Bethlehem Press

Thursday, January 23, 2020
CONTRIBUTED PHOTOPete Reichlin CONTRIBUTED PHOTOPete Reichlin

Pete Reichlin Quintet at Pa. Jazz Society ‘Jam’

Thursday, November 21, 2019 by GEORGE VANDOREN Special to The Press in Focus

Pete Reichlin brings a quintet to the Pennsylvania Jazz Society “Fall Jam Session,” 2 - 4:30 p.m. Nov. 24, Dewey Banquet Hall, 502 Durham St., Hellertown.

The quintet is expected to open with a set of traditional jazz tunes and selections from the Great American Songbook before opening the floor to jazz musicians in attendance wanting to sit in with the band.

Reichlin brings a wealth of background to his playing. He is principal trombonist for the Capital Philharmonic of New Jersey since its inception in 2013 and is a 30-year plus member of the Blue Skies Jazz Ensemble. He received a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College.

Reichlin was principal trombone with the Trenton Symphony until it disbanded. He was a member of the Trenton Brass Quintet. He toured with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera National Company. He played traditional jazz with the Independence Hall Jazz Band.

Of the jam session Reichlin says, “We’ll play some Dixieland, ‘20s and ‘30s style jazz, plus the American Songbook in a more traditional style.

“Our group will play first. Then we’ll open it to guest players. There will be a sign-up sheet. The admission charge is waived for people who come to sit in. We’ll probably have a Dixieland fake book available and we won’t purposely try to stump the guests.”

In addition to Reichlin, trombone, tuba and electric bass, the quintet includes Al Harrison, cornet; Bob Rawlins, reeds, Nancy Rawlins, keyboard, and Audrey Puzyr Spies, drums.

“We like to alternate group members from year to year and we don’t do it every year. We want to have a variety of players. Al Harrison played six years ago. The Rawlins have never done the jam session.”

Harrison plays jazz and classical styles on trumpet, cornet and fluegelhorn. He leads the Al Harrison Dixieland Band. He has a music education degree from Temple University, where he was the first trumpeter to play jazz in a senior recital

Rawlins is professor and coordinator of music theory in the Department of Music at Rowan University. He has a doctorate in musicology and multiple master’s degrees. Rawlins has authored several books, the most recent of which is “Tunes of the Twenties” (2015).

Nancy Rawlins received a doctorate from Combs College of Music, a master’s from Westminster Choir College, and a bachelor’s in music education from Rowan University. She is an organist, pianist, choral director and arranger. She teaches music theory, choral arranging and organ at Rowan University.

She has appeared in solo recitals and ensemble performances in churches and concert halls, including Kimmel Center, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. She toured Italy with a traditional jazz band.

Audrey Puzyr Spies received a bachelor’s from Trenton State University, now the College of New Jersey. There she studied with famed drummer Tony DeNicola. She is an instrumental music teacher for the Flemington Raritan School District. She plays in orchestras for music theater shows in the Delaware Valley-Philadelphia area.

Reichlin, who has been on the board of the Pennsylvania Jazz Society for several years, is very enthusiastic about the performance.

“The venue is acoustically very pleasing,” he says. “We do it as an acoustic job with very little amplification. It’s just a wonderful place to hear live music.”

Food and drink are available at the concert. Tickets: at the door. Admission is free for students and for musicians who perform in the jam session.