Jazz@First Series – Jelly Roll Morton Revisited, featuring the Buffalo Ridge Jazz Band
Sunday, March 19 @ 2pm | First Unitarian Church

Series Sponsor: Al Harris

Jelly Roll Morton was the first great jazz composer, and his melodies and arrangements helped define early New Orleans jazz. Phil DeGreg is joined by the Buffalo Ridge Jazz Band to play this joyful classic music that dates back to the beginning of jazz.

The Buffalo Ridge Jazz Band has delighted audiences around the world with its wonderful music and good humor for over twenty years. Musicians of Buffalo Ridge are: Bob Adams, banjo and vocals; Sally Lukasik, trumpet and vocals (accordion on Buzzard’s Parade); Joe Lukasik, clarinet; Bob Butters, trombone; Mike Ward, tuba; (Phil Stikeleather, tuba on Buffalo Blues and Buzzard’s Parade); Gus Ross, drums.

Phil DeGreg began playing the piano in his childhood and now performs as a jazz pianist internationally. His earliest jazz influences were Bud Powell and Bill Evans, but he is accomplished and comfortable in a wide range of jazz styles, ranging from mainstream to bebop to Brazilian jazz. A graduate of Yale and the University of North Texas, he toured with the Woody Herman Orchestra in the 1980’s, and has 10 CD’s to his credit as a leader. For 13 years he accompanied many national and international jazz artists in the house trio in Cincinnati’s famous Blue Wisp Jazz Club. He has been on staff with the renowned Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops since 1983, and has performed and taught in Europe and South America.

Phil DeGreg is the retired Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts study grants. In 2008 he was awarded a 4 month Fulbright Fellowship as a lecturer in Brazil.

His text “Jazz Keyboard Harmony” is a practical text for teaching jazz harmony for all musicians, and is used all over the world in universities and for private study.

Learn more about Phil DeGreg on his website http://phildegreg.com.

Jelly Roll Morton was an American pianist and songwriter best known for influencing the formation of modern day jazz during the 1920s. Born on October 20, 1890 (some sources say 1885), in New Orleans, Louisiana, Jelly Roll Morton cut his teeth as a pianist in his hometown’s bordellos. An early innovator in the jazz genre, he rose to fame as the leader of Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers in the 1920s. A series of interviews for the Library of Congress rekindled interest in his music shortly before his death, on July 10, 1941, in Los Angeles, California.