The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Brendan Relaford
For the Sentinel 

Retro JaZ Festival coming to the Granada Theatre

 

Brendan Relaford

A HISTORY OF JAZZ: The Granada Theater observes 90 years of operation with a special jazz program Saturday.

The historic 1929 Granada Theatre in The Dalles will celebrate its 90th year of operation by presenting its first Retro JaZ Festival on Saturday, May 25. Almost every style of jazz, great old music videos, vintage props, and stories of many of the jazz giants from the past promise to make the festival a one-of-a- kind event.

The day kicks off at noon with a rare video display of vintage videos of jazz giants from days gone by. The live portion of the event begins at 1 p.m. with the gypsy folk band Europatopia, reminiscent of Django Reinhardt. Gina Williams follows with a gospel jazz set. At 3 p.m., the Cherry Blossom Big Band will re-create, song by song, the historic 1938 Benny Goodman show at Carnegie Hall. At 4 p.m., Tamir Hendelman, pianist for Natalie Cole recordings and Barbara Streisand live performances, takes the stage. Tom Grant Headlines at 7 p.m. with vocalist Shelly Rudolph and David Captain on bass. Rounding out the fest at 8:30 p.m., Bobby Torres' jazz ensemble celebrates his 50th anniversary of playing Woodstock with Joe Cocker's Grease Band.

Located at 221 E. 2nd Street in The Dalles, the newly renovated venue is a 400-capacity theatre that includes a balcony and table-side service down front. The Granada has attracted high-end talent, including a visit from Billy Bob Thornton and his band, the Boxmasters. Chuck Gomez, owner and operator of the Granada says, "The venue is our mom-and-pop theatre, purchased and restored with private funds and reopened after nearly 20 years dark." Gomez also owns and operates a venue in Chicago. Along with his wife, Debra, he crisscrosses the country, staying at homes at both locations to attend to business at each venue. The couple has restored the Granada to her former glory, when a young Judy Garland once graced the stage.

Gomez's years of experience playing jazz tenor sax in Chicago will ensure that anecdotes flow freely at the Granada's upcoming Retro JaZ Festival.

 

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