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Jazz festival returns to Fox Lake Friday

May 14, 2017 GMT

FOX LAKE - A Dixieland Jazz Festival will be held in Fox Lake Friday through Sunday.

The Jazz Festival will honor “Bunny” Berigan who grew up in Fox Lake and is known as one of the most compelling trumpet players in history. Berigan brought unmistakable electricity to the various bands he played with including Tommy Dorsey, Paul Whiteman, and Benny Goodman. Hired as a sideman, Berigan performed on hundreds of commercial recordings including material for the Dorsey Brothers, as well as Bandleader Glenn Miller’s earliest recording date, playing on “Solo Hop” (1935).

Those who knew Berigan personally had much to say.

Joe Bushkin said, “Look, if you could have seen him there onstage in a white suit, with his blond hair and penetrating gray eyes, holding that shiny gold trumpet—well, if that didn’t knock you over when he started to play, ain’t nothing gonna knock you down.”

Irving Goodman, brother of Benny Goodman, said: “Like everyone else, I was crazy about Bunny. He was with Benny for only a short period, but whenever he was present it was another story. There haven’t been many guys who could electrify Benny, but Bunny was certainly one of them. As a leader of his own band he was great to work for. The whole band would do anything he wanted.”

Berigan was born Nov. 2, 1908, in Hilbert, Wisconsin, and died on June 2, 1942, in New York City.

The festival bands will include:

Trumpeter Duke Heitger of New Orleans will play as a guest artist with all the bands. While not on the road, Heitger maintains a busy schedule in New Orleans, leading his own Steamboat Stompers.Bob Schulz and his Mid-West All Stars. When not playing his cornet in Wisconsin, Schulz can be found playing at many Jazz festivals around the nation. Although he lives in California, he was born and raised in Wonewoc, and served as a High School Band teacher in Reeseville and Lake Mills.The St. Louis Stompers Classic Jazz Band Led by Steve Lillley on cornet. From traditional jazz tunes to swing, the Stompers attack each with vigor and gusto.Jack’s Jubilee Band Playing Bunny’s Music. Jack Trowbridge has put together 11 musicians, forming a “little big band” that will play tunes that Bunny played. The tunes will be Dixieland and Swing that Bunny recorded.Kaye Berigan 5Tet. Kaye Berigan has been featured at all the Bunny Berigan Jazz Jubilees since 2011. Kaye is the nephew of Bunny, but he did not listen to Bunny’s music as he grew up and became an accomplished artist on trumpet.Matt Miller Trio. Miller comes to the stage featuring the music of Miles Davis and Frank Sinatra plus other Jazz standards. He was the winner of the Bunny Berigan Scholarship in 1988 and this year he is one of the judges of the scholarship being presented.Dave Majcherzak will be featured for the Piano Special at 5 p.m. Dave is both a fantastic piano player and an arranger.

Event highlights are:

A free kickoff concert, 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at Mullin’s Drive In. In the event of rain, the concert will be moved to the American Legion Clubhouse. There will be a Graveside Service led by the Rev. Al Townsend at the St. Mary’s/Annunciation Cemetery on Saturday at 10 a.m.Mike Zirpolo, Author of “Mr. Trumpet; the trials, tribulations, and triumph of BUNNY BERIGAN” will conduct educational presentations about Berigan. He plans to give three totally different one-hour presentations. There will be two programs in Fox Lake Saturday and onein Beaver Dam Sunday at 9:14 a.m. at First Evangelical Lutheran Church. Each program will include music that has previously not been heard.Chef In The Kitchen will be offered Saturday and Sunday. Anthony Madison of Milwaukee will prepare for the festival.An Exhibit Hall doubling as the presentation hall will include paintings of Bunny Berigan. At 8 p.m. Saturday there will be a mixology workshop featuring Korbel Brandy.Rippey’s Triangle Jazz brings 4,000 CDs, books and DVDs to the Jazz Jubilee. Phyllis Ger is returning to the Jubilee with hand-crafted jewelry. She has a studio in New York and her father, Morty Stuhlmaker played in Bunny’s Band.The Sunday morning church service will be held at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 311 W. Mackie, Beaver Dam. The St. Louis Stompers will be the featured at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services. The church invites the public.The Bunny Berigan Jazz Jubilee scholarship will be presented at 1 p.m., Sunday.

Find more details and how to order tickets at bunnyberiganjazzjubilee.com. Tickets also may be ordered by emailing julieflemming@yahoo.com or by calling 920-928-6094. Tickets will also be available at the door.