Phil Ogilvie’s Rhythm Kings (PORK)
Tuesday, June 12 @ 8:15pm
One hundred years ago a movement was just emerging to bring big bands into ballrooms and social clubs for upscale dance parties. Robust, well trained, and well rehearsed, the best big bands became the gold standard, their band leaders the celebrities of the day. For 18 years, pianist and arranger James Dapogny, emeritus U-M music theory, and sousaphonist, cornetist Chris Smith have collected the finest jazz musicians in Ann Arbor in a group patterned after those early bands, calling themselves P.O.R.K. after Phil Oglivie’s Rhythm Kings. They have long held a Sunday evening residency at the Zal Gaz Grotto Club. A four-piece rhythm section, saxophonists, clarinetists, trumpets, and trombone offer listeners and dancers upbeat, beautifully arranged displays of Bennie Moten, Duke Ellington, Jean Goldkette, Fud Livingstone, Jelly Roll Morton, and other favorite composers of the era. Adding to the relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere, Dapogny and Smith like to weave in anecdotes and historical asides, bringing good humor to their love of these forms. Current band members are Andrew Bishop, Mike Jones, Tom Bogardus (saxes and clarinets), Paul Finkbeiner, Ingrid Racine (trumpets), Gene Bartley (trombone), Rod McDonald (guitar and banjo), Van Hunsberger (drums and percussion), James Dapogny (pianist and music director), and Chris Smith (Sousaphone, band manager).