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Tribute to Louis Armstrong, Al Hirt and other New Orleans jazz greats coming to Elks

Dennis Rowland

Dennis Rowland

PRESCOTT – If you like New Orleans jazz, there’s a tribute concert coming to the Elks tailor-made for you.

It’s called “A Tribute to Louis Armstrong, Al Hirt and the Legacy of New Orleans.”

Mike Vax and the Great American Jazz Band bring the tunes to the stage.

“Of course, they’ve had so many tributes to rock bands, and we thought, in keeping with the kind of thing they’ve been doing this would be prefect,” Vax said.

Vax lived in New Orleans in the 1970s, and has heard people in Prescott asking for jazz, so he decided to stage a jazz-tribute show at the Elks.

The show will be full of well-known songs like “Hello, Dolly,” “What a Wonderful World,” “Basin Street Blues,” and “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans.”

“Dixieland, or traditional jazz, whichever you want to call it, is such happy music,” Vax said. “People that haven’t heard it before, they just fall in love with it.”

Count Basie vocalist Dennis Rowland will join Mike and the band. Rowland’s musical pedigree includes a list of who’s who in the jazz world. He was the voice of the world-renowned Count Basie Orchestra between 1977 and 1984, where he shared the stage with Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Joe Williams and Tony Bennett.

If you go:

A Tribute to Louis Armstrong,

Al Hirt, and the Legacy of New Orleans

Friday, Aug. 26, 7 p.m.

Elks Theatre, 117 E. Gurley Street

Tickets $25, $22, and $18 for seniors and 18

and under.

Available at the box office, by phone at

928-777-1370 or online at

More information: 928-777-1576 or

Also appearing will be the vocal duo from Los Angeles, Scott Whitfield and Ginger Berglund.

The Great American Jazz Band and is made up of local favorites: Jack Petersen on guitar and piano, Dave Russell on Saxophone and Clarinet, Larry Kantor on Drums, Selwyn Reams on Bass, Scott Whitfield on Trombone, and, of course, Vax on Trumpet, Flugelhorn and Cornet.

“Sometimes, people think jazz is far-out, post-bebop stuff, and this music is not far-out,” Vax said, “It’s music that everybody can understand, and it’s music that people will have heard and remember.”

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