Old-time tunes to swing in Gayville June 16

The Public Domain Tune Band and talented guests, including Los Angeles saxophonist Roger Neumann, Vermillion vocalist Becca Gehm, and Omaha drummer Joey Gulizia, take the stage in Gayville at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, for "Gayville Hall's Big Time, Two-Hour Jazz Jam."

Larry Rohrer, C.J. Kocher, Owen DeJong (shown, l. to r.), and the Public Domain Tune Band vocalist Nick Schwebach welcome Los Angeles saxophonist Roger Neumann and other special guests to "Gayville Hall's Big Time, Two-Hour Jazz Jam" at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, for an evening of classic pre-World War II popular songs accompanied by the improvisations of great jazz artists. 

The show will feature "tunes that our parents and grandparents loved," according to Gayville Hall proprietor Doug Sharples, including songs from the 1920s and '30s by popular American composers like Fats Waller, George Gershwin, and Duke Ellington.

The Tune Band was founded as a duo in 1979 by vocalist and guitarist Nick Schwebach and fiddler Owen DeJong, both of rural Wakonda, after an earlier rockabilly band they playedin broke up.  The duo started performing early 20th-century popular tunes they learned from 78 r.p.m. records and older musicians they befriended in Clay County.

Schwebach's vocals sometimes remind listeners of those by such iconic and authentic vocalists of the early jazz and pop era as Louis Armstrong and Jack Teagarden.  Gehm, still in her 20s, will add a fresh, female spin to several old-time classics that she'll sing.

Larry Rohrer, who is also part of Schwebach-and-DeJong's five-piece band, Poker Alice, plays bass with the Tune Band, and C.J. Kocher plays saxophones, after first sitting in with band three years ago for another show at Gayville Hall.  Kocher teaches saxophone and jazz studies at USD and has performed behind pop stars and in big bands, symphony orchestras, and jazz groups.

Special guest star Roger Neumann brings the "Big-Time" to the show.  He plays the tenor, soprano and baritone saxophones, flute and clarinet and has performed with Woody Herman, the Lee Castle/Jimmy Dorsey band, Ray Anthony, Les Brown, Bob Crosby, and the Beach Boys. His music has been featured in the Showtime movies "Atlantis," "Three Men and a Little Lady," and "Mumford." He appeared in the theatrical movies "LaBamba," "My Favorite Year," and "For the Boys."

Neumann has written music for Buddy Rich, Count Basie, Ray Charles, Ray Brown, The Beach Boys, and Jerry Garcia. He has also written arrangements and compositions for the T.V. series "The Young and the Restless," "Moonlighting," "Hollywood Housewives," and "My Favorite Martian."

He was honored, along with pianist Herbie Hancock, singer Annie Ross and others, at the 20th Annual Jazz Awards in Los Angeles in 2002, receiving "the jazz composer and arranger of the year" award.  Not bad for a guy born in North Dakota, raised in northwest Iowa, and educated at Morningside College in Sioux City. 

Drummer Gulizia has played with the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra, the Nebraska Brass, and the Omaha Symphony.  He has performed in Japan, Europe and the Caribbean, including gigs on many cruise ships.

Gayville Hall is at 502 Washington Street in Gayville. Reserved seats cost $15. Call 605-267-2859. Tickets are $12.50 at the door.

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