Artist Dick Frenière, 87, who lived in the Syracuse, N.Y., area, passed away on June 22. He had fallen, was hospitalized and died of pneumonia. Frenière, who formerly lived in Concord, Mass., was a commercial artist who created many jazz paintings and collected jazz records. In late 1969, Frenière painted murals with a New Orleans jazz theme for the Jewel Room of the Bostonian Hotel in Boston. Several years later, he took his son to see the murals, but they had been painted over. He didn't even have a photo of them.
A memorial service for Frenière was held at the Concord (Mass.) Funeral Home on July 10. A jazz quartet (reedman Stan McDonald, trumpeter Stu Baird, banjoist Jimmy Mazzy, and bassist Al Ehrenfried) played at the service. Frenière left a wife, Helen, and a son, Edward Frenière, who resides in Lancaster, Penn.
The Hot Steamed Jazz Festival was held in Essex, Conn., from June 27 to 29, and several New England groups participated in it -- Connecticut's Galvanized Jazz Band (with trombonist Craig Grant, banjoist Bob Price and singer Jane Campedelli as guests), Art Hovey's Sugarfoot Youth Band from Massachusetts, Doctor John Clark's Wolverine Jazz Band, Jeff Hughes' Jazz Jesters Novelty Orchestra, and Hughes' Festival Allstars (cornetist Hughes, trombonist Ray Skalski, banjoist/vocalist Bob Barta, tubaist Al Bernard and drummer Bob Bequillard).
Art Hovey formed the Sugarfoot Youth Band in the Spring of 2006, drawing upon musically talented students from various area schools in Connecticut. The band first performed at the Great Connecticut Jazz Festival, and the band was asked on several occasions to play at Bill's Seafood in Westbrook, Conn. Most of the band members are just finishing eighth grade. The players are trumpeters Becky Lipsitz and C.J. Tomasevich; trombonist Adam Clark; Julie Blum, Emily Pecoraro and Skyler Hagner on saxophones and clarinets; Peter Csere and Robert Young on accordion and piano; Matt Pecoraro on guitar and banjo; tubaists Daphne Varekamp and Ned Allen; and drummer Bobby Bequillard (son of Bob Bequillard, the Galvanized Jazz Band's drummer).
Hovey formed a couple of youth jazz bands in Connecticut during the years he was a high school physics teacher and tuba player with the Galvanized Jazz Band. He was fortunate in finding students who showed interest in traditional jazz. One band was the Squabble Hill Intercollegiate Backyard Band, which rehearsed on Hovey's back porch. After that band broke up, he formed a new youth band, the New Black Raspberry Jazz Band. Hovey should be congratulated for his efforts to continue to expose future musicians to traditional jazz.
The 2008 Great Connecticut Traditional Jazz Festival was held from July 25 to 27 at the Sunrise Resort, Moodus, Conn. The band lineup was listed in last month's column.
On June 15, Chow, in New Haven, Conn., featured Joel Schiavone and the Smith Street Jazz Society (banjoist/saxist Bruce McNichols, trombonist Herb Gardner, and tubaist Chicken Joe Hanchrow).
Also in Connecticut, on the evening of June 18, cornetist Fred Vigorito's Galvanized Jazz Band, with U.S. Coast Guard trombonist Ben Griffin, Bob Price and Jane Campedelli as guests, played in concert at the gazebo on Sherman Green, Fairfield. GJB, with trombonist Neil DeFeo and banjoist Schiavone, performed in concert at the Levitt Pavillion, Westport, Conn., on July 6.