quarantine diaries, v4
|28 August 2020|
2020 Gulf Coast Ethnic & Heritage Jazz Festival Hall of Fame Inductee
Occhipinti started playing saxophone in the Pecksville, PA school band in the
sixth grade. He continued to play locally in "big band" groups and combos and in
the Scranton area. He never having what he considered "real music education"
other than his public school music training.
After moving to New York, Occhipinti went to the jazz clubs like the Metropole and listened to Coleman Hawkins and Buddy Rich. He began lessons with Joe Napoleon who taught him a numbered system for playing jazz so Joe could learned to improvise and harmonize on the chords in the melody. The swing came naturally to him; he didn't have to learn that.
Occhipinti was drafted and in basic training in 1959-60 and auditioned for and was accepted into the Army Band. He was sent to Frankfurt, Germany, to play in the 3rd Armored Division Band. Following his military service, a high school pal from Pennsylvania connected Occhipinti with a job playing for Ray Spivey and Krazy Kats, a touring band out of Pensacola. The experience was invaluable.
Occhipinti calls himself an 'uneducated musician' who never wanted to be a star or recording artist. He confesses that he has to create either places to play or events to make music. His countless gigs from Mobile to Panama City have made him a legendary figure on the Gulf Coast.
Occhipinti is very proud of being a founding member of Jazz Pensacola, a member of the Civic Band, an officer and board member of the Mystic Order of the Jazz Obsessed (MOJO), musician's union #777 from Biloxi and Pensacola's Sons of Italy chapter.
Music is something that I never said, "I'm not going to do this anymore," Occhipinti said. His devotion to the music he loves is apparent in his continued desire to bring jazz to those who already love it and to introduce it to those who may not yet know it.
Because face masks offer a layer of protection for you and others, and are mandatory in some communities. With that in mind, Theola Bright has designed masks that make a statement. From ethnic to formal to sports, there's wide variety of themed fabrics available. They are lightweight with a microfilter between two layers of cotton in your choice of colors and have durable, soft elastic earpieces. Surgical masks with tie-back straps are also available.
Prices range from $10 to $20. A portion of each sale will be donated to MOJO and a charity that helps indigent people.
|To order, call 251.343.8138 or visit theolabright.com to view more custom choices.|
FRED DOMULOT |
Greetings, Jazz Pensacola members.
I am sharing a few words to stay on your radar.
We are working very hard to try and get Jazz Jams and Jazz Gumbos happening for you, but unfortunately the time is still not right. Safety first. We cannot be reckless.
We are still hoping for the 2020 Pensacola JazzFest to occur the weekend of Nov. 14-15 at Seville Square in historic downtown Pensacola. We are working with the City of Pensacola and will keep you informed along the way. We are looking at other ideas, too.
We are experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic together, and we will get to the other side of this together.
Please be safe and healthy! Listen to the Gil Evans Orchestra! Peace.
|Originally published 6.29.2020. Reprinted with permission from Jazz Pensacola|
|KEEP YOUR MOJO WORKIN'!|
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