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PRJC Jazz Roots
Al Webber, Potomac River Jazz Club Co-Founder
It is with much sadness that we note here the passing of PRJC co-founder, Al Webber, 85. Al died April 13, 2011. Al co-founded the PRJC 40 years ago. A trombonist, he was the original leader of the Federal Jazz Commission before moving to Ireland. After coming back to the US, he settled in Purcellville, VA and was the leader of the Arcadians, a band based in Leesburg VA. The Washington Post obituary noted: Al's business card included the legend, "Old trombonists never die, they just slide away." His family said his ashes will be interred in his trombone by sealing off the bell.

Joseph C. Rinaldi, a lifetime lover of jazz who performed for presidents
Joseph C. Rinaldi, a professional jazz clarinetist and teacher who began his career playing for the swing bands of the 1940s and later became a mainstay of the Peabody Ragtime Ensemble, died 18 May 2010 of heart failure at Huggins Hospital in Wolfboro, N.H. He was 85. Joseph Carmen Rinaldi, the son of a barber and a homemaker, was born and raised in Washington, where he graduated from St. John's College High School. Something of a musical prodigy, Mr. Rinaldi was a mere kid when his father gave him a Bb Soprano Curved Saxophone, a rather unusual-looking instrument that he kept and played for the rest of his life.

Blob’s Park Closes and Re-open...Another 70 Years?
Blob’s Park, the German beer garden in Jessup, MD, and home of the annual PRJC Picnic, re-opened for New Year’s celebrations welcoming in 2009. Blob’s Park once again serves as the location of the PRJC Jazz Picnics each September. Max Eggerel is using $250,000 to rehab the main building (kitchen, restrooms and bar). Blob’s Park’s new website can be found at with photos of the renovations and a list of upcoming event.

New Orleans Jazz Musician Jacques Gauthe’ 1939-2007

Jacques Gauthe’ passed away on Sunday, June 10, 2007, in Gaujac, France. Age 67.

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Anna Wahler Dies

Anna Wahler, longtime PRJC member and supporter of traditional jazz, and in particular the Buck Creek Jazz Band, died of cancer on September 2, 2004 at her home in Temple Hills, MD. She was 86. Her husband, Fred, died in 1991. She had hundreds of friends and acquaintances in the traditional jazz community across the country. Perhaps the best tribute to Mrs. Wahler can be found in the liner notes for the Buck Creek Jazz Band CD titled “Anna’s Boys” issued in 1998. The notes were written by Jim Ritter, the band’s co-leader. Read the notes.

Blob’s Park Closes After 70 Years
Rumors that Blob’s Park, the German beer garden in Jessup, MD, and home of the annual PRJC Picnic, will close at the end of this year have been confirmed in local news stories. They quote John Eggrel, the manager, as saying this year’s Octoberfest would be the last event at the popular restaurant and picnic grounds.

   Members of the PRJC Board of Directors are actively looking for an alternative venue for its annual September picnic which draws jazz fans from up and down the Eastern seaboard. We are searching for a site which provides protection from the weather, such as a pavilion for up to 250 people, allows beer and wine to be sold or brought in, and provides a way to control access. Usual amenities such as parking and restrooms are also important. The site should be within about 25 miles of downtown Washington, D.C.

   If any members know of possible candidates, they are asked to contact Al Welcome at 703-437-4442.

New Orleans Jazz and Caribbean Music

There seems to be a close similarity between the body of music known as New Orleans Jazz and what is known as West Indian, Caribbean and/or Calypso music, but which represents musical characteristics associated with Creole culture in the Caribbean. The melodic and harmonic ties are there, but the strongest ties are reflected in the use of the same rhythmic patterns in both geographic areas - in fact, exactly the same rhythmic patterns, and combinations of rhythmic patterns.

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Mystery History (A New Genre?)

Click to read more Embark on an exciting journey of mystery, false clues, dead ends, and smoking guns in an effort to determine whether one composition of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band- and not only a composition, but the band’s first published composition - has languished unnoticed for decades.

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Remembering Pee Wee
   From the October, November, and December 2000 Tailgate Ramblings

Rememberances that Jimmy Hamilton, a clarinetist and long-time friend of Pee Wee Russell, has of the time when he knew Mary and Pee Wee, and of jazz in the District of Columbia.

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Claude Williams, National Treasure
   From the January 1999 Tailgate Ramblings

During a White House ceremony in October, 90 year old jazz violinist Claude Williams received a National Heritage Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Endowment gives these awards annually to honor artists nominated for keeping alive American folk traditions-their (and our) cultural heritage.

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