On September 24, jazz legend Bob Dorough performed as special featured guest to the Upper Valley Winds Big Band during Jump, Jive an’ Jazz at the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple. He is best known for his ABC-TV's “Schoolhouse Rock,” Saturday morning cartoons that entertained and instructed unsuspecting children during the years 1973-1985. The impact of this media exposure was unpredictably immense. The show came back for another five years in the 90's and is now enjoying its 40th anniversary with a DVD edition of the entire, five-subject series, for which Dorough worked as the musical director. Mr. Dorough, born in 1923, will turn 94 this December. He still performs with remarkable energy and remains a strong advocate for keeping music alive in our schools.
In 2002, his trio was chosen to represent the State Department and Kennedy Center, as an Ambassador of jazz and blues. The one month tour featured 22 workshops and concerts in thirteen cities in six different countries. In December 2007, Dorough was honored by East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania with a Doctor of Fine Arts honorary degree. He has received the Pennsylvania Governor's Artist of the Year Award and was named to the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame.
The Scranton Cultural Center’s Jump, Jive an’ Jazz is an annual Jazz event in honor of the late Patrick J. Marcinko Jr., a longtime music educator in the greater Scranton area school districts, who influenced generations of students from across the region. He founded and was band director of the Upper Valley Winds Big Band, comprised of regional musicians who once studied under his tutelage. Many then went on to further their education in highly acclaimed music universities and conservatories throughout the United States.
Other featured performers were the Jazz-Art Quartet with multi-instrumentalist, Mark Woodyatt, plus Milford based Michelle Oram with guest artist, Jenn Rose, a tap dance percussionist. Dorough’s band included Walt Bibinger, Tyler Dempsey and Doug Smith.
Over 200 music lovers gathered in the SCC’s Grand Ballroom for a night of jazz performed by over 30 musicians. The underlying message stressed the importance of music in education. The Marcinko Family and the PA Jazz Alliance have established The Patrick J. Marcinko Jr. Scholarship Fund to offer financial assistance to young music students. For more information: Contact The PA Jazz Alliance, Inc. at 570-876-1903 or Email: PAJazz@mac.com. Contributions can be made to The Patrick J. Marcinko Jr. Scholarship Fund: c/o the Pa Jazz Alliance, Inc 808 N. Main Street Archbald, PA 18403.