In conjunction with the “Cast of Blues” exhibit currently underway at the Guntersville Museum, the Lake City Jazz is back together and will play a blues concert at the Guntersville Library amphitheater Thursday, July 22, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m.
The Lake City Jazz is made up of John Harvey on drums, Norman Jenkins on keyboard, David Daniel on guitar and Micah Stott on bass.
“It had been awhile since we had played,” John said. “We were rehearsing for Tim Hayes’ project at the Whole Backstage before COVID hit and derailed that.”
Then the group lost beloved member John Federico to COVID.
“That sort of took the wind out of my sails for Tim’s project,” John said. Tim’s play, Love In the Country, had a homage to Federico. The hat and jacket he would’ve worn in the production hung on stage as part of the set.
John said it had probably been 2 years since the Lake City jazz had played. They did a fall concert for the Arts Council that time.
“We were inactive for awhile,” he said. “Then Julie Patton from the Museum contacted me and asked if we would like to play the blues concert or knew someone who would.”
He said it was a great opportunity to get the group together again.
“A lot of music we did that was jazz oriented was based in blues,” John said. “So much jazz and rocks came out of the blues one way or the other.”
He said about half the material they will perform Thursday night comes from their regular play list. The other half is blues they’ve added specifically for this show.
Did it take them long to get ready?
“Not as long as if we were starting from scratch,” John said. “We did a program for the opening night reception for members at the Museum when the blues exhibit opened. We rehearsed several times before that and had a great time. We had a lot of fun at opening night and got good feedback. It went well.”
He said part of the fun of this is in the preparation.
“It gives us a reason to get together and play and that in itself is very enjoyable,” John said.
The library amphitheater has stone and grass bench seating. It has hosted movies and children’s programs, but this will be the first concert. People are encouraged to bring chairs, stadium seats, anything that might make them more comfortable. Two food trucks, Homecoming Side Show and Barnes Catering, are expected to be on site. The event is also “bring your own beverage.”
The library will be providing bottled water.
John said it is exciting to be playing in something that is essentially a brand new venue.
“I remember being very excited when they built it,” he said.
In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the Museum.