FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dunn, Executive Director
Box Office: (860) 283-6250
Event Dates: Slidin’
into Spring May 24th @ 8pm
Location: Thomaston Opera House, 158 Main
Street, Thomaston, CT
the Live Music season with the premiere of Slidin’ into Spring featuring the
Thomaston Jazz Orchestra on the Thomaston Opera House Main Stage.
A great night of jazz featuring the Thomaston
Jazz Orchestra (TJO) and guest artist Ben Griffin on trombone. Also,
introducing vocalist Ruth Petkaitis who will be serenading the crowd with
upbeat and soulful numbers and Juan Cardona, Jr. in a special joint
collaboration on the theater organ. Under the direction of Jim Luurtsema the
TJO performs standard charts from Big Band classics through today's
contemporary artists with a professional sound and energetic vibe on Saturday
May 24th @ 8pm at the Thomaston Opera House.
Theatre patrons and jazz enthusiasts
alike have been clamoring for Live Music to come back to the Opera House stage!
and TOH volunteer Jim Luurtsema directs
the 22-piece orchestra comprised of professional musicians from surrounding
towns in CT, many of which are teachers, traveling performers and local
community band, orchestra and symphony members. Seeing a need for a larger and
more contemporary sound and noting this absence in Litchfield County, Mr.
Luurtsema gathered former band mates, professional contacts and friends and put
together a performing jazz orchestra to represent Thomaston on the Opera House
stage and in other area venues.
premiere concert will feature guest artist Ben Griffin, a Jazz performer with a
BA from the Manhattan School of Music. From 1999 to 2001 Ben was a featured
soloist in the original cast of Blast!,
which won a Tony Award in 2001 for Best Theatrical Event. (If you saw the televised version you may recall seeing Ben ride across
the stage on a tall unicycle while playing his trombone!) From 2005 to 2010
he was assistant principal trombonist in the Coast Guard band. During his
career Ben has performed in myriad ensembles in the jazz world, including the
Vanguard Orchestra, the Mingus Big Band, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the Cab
Calloway Orchestra, the Birdland Big Band, the Galvanized Jazz Band, and many
more. Commercially, Ben has performed with Frankie Valli, Darlene Love, Nancy
Wilson, Keely Smith, Isaac Hayes, Lou Christie, Jerry Vivino, and has appeared
on the Today Show and on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Now residing in
Hartford, Mr. Griffin remains an active freelance musician.
with the TJO is Ruth Petkaitis, a soulful vocalist who finds her roots in
instrumental music, as a clarinetist. After earning a performance degree from
the acclaimed Boston University School of Fine Arts, Ruth won an audition with
the Air Force field band and she performed both stateside and abroad. Ruth’s
vocal interpretations have been praised for her warmth, depth and clarity. Her talented
vocal style will take you back to the days of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah
Vaughan, but with a twist that is uniquely her own.
special guest cameo by Classical Organist, Juan Cardona Jr. will entertain
patrons with a collaborative musical number featuring the 1926 Marr-Colton
Theatre Pipe Organ which has been housed in the Opera House since the 1970’s.
Juan is an Opera House icon and has performed a great number of pre-show
concerts during each theatrical season. The TJO will play a classic Big Band
chart in tandem with the unique and majestic sound of the historic theatre
recently seen during Light Up Thomaston 2013, the TJO received complimentary
reviews with patrons and visitors staying late into the evening to enjoy the
extended set filled with familiar tunes, Latin rhythms, quirky pieces and
holiday favorites. Following the show the orchestras was asked to perform Monday
August 11th @ 8pm for the Thomston Summer Concert Series held in
Seth Thomas Park. "As the Co-Chair of the Fine Arts Connection Summer
Concert series, I was very impressed and thought how fabulous it would be to
include them for our 2014 summer series”, a remark by Carol Pytel, Music
Director of Fine Arts Connection of Thomaston, Inc. “Their sound is tight, and
there is a high level of professionalism with the musicians. They all
seem interested in playing great music together!"
Community Theatre Executive Director, Jeff Dunn, is “…pleased that the TJO has
found a “Home” with the historic Thomaston Opera House and (he) hopes this
premiere concert will entice patrons to come enjoy a new form of entertainment
now available at this incredible and unique venue, with it’s impressive
acoustics and vintage ascetic…”
Thomaston Jazz Orchestra presents Slidin’
into Spring Saturday May 24th @ 8pm on the Thomaston Opera House
stage, 158 Main Street, Thomaston CT 06787.
are $23.50 for adults and $19.50 for seniors and students. All seats are reserved. For more information
on subscriptions, gift certificates and group sales contact or visit the Box
Office (860) 283-6250 Monday – Saturday 1pm – 6pm @ 158 Main Street Thomaston,
us online: www.landmarkcommuntytheatre.org
to purchase tickets for this event or any production of the 2014 Season.