[members-announce] The Tropea Band to Headline Benefit for Dizzy
Gillespie Memorial Fund
kmathieu at trwg.com
Fri Oct 14 11:12:21 EDT 2005
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kathleen Mathieu, 201-939-1844
The Tropea Band will appear on Friday, October 21 at 9:00 pm at
Mexicali Blues Café, 1409 Queen Anne Road, Teaneck, NJ. Attendees’ $20
donations will benefit the Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund at Englewood
Hospital and Medical Center. For more information, contact Steve Gillon
at DOCIMGI at aol.com. Visit www.mexicalibluescafe.com for details; call
(201)833-0011 for dinner reservations.
Music Meets Medicine in Humanitarian Cause
The Tropea Band to Headline Benefit in Teaneck
Jazz legends and area musicians will take the stage on October 21st to
bring healthcare to the uninsured with a fundraising performance at
Mexicali Blues Café in Teaneck. At a special concert conceived by Dr.
Steve Gillon of Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, The Tropea Band
will join local rockers Sessions for a live show from which all
proceeds will be donated to the Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund.
All performers are eager to participate, and indeed, they have a lot to
play for. Based at the Medical Center, the fund raises money for a
special program that provides uninsured jazz musicians with top-notch
healthcare free of cost. Doctors donate their time and talent, and
Englewood charges nothing for the treatment. A godsend to many
distinguished musicians in need, the fund was created at the request of
Gillespie, a longtime Englewood resident and Medical Center patient,
who died there in 1993.
For John Tropea, the opportunity to support the Dizzy Gillespie
Memorial Fund is met with sincere devotion and personal fulfillment. He
is both friend and patient to organizer Dr. Steve Gillon, and was a
former personal acquaintance of Gillespie himself. Tropea, a lifelong
area resident, is also grateful to Dr. Frank Forte, who coordinates
medical care under the fund, and the other healthcare professionals at
the Medical Center who have cared for him and his family over the
A seasoned veteran of the music industry, Tropea also recognizes the
importance of the fund for other performers who despite their hard work
and dedication find themselves without health insurance and in need of
help. The concert presents a unique situation for successful jazz
veterans to lend their time and talent to improve difficult and
sometimes life-threatening conditions faced by other musicians.
Spearheading the effort is Dr. Steve Gillon, a dedicated physician at
Englewood who is touched by the spirit of the fund, and by the
opportunity to play at a concert committed to the celebration of
generosity and humanism. He is also one of the physicians who donate
services for uninsured jazz musicians.
Gillon himself is an accomplished musician; he plays guitar for opening
band Sessions, joined by his brother, percussionist Josh Gillon of
Tenafly, bassist Patrick Heeney of Englewood, guitarist Jeff Solomon of
Englewood, vocalist Will Weir of Tenafly, and guest artist Ronen Mikay
of Norwood on the saxophone. Gillon and crew are naturally thrilled to
take the stage with guitar legend John Tropea and his supporting cast
of world-class musicians.
And why wouldn’t they be enthusiastic? The Tropea Band is an ensemble
of some of the most masterly and accomplished jazz musicians in the
world. Tropea himself is an internationally acclaimed master of his
instrument, who came into the spotlight recording and touring with
Deodato, developed as a much sought after studio musician in New York
City, and achieved jazz immortality as a well-recognized solo artist
and bandleader. A member of the Original Blues Brothers Band, Tropea
has also collaborated with Harry Chapin, Paul Simon, Dr. John, and
many, many other music greats. Recently, he has toured extensively in
Asia and his band has produced two more CDs, Standard Influence and
Standard Influence II: Rock Candy. His recent focus on live performance
marks yet another stage in a long and distinguished career.
The Tropea Band’s current personnel features saxophonist Lou Marini, an
original member of the Saturday Night Live Band. Marini was also “Blue
Lou” of the Blues Brothers films and still tours with the Original
Blues Brothers Band. Currently, he finds himself back in the area after
having just completed a national tour with James Taylor. Bassist
Anthony Jackson is well regarded as both a master of performance
(having collaborated with Al Dimeola, Chick Corea, and Steely Dan,
among many others), and one of the instrument’s leading “academicians,”
having helped develop the six-string contrabass years before the
popularization of five-string models. Lee Finkelstein will fill in for
Cliff Almond on drums, and Chris Palmaro commands the Hammond B3 organ
to round out the group.
Tune in to WFDU (89.1) on October 19 at 11 AM to hear John Tropea and
Steve Gillon discuss “Playing the Guitar .” For more information about
John Tropea and The Tropea Band, go to www.johntropea.com.
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