Many in Rim Country know that the Payson Community Presbyterian Church hosts a monthly jazz performance that has been going on for almost 10 years.
Pastor Chuck Proudfoot opened the church doors and provided musicians a place to play. Many folks now enjoy good, live music performed by professionals who often are recruited from out of the area. While the event has always been free to the public, the donations that are received at the door are used almost entirely to support the cost of the program, which includes bringing in the top-notch performers.
While the series of concerts is self-supporting, the church is facing a budget shortfall at the end of this year.
The series’ most notable performer, jazz pianist and vocalist Judy Roberts, has been instrumental in bringing not only attention to the jazz program, but in helping to bring a baby grand piano to the church. She wants to help the church in any way she can, so it came as no surprise when she suggested that we release some of the recordings the church had made during performances. So a two CD assortment of recorded tunes by Roberts, as well as of other artists who performed on Sunday afternoons at the church has been prepared. The recordings are of the unrehearsed, improvised performances; first cuts of jamming musicians that have not been edited. Scot Proudfoot, the church recording engineer, did a fine job of capturing the music and making the CDs.
The CD set is a means to provide much-needed support for the church. Any person who contributes $25 or more to the church will receive the CDs through the mail. All you need to do is make a check payable to the Community Presbyterian Church, send or give it to Carolyn Snell, secretary, Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St., Payson, AZ 85541. Snell may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at the office most mornings. The CD sets are limited to 50.
The following artists are included: Judy Roberts, piano and vocals; Bill Ippolito, piano and vocals; Bob Smolenski, piano; John Darst, guitar; Jacob Koller, piano; John Sims, bass; Jack Radavich, bass; George “Pepe” Grant, vocals; Renee Patrick, vocals; John Landino, vocals; Lew Turano, piano; John Shevlin, piano; Greg Fishman, sax; Ken Taylor, flugelhorn; Paul Penning, piano; Dave Ihlenfeld, piano and tuba; Stan Sorenson, guitar; Neal Seroka, bass; Tony Vacca, sax; Steven Von Wald, sax; Ted Sistrunk, bass; Mike Buskirk, bass; Gerry Reynolds, drums; and others.