Dick Durham Returns to Mainstay Nov. 18

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Dick Durham

The spectacular jazz pianist Dick Durham returns to The Mainstay in Rock Hall, Saturday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m to celebrate his 75th birthday with the music he loves in a jazz jam featuring a multitude of friends. Admission is $20 if purchased in advance and $23 at the door. Information and advance ticket sales are available at the Mainstay’s website. Reservations to pay at the door can be made by calling 410-639-9133.

For his 75th birthday, pianist extraordinaire Dick Durham has pulled out all the stops and assembled a group of musicians including 3 Navy band masters and, in a cameo appearance, Mainstay Founder, Tom McHugh. The musicians will join Durham on stage in various configurations for an evening of exquisite instrumental jazz, full of the beauty of the American Song Book and full of surprises. This will be a varied evening of jazz, from solos to large ensemble numbers, all played with virtuosity, emotion and humor.

Many of Dick Durham’s friends and associates from the jazz world, from the Eastern Shore and beyond will join him on stage. In a note to the Mainstay staff, Durham said that joining him would be “James Herron on drums, a noted voice actor who has won a Cannes Film Festival Award and awards for his portrayal of Sam Elliot. James Fowler, on bass is an exquisite Navy band musician. Blake Cramer, a frequent bandmate, is a retired Navy band musician who studied with Gary Burton at Berklee School of Music. Dick Glass on flugelhorn also is retired from the Navy band. John Harris on trombone is a Washington College graduate, the owner of Chesapeake Light Craft, an Annapolis boat building company and a fine musician. Bob Offerman on electric bass frequently plays with me. He is a retired IBM executive who played for many years in New York and resides in Queen Anne’s County. Billy McHenry is a jazz drummer who performs regularly at 49 West in Annapolis and other venues. John Starr on flute is a Washington College graduate who performs in Annapolis regularly and has played with me for 35 years. Aiden Pratt is a terrific up and coming drummer who is a senior at Kent County High School. Tom McHugh, on harmonica, is known to many as the founder of The Mainstay.”

John Wilson in the New York Times once proclaimed that Dick Durham has “A style approaching that of a quartet.” He is a brilliant jazz pianist who is also a wonderful arranger and composer and holds a strong belief that melody, harmony, and rhythm are essential components of jazz. Among his early influences were Oscar Peterson, Errol Garner, Teddy Wilson and Monte Alexander but his style is uniquely his own. He has performed in concert with Count Basie, Stanley Turentine and Grover Washington.

His compositions have earned him two separate Maryland Governor’s Citations for excellence in the performing arts in 2003 and 2005. Ballads from his original musicals (adaptations of ‘She Stoops to Conquer’ and ‘Celluloid’) reflect on the joy and pathos of life. In May 2010, his musical “Celluloid” with Earl Lewin was produced in New York City at the 45th St. Theater.

Durham lives in Church Hill, MD and holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in music.

Note the 7 p.m. start time. For the darker, cooler fall and winter months, The Mainstay is experimenting with an earlier start time for their Saturday concerts.

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street. It is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit dedicated to the arts, serving Rock Hall and the surrounding region. It is committed to presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting. Wine, beer, sodas and snacks are available at the bar.

The Mainstay is supported by ticket sales, fundraising including donations from friends and audience members and an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.

Upcoming Mainstay performances include:

November 20  Joe Holt welcomes Steve Abshire

November 27  Joe Holt welcomes Jeff Davis and Ray Anthony

December 2    Philip Dutton and The Alligators

December 4    Joe Holt welcomes Geoff Gallante

December 9    Chris Owen and The Knockdown

December 11  Joe Holt welcomes John Schratwieser and Melissa McGlynn

December 17  Harp & Soul

December 18  Joe Holt welcomes Sylvia Frazier

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