Puttin' on the Ritz


Peabody Main Street Interim Director

In this day of visual music presentation, something has been lost. Music companies have traded melody for a Versace top. Performers spend six hours a day in the gym, and 15 minutes on their instruments. The days of old are long gone, but not forgotten.

Peabody will be lucky enough to have two musical acts turn back the clock Memorial Day weekend at Operation Celebration: The 1940s.

The Boeing Jazz Band will perform at 6:30 p.m. May 24. All 17 pieces! Seventeen pieces? I doubt I could get a group of 17 people to all clap at the same time, let alone play Count Basie or the Duke.

As if pulled through a black hole in time, trombones will yank their low register representation, while the clarinets buzz from note to note like rabid bees.

This is the music of the war years. Back when music meant something. Whether it is your music, your parents' music or your grandparents' music, these are the tones that called the boys home.

On May 25, we will "hop across the pond," and go back in time to Paris, France circa 1945.

The Nouveau Quintette is the hottest five-piece string band in all the land. Many of you may have heard this group a few summers back on the Marshall warehouse lawn.

Inspired by jazz legends Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelly, the Nouveau Quintette will transport you to a time when American servicemen rubbed shoulders with French patrons at Paris night clubs to sneak a listen to the newest jazz sounds of the day.

Slapping bass lines support two rhythm guitars that work together like a locomotive that is late for its next stop.

Rob Loren's violin lines will pull at your heart strings, and make you daydream of far off lands. Ken White is a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist whose accolades include: Kentucky State banjo champion (age 14), Rocky Grass mandolin champion and Rocky Grass guitar flat picking champion.

It is rare to see talent a talent of his level right here in Peabody. His fingers will fly so fast, you will wonder how it is possible.

These two wonderful concerts will provide an exceptional opportunity for anyone and everyone to experience the arts at an incredible level. We are very lucky to have them appear in our community.

Don't miss out this Memorial Day weekend!