Tune Band to celebrate 10 years of Gayville Hall

Ten years ago this week, the late Omaha saxophonist Preston Love, a player in the Count Basie, Ray Charles, and Motown bands, inaugurated the stage at Gayville Hall with a two-hour concert of jazz and rhythm-and-blues.classics.

Another great saxophonist,  C. J. Kocher of Vermillion, and hall regulars from rurual Wakonda, Owen DeJong, Nick Schwebach, and Larry Rohrer, known collectively as The Public Domain Tune Band, will celebrate Gayville Hall's anniversary at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, with a performance of popular tunes of the early 20th century through the 1930s.

The two-hour show will feature "tunes our parents and grandparents loved," according to Gayville Hall proprietor Doug Sharples of Wakonda.

He and his wife Judi started the smoke-and-alcohol-free music hall in 2001 after Gayville's grocery store closed, leaving the historic, 1880's merchantile building that now houses Gayville Hall empty on the town's mainstreet. 

The Tune Band was founded as a duo by singer-guitarist Schwebach and fiddler DeJong in 1979 to perform pre-World War II tunes by songwriters like Fats Waller and George and Ira Gershwin .

Rohrer joined the duo's five-piece band, Poker Alice, on bass in 1989 and has backed them also at many Tune Band gigs.

Doug Sharples suggested that Kocher, who teaches jazz at the USD and plays soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, sit in with the Tune Band and learn its repertoire two years ago so they could perform together at Gayville Hall, which they did twice that year.

Gayville Hall is located at 502 Washington Street in Gayville. Tickets are $12.50 at the door, or $15 reserved. Call 605-267-2859.

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