Friday, July 16, 2010


The month of July will come to a swinging conclusion on July 31 as the Peter Hand Big Band swings into Hackettstown, featuring the incomparable Houston Person on saxophone as guest artist. With an 8 PM performance, this will be the final concert in this year’s popular Jazz in July series at the Centenary Stage on the campus of Centenary College in Hackettstown.

Veteran Jazz-man Peter Hand has been on the New York jazz scene for many years, has written and arranged for the likes of George Coleman, and Lee Konitz, and has assembled a cadre of upper-echelon artists to play dynamic arrangements of the Great American Songbook for this special concert. An All Music Guide review hails musical artist Houston Person as” the guttiest of the gutbucket saxophonists of the soul-jazz age –with a tenor sound that is as pure as it can be, with some of the most lush, elegant tenor sounds ever heard, played with a legato finesse.” Person enjoyed a 30-year musical partnership with vocalist Etta Jones and has recorded with Lena Horne, Lou Rawls and Horace Silver. He is recognized as one of today’s leading instrumentalists.

In addition to Person on sax , the band features Valery Ponomarev, Eddie Allen, Cecil Bridgewater and Brian Paraschi on trumpets and flugelhorns; John Mosca, Sam Burtis, Vincent Gardner on trombones; Bruce Williams, Jay Brandford, Don Braden, Ralph LaLama and Kenny Gerger on woodwinds and saxophones; James Weidman on piano, Harvie S on bass and Steve Johns on drums, with leader Hand also on guitar.

Tickets for The Peter Hand Big Band with Houston Person are $30 in advance and $35 at the door and are available at the Centenary Stage Company box office at 908.979.0900 and online at

Tickets are also available In Hackettstown at Skylands Community Bank, Mama’s and CafĂ© Bacci, PrickleyPear Restaurant, Panther Valley Pharmacy, Hackettstown Trading Post and Hackettstown Floors .

Jazz in July at the Centenary Stage is made possible through the leadership of Ed Coyne and Coyne Enterprises, with the additional support of the Heath Village and Skylands Community Bank. The Centenary Stage Company is a not-for-profit performing arts series dedicated to serving as a cultural resource for audiences of the Skylands region with professional music, theatre and dance events and arts education programs throughout the year. All programs at the Centenary Stage Company are made possible in part through the visionary support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts and CSC Members and Sponsors.