Lakeland News Posting

The best in jazz history: concert honors icons born 100 years ago

Posted: November 6, 2017 | Updated: November 20, 2017

There must have been something in the water in 1917. The Lakeland Civic Orchestra and the Lakeland Jazz Impact will combine for a concert highlighting the music of some of jazz music’s greatest contributors, who were all born in 1917. The concert, titled “A Centennial Celebration of: Monk, Gillespie, Dameron and Rich” will be held Sunday, Nov. 19, at 4 p.m., on the college’s main campus in the Dr. Wayne L. Rodehorst Performing Arts Center, 7700 Clocktower Drive, Kirtland, 44094.

Tickets are $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and $2 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the college’s box office on the date of the concert or in advance by calling 440.525.7134 or online through

About the musicians

Thelonious Monk (1917–1982) was a pianist and composer who contributed numerous pieces to standard jazz music, including some of the most popular jazz hits played today. He was one of the creators of bebop and a master of highly complex and dramatic improvisations. Monk was known for his distinctive suits, hats and glasses, as well as his habit of stopping his piano playing to dance to the music. Monk is a lifetime Grammy Award-winner and the second-most recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington.

John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie (1917-1993), called the Ambassador of Jazz, was one of the greatest trumpeters of all time. He was a virtuoso, bandleader, singer and composer, who, along with Monk, pioneered bebop and catapulted jazz music to immense popularity. He performed with many of the jazz greats, toured the world and garnered many awards, including a lifetime Grammy Award. Known for his blossoming cheeks, endearing personality and oddly bent horn, Gillespie became a legend and the inspiration to the most noted trumpet players in contemporary music.

Tadd Dameron (1917-1965), a native Clevelander, was a pianist and arranger who worked with many of the greats in jazz music in the 50s, including Gilliespie, Sarah Vaughn, Count Basie and Artie Shaw. He composed numerous bop standards that became signature pieces for popular artists. Known for his graceful lyricism, he used classical music to influence and enrich his compositions.

Buddy Rich (1917-1987), considered the greatest drummer of all time, was known for his phenomenal technique, powerful play and mind-blowing speed. He led his own big band, but also played with the major names of the time, including Tommy Dorsey, Harry James and Count Basie. Rich was a frequent guest on television, appearing in drum battles on “The Tonight Show,” The Merv Griffin Show” and “The Steve Allen Show.” He became the most significant inspiration to drummers worldwide.

About the civic music programs

Lakeland Community College provides community members the opportunity to express and advance their talents by performing in four music groups: the Lakeland Civic Band, the Lakeland Civic Chorus, the Lakeland Civic Jazz Orchestra and the Lakeland Civic Orchestra.Additionally, the college offers talented high school students Jazz Impact, an all-star high school music group.

For more information about the civic music groups and auditions, contact Jeri Lynn Pilarczyk in the Arts and Sciences Division at 440.525.7261 or email

Lakeland Community College is located at the I-90 East/ Route 306 exit. Free parking is available.

Related Links:

  • Arts at Lakeland
  • By: Jeri Pilarczyk

    Media Contact:
    Kerry Jonke