Renfrew Institute Jazz Festival billed as Saxophone Summit

August 21, 2010|By TIFFANY ARNOLD
  • Jim Snidero, originally from Prince George's County, Md., will return to the Renfrew Institute Jazz Festival Sunday, Aug. 29, on the lawn behind Renfrew Museum in Waynesboro, Pa.
By John Abbott,

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - On Sunday, Aug. 29, summer heat comes with a promise of cool jazz.

The Renfrew Institute Jazz Festival is a yearly, free, outdoor concert bringing as many as 1,000 people to the lawn behind Renfrew Museum, said organizer Andrew Sussman, who's been billing this year's concert as the Saxophone Summit.

"There aren't very many venues left to see and hear live jazz," said Sussman, executive director of the Cumberland Valley School of Music.

New York City alto-saxophone player Jim Snidero will return to Renfrew after performing at the jazz fest's inaugural concert 19 years ago.

Baritone saxophonist Roger Rosenberg rounds out the lineup as a last-minute sub for the originally scheduled saxophonist Ronnie Cuber, who canceled due to a scheduling conflict.


The Paul Bollenback trio will anchor the rhythm section.

The Herald-Mail reached Snidero, a 52-year-old native of Prince George's County, Md., at his Manhattan apartment as he decompressed from a recent tour stop in Italy. Snidero has recorded and performed with some of music's biggest names - Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Sting. He's recorded 15 albums and has started his next album - No. 3 with his current label, Savant.

The album is due for release in early 2011, Snidero said.

When talking about his musical influences, Snidero likes to invoke the names of the Big Three - Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley and Sonny Stitt. He said he admired their approach to playing, considering them to be artists who took the music to a deeper level, providing musical catharsis for the listener.

Raised in Camp Springs, Md., Snidero said he was introduced to jazz music when he was 13. He was a fan of Maynard Ferguson and other big-band stuff. When he was 16, he attended a jazz camp at Montgomery Community College and had a chance to meet saxophonist Phil Woods - another one of his idols.

"He took me into a practice room and showed me a few things, without me even asking," Snidero said. "I'll never forget that."

Snidero went on to attend University of North Texas and moved to New York to make a name for himself as a jazz artist, composer and educator.

Snidero is married and does not have any children.

Lately, Snidero said he's become more appreciative of providing spiritual refuge in his own music. Snidero, who is Catholic, said he's not necessarily talking about God and religion when he says "spiritual."

It's an idea he said he's spent the past few years developing in his music.

"I think more than anything you're trying to be more spiritual with your music," Snidero said. "You're trying to let yourself surrender to that spirituality and let that come out in the music."

If you go...

WHAT: Renfrew Institute Jazz Festival featuring Jim Snidero on alto sax, and Roger Rosenberg on baritone sax with the Paul Bollenback trio

WHEN: 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29

WHERE: The lawn behind Renfrew Museum, 1010 E. Main St., Waynesboro, Pa.

COST: Free admission

MORE: In the event of rain, the concert will be held at Waynesboro Area Middle School, 102 E. Second St., Waynesboro, Pa.

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