Jazz Concert Started with a Favor

One good turn can lead to another and when it comes to music lover, promoter and producer Neal Tilghman, he chose to repay a small favor with a big concert. Several years ago Tilghman needed a meeting room somewhere between Smyrna, Delaware and Annapolis, Maryland. He had been trying to coordinate an interview with jazz greats Chuck and Robert Redd and having trouble finding a place. After talking to Joe Byrd and finding out that the Queen Anne’s County Arts Council had booked them for performances, he gave them a call. A meeting was scheduled in the Council’s Centre for the Arts and the interview finally came to fruition. It was a small deed that left a big impression on Tilghman.

Last year he contacted the Arts Council with an offer – he would sponsor a jazz concert in Centreville, paying for all concert expenses. “It’s not unusual for people to have great fund-raising ideas, but in my experience it is rare to have someone come forward and offer to fully fund the initiative. Neal’s love of jazz music and of bringing it to audiences around the Shore makes working with him a dream. The Council is extremely grateful for his generosity and vision.” said executive director Darcey Schoeninger.

On Saturday, March 28, 2009 the Centre will host a concert featuring jazz guitarists Steve Abshire and Vince Lewis, with Paul Langosch on bass and Mike Shepherd on drums. Abshire is a jazz guitarist, who has appeared in concert with notable jazz greats, Herb Ellis, Charlie Byrd, and Frank Vignola, name a few. He has played with legendary vocalists such as Della Reese, Rosemary Clooney, Ernie Andrews, and Etta Jones. He performs regularly at venues such as The Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Jazz Café, Blues Alley, and Peabody Conservatory.

Lewis, a veteran performer, composer and recording artist, has appeared with a number of notable performers including Cab Calloway, Bob Hope, and Johnny Mince. He has been a Heritage Guitar, Inc. Performing Artist since 1991. Guitar Player magazine describes his playing as “silky-smooth hollow body jazz with fluid bebop lines, flawless technique, and a Wes Montgomery approved tone that’s lively and bright.” Jazz Improv magazine calls his latest release “A great jazz guitar record.” and included him in their 2002 selected list of “leading and emerging active Jazz artists.”

Langosch is considered to be the quintessential bass player, backing up Tony Bennett for over a decade and touring with the Ralph Sharon Quartet, Bennett’s on-the-road band. He has accompanied vocal giants such as Mel Torme, Rosemary Clooney, and Tal Farlow. Of Langosch Bennett has said, “[he is] an exquisite musician.” Drummer Shepherd has performed with such nationally known pop and jazz artists as Rosemary Clooney, Roger Williams, and Marvin Hamlisch. He has performed with both the Baltimore and the National Symphony Orchestras and toured with the Maynard Ferguson Big Band performing at Carnegie Hall. He currently works as a free-lance musician, and is on the faculty of Shepherd College, in Shepherdstown, WV.

The performance will be held at 7pm at the Centre for the Arts at 206 S. Commerce Street in Centreville, Maryland. Tickets can be purchased before March 28 for $25 and for $30 at the door. There will be an After Party (meet the band and enjoy foods from the home of jazz) and a cash bar. Please call 410.758.2520 for tickets and information. The Arts Council is a non-profit organization supported in part by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.

The Queen Anne’s County Arts Council is a non-profit organization committed to promoting, expanding and sustaining the arts. Visit us on the web: arts4u.info