GAYVILLE — South Dakota’s Public Domain Tune Band stars in “Gayville Hall’s Big-Time, Two-Hour Jazz Jam IX” on Saturday, June 15, at 8 p.m. in Gayville.
The show, which features classic tunes from the 1920s and ‘30s and inspired jazz improvisation, according to producer Doug Sharples, is dedicated this year to the memory of Roger Neumann, the great Los Angeles-based saxophonist and composer who jammed with the Tune Band at every staging of the show at Gayville Hall from 2012 through June 2018.
The show features “tunes that our parents and grandparents loved,” according to Sharples, including songs by such great American songwriters as George and Ira Gershwin, Fats Waller, and Duke Ellington.
The Tune Band was founded as a duo in 1979 by vocalist and guitarist Nick Schwebach and fiddler Owen DeJong in order to perform such tunes. Schwebach’s vocals recall iconic vocalists of that era like Jack Teagarden and Louis Armstrong.
Other members of the band are public television broadcaster and bassist Larry Rohrer, Vermillion drummer Al Remund, and U.S.D. jazz professor and saxophonist C. J. Kocher, who originally attracted Neumann to the show.
The ”big-time” career of Neumann, who died last November, inspired the show’s title after Kocher encouraged Neumann to come to South Dakota and perform with the Tune Band at Gayville Hall in June of 2012, which he did. The two musicians had met as fellow instructors at an annual summer jazz camp every June in the Iowa Great Lakes region of northwest Iowa, where Neumann grew up. Neumann loved the Tune Band and had so much fun that he came back to South Dakota every June thereafter.
Neumann, who played tenor, soprano and baritone saxophones, flute, and clarinet, performed with or wrote music for Woody Herman, Count Basie, Ray Anthony, Les Brown, Bob Crosby, the Beach Boys, Jerry Garcia, Buddy Rich, and Ray Charles. His music was featured in several TV series and TV movies and he appeared as a musician in several big-screen Hollywood movies. His honors included “the jazz composer and arranger of the year” award at the 20th annual Los Angeles Jazz Awards in 2002.
Gayville Hall is at 502 Washington Street in Gayville. Call 605-267-2859 for ticket information.