Bellefonte

Summer Jazz Celebration hits the right notes in Bellefonte

The Friends Band entertains the crowd during the 2015 Jazz Summer Celebration in Talleyrand Park on Saturday, July 25, 2015.
The Friends Band entertains the crowd during the 2015 Jazz Summer Celebration in Talleyrand Park on Saturday, July 25, 2015. CDT photo

The county seat became Centre County’s capital of jazz Saturday.

The 2015 Summer Jazz Celebration presented by JazzPA included nearly a dozen shows at Talleyrand Park and the Match Factory including headliner Gene Bertoncini. Another act, Big Coronas, performed at Happy Valley Brewing Co. in College Township.

But it wasn’t just for veteran musicians.

When Daniel Zimmerman, 17, stood up and played a solo on the saxophone during “Love is here to stay,” some in the crowd at Talleyrand Park gave him a standing ovation.

Seven-year-old Brady Korman even pretended to play along with the solo using his blowup toy saxophone.

Zimmerman, the a Bellefonte Area High School student, did two more solos with the 13-member Bellefonte Band.

“We practice all year and do a lot of practice on our own,” said Zimmerman, who’s been with the band for four years.

And leading up to the festival, a group of the teen musicians organized weekly practices.

They were followed by the Friends Band with Catherine Dupuis, a State College native and JazzPA president.

Dupuis said the three-day event was moved from State College to Bellefonte in 2008.

For its 11th year, the event focused on local musicians.

“One of the reasons why we founded this jazz festival is, not only are we bringing really good, high class jazz in from New York City, but we are also celebrating all the jazz that lives and works right here where we live in central Pennsylvania,” she said.

Other musical acts included the Deacons of Dixieland, Ramblin’ Dan Stevens and the Rick Hirsch 4.

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