Red Beans & Rice brings swing jazz to Rockledge Country Club


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Shannon “Chief” Cherry, center, plays the saxophone for Red Beans & Rice.

SENIOR LIFE Courtesy of Space Coast Jazz Society

Shannon “Chief” Cherry and his Red Beans & Rice swing jazz band will perform at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5 at the Rockledge Country Club.

Cherry started his band in 1997 with some fellow college classmates from Brevard Community College’s Cocoa campus in Marion Scott’s band room. Although the band members have changed through the years, swinging music has been a consistent theme for the group.

Cherry started the band during the neo-swing revival of the late 1990s to play gigs specifically for dancers during the short-lived swing dance craze. This pursuit later would foster a deeper love and appreciation for more kinds of jazz as the band branched out to perform other types of jazz from the eras between 1920 and 1960. Today, Cherry writes classic swing-inspired original music with a credit to Harry Connick, Jr.

Band members include Mark Sunderland on trumpet, Major Bailey and Corey Powell on trombones, Joe Goldberg on clarinet and saxes (when he’s in town from New Orleans), Mike Telesmanick and Marce Talos on the piano, Ron Pirtle on bass and Ritchie Mola and Brock Wollard on drums.

Female vocalists have been a new addition. Britty Bardez-Tedtmann and Megan Roxane Shea have thrived in those roles.

Cherry sings, plays the saxophone and writes the original songs for the group. They are working on a debut album, which is endorsed and promoted by Joseph Haynes Davis, brother of the late jazz legend Miles Davis.

Concerts are open to the public and no reservations are needed. Tickets are $10 for members of the Jazz Society or the Rockledge Country Club and $15 for guests. Students are admitted for free.

The Rockledge Country Club is located at 1591 S. Fiske Blvd. in Rockledge. 

For information, call Bobbie Vance at 321-960-4897, email Jazz@SpaceCoastJazzSociety.org or go to SpaceCoastJazzSociety.org.