Jam4Dan9: another massive Topeka musical celebration
Wow, what a show, what a party!
Not a lot of folks saw and heard every act at Jam4Dan9, but those that did were pretty sure it was the best one ever. Although there were notable absences from years' past (Nucklehead Jones and Hector Anchondo come to mind), the newcomers and other veterans made it a show for the ages.
Not only was the show top notch, but so was the karma.
As his custom, Jam4Dan Trustee Joel Edison crafted and donated a beautiful, blonde ES-styled guitar for the annual raffle. And the winner? None other than Teresa Tucker, a Carbondale veterinarian who had cared for the event’s namesake, Dan Falley’s, critters before his death in 2008. Her work with animal rescue over the years so moved Dan’s daughter, Jennifer Falley, she requested last year Teresa be granted a stipend to ensure her work could continue. And to make the karma circle complete? Joel’s name for this year’s donation was…wait for it…Jennifer.
The musical themes of past years were generally recognized. The jazz fusion group Wrong Kata Trio, a staple of the opening night, returned for their fourth appearance. But the group preceding them created perhaps the biggest buzz, an 11-piece band, led by bassist Kurt Morrow performing Steely Dan hits. In fact, the band was so big, the dance floor and the path back to the kitchen were absorbed by the musicians, which included a four-piece horn section.
Saturday started with a two and one-half hour youth show coordinated by Kyler Carpenter, another Jam4Dan Trustee. The next ten hours were the best of Topeka rock ‘n roll, with Atomic Suede, and its 80s covers, and Faces for Radio’s, in its last show, closing the Saturday marathon.
A strong two-hour singer/songwriter segment, first added in 2014, opened the Sunday show, which leans in the jazz and blues vein. Several new bands filled the day’s slots, but one slot went to Michael Powers, who has performed seven Jam4Dan events in a row, missing only the first two. No other artist can make that claim.
The evening peaked with a dynamic Allman Brothers tribute by Mark and the Sharks featuring the trademark duo drummers. Smith and Liston, with Marc Houser sitting in, brought the house down with a powerhouse set featuring tunes from its new CD. It was not lost on Jam4Dan vets that Marc had been given, thanks to the generosity of his band mates, a Dan Falley-built guitar at the first show in January 2008, which raised money for Dan’s funeral expenses.
Attendance was down some from years past but still attracted over 850 fans. Final numbers for the scholarship program will be reduced as well but Trustees still expect at least $3,500 will be awarded to Topeka youth in mid-April. That will push total scholarship to the $25,000 since Jam4Dan II.
Trustees for the program include: Edison, Carpenter, Danl Blackwood, JD Bloomar, Mike Fox, Katie Turner, Bill Beasley and Tom Krebs.
Jam4DanX is scheduled for Jan. 13-15, 2017, the weekend of the Martin Luther King holiday observance.
"And the beat goes on..."
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