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Max Weinberg, Jonathan Edwards featured at Mauch Chunk Opera House

  • Max Weinberg
    Max Weinberg
Published June 16. 2010 05:00PM

JTAMS Productions in Jim Thorpe Pa announces the debut performance of The Max Weinberg Big Band live at The Mauch Chunk Opera House, located at 14 W. Broadway in Jim Thorpe, tonight at 8 p.m.

Also, MCOH will host folk singer Jonathan Edwards on Thursday, July 17 for an 8 p.m. show.

As the drummer in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band and the leader of Conan O'Brien's TV talk-show house band, Max Weinberg has not had a lot of free time over the last decade. His dream to create his own swinging 15-piece Big Band is now a reality.

Building upon his 17 years as the leader of what Tom Shales, famed TV critic of The Washington Post called, "the best band in late night Television," the Max Weinberg Big Band is a bold, swinging 15-piece aggregation that continues the traditions established by Max's musical heroes Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Doc Severinsen, and Maynard Ferguson.

In addition to performing with Springsteen's E Street Band, Max has kept himself busy for nearly four decades performing with the likes of Paul McCartney, Sting, Tom Jones, Ringo Starr and countless more musical icons.

One of Max's biggest thrills was backing Tony Bennett on television.

"I think playing with Tony Bennett opened my eyes to what I might actually be able to do if I worked hard at my music to eventually step away from the rock genre," he said.

Of his Tonight Show days Max is philosophic: "It was a great honor to see my name in the same sentence as Doc Severinsen. Any music I've played on TV with my own group and now the Big Band has links directly to the influence Doc, drummer Ed Shaunessy and the best of Tonight Show Band.

Jonathan Edwards

Warm as summer sunshine, real as the truth, intimate as a long overdue visit between old friends … such is a Jonathan Edwards concert.

Four decades into a stellar career of uncompromising musical integrity, the man simply delivers night after night - songs of passion, songs of insight, songs of humor, all rendered in that pure and powerful tenor which, like fine wine, has only grown sweeter with age.

These days Edwards is most likely to be found on the road with longtime accompanist Stuart Schulman on bass, piano, fiddle, and vocals, Taylor Armerding, formerly of Northern Lights, on mandolin and high-tenor vocals and multi-instrumentalist Charlie Rose on banjo, double bass, guitar, pedal steel and cello.

"It is really gratifying to hear someone say, 'Your stuff has meant a lot to me over the years'," he said.

"The "stuff" he's referring to is a highly respected repertoire that includes such classics as "Honky Tonk Stardust Cowboy," "Sometimes," "One Day Closer," "Don't Cry Blue," "Emma," "Everybody Knows Her," "Athens County," and "Shanty."

And then, of course, there's the anthemic "Sunshine (Go Away Today)," that fierce proclamation of protest and independence that resonated with thousands and thousands of frustrated and angry young men and women when it was first released in 1971.

Since 1971, Jonathan has released 15 albums, including Blue Ridge, his standard-setting collaboration with bluegrass favorites the Seldom Scene, and Little Hands, his collection of children's songs, which was honored with a National Library Association award. Mr. Edwards will appear at Sound Check Records located at 23 Broadway in downtown Jim Thorpe at 4 p.m. before the show.

Musical guest Jay Smar will open the show.

Doors for both concerts open at 7 p.m. and the performance begins at 8 p.m. For more information, call (570) 325-0249 or check online at:

Parking in town is limited and is recommended downtown at the Carbon County Municipal Lot behind the train station.

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