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Beiderbecke Jazz Concert a Big Hit

Bix Beiderbecke and the Wolverine Orchestra in 1924 (Photo: Wiki Commons public domain)

Aug. 9, 2010 By Christian Murray

Sunnyside Shines kicked off its Sunnyside Summer Streets campaign on Saturday by hosting the 10th Annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Concert.

The concert, a huge draw for residents and Beiderbecke fans throughout the Tri-state area, marked the 79th anniversary since the jazz legend died in his 43-30 46th Street apartment on Aug. 6, 1931. The concert took place under the Sunnyside Arch.

The band, organized by Paul Maringelli, a Sunnyside resident and jazz fanatic, played Beiderbecke hits and other well-known compositions from the 1920s.

Maringelli, who played the drums, said in an interview that he established the jazz concert ten years ago, after discovering that Beiderbecke died in Sunnyside after seeing a Ken Burns’ PBS documentary on jazz. Maringelli, who was unable to unearth any information on Beiderbecke from the local library, was able to reach a great nephew of Beiderbecke who helped him locate the place and date of his death.

Since then, Maringelli has held a memorial concert every year, which was originally held at the All Saints Church courtyard. Maringelli was also the driving force behind a plaque that was erected in recent years outside of Beiderbecke’s old apartment building.

In addition to the jazz concert, the Unity Stage Company’s “Summer Stock for Kids” group as well as the Sunnyside Drum Corps. performed.

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