The 2004 Walking In Beauty Jazz Festival
On April 3rd 2004, the Walking In Beauty Jazz Orchestra paid homage to America's foremost jazz educator - Herb Pomeroy. Herb was scheduled to conduct the orchestra but suffered a heart attack several weeks before the event.
The 17-piece orchestra featured Ernie Watts (saxophone), Abraham Laboriel (bass), Lew Soloff (trumpet), Bob McChesney (trombone), Sam Cernuto (trombone), Ron Feuer (keyboard), and Walt Johnson (trumpet). Also featured were some of the finest artists from the Northwest, including Chuck Florence on saxophone (Missoula), Brian Ploeger on trumpet (Washington) and Harry Blazer on drums (Kalispell).
Held in the amphitheater of The Christian Center (Kalispell), this performance featured the music of composer and arranger Jackson Stock, one of America's finest. Jackson had written a number of compositions exclusively for the event, including a special piece in honor of the legendary Herb Pomeroy.
The music was evocative and provocative - from soul-searching to foot stomping. In one word ... electrifying . The two-hour-long performance had much of the audience on the edge of their seats. To quote a listener, "Me? I got high on it! An incredible mix of energy, creativity and power. It would have been spectacular in L.A. or New York . . . but it was here in Kalispell. Whew."