Franz worked with the members of this band collectively and individually off and on throughout the years. He recorded the CD "Yellow Fire" with The Salty Dogs in 1990 and the last time they all played together was at Fitzgerald's in Berwyn, IL in 2005 for a benefit for New Orleans musicians following Hurricane Katrina. When Franz's daughter, Michelle, ran into trombonist Tom Bartlett at the Elkhart Jazz Festival over the summer, she knew that this was the next band to bring to Dowagiac for Franz's annual concert - and Mr. Bartlett and the rest of the Dogs agreed!
Not only did we have a virtual sell out for tickets for this concert, the audience was more than appreciative of the great music the band played for the three-hour set. The Wood Fire was swingin' all night and the place was still pretty full when the band called it a night. The band not only gave us some fabulous music, they interjected their sets with anecdotes about Franz - how they knew him, the songs he liked to do, how he influenced and inspired them. Those who didn't know Franz walked away with a greater appreciation of the man and his music and those who did know him, wer enjoyed hearing some fond memories of him from some of his close colleagues. So, if you sat this one out, make sure you don't miss next year's event!
A HUGE "Thank You" goes out to The Salty Dogs for an outstanding show, to Larry Seurynck and the staff of The Wood Fire for their consistent support in continuing these annual concerts in Franz's memory, to our media sponsor, Sunny 101.5 FM, to all the print and TV journalists who helped promote this event from Dowagiac to Chicago and to everybody who came out to enjoy the amazing music and inspiring memories of Franz.
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Enjoy the video and pictures below from the concert.......
The Salty Dogs (left to right): Lew Green, Jack Kuncl, Kim Cusack, John Cooper,
Mike Walbridge, Tom Bartlett and Wayne Jones
Click on an image below to see the larger version and related caption.