Community Jazz Ensemble to play in Norway

Community Jazz Ensemble to play in Norway

The Community Jazz Ensemble performs on Thursday as part of Music in the Park in downtown Norway.

NORWAY — A cool but beautiful evening greeted those who came out to the eighth Music in the Park concert of the 2022 season as Chris Charboneau, from the Detroit area, performed to an appreciative audience on July 28. His keyboard playing and vocals were outstanding, and his guest saxophonist, NMU faculty member Patrick Booth, was “top shelf” as well.

This week, Music in the Park will welcome a full 19 piece big band to the stage, as CJE — The Community Jazz Ensemble performs for the ninth concert of the 2022 season. The free summertime music series will continue at 7 p.m. Thursday at the bandshell in downtown Norway.

The Community Jazz Ensemble is a pro quality group of seasoned performers that draws its members from the greater Marinette-Menominee area, but also draws players from as far south as Green Bay, Wis. and as far north as Champion. The band is under the capable direction of Tom Polkinghorne, a retired band director/school administrator who is also a fine jazz clarinetist.

Under his leadership, the audience will hear a wide variety of big band music, from the great standards of Count Basie, Barbara Streisand and Michael Buble, to contemporary classics from Led Zeppelin to The Eagles.

In addition to great improvisers in all sections of the band, vocalists Amy Linstead and John Wills will delight the audience with their soulful musical numbers. Many members are current or former music educators, but the band literally has members from all walks of life playing and bringing lots of joys to listeners.

The CJE has performed for many summer concerts in the Menominee-Marinette area over the past 40 years, and in February of 2020, was awarded special recognition by the Menominee Area Arts Council for “Outstanding contribution to the Arts in Music.” They love to interact with their audiences, and look forward to playing at new venues as often as possible. You won’t want to miss this outstanding group of performers, who range in age from 20-83. They are truly an inspiration to those that get to hear them perform. The band looks very forward to playing for a Dickinson County audience.

“We hope folks that come into Iron Mountain for this week’s Out to Lunch concert with Mark Young and Friends, will enjoy the afternoon, have a nice dinner in the area and come on down to beautiful bandshell park for this our ninth free performance of this summer’s fabulous series,” event coordinator Carol Sundstrom said.

Music in the Park has received major financial support from several organizations, businesses and individuals this year, without whom this concert series would not be possible: Law Office of Steven Tinti, Norway-Vulcan Senior Center, Dickinson County Office of Veterans Affairs, Dickinson Area Tourism Association, Evergreen Meadows of Norway, Norway Area Preservation Society, Jim’s Music of Iron Mountain, The Curtis J. Brackett Memorial Foundation, Larry and Kathy Bourdeau, Bill and Darlene Asselin, Vicki and Bill Pipp, WJNR-WOBE-WHTO Result Radio, the Iron Mountain Daily News, and numerous individual and anonymous supporters.

The final Music in the Park performance will be held on Thursday, Aug. 11, as The DayDreamers perform in both Iron Mountain and Norway for the final Double Header concert in cooperation with Iron Mountain’s Out to Lunch concert series.

In case of inclement weather, Music in the Park concerts will be shifted to the Crossroads Church on Odill Drive behind the Norway Historical Museum on the east edge of Norway.

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