It was all about the "young guns" on Saturday, November 6th, at the 4th Annual Franz Jackson Jazz Celebration!

Chicago's Kimbrough & Company with special guest Lisa Roti, heated up a chilly early November night with some smokin' hot jazz for a capacity crowd at the Wood Fire Italian Trattoria in Dowagiac, Michigan in honor of Franz.

Having just released their latest CD, "Wandering", Kimbrough and Company, fronted by guitarist Brent Kimbrough, brought its hybrid of jazz, blues, and swing and played some of Franz's standards such as "Sunny Side of The Street" and the classic "Body and Soul" along with some of their own compositions including "Bail Out Blues".  The band draws from a collective accumulation of backgrounds, disciplines, and educations as diverse as jazz, blues, rock, classical, R&B, and every Latin style and incarnation.  Brent was a huge fan of Franz's, and, though he never had the opportunity to play with him, has immense respect for his music and life and he and his group were thrilled to be invited to play this concert.

The always outstanding Lisa Roti was one of Franz's proteges.  He appeared on her debut CD, "Comes Love" and endorsed her as one of the up and coming vocalists on Chicago's jazz scene.  She was also on hand as one of the performers for Franz's 95th birthday concert and still considers him as part of her family.  As expected, Lisa captivated the audience with her amazing, smoky, sexy voice and brought new life to such old standards as "Cheek to Cheek" and one of Franz's mainstays, "Struttin' With Some Barbecue".  Closing with another of his signature tunes, "What A Wonderful World", Lisa reminded us all how inspirational and special Franz was and continues to be.

And the crowd was in for a treat with a surprise guest, vocalist Judi K., on hand.  Judi worked for a number of years with Franz and Jim Beebe's Chicago Jazz Band and made the drive in from Chicago with Lisa for this special event.  Judi didn't just sit and listen, she performed two great classics, "Almost Like Being In Love" and "It's Been A Long, Long Time", a tune she recorded with Franz on her album of the same name. 

Almost as fabulous as the music and performances was Wood Fire's menu.  Larry Seurynk and his staff have been solid supporters of the Jazz Celebration from day one and always make sure that the audience has a great time at their restaurant.

Thanks again to Kimbrough and Company (Brent Kimbrough, Chris Greene, Kurt Schweitz, and Ben Scholz), Lisa Roti, Judi K., the Wood Fire Italian Trattoria, all the print and TV journalists who helped promote this event from Dowagiac to Chicago and everyone who came out to make the 4th Annual Franz Jackson Jazz Celebration another night to remember!

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Enjoy the videos and pictures below from the concert.......
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Franz Jackson

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The 2nd Annual
Franz Jackson Jazz Celebration
The 3rd Annual Franz Jackson
Jazz Celebration
Still Swingin':
Franz Jackson Celebrates 95!
Brent Kimbrough
Lisa Roti
Media For The 4th
Annual Franz Jackson
Jazz Celebration:
South Bend Tribune Article - October 31, 2010
WSBT-TV News Interview -
October 30, 2010 
(Video footage courtesy of WSBT-TV)
WSBT-TV Business Break -
October 27, 2010 
(Video footage courtesy of WSBT-TV)
WNDU-TV News Interview -
October 26, 2010 
(Video footage courtesy of WNDU-TV)
4th Annual
Franz Jackson
Jazz Celebration:
Kimbrough & Company with Guest Vocalist Lisa Roti
Lijit Search
Kimbrough & Company
(from left:  Chris Greene (sax), Kurt Schweitz (bass), Brent Kimbrough (guitar)Brent Kimbrough (guitar) and Kurt Schweitz (bass)Nearly capacity at the Wood Fire!Chris Greene (sax), Kurt Schweitz (bass) and Brent Kimbrough (guitar)Brent Kimbrough soloingJudi K. enjoys the music (background Franz's granddaughter, Jade and daughter, Michelle)Kurt Schweitz takes a solo (Ben Scholz on drums)Lisa Roti brings it!Kurt Schweitz on bass, Lisa Roti, Brent Kimbrough on guitarThe beautiful Lisa RotiKurt Schweitz (he may look young, but this dude can play!)Chris Greene - great tenor!Breant KimbroughLisa RotiBrent KimbroughLisa RotiChris GreeneLisa Roti and Franz's granddaughter, JadeLisa Roti and Brent KimbroughChris Greene (sax), Kurt Schweitz (bass), Ben Scholz (drums)Lisa Roti - feelin' it!Chris Greene takes a soloBrent KimbroughJudi K does her version of "Almost Like Being In Love"Lisa Roti doing a really great arrangement of "Cheek to Cheek"Judi K.Chris Greene (sax), Judi K., Brent Kimbrough (guitar)Chris Green (sax), Ben Scholtz (drums)Judi K.Judi K., Kurt Schweitz (bass)Judi K. with "It's Been A Long, Long Time"Lisa Roti doing Franz's signature tune, "What A Wonderful World"Owners of the Wood Fire Italian Trattoria, Larry Seurynk and his lovely wife, enjoy the musicBen ScholtzLarry Seurynk, Lisa Roti and Judi K. chat at the end of the night
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Photo Credit:  David Jewell
Kimbrough & Company
"Sunny Side of The Street"
(Brent Kimbrough on vocals)
Kimbrough & Company