Columns music series returns to make winter bright

Milford. The line-up includes the Mostly Jazz Trio + 1 on Feb. 23, the Ronny Whyte Trio on March 8, and “An Evening of Broadway” with Patricia Durante and Deborah Martin on March 15. Banish winter blues with an evening spent in the once-famous "room of the perfect cocktail" while helping raise funds to keep Pike County's museum of local history going.

| 10 Feb 2020 | 04:33

Each year the Foundation Room of the Columns Museum turns into a cabaret, as musicians take the stage for the museum's “Sunday Soirees."

This year's Winter Music Series, presented by the museum and the Pike County Historical Society, takes place from 4 to 6 p.m. on selected Sundays in February and March. The $30 admission includes the show, a complimentary glass of wine, cheese, and some sweets and savories. A discounted pass good for all three shows costs $75.

"The series helps raise money for silly things such as heat, electricity and other general operating costs incurred by the museum," says the invitation.

This year’s lineup is as follows:

Sunday, Feb. 23: Mostly Jazz Trio + 1

The Mostly Jazz Trio + 1 performs a blend of cool jazz and gypsy jazz plus rock, funk, and blues served with a jazz twist. The instrumentation of guitar, violin, bass, and drums imparts an exceptional mood to the music.

Guitarist Butch Campbell has worked with many noted names in jazz, including Stanley Turrentine, Stephanie Mills, Marlena Shaw, and Hamiett Bluett. In addition, he has performed with The Boys Choir of Harlem as well as noted gospel singer Carla Ann Harris at the Apollo Theater in New York.

Featured performer Yuri Turchyn is a master of the five-string electric violin. He was a founding member of the popular country rock band Kinderhook and has performed with other rock genre groups. The Trio + 1 rounds out its unique sound with artists Ruben Austin on bass and vocals and Richard Cantor on drums. Both musicians have performed extensively in the tristate area.

Sunday, March 8: Ronny Whyte Trio

Ronny Whyte is considered a premiere interpreter of classic American popular song, an outstanding jazz pianist, and a successful songwriter. He was featured on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz on NPR.

He is an ASCAP Award-winning songwriter. His lyrics for "Forget the Woman" was recorded by Tony Bennett, and his music for "The Party Upstairs" won the MAC Award for Best Song of 2006. He produces and hosts Midday Jazz Midtown at Saint Peter’s in Manhattan, a weekly concert series.

Sunday, March 15: “An Evening of Broadway”

Patricia Durante and Deborah Martin will perform songs you know and have loved for years, as well as songs from the newest hit shows that have won our hearts.

Durante is a professional singer and actress and graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy of New York City. She has sung all genres of music, all over the world. She reunites with Deborah Martin on piano.

History of the Foundation Room:
This room, once a night club called “The Cellar,” was known for its smorgasbord-style dining and touted as “the room of the perfect cocktail." Perhaps the most famous act to grace The Cellar”was The Inkspots. This band, under the direction of Charlie Fuqua, appeared in the early 1960s. Milford’s own local legend Beatrice Bailey obtained an autograph from one of the players, and it is among the many mementos from the Davis-Bailey family that the museum holds dear.