An email received yesterday from Bill Dunham, pianist-leader and eminence of The Grove Street Stompers, who shake things up every Monday night at Arthur’s Tavern on Grove Street:
You should have been there! We went to the tribute and benefit for Barbara Lea last night at the West Bank Cafe. Very moving! Sold out two weeks in advance. I first knew Barbara (at the time Barbara Leacock) when we were fixed up on a blind date – she at Wellesley and me at Harvard in 1950. She was a great singer even then. So good in fact that she was taken on as the vocalist with the Harvard Crimson Stompers – a student dixieland band – me a member. Barbara as you know is not well and really doesn’t recognize anything. Very sad! She received countless warm tributes from the many stars present – Loren Schoenberg (with his Big Band including Dick Katz) , pianist Keith Ingham, many singers including Ronny Whyte, Steve Ross, Daryl Sherman, Karen Oberlin etc. They all spoke so lovingly about Barbara and what she has taught them over the years. Barbara is now 79.
News Flash!! Randy Reinhart, fantastic cornetist and trombonist, is moving back to the area and is available for gigs! His cell number is (917) 273-5106. He is playing with the Grove Street Stompers this Monday at Arthur’s Tavern.
Bill told me today that Randy had gotten marooned in California (a cancelled flight) and so Simon Wettenhall would be taking his place this Monday . . . but I gather the esteemed and modest Mr. Reinhart will be on the New York scene (with his lovely wife Nina) in the future.
And since a person’s medical expenses are never completely taken care of, since the bills keep coming — here’s more information about aiding Barbara Lea for those who, like myself, didn’t get to the benefit.
Donations can be made to: Barbara Lea Fund c/o Jeanie Wilson, 212 Ramblewood Drive, Raleigh, NC 27609. For further information kindly contact: Sue Matsuki, 917-821-4342, or or Karen Oberlin, 917-405-5181.
Posted in The Heroes Among Us, The Things We Love
Tagged Annie Dinerman, Arthur's Tavern, Barbara Lea, Bill Dunham, Bob Dorough, Daryl Sherman, Dick Katz, Grove Street Stompers, Karen Oberlin, Keith Ingham, Loren Schoenberg, Melissa Hamilton, Randy Reinhart, Ronny Whyte, Steve Ross, Sue Matsuki