Jazzman Bob Dorough star of COTA festival

Bob Dorough, the jazz pianist who wrote and produced the original "Schoolhouse Rock" for ABC in the 1980s, will be feted at the 34th annual Celebration of the Arts (COTA) jazz festival Friday through Sunday in Delaware Water Gap.

Dorough has long been a friend and contributor to COTA. When NEA jazz master and festival co-founder Phil Woods was asked why COTA chose to honor Bob, he replied: "Let me count the ways! Turn to page 189 in the Encyclopedia of Jazz and prepare to be amazed! From music director for Sugar Ray [Robinson] to teaching America how to count with the celebrated series 'Multiplication Rock' to recording his Christmas song with Miles — come on, man! About time I say!"

Introducing Dorough will be one of his personal friends, Emmy-winning TV and film actor Peter Coyote.

A thread of Dorough will be woven into the festival all weekend, with bands playing Dorough tunes and special guests. Dorough will perform at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Two ten-minute excerpts of the upcoming feature-length documentary about Dorough, "Devil May Care," will be shown. The screenings will be Friday night Church of the Mountain and at the Saturday and Sunday night performances on the main stage. The filmmakers of the documentary, three years in the making, will also be at the screenings. For more information about the film: http://www.devilmaycarethemovie.com

Appearing for the first time with her own band is Grace Kelly, who has been honored for the third year as "Alto Saxophonist Rising Star" in the 2011 Annual Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll.

The line-up also features NEA Jazz Master Dave Liebman, Urbie Green, Peggy Stern and Sweet Sue Terry, Zen for Primates, and two former COTA Cats returning to the festival as band leaders — saxophonist Jay Rattman and vocalist Najwa Parkins.

The festival begins at 6 p.m. Friday with a musically-themed art show and reception, followed by theater, dance, poetry and classical music at the Presbyterian Church of the Mountain 7-9:30 p.m. Performances run noon-10 p.m. Saturday. A free Jazz Mass is at 10 a.m. Sunday, followed by performances noon-8:30 p.m.

Tickets are $25 per day; $40, Saturday and Sunday; $15 per day, students and seniors; $10 per day, ages 5-12; free, under 5.

Info: 570-424-2210, http://www.cotajazz.org.

Jodi Duckett

 

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