Wildcat Jazz

Helen Daley

The Original Wildcat Jass Band from Tucson is modernizing their name and music. Although jass was the original spelling, it was changed to jazz to eliminate the defacing of posters in New York subways at a time when eliminating the j was considered risqué and vulgar. Remember, this was the early 1900’s. The word jass itself had a sexual connotation.

Fast forward to 2014. In the last year, the Wildcats have had personnel changes for half the band. Rob Wright is still the leader but will feature guitar as well as banjo. Ray Templin still plays drums and piano. Rob Boone plays trombone as well as piano. Newer members are Rick Peron on trumpet, Marco Rosano on reeds and accordion, and Evan Dain on bass and banjo. They all sing. Updating from banjo to guitar and tuba to bass gives the band more musical options. Their performances are still “sizzling with music energy and steeped in good humor.” Affectionately referred to as the Wildcats nationwide and to eliminate the common misspelling of jass in their appearance publicity, they have changed their name to Wildcat Jazz.

The Wildcats will honor requests for your favorite tunes so be sure to write that song title down when you enter the venue.

This event is sponsored by the Arizona Classic Jazz Society on Sunday, August 24 from 1:00–4:00 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort, Chandler. The cost is $10 members, $15 non-members and students free. Become a member on the August 24 and get in free (yearly membership fees are $35 couple; $25 single).

For more information call 480-620-3941 or go to www.azclassicjazz.org.