis for the Library.
“A Taste of Jazz is a true labor of love for all of us” said Nancy Bauder, President of the Foundation for Geneva Public Library. “This offering reflects the passion Geneva has for its library as well as its love for great music, food, and community.”
Founded by Geneva native John Russo, the East Hill Classic Jazz Band has evolved into one of the Finger Lakes’ finest traditional jazz preservation musical organizations. Along with returning favorites, Russo, guitarist Douglas Robinson, bassist London McDaniels, and vocalist Sally Ramirez, this year’s band also includes banjo virtuoso Drew Frech. Frech, an Eastman School graduate, has devoted his life to playing and teaching banjo as well as preserving banjo literature. When asked about his approach to performing Classic Jazz successfully in this modern era, John Russo noted that he always searched for “The finest musicians, who play from the heart and not for the money”. In addition to their work with the ensemble, each of the artists joining Russo leads successful and active bands of their own.
John Russo has experienced a varied musical career, including early years teaching all levels from grade school to college, to performing, composing, recording centered in the competitive cultural mecca of Ithaca. Russo grew up in Geneva and studied music at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music. His band appeared at Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium in 2003 and has performed at Geneva on the Lake and at Taughannock Falls State Park for many years.
For more information about the event, please contact Geneva Public Library Director Chris Finger at 315-789-5303 ext.106.