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Rich Szabo Organizes Benefit Concert

Normally, if one sees too many jazz concerts organized around one theme, it signifies a lack of imagination. In the case of benefits for the victims of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, however, the recent profusion of concerts signifies that jazz artists are treating the problem with the gravity and selflessness it deserves.

Livingston, N.J. trumpeter Rich Szabo (pictured left) organized the latest of these concerts, which will be held at the Orange Avenue School in Cranston, N.J. on Monday, Nov. 19. It will feature musician friends of Szabo’s from the New York area. And since the venue and the musicians’ time have been donated, every penny from the $10 suggested donation will go to the American Red Cross.

Many of these benefit concerts have featured outstanding artists in addition to an important cause, and while Szabo’s lineup may not be as starry as some, it promises an exuberant evening. Szabo has played in the bands of such greats as Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich, Tito Puente, and Guy Lombard (in fact, he played lead trumpet with the latter’s Royal Canadians). Now he leads the Rich Szabo Orchestra and closes the program.

The husband-and-wife duo of vocalist Nancy and guitarist Spencer Reed (as featured on BET’s Jazz Discovery Program) will also appear, as will versatile vocalist Keaton Douglas, whose most recent high-profile gig was at President Bush’s inauguration.

For more information on the concert, visit

Originally Published