When it was formed in 1984, the Madison Jazz Society had as its mission, “…encourage the performance of and education about jazz.” In 2021, it was announced that MJS would cease the performance portion of its activities and transition to concentrating on its education mission through its School Grant and School Residency programs. The new MJS format will be led by five members of the present Board of Directors and others interested in its purpose.
Before the transition is completed in June 2023, MJS offers a season of six concerts in 2022 and 2023. So far, Cornet Chop Suey appeared on September 18. President Linda Marty Schmitz stated, “These events will jazz friends who have appeared on the MJS stage previously and who we are pleased to welcome back to end our run of presenting jazz in Madison in grand style.”
The Madison Jazz Society closes the 2022 portion of its final six concert series by presenting the St. Louis Stompers on Sunday, October 30, with the final four concerts scheduled in 2023.
Of the Stompers, Linda Marty Schmitz said, “Since forming in 1981, the St. Louis Stompers have played a mixture of Chicago and New Orleans style traditional jazz and Dixieland, reminiscent of Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver. With years of experience between them, the band’s talented musicians have performed with groups such as the Sammy Kaye Orchestra, Jean Kittrell’s Old St. Louis Levee Band, the Gateway City Big Band, and the St. Louis Rivermen.”
Performing music reminiscent of jazz giants such as Louis Armstrong and King Oliver, this popular ensemble consists of members Mike Lilley, clarinet, soprano saxophone; Steve Lilley, cornet; Jon Siddle, trombone; Dave Majchrzak, piano; David Zink, sousaphone and John Gillick, drums.
In The American Rag (precursor to The Syncopated Times), Frank Grace wrote that the “St. Louis Stompers…is an audience favorite…. Their musicianship is world class. The band is noted for the tight charts that…Dave Majchrzak writes as well as their impromptu solos. Led by Steve Lilley on cornet, this is a top-notch traditional band….”
Scheduled to perform in 2023 are:
February 19: West End Jazz Band from Chicago
March 19: Groovus from Tennessee
April 16: Midiri Brothers Jazz Sextet from Pennsylvania
May 21: Bob Schulz’s Frisco Jazz Band from California
All concerts will be held at Funk’s Pub & Bar, 5956 Executive Drive, Fitchburg, from Noon to 3 pm, with doors opening at 11:30 AM. Ticket price: $15, MJS members; $20, non-members and those age 18 & younger, free. More information is available on the Society’s web site, www.madisonjazz.com, and will be announced closer to each concert.