Bix Beiderbecke birthday bash at Bickford, March 13

Mike Davis will play a tribute to Bix Beiderbecke. Photo by Jane Kratochvil
Mike Davis will play a tribute to Bix Beiderbecke. Photo by Jane Kratochvil
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Mike Davis will play a tribute to Bix Beiderbecke. Photo by Jane Kratochvil
Mike Davis will play a tribute to Bix Beiderbecke. Photo by Jane Kratochvil

Say that five times, fast!  From the Morris Museum’s Bickford Theatre:

Mike Davis and the New Wonders Pay Tribute to the Jazz Legend

The legendary jazz musician Bix Beiderbecke will be celebrated by cornetist Mike Davis and his all-star group, the New Wonders, with our popular Bix Beiderbecke Birthday Bash on Monday, March 13, 2017, at 8 p.m.

Joining Davis will be Dan Levinson on clarinet, Joe McDonough on trombone, Jared Engel on banjo, Dalton Ridenhour on piano, Jay Rattman on bass saxophone, and Jay Lepley on drums.

Bix was born in Davenport, Iowa, on March 10, 1903, and taught himself to play the cornet largely by ear. He died tragically in 1931 at the age of 28, but during his brief life he became one of the earliest great jazz improvisers along with Louis Armstrong.

He is in the Downbeat Jazz Hall of Fame, the International Jazz Hall of Fame, the American Jazz Hall of Fame, the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame, and on the ASCAP Jazz Wall of Fame. His records have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and are in the Library of Congress National Recording Registry.

Mike Davis. Photo by Jane Kratochvil
Mike Davis. Photo by Jane Kratochvil

A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, Mike Davis is in the vanguard of young musicians bringing traditional jazz to prominence in the New York music scene. The Wall Street Journal called him an “eloquent trumpet prodigy,” and he is much in demand for his ability to capture the sounds of those great musicians of the Jazz Age.

His New Wonders Band takes its name from the model of cornet played by Bix and has been called an “unexpected delight” by The New York Times. The band provides a link back to the exciting 1920s when jazz swept a war-weary world.

“All of us in the band have a real passion for the great music from this era,” explains Mike Davis, “and in the Bickford Theatre we have the perfect venue to connect with our audiences.

“We’ll play both well-known and little-known classics by Bix. And we will be singing some of the tunes he recorded under the name ‘The Chicago Loopers.’ Of course, no Bix tribute would be complete without our rendition of one of his best known recordings Clarinet Marmalade which is a New Wonders favorite.”

Tickets for the Bix Beiderbecke Birthday Bash are $17 in advance and $20 at the door and may be purchased online at morrismuseum.org, by phone at (973) 971-3706, or in person at the Bickford Theatre Box Office.

The Morris Museum’s Bickford Theatre is at 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morris Township, and offers free parking and full accessibility. Box office hours for phone sales are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Walk-up hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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