The Central City Stompers

May 31, 2024 @ 7:00PM — 9:00PM Eastern Time (US & Canada)

The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts Center: 605 Main St Middletown, CT 06457 Get Directions

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The Stompers were started at New Haven's Neighborhood Music School more than 20 years ago by Jim Fryer. When Jim moved to Manhattan he asked Art Hovey to join the NMS faculty and take over the Stompers. Brooks Low soon became the regular clarinetist, then Don Harvey, playing trombone. By then they had acquired Jim Caplik on cornet, and Rob Harper-Mangels joined soon after on second cornet. With the addition of Ed Stern on piano the band began to take shape.

When the pandemic hit, the NMS had to close. and that turned out to be the best thing that ever happened: They began rehearsing in Ed Stern's back yard, and Trevor Davis became the drummer. When the cold weather arrived, Trevor kindly invited the rest of the band to continue their weekly rehearsals at his Library Studio in Middletown, so the "Central City Stompers" became their new name. Because other musical groups were out of work, they found that good musicians were happy to sit in whenever they needed a substitute.

As the band continued to improve Art Hovey was inspired to write many more arrangements for the group. Don and Jim have also contributed arrangements of their own, bringing welcome variety to the CSS repertoire. Newer members of the band include clarinetist Andrew Anello, vocalist Patty Shea, and guitarist/vocalist Guy Iaccarino.

The music that they play is often called "Classic Jazz"; mostly popular tunes from the first half of the 20th century with liberal doses of blues and ragtime. Some call it "Dixieland", or "Hot Jazz", or "New Orleans Style". Their inspirations include King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, Turk Murphy's Jazz band, the South Frisco Jazz Band, the Yerba Buena Stompers, and many other bands that can still be heard today at traditional jazz festivals all over the world.

Links: Website | YouTube
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