Free concert Friday at the Loft with Snakebite Six

sokamoto@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 15, 2012 

The Snakebite Six is back. I’ve known some of the guys in this Dixieland jazz band for quite a while.

It started in 1974, when Columbus College (now Columbus State University) music professor Paul Vander Gheynst took several players from the CC Dixieland Jazz Band to form the Snakebite Six.

The early members were Gil Beasley, Jim Young, Bob Murray, Jim Heyser, Larry Hall, David Mathis, Jeannine Galloway and Tom Chadwick.

Of those members, Tommy, Vander and Bob remain. Others are Edward Robinson, Jim Evans and David Morgan.

Jim called and said the group will be performing Friday night between 6-9 p.m. at the Loft, 1032 Broadway. There is no admission fee and it’s an all-ages gig.

Jim said he started playing the group in the late 1980s, when we still had a riverboat on the Chattahoochee River. He’s been playing with them off-and-on ever since.

Vander, who retired from CSU several years ago, is spending half of his time here and the other half of the year in Ohio.

Sometimes Jan Hyatt sings, though Jim says Bob and Vander also do some singing.

The band plays traditional New Orleans-style tune like “When the Saints Come Marchin’ In,” “Avalon,” “Georgia,” “St. James Infirmary,” “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans,” “St. Louis Blues,” “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “Georgia on My Mind” and “Strike Up the Band.”

And who comes up with the set list?

“Me,” Jim said. “They argue with me. They don’t want to play some songs. But they don’t want to do it (make up the set list), so I get the short straw.”

Because they all work, and band leader Vander lives 12 hours away, they rehearse very infrequently. But whenever they want to play some new tunes, they somehow get together.

Otherwise, “we just show up and play,” Jim said.

It’s part of the Loft’s Friday Jazz night series, which is free. Call the Loft at 706-596-8141.

“Where Did the Money Go?”

Jennie Walker, who has always wanted to be a singer and has the talent for it, still has to have a job. She’s a fundraiser and a good one.

Recently she worked on a new documentary called “Haiti: Where Did the Money Go?” As you can guess, the film wonders where the millions of dollars that were raised for earthquake-ravaged Haiti went.

Jennie raised money for the film and lined up interviews for the filmmakers. Director Michele Mitchell has been a political analyst and anchor on CNN’s Headline News. She is currently a correspondent for the weekly PBS news magazine, “Now,” with Bill Moyers. Investigative stories included the war on terror, voter fraud, women and the economy, the Jack Abramoff scandal and child slavery.

You can see the documentary at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday and 11 a.m. March 25 on Georgia Public Broadcasting or WJSP-TV 28 locally.

Sandra Okamoto, sokamoto@ledger-enquirer.com or 706-571-8580.

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