The chills of winter are regularly warmed by hot jazz in Hamilton, as the Arts at the Palace monthly Jazz at Noon live performance series offers the chance for music fans to lounge, listen and enjoy lunch in the cozy and intimate Palace Underground.
“It’s a great combination of wonderful jazz and a wonderful lunch,” said Arts at the Palace executive director Victoria Calvert Kappel. “I like the way it brings the community together. That’s a wonderful thing about the arts: you attract all ages. It is also a great way to interact with both Colgate University and Hamilton Central School.”
Jazz at Noon started three years ago, and regularly fills the basement venue in Hamilton. It is held once a month, eight times a year. The March performance featured songs like “You Stepped Out of a Dream,” “Stormy Weather,” “Summertime,” “Lullaby of Birdland,” and “I Don’t Mean a Thing,” all crafted by a group of top-notch area jazz masters.
Host and trumpeter Jim McDowell was joined on stage at the March 10 event by keyboardist Dan Pugh, bassist Darryl Pugh and drummer Mark Shiner for the main group, adding in guests including keyboardist/singer Dianne Adams McDowell, vocalists Karen Rains and Bruce Ward, and Sam Williams on French horn. Williams is a HCS junior, and he said he enjoyed the chance to come out and join the band.
“It was fun, and a real honor to be invited to play here,” he said, adding it was his first time to join in the Jazz at Noon musical faire.
Lunch was by Chartwells, who regularly craft culinary treats including dessert for the jazz fans. Midway through the program there is a break so both the audience and musicians can enjoy their lunch together.
McDowell said he appreciated the crowds who come out, even in the midst of winter storms.
“I am so grateful to the community for supporting this,” he said. “Every event has been so well attended.”
The next Jazz at Noon is from noon to 2 p.m. April 7, and the suggested donation is $5. Arts at the Palace is located at 19 Utica St. in Hamilton. For more information on any of their programs, visit artsatthepalace.org or call 315-824-1420.