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Dowagiac Daily News
September 29, 2011

Fifth annual Franz jazz welcomes back Judi K
Actual Story

By John Eby

It’s time for the fifth annual Franz Jackson Jazz Celebration.

This year welcomes back a performer who was here to honor Franz at his 95th birthday concert — the veteran Chicago jazz vocalist, Judi K.

Jackson once said, “Judi K has a voice that is true and mellow. A fine singer.”

Judi is included in jazz historian Scott Yanow’s book “Jazz Singers:  The Top 500” and has been the featured singer with such notable musicians as the late Jethro Burns, the Dick Kress Swing Orchestra, the Jerry King Orchestra and Jim Beebe’s Chicago Jazz.

Judi has honed her skills in a number of diverse settings and she sings the gamut from vaudeville to standards with the finesse only a seasoned professional can offer.

Judi and Franz had a long history together, performing with each other in various groups and settings off and on for nearly 20 years.

She was on hand to honor Franz at his 95th birthday gala concert in 2007 and is thrilled to be back to pay tribute to him this year with her own show.

Judi will be backed by three of Michiana’s favorite musicians:  Jim Pickley on piano, Darrel Tidaback on bass and Billy “Stix” Nicks on drums.

This is truly an evening that shouldn’t be missed!

Admission for the concert is $15 for adults, $5 for children ages 5-12 and kids under 5 will be admitted free.

They are once again fortunate to have the support of one of their favorite venues, the Wood Fire Trattoria in Dowagiac, so, mark your calendars now for Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m. and call Wood Fire at (269) 782-0007 to make your reservation early. Seating will fill up quickly!

As an added bonus, this year’s concert attendees will have the exclusive opportunity to pre-order the upcoming CD “Franz Jackson Celebrates 95!   The Last Live Concert of a Chicago Jazz Legend.”

This still-in-production two-disc set will feature the extraordinary music from Franz’s 95th birthday concert in November 2007 — the inaugural event of what has now become the Franz Jackson Jazz Celebration!

Attendees will have the first opportunity to purchase the CD at a significant savings compared to the retail price and all proceeds will go toward production of the recording.

A larger-scale fundraising campaign, including pre-sales, will kick off in the spring, but this is your chance to be the first to pre-order the recording and save nearly 40 percent.

“Please join us for ‘An Evening With Judi K’ and share the music and memories as we again honor the great Franz Jackson,” says his daughter, Michelle Jewell of Niles.

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