Birch Creek’s dedicated volunteers, known as The Associates, present a festive evening of social time, delicious food and incomparable music to raise funds to support the Birch Creek Play It Forward program. This year on Saturday October 12, Birch Creek’s most beloved Jazz II Session faculty performers Jeff Campbell (bass), Rick Haydon (guitar) and Reggie Thomas (piano) bring their Jazz Combo to the intimate setting of Juniper Hall for the 2019 Associates’ Fall Fundraiser.
Jeff, Rick and Reggie will make their pilgrimage back to Birch Creek to enchant our attendees with jazz greats from the American Popular Songbook from composers such as Duke Ellington, Cole Porter and George & Ira Gershwin. Attendees can expect a delightful night of laughter and fellowship, with music that will nourish the soul. Interested parties should register early as this event usually sells out.
This dynamic trio of Birch Creek Jazz stars will stay in Door County over the weekend so they can travel to Door County schools for the Artists in the Schools program. Each year for several years, the Skinner Foundation has supported this endeavor as a way for Birch Creek and its faculty to give back to the community by sharing their talent and experience with local public school music students.
The concert event on October 12 will begin at 5:30 PM with social time, followed by heavy hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar at 6:00 PM. The concert performance begins at 7:00 PM. Food is catered by Alexander’s of Door County. Tickets are available for purchase online at birchcreek.org/tickets or by phone at (920) 868-3763. The price is $65 per person and all proceeds benefit Birch Creek students. Office hours are Monday–Thursday, 9:00 AM–4:00 PM; Friday, 9:00 AM–2:00 PM.
Jeff Campbell (Rochester, NY) is Birch Creek’s Jazz I & Jazz II Program Director and Bass Faculty. He marked his 31st year at Birch Creek and his 22nd as Jazz Program Director in 2019. Campbell is an Associate Professor and Chair of Jazz Studies & Contemporary Media at the Eastman School of Music. He has carved out an impressive career as a bass player of extraordinary artistry, fluent in both the jazz and classical idioms. As a jazz bassist, he has performed with Marian McPartland, Gene Bertoncini, Rich Perry, Trio East, Harold Jones, and the Eastman Jazz Quartet featuring Harold Danko, and has appeared on McPartland’s Piano Jazz program on National Public Radio. In high demand across the globe, Campbell has performed at such prestigious European musical events as the Nice, Montreux, North Sea, Riga, and Parnu jazz festivals and has also appeared in the former Soviet Union and the Baltic Republics. Additionally, he is a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra bass section. Campbell has numerous CDs to his credit.
Rick Haydon (Edwardsville, IL) is Professor Emeritus of Music at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. He currently teaches private applied jazz guitar and directs the jazz guitar ensemble. In his 30-plus year career at SIUE, Haydon played a key role in the development and evolution of the jazz program, as well as the university’s recording studio. He also serves on the summer faculty of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Band Director Academy and has numerous CDs to his credit. In 2019, Haydon marked his 20th year at Birch Creek.
Reggie Thomas (DeKalb, IL) is a pianist/organist who has been Coordinator of Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University for four years, after three years as Professor of Jazz Piano at MSU and 20 years as Professor of Music at SIU-Edwardsville. Reggie fronts his own groups including the Mardra/Reggie Thomas Ensemble, OGD on Hammond organ and with other artists including Vincent Gardner, Will Matthews, Ann Hampton Callaway and Carl Allen/Rodney Whitaker. He is on the faculty for Carnegie Hall’s Inaugural Jazz National Youth Orchestra and a member of The Count Basie Orchestra, and a rhythm section accompanist for the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competitions. Reggie has been a longtime consultant/clinician for Jazz at Lincoln Center for the Essentially Ellington Program and Band Director Academy. His most recent recording is “Matters of the Heart” (MRTJazz).
Birch Creek Music Performance Center is Door County’s Residential Summer Music Academy in Egg Harbor, WI, for advanced young musicians ages 13-19. With a performance emphasis, students are taught by nationally known performers and educators during the day, and perform alongside them in concerts at night. Four academy sessions focus on Percussion & Steel Band, Symphony, and Big Band Jazz.
Next Concert: December 1: Christmas at Birch Creek, 2:30 PM Matinee & 7:00 PM Evening Concert