Some of the best Dixieland Jazz Music in the nation will take place in Fox Lake May 16, 17, 18 as the Bunny Berigan Jazz Jubilee returns.
Jazz musicians from all over the nation will converge on Fox Lake for a weekend in honor of Bunny Berigan, the famous Trumpet player who was raised in Fox Lake.
The music will begin Friday afternoon 4 p.m. with a free concert at Mullin’s Drive-In, 102 Spring St. The concert will feature the Bunny Berigan Memorial Band led by the Rev. Al Townsend with Bob Schulz and Bob Hirsch, Wisconsin natives now living in California.
The band line-up includes The Bob Schulz All-Stars, The Vagabond Reeds led by David MacGregor, The Kaye Berigan 5Tet featuring a nephew of Bunny Berigan, The Barb City Stompers led by John Skillman and The Classic Red Hot Dixie led by Jack Trowbridge.
Special artist Steve Lilley of St. Louis will be on stage as a member of the Bunny Berigan Memorial Band.
Past scholarship winner Matt Miller will be leading his band Sunday at noon, letting the audience know what that scholarship meant to his career as a musician.
For the first time in 40 years of honoring “Bunny” Berigan, the Bunny Jubilee will feature a guest artist along with the bands. Steve Lilley, a cornet player from St. Louis, will be a member of the Bunny Berigan Memorial and will be heard playing a number with many of the other bands during the Jazz Jubilee. He will also be one of the featured speakers of the weekend.
Lilley is the leader of the St. Louis Stompers Classic Jazz Band, having joined the Stompers in 1994. Over the years he has played with a number of jazz groups. He has performed with numerous jazz bands including 10 years with Jean Kittrell. He continues to play with the St. Louis Rivermen, Red Lehr’s Powerhouse Five, and the Old Saint Louis Levee Band.
A retired high school teacher, Lilley has also written three history books and several magazine articles.
Also new to the festival is an auction of instruments to fund the scholarship awards. The awarding of scholarships had not taken place in the last few years due to a lack of funds, but this auction will kick off a drive to bring that important part of the festival back.
The scholarship for students living within Dodge County who are interested in pursuing a musical career began in 1975.
Donations are welcome and all are encouraged to put in a bid on the three new instruments offered this year: an alto saxaphone by Le’Var, a Le’Var trumpet and a clarinet. To bid on one of these instruments simply go to the web site www.bunnyberiganjazzjubilee.com Bids will be taken until 4 p.m. on May 17.
Tickets can be ordered by calling 920-928-6094 or printing the order blank on the website or using PayPal.