River City Jazz Ensemble and Rick Reuther ring in the Fourth of July in style
by Gerald Browning contributing reporter. On Thursday, July 4, Rick Reuther and the River City Jazz Ensemble brought classic jazz to the Lowell. With an array of ballads, swing music and classic jazz, there was a light and even patriotic, vibe on the rainy day. The band played familiar tunes from Frank Sinatra's songbook. Songs such as "Fly Me to the Moon," "Nice and Easy" and "New York, New York" payed homage to Old Blue Eyes. Quick-moving, classic tunes such as Duke Ellington's "It Don't Mean a Thing" really got the crowd to tapping their feet along with the music.
The crowd enjoyed the easy, laid back, relaxed environment that the music provided. Even though there was some rain, the umbrellas and the smiling audience appreciated the good tunes provided by the band. However, the rain was short lived when, a few songs in, "The Best is Yet to Come" began playing. As if on cue, the clouds parted, and the sun came out.
Between songs, the band introduced songs and joked with the audience, adding to the relaxed atmosphere.
Since the concert was held on the Fourth of July, the band paid tribute to the armed forces with the theme song played for each of the military branches. The River City Jazz Ensemble requested that the veterans would stand for the song of the branch that they served under. That way, they could get the recognition that they deserved for their service in the military. Many of the men and women who served wore hats that showed their status as veterans. The crowd roared with applause to demonstrate their appreciation for the sacrifices veterans made for our freedom. The love and gratitude that the audience had for their servicemen and servicewomen was overwhelming. The jazz group thanked the veterans for their service before taking a little break and starting back in with more jazz favorites.
Even though the concert began with some rain, it continued and ended with sunshine and even a rainbow. Thursday was definitely a day for jazz and fun in the park while honoring our servicemen and servicewomen.