Local jazz orchestra delighted to perform again
Nineteen vaccinated instrumentalists and a singer are eager to start playing jazz in person. They will debut on August 13 in the parking lot of the Monroe County Public Library on East Kirkwood Avenue.
“Members of the public should be fully immunized or masked and socially distanced. And bring lawn chairs,” Janis Stockhouse, leader of the Reimagined Musical Group, said in a telephone interview.
Gerald Anthony (Jerry) Jerome, who passed away in 2019, was a two-term member and chair of the Bloomington Community Group. He founded his affiliate jazz group, the Swing Time Big Band, which predated the Stockhouse ensemble.
For several years, Jérôme hosted the WFHB’s “Golden Oldies” show and, from 2006 to 2012, was General Manager of the Dancing with the Celebrities charity fundraiser. In 2018, he won a nomination for a Be More award.
Borrowing Jerome’s wand, Stockhouse revamped the group, introducing an increasingly difficult repertoire, she said. “Our music is now also more representative of the present day.” However, they still play swing group tunes from the 1940s.
A member of three adult music groups – Bloomington Community Band and Southern Indiana Wind Ensemble are the others – Stockhouse has long surrounded itself with music.
The trumpet is his instrument. “It was the only instrument left on the table in fourth grade,” she said. From there, she kept making more music-related choices.
“I didn’t want to go to Girl Scout camp. I wanted a music camp.”
During her long career as a conductor and music teacher at Bloomington High School North, Stockhouse looked forward to the energy of the students. “It’s so much fun being around high school kids.”
Having retired from this role in 2019, she continues to use her leadership skills in a variety of ways, most notably as a jazz conductor.
“When COVID hit, I had time to think about this (jazz) band.”
It’s fun to be good:Janis Stockhouse bows out of Bloomington North
Her circle of acquaintances being different from the former leader of the group, she found that she could tap into different talent pools: for example, she knows parents of students in the group who play.
“We’re still a great band. We even do Count Basie.”
Count Basie, born in New Jersey in 1904 as William James Basie, is considered one of the best conductors in the world. Having mixed blues with jazz, he is forever linked to the swing of big bands.
Stockhouse’s repertoire also includes music by Duke Ellington, Maynard Ferguson, and Woody Herman, as well as swing dance music.
The ensemble has no vacancies at the time of this writing, but they welcome interested musicians and maintain a list of replacements.
If you are going to
WHAT: The two outdoor live performances of the Bloomington Jazz Orchestra,
WHEN AND WHERE: 7:00 p.m. August 13, Monroe County Public Library parking lot, 303 E. Kirkwood Ave .; September 19 at 7 p.m. at the Switchyard Park Bandstand, 1601 S. Rogers St.
FOLLOWING: Email Janis Stockhouse for more information: email@example.com.
Find the orchestra at facebook.com/search/top?q=bloomington%20jazz%20orchestra.