Program : 
Thanksgiving Homecoming: A Riverwalk Jazz Family Gathering
Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

Freedom from Want by Norman Rockwell, 1943. Courtesy The Norman Rockwell Museum.

Norman Rockwell got it right. Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy friends and family. This year, Riverwalk Jazz provides the sound track, a feast for the ears.


The Riverwalk Jazz family has gathered together to celebrate the holiday by sharing live performances of pieces that our listeners tell us they enjoy the most. It’s an hour of music that will add a bounce to your step as you set the table and whip those mashed potatoes or stew the jambalaya—or whatever your family’s preference might be.


Actor and singer Vernel Bagneris shares his talents with the Riverwalk gang on a Jabbo Smith song that’s perfect for a family gathering, “I Took My Little Daughter to the Zoo.”


New Orleans-based trumpeter, bandleader and vocalist Duke Heitger sits in with The Jim Cullum Jazz Band to sing an entertaining old blues number, "Spider Crawl," one of the tunes performed by the much sought-after collection known as the Rhythmakers. It was a multi-racial recording group organized in 1932 by bandleader and guitarist Eddie Condon, and featured trumpeter Henry "Red" Allen and clarinetist Pee Wee Russell, among others.


Duke Heitger

Duke Heitger. Photo courtesy of the artist.

It's ‘old home’ week when vocalist Nina Ferro, who hails from Melbourne, Australia, drops in. Nina has been a Riverwalk Jazz favorite since her very first performance at The Landing in 1996. She performs two classic love songs, "I'll Be Around," written in 1942 by Alec Wilder and "Lover Come Back to Me," composed in 1928 by Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein II.


As the sun begins to set on another Thanksgiving holiday, alto saxophonist Kim Cusack, a fixture of the Chicago jazz scene, joins forces with the band on "Every Evening,” performed in an arrangement recalling the great reedmen of Chicago in the 1920s.


Rebecca Kilgore

Rebecca Kilgore. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Rebecca Kilgore stops by from her home in Portland, Oregon to perform "If I Had a Ribbon Bow," a folk song made famous in a jazz rendition by Maxine Sullivan. With John Sheridan and Jim Cullum, Becky also offers a trio arrangement of "Harlem Butterfly," a 1948 composition by Johnny Mercer.


Whether you’re traveling over the hills and through the woods by plane, train or car, or you’re at home in your kitchen whipping, chopping, pureeing, sautéing and roasting the holiday feast, all of us at Riverwalk Jazz wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.


Photo credit for home page: Duke Heitger. Photo courtesy of the artist.